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Upgrading from NAP135

Discussion in 'audio' started by Naim2, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Naim2

    Naim2 pfm Member

    @ MJS
    Its an olive NAP135. :)

    @MJS & GT Audio
    Yes NAP135 is a very capable amp... and in my opinion not so easy to replace. Especially if we do some modification..... but this time I really want something outside Naim to partner with the AVC.

    @GT Audio
    Low power is ok even 5 watts is ok. What do you recommend?
    Yes i am after the best sound quality. Who manufacture amplifier with just a pair of output devices to power each channel? Is it tube or SS?

    I search the internet and found this: Decware SE845UFO triode. Any opinions?

    @Mike Reed,
    Tell us more about going from 552/135 to EAR Pre/EAR509.
    Please share your experience how much improvement and how different is the presentation?

    Many thanks
     
  2. FrankF

    FrankF pfm Member

    Hi Ross, I have never heard anyone who is intimately familiar with the 16s say they found something better so needless to say, you have my full attention. I'm not doubting you at all, I know you are very familiar with the 16s so that's telling me the EAR must be extremely special so I'd really like to hear your thoughts on how the EAR compares to the 16s.

    Perhaps my biggest regret in audio is that I didn't purchase the 16s way back when they were available, and now that I'm looking to upgrade I'd want something at least on par with the 16s.
     
  3. mikemusic

    mikemusic pfm Member

    I went from 135s after servicing to a 500, not as big a step up as I thought.
    Chord SPM1200E saw off the 500

    Belles Monos saw off the Chord
     
  4. davidf

    davidf pfm Member

    Glad to hear this. I just had my 1993 olive 135s fully serviced. I thought about selling the 135s to help finance a 500 but decided did not want to spend that much $.
    Must say after servicing they sounded slightly better but not blown away by the difference. Last serviced 10 yrs earlier. They sound great but guess that I could have waited a bit longer prior to servicing. My OCD would not allow further waiting howerver....
    David
     
  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    @Mike Reed,
    Tell us more about going from 552/135 to EAR Pre/EAR509.
    Please share your experience how much improvement and how different is the presentation?

    Many thanks[/QUOTE]

    This was done over a seven-ish year period (maybe more). I had the 135s and 509s in and out of circuit for about 6 months, just to be sure. My wife (with better hearing but no musical/audiophile pretensions) didn't take long to plump for the valves (509s). These E.A.R. amp's (and others) are the s/s equivalent of valves, by many accounts, so it wasn't a night and day preference. The 552 went well with the 509s, though absolute synergy must favour the 135s, of course.

    I had the ESLs when I swapped out the 552 for the E.A.R. 912 last October, and the difference was quite palpable; synergy again, I s'pose. The 509s had always been perfect for the Quad 2905s anyway, but adding the pre. enabled a greater 3 dimensional, lively and involving experience. More natural too, with greater tonal variation.

    It also relegated 1 Superline, 1 Supercap, 1 pre. and 1 power supply plus Burndy and HiLiine.....for just 1 box ! Incredible ! VU meters and loading etc switches were, and still are, a bit of a challenge to these old eyes and brain, esp after a few glasses, but the proof is in the pudding and there's no way back.

    I also had 8 h/d radials direct to dedicated C.U. with RCBOs (benefits Naim but maybe not necessarily valves). Bake-offs/local audiophile listenings confirm the above so it's not just my ears.

    CDP = LECTOR valved 4 box. RADIO = Naim 01 and VINYL = N.A. Dais with 12" PU7 and Ace Anna with Transfig. Proteus and K. Urushi Vermillion.
     
  6. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    The E-Vs have an impedance minima of around 3 ohms in the midbass. NAP135s don't like that much when I want the room pressurised with a bit of Korn. The NS-1000Ms actually sound better with the class-A Pioneer M-22 (fed by its matching C-21 preamp) than with the 200+W Dynavector HX1.2mk2 (fed by Densen B-250 preamp). It may be the preamps highlighting the differences, I cannot be sure.

    I'm sure the NS-1000M would sound sublime with my (long gone) 52/135s if I hadn't sold them.
     
  7. colasblue

    colasblue pfm Member

    You may also find that the "holographic" sound you want magically appears if you move the SBL's about 4 to 6 inches away from the wall rather than having them as close as possible (like wot Naim tell you to).

    .
     
  8. RossB

    RossB Member

    The 16 Monos are certainly monumentally good. There is no way I am parting with mine.

    I have tried a lot of amps - tube and solid state - against the 16 Monos, and so far nothing else has come close. They have the perfect combination of tonality, speed and dynamics. Everything else I have tried against them has sounded anemic, gutless or tonally bleached. But the EAR 890 is just as dynamic, but with more depth of tone. The 890 is a just the slightest bit rolled off on top compared to the 16 Monos, and the bass is just a degree less tight. But on balance, I find the 890 to be the first fully satisfying power amp I have tried which could replace the 16 Monos.

    I also use mine with an EAR 912 preamp, which is also excellent. It will be interesting to compare this with my Tron Seven linestage which is about to go back to Graham for upgrading to Reference level.
     
  9. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    A friend brought his 899 (?..the int. version of the 890) round a couple of months ago as he wanted to hear the difference between my 509s and his. I was surprised at the almost identical tonal presentation, although on balance the 509s seemed better in sound-staging (into big ESLs) 100W versus 70 watts; it was a good comparison.

    Wonder how the coveted 861 sounds, though at 35 watts, I'm not sure about driving the ESLs as well.
     
  10. mikemusic

    mikemusic pfm Member

    I knew my 500 would see off my mate's Chord. Had to, no competition.

    Was gobsmacked when it was the other way round
     
  11. Gaius

    Gaius Trade: Stiletto by Tangerine

    ^^^It's interesting, I have a Chord CPA 3200 and SPM 1000B driving ESL 63s which makes for a superb combination, it would trounce 135s and I think a 500.
     
  12. RossB

    RossB Member

    Mike, did you use the 899 purely as a power amp with your 912, or did you compare your 912/509s against the 899 using its internal passive preamp? If the latter, that could certainly explain the difference in soundstaging.

    It would be interesting to compare the 912/509s against the 912 and a pair of 890s in bridged mono.
     
  13. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    The 890 (so, I presume the 899) is slightly 'warmer' than the 509s when used with a passive or SS preamp, but the difference is pretty subtle. My 890 is now on its way to a new owner, which is sad, but necessary. When finances permit I may scour the world for a pair of 549s but there are very few in existence, and I may send my ESL57s to EAR for Tim to build his custom power amps into the speakers themselves... I heard them at a show some years ago, playing Pink Floyd's Pulse live album, off mastertape on Tim's Revox G36 - don't let anyone tell you ESL57s don't do bass...
     
  14. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    As a power amp. I'd imagine there'd be little if no difference with 2 890s; there was precious little with one ! There was another judicious pair of ears listening apart from his and mine.

    I was surprised by the previous poster's mention of the small step-change from 135 to 500, though. My friend wasn't at all unhappy with the upgrade quite a few years ago.

    Anybody know if an 861 would be adequate for Quad 2905s? The previous Belgian owner of my 912 had an 861 with it, chosen from a range of E.A.R. amp's, but he didn't have ESLs.
     
  15. Suffolk Tony

    Suffolk Tony pfm Member

    I'm surprised by that too. Has your friend got the DR version of the 500? If not, I can strongly recommend he (or she!) gets this done. It really does transform the amp.
     
  16. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I'm sure it would be adequate. Most things are adequate. However anyone with ESLs and EAR wants a bit better than "adequate". I ran my 4 x ESL 57s from a Yaqin EL34 amp with 35 wpc. It was well beyond "adequate". Will you like it? Now that I don't know.

    I now use a Crown in place of the Yaqin. Is it better? Hmm, probably. Probably. In addition with a speaker change I can turn it into a PA rig.
     
  17. HydeLea

    HydeLea pfm Member

    I was surprised by the previous poster's mention of the small step-change from 135 to 500, though. My friend wasn't at all unhappy with the upgrade quite a few years ago.

    Well I had a 552/500 on loan some time ago to compare it to my 52/135s. Sent them back as I much preferred the 52/135s. They just sound different and have lost that 'NAIM' sound.
     
  18. abbydog

    abbydog pfm Member

    You did the right thing - the newer stuff is poor and 500 in particular is gutless junk. Dumbo here bought 552/500 and quickly sold. And anyone who thinks the DR upgrade is some sort of magic wand is living in propaganda cuckoo land, in my opinion.
     
  19. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Distributor and Manufacturer

    This does not surprise me at all. Just like in pretty much every industry today, "newer or more powerful doesn't necessarily mean better..."

    Actually in audio unless your speakers demand huge amounts of current or driving ability, then more powerful and complicated amplifiers will actually sound worse. The best solid state amplifiers have always been the low power variety, as in Mark Levinson ML2s, Marantz PM4, Electrocompaniet 25 watt class A, Lavardin, Sugden etc [I am sure there are more]. Note, these are all Class A or AB designs which will give the best fidelity.
     
  20. Suffolk Tony

    Suffolk Tony pfm Member

    Spewing your usual anti-Naim venomous trollspeak again Mr Dog. I suppose if I was stupid enough to actually buy expensive kit I didn't like I might be bitter & twisted too.
     

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