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Naim NAP 200 vs 150X

Discussion in 'audio' started by Njb, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. Njb

    Njb pfm Member


    Currently using a NAC202 (with TeddyCap PS) into a NAP 150X and Dynaudio Focus 160 speakers. I believe that the 202 is a more natural partner to the NAP 200. Has anybody got any experience of these power amplifiers, and is the upgrade worthwhile?
  2. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    Depends on how effective / powerhungry your speakers are.

    I once had the NAC112, Flatcap and 3x NAP150 & I was underwhelmed in total.

    Might have been the PRE and weak power supply, later someone told me the 150 wasn't that bad.

    Personally I find the new stuff too expensive & not a design I like, but that's matter of taste.

    If your speakers are not overly power demanding, the move to a 282 & a dual Teddy Cap
    might give you more than a new amp.

    But you may try this,,,and speaking of power amps..if you have a Teddy Cap already,
    why not try Teddys stereoamp ?
    These are getting rave reports all over & seem phantastic.

    Or Witchhead, Gaius here on the forum have nice amps too,
    depending on where you are, maybe you can have a listen.

    And if you don't like the old Naim design, before going for a 282, I would rather head for a Teddy PRE, probably.
  3. ryder

    ryder pfm Member

    As what torstoi said. I believe the Dynaudio Focus will sound better with more power (than what the Naim NAP 150X is currently providing). As for which route, there are many options so I won't comment on that.
  4. Njb

    Njb pfm Member

    The Dynaudio Focus 160 is a load that is rated as 4 ohms, but I have seen plenty of comments that this nominal value dips to 2.5 ohms at points in the frequency range. Thus, it is often noted as a difficult load. I have not noticed any strange behaviours, however, that does not mean that I would not benefit from more power. Although I listen at relatively low values, a friend tried to explain that more power is not just more volume, it is having 'reserve in the tank' to punch out the dynamic changes in the music when it is needed. Thus, an upgrade should give me a livelier sound. That is if I understand things correctly.
  5. S-Man

    S-Man Kinkless Tetrode Admirer

    I don't think power is the problem with the NAP200, Naim state:
    "The Naim Audio NAP 200 is stable into any load and can drive a 2-ohm load for long periods of time."
    This in combination with the law of diminishing increased volume versus power means you are unlikely to run out of power with 86dB/2.83V/m efficiency speakers.

    The more likely problem with any Naim amp is the highish o/p impedance which can cause a bit of bass hump and this in combination with the traditional Dynaudio "full" bass sound (can't find 160 measurements) may well be too much:
  6. Njb

    Njb pfm Member

  7. Rosewind

    Rosewind Lost in Translation

    I have owned both in an active set-up and sq-wise I found them quite similar. I ended up with 2xNap 200 but I am sure I could have lived happily with 2xNap 150x. If you need the extra oomph, go for a Nap 200.
  8. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    If you say it is often noted as a difficult load, then a beefier amp will give you a substancial difference, I imagine.
    It is not about how loud you hear, great amps have their strengths in delivering the full joy in very silent listening, too.
    In contrary to weaker amps where you will more likely be tempted to turn up the volume.

    I saw an NAC102 for 300UKP in the classifieds just yesterday,
    & despite I'm not firm in the exact tech devellopment, I don't imagine to be much difference from the 102 to the 202 that replaced it..

    Considering the new Naim range has good value in common opinion still,
    what I would do in your place is this:

    Buy a Teddy PRE incl. dual Teddycap (I think it comes with PS anyway?)
    and a dual Teddy Cap in case it's not within the deal
    + a Teddy amp

    from the classifieds s/h piece by piece.

    Sell your combi complete as it is or in single units.

    I'd not be surprised if you went out without or very little loss
    & are left with an entirely different level of performance.

    My 2 cent..
  9. torstoi

    torstoi pfm Member

    the NAP150 has a quite smaller transformer
    than the NAP140 it basicly was aimed to suggest replacing.

    in a very simplyfied view you can make up the beefyness of Naim amps from the size of their transformer.
    The 150's has the size of a 1 Liter Cola bottle bottom,
    whereas the 140's has ~the size of a common bigger steel ashtray.

    Not surpisingly my Isobariks (also not an easy load) where quite happier with
    older olive 140s, then the 150s they replaced.

    it is the fact that not only where the 140 cheaper than the 150 had been,
    comparing s/h to new is not fair,
    but rather the fact that Naim did downgrade transformer and sound value considerably,
    but from the numbers make you believe you were in fact stepping up a bit. (or at least stay on same level)

    And for a technically innocent customer in widest sense, I have to say this had quite a taste of a rip-off to me.
    An eyebrow rise and light anger was my reaction & personally I decided they can try to sell those new stuff to whoever they like, but definitely not me in any future.

    There is so many others who fully deliver in this kind of spectrum and with great quality and vfm.
  10. daren_p

    daren_p pfm Member

    I actually had a very similar setup to you. I ran a 202 with a TeddyCAP+ & the 150X & was pretty happy with the setup. I added the TeddyCAP+ first as from what I had read, the external power supply makes the biggest difference & many had said there wouldn't be much change in the different Naim amps (unless you had speakers that are particularly hard to drive). The TeddyCAP did make a pretty nice jump in sound, but to be honest if I had paid what Naim wanted for the HiCAP, I might have been a bit disappointed.

    I was looking to upgrade & to be honest I liked the look of the 200 better then the 150X as it matched the 202 casework & I figured the 200 is the natural partner so might as well make the swap. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much change but after listening, I was almost shocked at the difference. The 200 was as big if not slightly bigger then adding the TeddyCAP+. Bass control is far better, it does remove some of the upper bass boom but get the right track with really low bass & you'll wonder "where did that note come from?". The clarity of the 200 was far superior, as well as all other areas being a step up.

    Now, I believe the reason for my experience is the order in what things were done in. When others add an external supply that already have the 200, the 202 is the weak link so adding the PS really improves performance. In my case, I believe the 150X was sort of the limiting factor. So when the PS was added, I wasn't getting the full effect. When I added the 200, I got the effect of 200 itself, which in turn allowed the PS to give its full effect.

    If you haven't tried it, I would definitely recommend giving the 200 a try, you might be surprised. I run Audio Physic Scorpio's, & their not an extremely demanding speaker, so it wasn't a case of the 150X not being up to the task of properly powering my speakers.
  11. Njb

    Njb pfm Member

    Thanks, just the kind of feedback that I was looking for. I have no intention of moving away from Naim, and am never going to sell up and start again. I can afford to make small incremental changes from time to time, it is just a case of working out what the next change should be.
  12. daren_p

    daren_p pfm Member

    If you experience what I did, I don't think you'll have any regrets with the upgrade. If you make the change, post up your results, I'd like to hear how it worked out for you. For me, its not that I wasn't happy with the 150x but once the 200 was hooked up, all the areas it was lacking in became easily apparent (didn't know what area's could be improved till I heard the improvements).

    I recently made the swap from my 202/TP HC+ to 282/HC DR & have been really impressed with the upgrade (& it still works well with the 200), but with all this talk on the DR series amps, I think the 250 DR will be my eventual goal. Like you, I don't see myself leaving Naim anytime in the near future.
  13. Muttley2

    Muttley2 pfm Member

    I had a 150x and found it very harsh and fatiging. I then moved to the 200 which was better. I now hav a TP ST 60 which is even better.
  14. Njb

    Njb pfm Member

    I get my secondhand NAP200 next week. Fingers crossed that it ticks the right boxes.
  15. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    I also have NAP 150X and Nac 122x and would be very interested to hear how you got on as I too was considering upgrading to that combo.
  16. Njb

    Njb pfm Member

    I now have the NAP200 and it has made a significant difference. The bass has more definition and punch from low volume up, but the differences further up the frequency bands are almost more notable. The soundstage and clarity are much better, and the whole sound is bigger, more effortless. I am surprised that it is so obvious, but am considering it as a proper upgrade rather than a subtle change.
  17. daren_p

    daren_p pfm Member

    Good to hear I wasn't the only one that thought it was a very worth while upgrade (what do you mean, all amps sound the same :D ).

    Not to put thoughts in your mind, but if your ever in the market for an upgrade, the 282 really is as good as everyone says ;)
  18. Njb

    Njb pfm Member

    Ha, thanks but I am really enjoying the improvements with the new NAP. I am still setting up playlists of favourite music that showcases the punchy bass. The changes continue to surprise me. I guess that my system is now better than it has ever been, but don't expect that I have beaten the upgrade bug for long! Already wondering about my DAC....
  19. daren_p

    daren_p pfm Member

    Which DAC are you currently using? A DAC upgrade & the 250DR are what I'm looking for next.
  20. Njb

    Njb pfm Member

    Hi Daren, I have just started a thread asking about Beresford. I bought the Bushmaster II around 2 years ago to replace the built in one on my Pure i20 iPod dock. It added a lot of transparency and a better bass balance. I know that some people are not too keen on the Beresford brand, but I have found Stanley to be informative and happy to answer emails. I noticed that the Caiman II has revised firmware, and gets decent reviews, so I am taking a chance on it. Stanley told me that it has a better DAC IC and that it is better all round; I have a 30 day money back guarantee, so what is not to like?

    My experience is that DACs, like amplifiers, do not all sound the same. ;)

    I am hoping that this, like the first one, is another lucky guess.

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