View Full Version : How to - Upgrade your Snaps

29-05-09, 02:28 AM
I meant to post this absolutely ages ago but somehow never did. The recent enquiry about the Naim Snaps made me think about it again.

Many years ago I acquired a Snaps and used it to run my Sony D6C Walkman Pro (THE flat earth combo at the time). When the Olive range came out I was lucky enough to be given an update fascia and on/off knob to make it match my other equipment (no actual olive fronted Snap were ever built by Naim).e

It looked like this:


So, eventually, after years of it sitting on the shelf I removed my phono cards from my pre-amp (thanks to Avondale). However, this remote operation of the 323 cards meant that they required their own dual rail supply -I remembered my Snaps. A quick visit to Les at Avondale towers and it was converted to dual rail operation and he fitted the required Din plug. Now it looked like this:


Well, I was quite happy with that improvement and lived with it for a short while. One day I was chatting to Les and he mentioned upgrading my Snaps and so I picked up these bits from him:


One replacement reservoir capacitor (kendeil) and two replacement regulator boards (all fully built and very nice too - all SS fixings were also supplied.

So, I had to take the old boards out:


Drill a few small holes to mount the new boards (very easy to do as the tray is aluminium):


Then just fix the new boards in (bolted with supplied screws, nuts, washers, and L brackets).


All the wires were long enough already so I just soldered them to the boards:


This simple mod gave a surprisingly big improvement - much bigger than the very small cost would suggest. I've since compared it to a number of other supplies and not found it wanting in any way - very highly recommended.

29-05-09, 02:49 AM
Very similar to my snaps apart from teddy regs are installed. However now moving to localised regulation in me pre. I have nothing to compare it to, but the difference with and without is very noticable. More so than before the instalation of teddyregs.

Interestingly your original regs dont look like the ones i removed from my snaps ? Any ideas whats going on ?


29-05-09, 02:58 AM
I'm going over to localised regulation in my pre-amp too - the Snaps only feed my phono stage though'

No, sorry Jim, don't know anything about the old regs I took out - they do have Naim written on them though.

29-05-09, 04:04 AM
I went the whole hog with my Snaps and added a pair of Kendeils and a twin secondary trannie along with the TPR's. A great improvement over the std item, still got it gathering dust somewhere.

29-05-09, 04:43 AM
Well, I guess you can do anything with the correct skill :) The mods I did were just simple and quick - didn't cost very much and made a huge difference.

29-05-09, 05:39 AM
Not much skill on my part ;) , just a steady soldering hand and a bit of help from pfm.

29-05-09, 06:29 AM
Excellent mod Ynwoan thats exactly the sort of simple diy mods we love to see ;):D


29-05-09, 08:51 AM
...Interestingly your original regs dont look like the ones i removed from my snaps ? Any ideas whats going on ?

Jim, Older SNAPS had the LM317s bolted flat to the floor and attached to the circuit board via short flying leads - whereas later ones have the all in one board seen in Mark's pictures. They are functionally identical though.

29-05-09, 08:54 AM
Very similar to my snaps apart from teddy regs are installed.

I just did one a few months ago with 3 TRs as a single box power supply for a friend's NAC102. He loves it - rates it better than his Hicap/NAPSC for the same application.

29-05-09, 09:07 AM
Neil hadn't made the TR cicuit board when I did mine and Les had his all to hand and neatly made - adding the regs was a big difference though.

Mike Hanson
29-05-09, 12:14 PM
I just did this to one of my own SNAPS yesterday. It powers the 102 in my office, and the result was a nicely tightened up sound, with less inner boom. Definitely worth the effort and cost!

I've got a few blank ALW SuperReg boards. If I can find a bit of spare time, I'll mount the components and do the upgrade to my other (unused) SNAPS.

Mike Hanson (www.boxsoft.net)

29-05-09, 12:37 PM
Yes, as Mike writes - tighter, less bloom, better texture, more natural dynamic :)

P.S. Mike, I haven't a clue what all those services are that your company offers (well, a clue but not much more)!

29-05-09, 02:40 PM

Can I ask what you use to drill the holes marked with red arrows in this photo (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3367/3577157420_52bc6b8365.jpg). I need to do this with my 42.5 case (so the screws will be flush) but I'm not sure how one does this.

29-05-09, 02:52 PM
I can't speak for Mark, but something like this would do the trick: http://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/bq/nav.jsp?action=detail&fh_secondid=9410654&fh_view_size=10&fh_location=%2f%2fcatalog01%2fen_GB&fh_search=countersink&fh_eds=%C3%9F&fh_refview=search&ts=1243633872706&isSearch=true

I usually use a small drill bit to make the whole, then use a countersink bit to make the larger countersunk section. You could probably get away with a 1/2" bit instead of a countersink.


martin clark
29-05-09, 03:06 PM
NIce posts YNWOAN, and a top-value upgrade I'm sure.

Which reminds me - I must finish an 'acoustica' write-up on the use of tracking-pre-regs. There are some very real advantages to be had, even when implemented with cheap jellybean 3-pin voltage regs - but also a pretty unique and interesting pitfall to avoid. More anon.

29-05-09, 03:29 PM

Can I ask what you use to drill the holes marked with red arrows in this photo (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3367/3577157420_52bc6b8365.jpg). I need to do this with my 42.5 case (so the screws will be flush) but I'm not sure how one does this.

Pretty much as hacker describes. I put a couple of layers of masking tape so the drill wouldn't slip - marked the hole - used my Makita (other brands are available) cordless drill - then I used a countersink drill (or you could use a combination drill bit as hacker links to. I drilled through to a bit of scrap MDF - aluminium is easy to drill.

I should say that all the mechanical aspects I’ve done many, many, many times in the past and this is an exceedingly basic job – make sure you mark the holes in the right place – drill in the right place – just take care and I’m sure you will be fine.

To make the screws flush you need either a combination bit like hacker shows or one of these http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/03/4FlutedCountersink.jpg/200px- a countersink bit - you can buy them from most hardware shops like B&Q (ones for metal are slightly different than ones for wood).

29-05-09, 08:28 PM
Thanks for the tips guys. As it happens I have both types of countersink bits, just thought they were for wood use only! Now if I can just make sure to mark the holes in the right place--usually my biggest challenge :)

30-05-09, 12:26 AM
If you want accurate positioning for the drill bit use a centre punch.
One of these is easy to use and invaluable when accurate marking is required, http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001247.php

30-05-09, 02:42 AM
Good advice from DubbLinn, I may have centre punched mine, can't remember though (I probably didn’t bother on such a small job on aluminium). If you put a couple of layers of masking tape on first it should discourage the drill from slipping (and give you something to draw on) - use a sharp pencil or similar (not a big, thick, blunt crayon that you found at the back of a drawer :)).