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Amplification for Naim Allaes

Discussion in 'audio' started by Seanf, May 15, 2019.

  1. Seanf

    Seanf pfm Member

    Having recently acquired some Naim Allaes for a good price, I feel my next move should be to upgrade the amplification from my Nait 3R to something more substantial. I’m not really familiar with multi-box Naim equipment but after reading a bit, it looks like a NAC 102 and NAP 180 might be what I’m after. I’m sure people here have opinions on this, so I’d be happy to hear them. I want to stick with the olive range and don’t have a fortune to spend, which is what led me to the above items. Thoughts and suggestions please...
  2. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    Great speakers, they'll serve you well. Others will say otherwise but if you like how they sound that is all that matters. I initially drove mine with a 102/140 combination and they sounded great.

    In terms of Olive gear the 102/180 combo will drive them well, but make sure the 180 at least is serviced as it greatly improves the sound. Eventually when funds allow you can add a Hi-Cap and NAPSC and then sit back and enjoy.

    I took mine all the way to active (135s) and they sounded stunning... changed them 2 months ago after 14 years for SL2s.
  3. Whatsisnaim

    Whatsisnaim pfm Member

    A 102/180 would be fine. If you can find a 160, that might be worth considering, too. 250 would be really good, but then you have to use an external psu for the preamp and the price starts to get higher. I would have said also consider 202/200, as there are a lot more of them out there on the market, but not olive. If you are buying items unheard on ebay, there's a lot of older stuff out there which is in need of a service, and/or has been modified, maybe well, maybe badly, so try to get some idea of what sort of condition the item is in. Ask questions!
  4. HiFiman

    HiFiman Don't tell him Pike

    102/180 will work great with the Allae's, a fantastic combo and as others have mentioned make sure the 180 has had a recent service.

    NAPSC and HiCap can be added later once funds are available for further improvements.
  5. PerF

    PerF Member

    Any of the olive boxes would be fine, all are from the 90'ies so serviced definately a good idea

    Notice 92/90.3 is a Nait 3 in two cabinets

    Preamps available from that era
    82 (Napsc mandatory)

    250 (preamp psu needed)
    135 (Mono, Preamp psu needed))

    Make sure to have good source sorted, these are revealing amps along with Allae's - any issues will be presented
  6. Seanf

    Seanf pfm Member

    Thanks for the advice everyone, it looks like I'm on the right track. I've seen a 102 including NAPSC and MM phono boards (important for me) for around 375 quid, which seems good to me so I might go for it. I think a serviced 180 might take longer to find and would cost a bit more though.
  7. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart pfm Member

    If you find an honest 180 that still needs a service, the service is only about £180-200 or so from non-factory service centres. It’ll then be good for at least another ten years. That might be better, financially, than travelling 150 miles for one that was serviced three years ago, for example.

    I’ve had my 180 since new in 1999, together with the 102. Used to drive Intros, now PMC Twenty.23s. I’ve no intention of getting rid, partly because I love the sound, and partly because I just can’t afford the high level Naim amps that some friends have.

    Good luck!
    Rack Kit likes this.
  8. Seanf

    Seanf pfm Member

    It's reassuring to know that people tend to stick with this combination. I've now bought the 102 and will post in the classifieds section later to start my hunt for a 180. I would rather buy a serviced one as I am based in Berlin and not sure where (and for how much) I could get a service done here. I tend to buy stuff in UK as the prices are usually better than Germany. I have close connections with a removal firm that does regular trips between Germany and UK, so shipping is not so much of an issue (I got my Allaes collected, packed and delivered by them, all paid for in that international currency of 'beer'). Thanks for your thoughts everyone, and if you hear of a nice 180 going cheap, please get in touch!

  9. Seanf

    Seanf pfm Member

    Oh dear, it looks like I'm a few posts short to be able to post in the Classifieds section!
  10. wiresandmore

    wiresandmore pfm Member

    I had Allaes for 5 years, they were great speakers. I see most of the recommendations above look at the power amp side of things, the biggest ever upgrade I did when I had them was the move from 202/200 to 282/200. The preamp made a huge difference (sources at the time were P9 and NDX). I would expect the olive 82/180 would be a super combo
  11. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart pfm Member


    Do you see yourself going to hicap at some point?

    (Effort to boost your posts in a good way ;) hehe)
  12. HiFiman

    HiFiman Don't tell him Pike

    102/180/HiCap/NAPSC and Allaes is probably all you need, one well balanced setup.
  13. Seanf

    Seanf pfm Member

    Haha, thanks Tony. It would be rude not to reply, so to answer your question: maybe :)
    Tony Lockhart likes this.
  14. Seanf

    Seanf pfm Member

    Hifiman, it seems ideal to me. I'm just finalising payment and pick up of the 102, then I should be ready for the 180 quest.
  15. Rack Kit

    Rack Kit pfm Member

    52>82>102 - you’d have thought the the higher numbered pre would be the better product. Strange numbering system...
  16. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart pfm Member

    Canon 1D>5D>50D>500D>1000D :)
    Rack Kit likes this.
  17. PerF

    PerF Member

    Not strange at all
  18. Seanf

    Seanf pfm Member

    I'm used to numbers not making sense. As a Nikon guy, I've gone from D60 to D7100 to D750. I've given up trying to find any logic!
    Rack Kit and Tony Lockhart like this.
  19. seagull

    seagull Seabird flavour member

    The numbering indicates the order that the pre-amps were originally developed. The 2 is for 2 channel.
  20. HiFiman

    HiFiman Don't tell him Pike

    As seagull mentioned 2 is for 2 channel

    52 is the fifth generation pre but delays in production the 5 ended up out of sequence, 82 the eighth, 102 the tenth and so on

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