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Naim 250/102 system to which Integrated Amp?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Barwon, May 8, 2019.

  1. Barwon

    Barwon Member

    I am seriously considering replacing my old Naim system (250 CB, 102, DualTeddyCap, CD3.5) with an integrated Amp. I am now retired and funds are limited, plus the cost of Naim maintenance is very high in Australia, the 250 probably needs recapping, the CD3.5 is very old now, and I live in a remote area away from Naim dealers.

    I would rather invest in a good integrated Amp that will see me through to end of my audio journey and sell the Naim gear while it is all functioning. I upgraded my speakers a few years ago to PMC Fact 8 and they work really well in my small listening room (4x5 metres). My digital streaming is handled satisfactorily for my ears by a Imac Alac to Airport Express to AudioEngine D1 Dac to preamp. I still play CDs but if I also sell the CD3.5, I may use an old Arcam DV88 as a transport to a modern inexpensive Dac.

    So what suggestions can you give me for auditioning some Integrated Amps that fall within a AUD $2000 (say £1000) budget and that will drive my PMC Fact 8.
  2. shoniss

    shoniss Active Member

    To get something of equivalent quality It's going to be s/hand at those $'s, if you like the Naim sound maybe look around for a used SuperNait. I don't know much about those speakers other than they are highly regarded and were quite expensive when new, I'm sure you'll get told that you're creating a mullet but I also sure you can find a sympathetic amplification partner.

    You don't say what sort of music and how load you typically play. I guess if looking for a new amp in Australia, then there are some Cambridge Audio options or look at the Yamaha range, something like the R-N803 has a dac and streaming built-in (this would be an improvement over your current solution) or the A-S801 as something more conventional.
  3. Barwon

    Barwon Member

    Sorry, I forgot to mention I listen almost exclusively to Jazz and some Blues.
  4. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I don't think the naim amps are especially difficult to service, is there a technician you could use locally? Probably difficult to better or equal the sound with an integrated.
  5. PerF

    PerF Member

    Not my favorite but look for a cared SN1 if it has to be Naim
    Guess those speakers will need a hefty amp indeed.

    IMO not a good idea compromising source with a crap cd-transport, no amplifiers or speakers will make up for source error.
  6. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    I've just recently replaced the Naim amplification in my main system with a 2nd hand Krell integrated (a KAV-400xi) which I got for £900 from one of the local dealers and I'd have thought something like that would drive your PMC's really well.
  7. PerF

    PerF Member

    What about one of the older Hegel's 160 or 300 ?

    Was thinking Quad 606 or 909 but then its a poweramp only in need for a pre
    Great value amps though
    Still supported
  8. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC


    Whatever you buy has the potential to require servicing or repair at some point.

    There has been discussion on the forum lately about some new and current second hand equipment that may not be able to be serviced due to lack of parts or the technology is not able to service such complex items.

    I would therefore suggest you explore the possibility of sending your Naim equipment back to the UK, there are two very good service points that are members on here that might be able to help work you out a price for this.

    Once the two items, exclude the CD player and use it till it no longer functions then use your Arcam, the 102 and 250, have been serviced they will see out your audio journey and sound excellent.

    This would allow you to keep the HiFi system you have and like, albeit being without it for a few weeks.

    I wish you well on your adventure.


  9. Barwon

    Barwon Member

    Thanks to everyone for their ideas. In response to suggestions on keeping and servicing the Naim gear, in the last ten years alone I have spent $2000 on fixing and recapping the 250, and I do not wish to risk transporting the gear to the UK for servicing as suggested. I will continue to search alternatives, and as I said on another site, where I asked the same question, I know I am downgrading but financial constraints force this, and at 71 years old, my ears will soon adapt.
  10. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC

    Then I suggest you buy a Rega integrated amp as they are very good.
  11. Barwon

    Barwon Member

    Hi John.
    Thank you for the Rega suggestion. The dealer where I bought my PMC's suggested the Rega Elicit R would work well with PMC's and they have an equivalent PMC that I can audition them with. They also suggested I might try Cyrus 8.2 and a traded-in Musical Fidelity M6si.
    Cheers, Brian
  12. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I am surprised you have spent that much on repairs and recapping the 250, after only ten years. I
    thought Naim kit was reliable and long lasting.
    My Audiolab is a 1993 model and it’s only just needed servicing.
    Did you leave the Naim switched on ?
    If so, bad practice.
  13. Barwon

    Barwon Member

    I have owned my 250 for over 25 years, but as I said, I have spent that much in the last 10 years. No, I don't leave it switched on!!
  14. Whatsisnaim

    Whatsisnaim pfm Member

    I’d say that 250 is the best of your Naim boxes. If it’s been serviced reasonably recently, I would consider keeping it. It deserves a better source and preamp, so you might consider replacing all those boxes with a 1-box solution of some sort.
  15. pjdowns

    pjdowns Living the Hifi dream

    Depends what you are looking for, I have a Belles integrated amplifier that I have compared to both a Naim 282/250/SC and 252/250/SC combo and I preferred the Belles although it is significantly cheaper. What the Belles does well in my opinion is just get out of the way and play the music in a smooth and coherent manner. It's very musical. Belles aren't that well known over in the UK being an American company, but I don't know how well known they are in Australia or even if there is a distributor over there, but maybe worth a look.

    If not Belles, then there are many other integrated amps on the market that you can give a listen to and see what you like. However, one thing to note is that if you particularly like the Naim sound, you may struggle to find something that suits your needs in other brands, as they have quite strong house sound.
  16. Naimnac72

    Naimnac72 Member

    Nait xs or supernait
  17. RustyB

    RustyB Registered Ginga

    Nait XS2 would keep me happy into retirement.
  18. Konteebos

    Konteebos Traitor Re-joiner

    Maybe the PMC Cor amplifier? I'm guessing it should be a good match for PMC speakers, the reviews have been pretty positive.
  19. Timo_F

    Timo_F pfm Member

    Has anybody compared the Cor with Naim, especially the SN2? Have to admit, I am curious about the Cor; and I have PMC Twenty5.23...
  20. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    Maybe check out Redgum amplifiers, as they are made in Aussie land? Not sure what they have been up to as far as their latest gear. Or maybe Plinius or Perreaux might be a cheaper(?) long term option....no idea there, just a thought!

    I kind of say don’t change anything if you like what you have, but I do get it to a point.

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