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Naim sound quality before and after a service

Discussion in 'audio' started by greg788, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. greg788

    greg788 pfm Member

    I have an Olive NAP250. It's been 10 years or so since the last service. I got a good deal on it since it was a dealer trade in. I have no experience with servicing. I like the way it sounds now -- dark, smooth, sophisticated (compared to a NAP150x). Almost tube/valve like, honestly

    In your experience, will it retain those sonic characteristics after a service or will it end up sounding more up front and relentless? I'm worried that it sounds good because it's "tired"
  2. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Mine has never really sounded like that but I have had it serviced twice because it developed a fault. I run SBLs though which are lean though
  3. Olsen

    Olsen pfm Member

    Greg, it might help if you let us know the other gear involved in setup
  4. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    It would be a shame to get it serviced but then regret it. Might seem like a bonkers idea, but what about buying a second hand serviced one and then keep the unit you prefer?

    Not the same, but I slightly preferred my red LED Nait 1 once it came back from service at Class A last year. Hard to be sure but I think it removed the last sign of 'relentlessness' - not that my Nait 1s have ever shown much of that characteristic. It's only the Olive 72/140 (unserviced) and, to a far lesser extent, the Nait 2 (unserviced) that have shown an 'in your face' fatuiging tendancy, although perhaps their partnerred equipment was not ideal.
    booja30 likes this.
  5. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    If it sounds good then it doesn’t need a service. I like the (inverse) logic of “it might sound good because it’s tired”!

    I’ve had old Naim stuff serviced with the result that there is no sonic improvement.
  6. MJS

    MJS Trade: Consultant at WH Audio

    If you like the sound of it then fine, but at that age a couple of caps will be deteriorating and it goes downhill very rapidly from there. Other amps with raw power supplies can go much longer but the 135/250 have this inherent flaw.
  7. joe9407

    joe9407 actress/activist

    i think my 250.2 fits this description -- and it was serviced recently. @MJS should correct me if i'm wrong, but i believe that when a 250 goes south, the music sounds "fuzzed out" and it's easy to hear that something's wrong. so, my two cents: have the amp serviced.
  8. Jonathan

    Jonathan pfm Member

    10 years isn't much - i wouldn't even consider it until after 18 or so ... probably longer though
  9. MJS

    MJS Trade: Consultant at WH Audio

    18 or so for a normal amp, yes. But the 250 has an inherent design flaw and those caps need replacing sooner. Trust me, it'll sound much better after the service even if you think it's fine now.
  10. Mick P

    Mick P Retired and content

    So when should a Nap300 be serviced ?

    Mine still sounds fine but it you never know if the slow deterioration goes along unnoticed.
  11. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Really? Even bearing in mind that valve hifi does not all sound the same I have never, ever heard olive Naim sound valve-like.

    That aside, 10 years isn't long, they generally go longer. How about taking the cover off and having a look inside? You will see if any capacitors are bulging or (worse) leaking. If you see salty looking white powder on the ends of caps then stop using it immediately and have it serviced.
  12. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Mine has been serviced twice in 15 years or so. I leave it on all the time so this may be a contributory factor.
  13. Dave-L

    Dave-L Active Member

    I'd be reluctant to have anything serviced that wasn't obviously broken but that's more down to the fact that the last time I sent an amp off for servicing it came back in a different case, and with a broken on/off switch for good measure. :mad:
  14. Paul McDonough

    Paul McDonough Active Member

    I purchased a 13 year old Nap300, and to my ears it sounded 'soft' with poor control over the bass and rolled off treble, this compared to my 2 year old SuperUniti!

    I had it serviced and chose to have it upgraded to DR at the same time. The amp now sounds as i had expected in the first place. i suspect some of this improvement is down to the DR, however the sound before service/upgrade was not good and I suspect it was in bad need of a service.
  15. pjdowns

    pjdowns Living the Hifi dream

    Why does Naim equipment need servicing so regularly to make it sound good?. I recently sold an Exposure XVII/Exposure XVIII which I had had for 24 years and hadn't required a service. When I spoke to Exposure they said that it only needed one if there was a noticeable drop in bass, which might indicate a cap failure, but otherwise leave well alone.
  16. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I think it is to do with the regulated supplies in 250's. None of my other kit has needed any attention
  17. Whatsisnaim

    Whatsisnaim pfm Member

    I’m curious as to what this ‘design flaw’ might be? Does it apply to all the regulated amps, 250/300/500?
  18. Minio

    Minio pfm Member

    I hope the DR amps are not so service dependent.

    Especially when you consider the prices fresh from the factory!
  19. leni

    leni Active Member

    More upfront definitely.
  20. leni

    leni Active Member

    They are ,regulated PS,nothing to do.But then with 80 watts per chanel you can control almost every speaker.

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