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Upgrade suggestions for amps

Discussion in 'audio' started by MrDTuk, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    The Nait3 needs a little modification to allow for a Hicap but it’s rather easy to do for any electronic technician as most of the Nait 3 boards are already designed to add 2 more DIN connectors and the holes in the frame are also already there. No butchering required.
  2. MrDTuk

    MrDTuk Well-Known Member

    Some great suggestions all,
    I am left thinking...
    1. I want to try a half decent power amp with a balanced input and greater than 70w pc as a comparison to my existing Nait 3.
    but want power amp to go for????
    2. And on the above note, if I’m not switching to a different amp make them stick with naim and upgrade to a pre / power / hi-cap option.
    Something like a NAC102 / NAP180 / flat cap etc.
    Have done 3 hours of listening today with an hour and a half on each set of speakers and I think it’s time to sell my LS50s. Such beautiful engineering but I’m not enjoying the listen as much....
  3. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    A supernait would be a good option or even an ATC integrated
  4. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    Here is a Nait 3 with added DIN connectors to allow for separate power supply or use it as a pre or power amp :


    And here is a Nait 3 in its original form without the added DIN connectors :


    If you take time to Google, you will find instructions on how to do it and I remember it was pretty straight forward and easy.

    With this mod, you will be able to use the preamp section with many other Naim amps.
  5. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    Have you tried turning the Nait up to full volume, and using the CXN to control the volume? Is that batter / worse than your normal configuration? I the current world of single source systems the 'preamp' is of limited value.
  6. MrDTuk

    MrDTuk Well-Known Member

    Jem, hello. Sorry you may of missed my notes earlier on testing this, and yes I have tried this. Two things I have noted.
    1. When the Nait 3 goes past 12 o clock on the dial there is a background obvious noise / hum through the speakers so I left it at 11 o clock.
    2. When the CXN has its pre-amp mode turned on it has extra circuitry acting as a pre-amp that affects the signal, then this goes to the Nait 3 pre-amp (nac 90) which it’s set to 11 o clock then to the power. When I use the Nait 3 as the pre-amp the sound is noticeably much better, likely due to there only been one pre-amp at work - the Nait 3 - rather than 2 pre-amps.
  7. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    Ah, yes looks like a bit of rethink time - I understand your dilemma. I has a NAC82 NAP250 system - sent the NAC82 off for a 'service' at Naim, which was replacing the tants only - something I could have done on the signal path I used for pennies - but it did add value to the preamp when I sold it. I sold it because I discovered that a simple shunt pot passive I'd lashed up was just as good, if not better. I now feel that the minimum intervention with the signal path is the best strategy. My current system is RPi streamer USB into Audiolab / Lakewest MDAC, Radford STA25 and Martin Logan Summits - ridiculously revealing and no actual 'preamp' in the system at all.
  8. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    The MDAC is balanced out, but the Radford is single ended - I do intend to route the output of the MDAC to the bass of the Summits at 'line' level, maybe later this week - taking the STA 25 out of the bass section.
  9. legzr1

    legzr1 Well-Known Member

    There’s a Quad QSP power amp in the classifieds - no balanced input (but there really is no point unless you’re using 100M lengths or are sat in a busy studio environment imho) but running it single-ended from the CXN should make for a very fine setup.

    I picked one up as a spare a few months ago while my ‘good amps’ are away for repair/service and was so impressed I’ve just bought the similar QMP monos on here. The QSP really is good.

    I think the CXN uses the same digital preamp as the big brother 851N - if that is the case, it’s a fine implementation and uses a system that betters the old bit-loss of older digital designs.
  10. Ponty

    Ponty pfm Member

    That’s a really nice amp. I used to have a 909, it was a lovely thing. Current dumping design I think. However, it’s chalk and cheese if you like the Naim sound signature. I used my 909 for TV duties etc in the lounge and it was great, but music was muddy and slow compared to the Naim amps (252/300 at the time).

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