Naim NAP-250 Amplifiers

NAP-250

70W x 2

User Reviews (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7  
Jake the Snake   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 22, 2010]

First off, Naim equipment is not for everyone, and tends to stray from the norms of audiophilia in terms of soundstage, imaging, etc, and instead places emphasis on how well the gear conveys what they feel is the most important aspect of music: rhythm, timing, pitch and timbral accuracy. Don't expect holographic imaging and a soundstage that appears to disappear well behind the speakers, etc etc... DO expect to enjoy listening to heaps of music that you haven't pulled from the shelf for years, because this gear will bring all the energy and life that went into the recording into your listening space.

I came to own Naim equipment after spending the better part of two years auditioning, building, testing and trading equipment, and in the end, found Naim to play music in a way I found wholly believable and engrossing. I have owned Naim equipment for over a decade now, starting with a Nait3 and a CD3.5; later I owned a NAC72 preamplifier with both the NAP140 and NAP180 power amps, all with a variety of speakers (Naim Intro, North Creek Borealis, Dynaudio Audience 42) and with each upgrade within the Naim range, I have appreciated clear improvements in how the equipment presents music.

I am currently using a 1996 vintage NAP250 within the context of a Naim system (cd5x/202/napsc-2/flatcap2x) with Dynaudio 1.3se monitors, and I am completely impressed with this amp: it offers all the control one could want across the entire frequency range without any sense of harshness or hash. It reproduces music in an utterly natural way with headroom to spare. It will play Metallica at levels that bring the police 'round, yet will reveal all the subtleties and nuance of a solo flute or violin, as well as the spaces within which it was all recorded.

Compared to the 140 and 180, the 250 has an ease of presentation that the other two simply do not: it is as if it is never really trying, no matter how complex the music. Further, where the others exhibited a peculiar 'constipation' when pushed hard through complex music, the 250 sails right on through, seemingly making sense of the program material without any fuss whatsoever. Needless to say, I prefer it to the 140 and 180, in spite of the fact that the other 2 amps are exceptional in their own right. The 250 is just an order of magnitude better in every respect.

All things considered, I cannot say that this amp was a value winner when it was being sold new, as its retail price was something like $5000CAD in the day; however, as Naim will happily service these amps bringing them back to factory specification at a modest fee, today one can enjoy a 'factory fresh' amp at a small fraction of the original price, making this an absolutely outstanding value.

All in all, I would unhesitatingly recommend this amplifier to anyone looking into purchasing Naim gear: within the context of a Naim system, it just gets the music right.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Marcos   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 06, 2005]
Strength:

Excellent tonality and control over the speakers. Wonderful dynamic range.

Weakness:

Somewhat pricey compared to products from the East.

The (new) Naim 250 probably stands alone in the lineup as displaying a somewhat warmer, richer sound than either the 200 or 300, which occupy the spaces above and below in the Naim lineup. Unlike the 150 or 200, it sports a regulated power supply, which is extremely important when driving even moderately "difficult" speakers, as the 200 can get grayish and compressed as the amp starts to get near its limits. Not so with the 250, which hangs in with the grip of a bulldog and bends the speaker to its will. Sonically, it is fluid, euphonic, effortless, detailed, but not bright... all the good stuff. And it's built to last by people who get paid real wages, so it's going to be more expensive than many products coming out of the East. Is it worth it? If your speakers are easy to drive and you don't favor louder music, the cheaper $2800 NAP 200 may fill your needs admirably. Some prefer its possibly more "airy" tone. However, its unregulated power supply quickly shows itself when the going gets rough. The 250 is a classic and will probably last as long as you care to keep it. It seems expensive, but, IMO, lesser-priced amps just do not exhibit the control over the speakers that the 250 does.

Similar Products Used: Naim 150, 200.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
mnglwd   AudioPhile [Oct 22, 2003]
Strength:

Bandwidth, pace, rhythm, timing, like you'd expect from Naim.

Weakness:

Notwithstanding "Naim watts," I hit the thermal protection limit during a party with moderately high volume levels. My Stratos never even noticed how hard I pushed it.

I picked up a NAP250 off of Audiogon to replace my two year visit with the Odyssey Stratos. The 250 added an octave of bass and moved the soundstage forward a foot or so, but with a greater sense of air. The 250 was more detailed and more musical, if that's possible to you. I like to test equiptment with the chorus of "Misguided Angel" off of "The Trinity Sessions" to how well the two voices are separated. The 250 did a great job resolving the male harmony voice and was much better than the Stratos. With all due respect to the previous reviewer, comparing a 1979 250 to modern amps is a little out there. Naim recommends recapping every 7-10 years, so who knows what a 24 year old 250 sounds like vs. tubes vs. a battery amp. The NAP500 comparison slayed me.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Richard Francis   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 14, 2001]
Strength:

Effortless power & clarity

Weakness:

compatibility with oher manufacturers products.

Used with a Nac72 & Hi-Cap. This amp oozes power & musicality with ease. Sounds best when warm so leave it always powered up. This brings the "Naim warmth" & depth also increases. Treble is there, but doesn't scream at you. Midrange reproduces all the detail you want & bass pleasantly swamps my room, without the headache factor. I appear to be suggesting this is a laid back amp, in fact it is very fast which I guess gives it that musical sound we are all after. The more I listen to the amp the better it sounds. If only I could afford another two so I could go active!
I've yet to hear it lose control of any music played, from thrash to late night classical.

Similar Products Used: Naim NAP140
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve   Audiophile [Jan 27, 2002]
Strength:

Powerful/Good Drive; Musicality; Compact; Runs Cool.

Weakness:

Not too many

Well, after years of hankering after a Naim NAP250 Power Amp, I finally got one and now understand what all the hype is about!

The NAP250 I have is probably about 1979 vintage, in good original condition, and not had any repairs or mods. I understand the later models do sound different, so please take this into account.

This amp sounds very good and deserves the reputation it has gained over the years. The sound is very musical and involving, with good drive; good bass(although some bass extension is needed); a full midrange and an interesting treble(almost valve-like). Male vocals are presented full of gusto, weight and emotion. Imaging is very respectable and generally attains audiophile standards.

Compared to a good valve amp or other high-end transistor amps, the NAP250 falls slightly behind. The bass warmth is a little heavy, treble doesn't quite reach valve standards and the soundstage is slightly congested. In comparison to the N.E.W - DCA33 Class 'A' Pure d.c (battery powered)amp that I have, the Naim is not quite as resolving or as accurate/tidy sounding. The N.E.W is definately more audiophilish and tonally more correct. Then again, it is an unusually nice sounding solid state amp and has the battery advantage which makes for a very refined sound.

Ultimately, I still prefer the sound of valves, which are harmonically rich; full of texture and with a sweet treble which draws you more into the music. The Naim almost gets there, which is saying something...because in my experience it is harder to find a good sounding transistor amp (I've generally found most valve amps to sound good, whereas it is a real lottery with transistors).

All in all, the Naim NAP250 is a great amp and to my ears more musical than the new NAP500 (which I auditioned briefly , and found a little cold and uninvolving). If you have difficult speakers to drive; have audiophile aspirations; and can't be bothered farting around with valves then the Naim NAP250 is a fantastic choice.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Lino Deera   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 08, 2001]
Strength:

The sound of this Power amp is great

Weakness:

none

This is the best power amp i've ever heard, I use it with a nac 72 (pre) HiCap...Shahinian Compass speakers.

My sources are an Linn LP12 and Naim CDX.

The 250 really is the last power amp youll need ,
mine is a 1986 model and still sounds amazing.
Throw anything at it and it will sound just awesome, once heard never forgotten.

It will also drive just about any speaker under the sun so you won't be limited.

Similar Products Used: NAP 150
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
ScottV   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 10, 2001]
Strength:

dynamics

Weakness:

power

Bought a NAC32, SNAPS, and NAP250 used.

Saw an advert that had an Koetsu arm and cartridge that I was interested in but went I went to listen was *way* more impressed with the amplification.
I could hear everything that was wrong with the turntable and room setup. But beyond that could hear that Naim sound.
Music.

Feed it good inputs and it's the last amplifier that you need to buy.

It's "good enough".

(I figure I got a "great deal" though Naim tends to be overpriced)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-7 of 7  

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