Customer review of Naim NAP 500 factory DR upgrade / service
This was posted on the Naim forum but it’s so well put together that we think it deserves a wider audience.
Best ignore the kindly fluffy stuff at the end though …
“And so dear friends, just like that, my three week abstinence was at an end. Andy arrived at 5pm and we had music flowing through the 500 at 6pm.
No audible switch on ‘pop’ was the first discernible change. I’ve just torn myself off the sofa after about 3½ hours listening. Where to begin? I was prepared for ‘hairy’ with the 500PS being serviced/re-capped as well, but the sound was deliciously smooth, powerful, and full-bodied right off the bat. It gradually opened-up and cleaned-up over the next three hours.
The noise floor is clearly lower; the blacks sounding mesmerisingly blacker. It’s always a good sign when one puts on an album to listen to a well known track or two and it stays on and plays right through. That occurred with the first two CD’s I played.
Music eases effortlessly from the loudspeakers, producing a bigger 3D sound-stage. There is obviously more insight into recordings and immersion into the music. Straightforward clarity, resolution and layering is improved, and timbres (electronic and natural) are better resolved. Rhythmic structures and motifs, hitherto unheard, become apparent. This, ladies and gentlemen is not a better/tweaked 500 but a different 500 – possibly a NAP 1000 striking out on the road to Statement-land. It’s somehow a ‘less is more’ effect, capitalising on what Super Lumina cabling does so well. By that I mean that there is a sensation of the electronics getting out of the way and just letting the music present itself.
With my 500 combo at 8½ years old, there could of course be an element of things having gone a bit soft and in need of a service, but the character of the sound has changed markedly with the DR upgrade.
There will of course be much more to come over the next few weeks and months, but my first listen has produced a few laugh out loud moments and brought a tear to the eye with consistent musical delight and satisfaction. All my old faves, rendered different and anew. No run-in blues here folks – yet. So the answer to ‘How much?’ is ‘Priceless’.
What a shame that Julian Vereker isn’t still around to witness such wonderful innovation of his products. My thanks to Alastair and Andy at ‘Signals’ and to the engineers at Naim for a fantastic job.