The Naim NAC 552 & NAP 500 Pre and Power Amplifiers represent the elite of Naim Hi-Fi components, forming part of the flagship Naim 500 series.
Today on The Audio Affair Blog, we take a look at the Amplifier offerings from Naim’s 500 series range: The NAC 552 & NAP 500. Two uncompromising designs with the goal to simply be the world’s best.
Naim NAC 552 Preamplifier
The Naim NAC 552 was designed without compromise to be one of the very best preamplifiers in the world; a lofty ambition, but not one without substance. Naim first began producing preamplifiers in 1974 so have decades of expertise to pull from.
As a component in the Naim 500 series, the NAC 552 is comprised of a ‘two-box’ system, the power supply being housed in a separate enclosure to the preamplifier circuitry. This ‘two-box’ arrangement is employed to control and reduce electromagnetic interference.
The Power Supply itself utilises a ‘split rail’ configuration, centred around an 800va Toroidal Transformer, which is designed to virtually eliminate power supply noise in the signal earth; one of the most common sources of irritating ‘hum’ and noise.
Moving on to the Pre Amplifier itself, a total of nine input connections are provided, seven of which are (unusually for a modern Hi-Fi amplifier) on the traditional, European, DIN connection standard. Naim state their use of DIN connections is “preferred for their superior earthing and impedance matching“.
Input and output selection is via a unique ‘matrix’ style button selection on the front panel; this matrix arrangement allows, in effect, any source to be sent to the preamplifier record outputs, whilst simultaneously monitoring any other source.
In an effort to isolate the preamplifier circuitry from vibration-borne interference, the entire preamplifier circuit board is isolated in a floating assembly, suspended by springs. It’s this kind of attention to detail in design, which really sets the Naim 500 series apart.
NAP 500 DR Power Amplifier
Naim’s ‘Statement’ amplification system, was the result of a decade-long research and development program; a program which has brought about many ‘trickle down’ technologies, now available as part of Naim’s range of high-end, high-performance power amplifiers.
In conjunction with a specialist semiconductor manufacturer, Naim developed the NA009 transistor; unique to Naim this very special transistor (each one is individually serial numbered) forms the heart of the high-end Naim 500 series power amplifiers.
As with the NAC 552, The NAP 500 DR uses an external power supply as part of a ‘two-box’ arrangement. The power supply makes use of Naim’s DR (Discrete Regulator) technology used in the ‘Statement’ system, providing an outstandingly clean and stable power supply.
The NAP 500 DR is quite the ‘strong arm’ in terms of power amplifiers; capable of delivering 140W per channel into 8 ohms, the NAP 500DR is also perfectly happy driving a prolonged 2-ohm source with no discernible impact on performance.
An indication of the NAP 500 DR’s remarkable performance is its quoted bandwidth of 1.5Hz to 100kHz, at which measurement points the amplifier response is only down by 3db
Naim 500 Series – World Class Components
It should be clear then, even from this brief overview of the NAP 500 DR and NAC 552 Preamplifier, that these are true ‘no compromise’, world class components. If you feel the time has come to step up to, quite possibly, the very best amplification money can buy, please drop us a line, we’d be only too happy to help.