Naim Audio — Servicing & DR Upgrades
One of the many benefits of buying a Naim Audio product is that they are designed & built for sustainability. If your Naim isn’t working at its optimum performance level, then we highly recommend you get it serviced by the in-house servicing department, of highly trained technicians, at Naim HQ in Salisbury. They can pretty much update any Naim product from the past four decades ( excluding Mu-so ) to their current model specifications. Ensuring you have many more years of incredible musical experiences.
As well as servicing your Naim, non-DR versions of the Classic and 500 Series products can get a DR Upgrade — to provide a smooth, stable power supply, and improve overall performance, with less noise.
What is a DR ( Discrete Regulator )?
Essentially, DR ( Discrete Regulator ) gets the cleanest power to each part of the signal chain within the amplifier. The aim is to get each part of the amp working at its optimum level — therefore, each section needs its own power supply, with its own regulation to guarantee the exact power is available. This keeps any noise in one section away from the others.
“DR takes unregulated (raw) DC from transformers and delivers near pure DC at the point it is needed. Ensuring low noise and low impedance.”
Discrete Regulators first appeared in the NAP S1 Monoblocks (Statement amp), then the benefits of that trickle-down technology were introduced into the NAP200DR up to NAP 500DR Power amplifiers. It’s also been utilised in Naim’s HiCap, XPS & Supercap external power supplies.
Naim DR upgrades
We wanted to get an insight into how a DR upgrade could improve the performance of, for example, a Naim NAP 300 Power amp. So we asked Naim expert, Jason Gould to fill us in:
Which internal components are typically renewed during a DR upgrade?
” The Nap 300 ‘head unit has both channel 1 and channel 2 output stage PCB’s replaced for the latest specification type. These boards contain the secondary impeded DR regulators and also a very important ingredient, which is ‘009’ output transistors manufactured for our flagship Statement amplifier. These devices are cut from the same cell producing precise channel accuracy removing near match tolerance discrepancies. The Power supply unit has its 4x reservoir capacitors replaced to power the new circuit to its full potential. “
What are the notable differences in sound quality/performance after a DR upgrade?
” The performance improvements are immediately noticeable on the delivery of vocals where pauses hold you in suspense for the next line, speed, clarity and dynamic range of instruments have a healthy relentless drive, with bass textures and weight moving to a different level of authority. “
You conduct a “ Listening Test “ after each upgrade — what does this consist of?
” Listening tests all take place in a dedicated demo room against our reference units to ensure consistency. “
Does the work come with a warranty?
” DR upgrades come with a 1-year warranty. “
In theory, will my serviced Naim have better audio performance than when I bought it new?
” With regards to serviced units performing being better than when they were new is technically true, however only from the view that the original unit would have required a full running-in period (i.e boards, transformers, wires etc.) were as a newly serviced unit would only require running in its newly replaced consumable components, giving an impression of being better. In reality, the unit will end up sounding as good as the originally fresh out-of-the-box version after its initial running-in period. “
What is the current lead-time for DR upgrades / Servicing (July 2021)?
” Lead times for DR upgrades are currently 12x units a month across the board, due to parts shortage and increased demand of new units requiring manufacture. Contact Alex at Soundstage to book a DR upgrade, that way you shouldn’t be without your Naim for too long. “
How often do you recommend customers getting their Naim serviced?
” We recommend a service between every 8–10 years. “
Along with the servicing/upgrades — Is there anything else that Naim is doing to help make hi-fi more sustainable?
” With regards to sustainability, the nature of our products being upgradable and serviceable means that they holding a high residual second-hand value, this keeps our products from ending up in land-fill and therefore better for the environment. “
And finally, are there any juicy Soundstage exclusives regarding products in development at Naim? Statement 2 perhaps?
” We are always in pursuit of pushing the boundaries of high-end audio into people’s homes and that is all I can say at this stage. (Nice try though!).”
Please get in touch if you’d like to book your Naim in for a Service, or if you need any more information on DR Upgrades.