What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Wed, 20 Jan 2010, 3:00pm

Naim NAP 155 XS

Tested at £1115
80100
4

When combined with the NAC 152 XS preamp, this power amp ticks many of the boxes but doesn’t have the wow factor needed to achieve five-star status

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For

  • Well-defined, eager delivery
  • captures the essence of a tune
  • uncovers a good level of detail
  • upgradeable

Against

  • Not the final word in terms of dynamics
  • could sound more natural

You can read all about the Naim NAC 152 XS preamp used in this system elsewhere; here it's used in conjunction with the NAP 155 XS power amp.

In action, this pre/power conveys the musical message of any given track with aplomb and sincerity. The dramatic tone of 160 BPM is pushed hard and drives along at a rate of knots.

The Naim does a superb job of drawing out the framework of a piece of music and defining the leading edge of every note with real confidence.

This allows the listener to worry less about what the music is doing and just allow them to take in the essence of the track.

Slight loss of clarity
Naim's own speaker cable helps add some meat to the bones of the music, although the trade off is a slight loss of clarity and insight.

Heard in isolation, the level of detail from the Naim is very good, but compared to its peers, you don't quite get the subtle nuances.

The Naim duo doesn't sound as dynamically persuasive either: Jay-Z's Already Home doesn't rise and fall in a way that truly convinces.

The NAC 152 XS/NAP 155 XS is a talented and well-thought-out duo that has many talents. It just lacks the polish and finesse of the top amps around.

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