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Old 7th February 2013, 06:27 PM   #1
Tyimo is offline Tyimo  Hungary
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Default Naim NAP140 vs GainClone LM3886

Hi!

Has anyone compared the two amplifier? (Especially the versions on Ebay?)

Greets:
Tyimo
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Old 7th February 2013, 08:41 PM   #2
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Over 5 years or more, we are bound to have compared them with every type of amplifier imaginable. The sound of NAP140 clones is dependent upon everything you use to build the amplifier with, so there is no point saying it will sound like one or another amplifier. They sound nothing like the original or other builds even, unless you construct them that way. Everyone hopes that their ideas of parts and construction will be best, so everyone gets different results - some great , some awful.

The basic kits come with different parts at different times and from different stores. Often there are poor parts that may be fake or just bad substitutes which work OK but may not sound very good compared to others. They are a playground for newbs and experienced DIYs alike, so enjoy.

On the other hand, Chipamps are usually very consistent as they are less dependent on components and tweaks and of course, the semiconductors, circuit and protection are precisely fixed by the chip processing.

Here, hundreds of opinions and different ideas, discussions, technical matters.
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Old 8th February 2013, 05:49 AM   #3
Tyimo is offline Tyimo  Hungary
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Hi!

Thanks!
Quote:
The sound of NAP140 clones is dependent upon everything you use to build the amplifier with, so there is no point saying it will sound like one or another amplifier. They sound nothing like the original or other builds even, unless you construct them that way.
Yes, I know it. But then comparing the original ones? (or a good sounding clone)
I'm curious about the sound character, because in some respects they are similar to each other. (quasi complementary push pull amplifier)
Tyimo
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Old 8th February 2013, 07:43 AM   #4
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The point I was making was, that they will all be different, so what you may hear depends on whose construction you compare as much as the kit you buy. There are several kits - all supply different semis and caps at different times and will perform differently. That means the sound character will vary as already stated.

No one can say that what you buy tomorrow will sound like any particular amplifier, when you fit your own power supply, capacitors, case and wiring.
Who knows what the semis really are going to be inside the plastic cases? No one building these just as they are supplied would compare them with original Naim amplifiers. The 20 or more I have heard over 4 years sound nothing like Naims until carefully reconstructed with original or similar selected components, layout, wiring and follow the real schematic, not a generic NAP250 schematic often shown simplified.

If you want to read subjective descriptions of what some DIYs hear when they test their particular amplifiers, you should really read the forums that focus on sound quality discussions like:d.i.y. - pink fish media
Just Googling NAP140 will find more forums discussing Naim designs and comparisons.

Think about what you are buying; you will only have the parts and PCBs of a pair of RCA design low-cost class Quasi-comp. AB audio amplifiers, ca. 1970. There may be a couple of tweaks fitted as per the Naim designs but they will likely sound awful compared to high-end builds that will cost a lot of time and expertise but by your own efforts, you can make simple improvements like these for the NCC200 version, that sadly, is no longer available. DIY Audio Power Amplifier modules : DIY Audio

Having said that, there are plenty of descriptions and pics of different builds in the linked thread, so read and enjoy what modifications people made, some of which were said to greatly improve the sound quality and still be reasonably inexpensive. That is where any sound quality will be - in the build and modifications. The kit of suspect parts is only worth and sounds like what you pay.
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Old 8th February 2013, 07:51 AM   #5
Tyimo is offline Tyimo  Hungary
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Yes. I understand and I totally agree with you!

Than I ask it so:
Has anyone compared the two amplifier? The Naim NAP140 (original) and the GainClone LM3875 (for example Peter Daniel's)
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Old 8th February 2013, 08:53 AM   #6
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Aren't you really asking: What does a Naim amplifier sound like and will this clone sound the same?

I think you will already know what to expect with BJT Chipamps. All you need is to read a good review/
discussion of older Naim amplifiers but don't expect a straight build of the clones to sound like or as
good as them. This has some interesting comments about them, too.
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Old 8th February 2013, 09:57 AM   #7
Tyimo is offline Tyimo  Hungary
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Quote:
Aren't you really asking: What does a Naim amplifier sound like and will this clone sound the same?
No!
I am asking: What are the two amplifiers in comparison? Mainly because their structure is "bit" similar to each other. (quasi complementary push pull amplifier)
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Old 8th February 2013, 01:21 PM   #8
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In my recollection of listening a few years ago, there was only slight similarity between 3886 chipamps and discrete Quasi amplifiers
(basic RCA design). I would even say that the Naim 140 amplifier was more different again. I think that's reasonable, considering
there are more tweaks in the Naim than in those simple amplifiers and that tends to conceal the basic amplifier's distortion pattern.

Put simply, I don't think chipamps sound Naim-like because they aren't the same silicon topology and they aren't tweaked like the Naims.
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