Neil's Secondhand Naim Buyers Guide

PREAMPS (NAC)

32

The original preamp ran from one 24v rail (the supply was called a Snaps). The circuits were printed on half a dozen little boards, which then slotted onto a mother board. As well as the phono input, it had a tape, tuner, and another aux input. Second hand price around 125 pounds.

42

Essentially the same amp as the 32, but the 42 series amps had one less input than the 32 series (ie, only phono, tape and aux). The other difference with the 42 series is that, with the exception of the phono cards, the components were all put on the mother board. There was a slight difference in appearance too, in that the 42 had large volume and selector knobs whereas the 32 had smaller ones. Again, it ran from a single 24v supply. Second hand price around 100 pounds.

32.5

The .5 extension denotes the next generation of preamps where the single power rail is split in half, keeping the phono cards on a separate rail to the rest of the preamp. The 32.5 (and 42.5) could then be used with the newly introduced Hicap power supply, which supplied two 24v rails. The amp was given two phono inputs for some reason (ie, 2 x phono, tape,tuner, aux) but I don't see any reason why you couldn't use `straight through' cards to effectively turn the second phono input into another line level input (in fact I have done this in the past and it seems to work fine, and I actually prefer the BNC connections). This might be a consideration for those of you looking for a second hand amp that'll handle tape/CD/tuner/video connections. On the .5 amps, there was slightly better earthing routing, and better volume and balance pots too, and on the later (after about 1985) preamps, the selector switching was done with a remote link that switched connections near the actual input sockets at the back of the amp rather than running wires to the front and back again. Also worth noting for tape users, the 32 and 72 series preamps had buffering on the tape output which help in getting good recordings. Second hand price around 225 pounds.

42.5

Same differences as between the 32 and 42, ie, one less aux input, and also didn't have the second phono input of the 32.5, The components were still on the mother board rather than slot-in boards. The 42.5 would run from a Hicap in the same way as the 32.5. Second hand price around 200 pounds.

62

Basically a 32.5 but with the circuits printed on a mother board as in the 42.5. However it didn't have tape output buffering though (so perhaps better to think of it as a revamped 42.5 with an extra input). Again Naim improved the earthing routes slightly and put a better balance control arrangement in. Powered from the Hicap as with the 32.5 and 42.5. The 62 straddled the change to the new styling (ie, you can get both second hand). Old style second hand price around 250 pounds. New style is around 350 pounds. I have to say, this is by far my favourite amp in all of Naim's repertoire for modding. It is simple, and responds wonderfully to a little love and attention!

72

Same as the 62 to look at, but incorporating some slight circuit tweaks and some improved components according to Naim. The components are on slot-in boards as with the 32.5 (in fact you could buy some of the boards to put in your 32.5). The amp is still powered from the two channel Hicap arrangement (ie, separate power rails for the phono stage, and the rest of the amp). Only has one phono input but has an extra line level input. Again, tape output buffering. Second hand price is around 350 to 400 pounds.