Another 552 owner

Simon, over recent times you have on occasion suggested that the 552 was possibly not as great as the huge praise on here would suggest. You have mentioned that you have heard the 552 sound good and not so good depending on the set up. The feeling I got was that you questioned the VFM of the 552 but I will admit that you also gave the impression of having an open mind on the subject.

Assuming my assessment of your previous views of the 552 is about right then clearly something has happened more recently to prompt you to splash out on a new unit. I assume you had a lengthy demo or two that would have moved you towards a purchase from a position of not being convinced previously. It would be interesting to hear about the process you went through that culminated in the purchase from what appeared to be a rather ambivalent view of the 552.

Nigel, I didn’t have a lengthy home demo on this occasion although I felt I was quite familiar with the 552...however my dealer did say if for what ever reason I was not satisfied I could return... he and I have known each other longer than my adult children have been alive and probably knew it was a safe bet...

Now I do think some of the hyperbole spoken about the 552 on this forum is ridiculous .. it’s good, well excellent in fact , but all within reason... and the 252 isn’t a million miles away.. but clearly it is in the next league down understandably so... 

Thanks guys, the NDS was not the best for me... but you never know, there might be a newer version at some point in the future that tempts me.... for me the Hugo is still the one to beat.... audio just simply sounds so enjoyable from the Hugo through the 552. I was listening to one of my recordings last night of Aida and The March of the Hebrew Slaves... and the musical resolution was delightful. The 300DR might be more likely... let’s see how my remaining speculative investments go... it will take a bit of time...

Dave, you are right, that is one of the  enjoyable consequences of a major system change, rediscovering your recordings...

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Thanks guys, the NDS was not the best for me... but you never know, there might be a newer version at some point in the future that tempts me.... for me the Hugo is still the one to beat.... audio just simply sounds so enjoyable from the Hugo through the 552. I was listening to one of my recordings last night of Aida and The March of the Hebrew Slaves... and the musical resolution was delightful. The 300DR might be more likely... let’s see how my remaining speculative investments go... it will take a bit of time...

Dave, you are right, that is one of the  enjoyable consequences of a major system change, rediscovering your recordings...

Aren’t the Hebrew Slaves in Nabucco? Maybe they are moonlighting in Aida?

Adam

you know the answer to your question, but for reassurance search this forum for anyone that regrets buying a 552

i bought my pre-loved 552DR a month ago replacing a 52/52PS

you will find the following amongst others 

an extra level of detail

a massive level of air and space, your speakers will seem much much bigger and that’s no mean feat to make DBLs seem bigger

Probably the biggest gain is the naturalness, instruments and voices are much more aligned with seeing a live performance 

and lastly involvement, the 52 was the pinnacle of the so called PRAT, you will find a whole new dimension of this with the 552

as the chap I bought the 552 from said as he purchased the S1 “you only get one shot at all of this “

if someone else snaps it up, how much will you regret not buying it

 

lyndon

 

lyndon posted:

Adam

you know the answer to your question, but for reassurance search this forum for anyone that regrets buying a 552

 

lyndon

 

I have two friends (members of this forum) who recently ditched or are about to ditch their 552s, opting for simpler set-ups, one of them ending up with US made amplification that the wife likes much better. Of course, that doesn't prove anything but highlights the point that it all comes down to individual choices and taste.

HAIM RONEN

so my point still stands, I doubt your 2 friends regret buying the 552

of the 3 people I had dealings with this year that were selling a 552 - 2 went to Vitus and the chap I bought the 552 from bought the Statement 

of the 3 I got the impression that the 2 that went in the Vitus direction had entered the Naim world at the 500 series level. The chap that bought the Statement had like me climbed the Naim ladder both of us starting with a 32.5, he did try the top of the range Vitus preamp and although it sounded different it was very clear the Statement was the way to go 

lyndon

 

I can understand some people deciding to go to a smaller, simpler system, rather like some people down-size their house once the kids have left home. That might involve moving on a 552. But moving one on for performance reasons? I can think of only one.................for an S1   

Hungryhalibut posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Thanks guys, the NDS was not the best for me... but you never know, there might be a newer version at some point in the future that tempts me.... for me the Hugo is still the one to beat.... audio just simply sounds so enjoyable from the Hugo through the 552. I was listening to one of my recordings last night of Aida and The March of the Hebrew Slaves... and the musical resolution was delightful. The 300DR might be more likely... let’s see how my remaining speculative investments go... it will take a bit of time...

Dave, you are right, that is one of the  enjoyable consequences of a major system change, rediscovering your recordings...

Aren’t the Hebrew Slaves in Nabucco? Maybe they are moonlighting in Aida?

I wish I could have put at least 3 likes on this, instead of just one. Anyway: Aida has a March (we all also have one, after February and before April), but Hebrew Slaves are in Nabucco. We call the Aida March Triumphal, which is probably not the feeling of the Hebrew Slaves even – or actually because – they moonlight (LOL!) in Aida, which is set in Egypt while poor Aida is an Ethiopian, in which case Bob Marley would be even more apt than the Nabucco's Va' pensiero.

not trying to spoil Simon's fun, but I've heard 552 many times, and very good it is, in S-i-S still you are listening to a Hugo 1.

Hugo 1 is indeed a very good source, but a quick listen to a Hugo 2, or Chord Dave shows the evolution....

The Chord Dave is much better, and a 552 can't turn a Hugo into a Dave (I've tried it)

the Chord Dave on the other hand, even a lowly NAC-172 preamp can easily show what it does.

At the very least the 552 deserves a Hugo 2 

Yep, listening to it now before heading out the village farm to get a crimbo tree... The only thing I’ve adjusted is slightly turned down the Hugo output level, my 552 appears ever so slightly more sensitive than my previous 252...   

i recently had a long chat with the renown Mr Watts at the Signals event... anyway long story short I will be keeping my Hugo 1 for the time being ....   

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Yep, listening to it now before heading out the village farm to get a crimbo tree... The only thing I’ve adjusted is slightly turned down the Hugo output level, my 552 appears ever so slightly more sensitive than my previous 252...   

i recently had a long chat with the renown Mr Watts at the Signals event... anyway long story short I will be keeping my Hugo 1 for the time being ....   

Yes I'm very happy with my 2Qute listening to M.Bubble Christmas LP on Tidal and sounds rather good.

TOBYJUG posted:

What about your affection for your CDX2. How is that sounding now with the new pre ?

Hi, well this is an interesting one... on various sources the 552 is cracking and sounds superb... Hugo and NAT05 , however right now with my current 552 state of run in, I think the CDX2 nod goes to the 252... I kind of suspect this might change  as the 552 beds in further,  but I would be lieing if I didn’t call it out as it is right now

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:
TOBYJUG posted:

What about your affection for your CDX2. How is that sounding now with the new pre ?

Hi, well this is an interesting one... on various sources the 552 is cracking and sounds superb... Hugo and NAT05 , however right now with my current 552 state of run in, I think the CDX2 nod goes to the 252... I kind of suspect this might change  as the 552 beds in further,  but I would be lieing if I didn’t call it out as it is right now

Simon, What if the CDX2 played into an nDAC+XPSDR or Hugo?

Phil

.. indeed, Phil, the whole point of the CDX2 is its DSP and DAC, and my original,CDX2 has no digital out... I think it’s more a case of my 552 running in...it certainly has quite a different balance from the 252. The 552 seems to be quite a rollercoaster running in... not experienced run in quite like this before... 

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

.. indeed, Phil, the whole point of the CDX2 is its DSP and DAC, and my original,CDX2 has no digital out... I think it’s more a case of my 552 running in...it certainly has quite a different balance from the 252. The 552 seems to be quite a rollercoaster running in... not experienced run in quite like this before... 

Thank you Simon

We discussed the CDX2 about 18 months ago when I first got active on the forum. The above was your view then, but I had not twigged yours did not have the spdif output. For various reasons, such as getting the nDAC + XPSDR for TV/DVD sound as well and finding my nDAC demo could not differentiate the SQ sufficiently, I went the other way. 

I have to say I am now very happy with the root I have chosen. Adding the DC1 has made a significant improvement. I think my system would show the difference now and I will try the CDX2 bare soon, but I would hate to have to buy another SL IC!

My dealer has asked Naim to loan a 552, which should arrive after Christmas. He also has a 252, but that disappeared because a customer’s 252 failed. Will try that also when Naim return the customer’s one.

Phil

Good points raised here .... the 552 setup combined with say a 500 is rather extreme and intimidating in appearance.... and this is without a source! The 552 is also totally brutal regarding the source .... it will expose the good,bad and ugly. But forgiving all of the above it is a staggeringly good preamp ..... I still find the price shocking!

Gazza posted:

Simon, straight out of the box was the CDP the source that stood out as the problem, or they all sounded better?

It’s a moving target.. none sounded bad what so ever, but I was very familiar with the CDX2 combined with the  252 sound, and the new sound was different... however the 552 is a strange beast from effectively new, it really changes... today it’s sound has evolved again and I really like it (lower mid has bizarrely filled out, to the extent I am hearing instrumentation I hadn’t heard before) ... but I know it’s going to evolve further yet before it stabilises.

A new 552, especially a DR version, takes a few months to properly come on-song. It is indeed the Bass that most obviously improves in subjective quantity and quality, but it is in fact everywhere that steadily improves. At three months you have the bulk of the performance but nowhere near all of it - at nine months it sounds significantly and obviously better all-round and that is when you really have the 552 singing, but it continues improving after that too and I'd say it is getting to the peak of its performance after about 12-18 months.

Unless experienced the above will seem silly and crazy, but it is what happens. Why can't it be delivered like that with all this done - well if Naim could warehouse them for a year as they get completed playing music, then perhaps, but we are not that patient!

It is a nice ride with quality Pre-amps from Naim. The 552 is always exciting and capable and just gets better and better with time. If you are concerned about the price, then content yourself it is possible to do the same all over again with the next one up in the hierarchy - it is the same effect all over again with run-in, but think of all that money you have saved with the 'modestly-priced' 552 - now I shall duck.

DB.

I've been following your 552 journey with interest Simon, and the CDX2/552 issue reminds of the chap (recent post) who had his 300 DR'd and was (is still?) irked by a cold/hard sound.

The CDX2 is a visceral beast which tells it like it is. You've now connected it to something else which does the same. As Gary has pointed out, the 552 can take a ludicrously long time to settle down and fully blossom, but it may be that additional demands are being made upon your power-amp, loudspeakers and room acoustics. Sometimes a loudspeaker positional tweak can be required.

My guess is that you hear the 252 'liking' the CDX2 better, because it's a less demanding pre-amp.

All the good stuff is clearly there. You just have to work out how to tame it. The joys of opening the window eh?

Good luck.

John.

 

Darke Bear posted:

A new 552, especially a DR version, takes a few months to properly come on-song. It is indeed the Bass that most obviously improves.......

Unless experienced the above will seem silly and crazy, but it is what happens.

{Why can't it be delivered like that with all this done }

- well if Naim could warehouse them for a year as they get completed playing music, then perhaps, but we are not that patient!.......

It is a nice ride with quality Pre-amps from Naim. The 552 is always exciting and capable and just gets better and better with time. If you are concerned about the price, then content yourself it is possible to do the same all over again with the next one up in the hierarchy - it is the same effect all over again with run-in, but think of all that money you have saved with the 'modestly-priced' 552 - now I shall duck.

DB.

It can, it's called Pre-loved!$$$$$$$$$!

Just Joking, I've been exercising the ignore button!

But couldn't resist!

Merry Christmas To All!

The Naim Family!

Nothing but the Best!

Allante93!

Edouard posted:

Congrats on your new pre Simon!

Once you'll swap your 250 for a 300, you'll have one of the best pre/amp combo ever!

However even with a 250.2, the 552 can be stunning!

Enjoy!

Edouard

Yes I have to support this. I know Simon has just made an important step towards audio heaven, but with a 300 he will ask himself why he has not done that before, as they form indeed a great duo...

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nickpeacock
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