First day with 552

Today I unpacked and setup the long awaited upgrade from my NAC282/NAP250.DR to the NAC552/NAP300.DR setup. I hesitated for a very long time between an upgrade from the 282 to 252 or straight up to the 552. Finally I took the plunge and opted for the 552 on blind faith, never heard it and could not demo it so understandably, considering the cost I was apprehensive about the level of improvement this box will have.

Well, today after setting up the gear and spending a few hours browsing through my music my impression of the 552 is excellent, and if this is day 1 I cannot wait to see how this will sound once it is well "Bedded in".

My wife commented today that the music sounded "well rounded and real" for me this is exactly what this 552 upgrade did, it made music sound so much better that I am rediscovering old stuff which sounded ok on the old gear and now sounds great on the 552.. Some of the newer DSD music is sounding fantastic, I spent hours not thinking about the gear and thoroughly enjoying hearing new sounds and musical detail in tracks I listened over hundreds of times before.... and all of this considering that I have an entry-level source (DAC-V1) which must be the weakest link in my setup.... Amazing!

And, to add to the entire impression, the included R-Com remote just adds to the luxury of the experience....

Now I am not aching about the cost anymore

 

 

Regards,

 

Tareq

Original Post

Congratulations, Tareq

I followed a similar journey, though I had already replaced my 250.2 with a 300DR.   Having tried and rejected the 252 twice, I agonised hard and long about the step to the 552.  I put off even listening to it. An the even, after a two-week home demo, I continued to worry about whether I could could justify the substantial investment but eventually took the plunge on the basis that 'you only live once'.  

Mine sounded excellent from the off and I found the run-in period fairly even and modest (I had no bad sounding days) and then just as I thought it was properly run in there was a sudden and very nice leap at the end, around 12 weeks, when the 552 really came on-song.  

Enjoy.

Mike 

 

My dealer said it would take about 5 days to properly warm up and about 12 weeks to properly run in.  I found he was right on both counts. After 5 days the very detailed but somewhat clinical presentation changed to very detailed and rich.  The effect of the run-in period I find hard to put into words. If this makes any sense, I'd say the change is one of impressive Hi-Fi into impressive music.

So if you think the 552 sound good now you've got , you've got a a real treat in-store.  

Mike

MDS posted:

Congratulations, Tareq

I followed a similar journey, though I had already replaced my 250.2 with a 300DR.   Having tried and rejected the 252 twice, I agonised hard and long about the step to the 552.  I put off even listening to it. An the even, after a two-week home demo, I continued to worry about whether I could could justify the substantial investment but eventually took the plunge on the basis that 'you only live once'.  

Mine sounded excellent from the off and I found the run-in period fairly even and modest (I had no bad sounding days) and then just as I thought it was properly run in there was a sudden and very nice leap at the end, around 12 weeks, when the 552 really came on-song.  

Enjoy.

Mike 

 

The NAC 252 did not cut it for you on the NAP 300DR?

 

The 552 is leaps and bounds better than a 252, as it should be for the difference in cost.

I had a 252 for a while. The switch to 552 , with the same 250.2, was and still is the biggest upgrade I  have heard from a single box swap. Fantastic pre !

ATB,

Mark

 

varyat posted:

The 552 is leaps and bounds better than a 252, as it should be for the difference in cost.

I had a 252 for a while. The switch to 552 , with the same 250.2, was and still is the biggest upgrade I  have heard from a single box swap. Fantastic pre !

ATB,

Mark

 

understand by chance you think your amp played a role into the sound...instead of say you had a 300DR/500DR

Well, my 552 must be eight years old, and it's still not run in yet!

(OK, might have made that up).

I certainly wouldn't regard the V1 DAC as an "entry level source" Taraq. It's a fine DAC in it's own way, preferred by one or two forumites to a Hugo. Glad to learn you're already enjoying your 552, it's a purchase you'll never regret.

tonym posted:

Well, my 552 must be eight years old, and it's still not run in yet!

(OK, might have made that up).

I certainly wouldn't regard the V1 DAC as an "entry level source" Taraq. It's a fine DAC in it's own way, preferred by one or two forumites to a Hugo. Glad to learn you're already enjoying your 552, it's a purchase you'll never regret.

Sorry, spelt your name wrong Tareq.

greekspec2 posted:
MDS posted:

Congratulations, Tareq

I followed a similar journey, though I had already replaced my 250.2 with a 300DR.   Having tried and rejected the 252 twice, I agonised hard and long about the step to the 552.  I put off even listening to it. An the even, after a two-week home demo, I continued to worry about whether I could could justify the substantial investment but eventually took the plunge on the basis that 'you only live once'.  

Mine sounded excellent from the off and I found the run-in period fairly even and modest (I had no bad sounding days) and then just as I thought it was properly run in there was a sudden and very nice leap at the end, around 12 weeks, when the 552 really came on-song.  

Enjoy.

Mike 

 

The NAC 252 did not cut it for you on the NAP 300DR?

 

Never tried the 252 with the 300DR, greekspec2.  I twice had a 252 on a 2-week home trial to try against my 282/SC/250.2. Although I found the 252 more detailed and subtle than my 282, on rock music it seemed to suck the excitement from the music so twice I rejected the 252 and stuck with my 282.  A number of contributors on here suggested I try the 552 but I wussed out.  Late last autumn I tried the 300DR and 250DR against my 250.2 and was hugely impressed by the 300DR.  I very much enjoyed my 282/SCDR/300DR combination and then early this year I finally gave in and demo'ed a 552DR.  It's not just another step up from the 252 (and 282), it's a whole staircase.

Mike  

Congratulations, you will be up for a nice journey with some running in bumps. With regards to your concern on the quality of the source. The 552 will make any source sound at it's best. So just enjoy what you have, in due time you can then decide for the right time to upgrade or just be happy with what you have.

greekspec2 posted:
varyat posted:

The 552 is leaps and bounds better than a 252, as it should be for the difference in cost.

I had a 252 for a while. The switch to 552 , with the same 250.2, was and still is the biggest upgrade I  have heard from a single box swap. Fantastic pre !

ATB,

Mark

 

understand by chance you think your amp played a role into the sound...instead of say you had a 300DR/500DR

What I am saying is that the power amp remained as a constant, same one. Only the pre was changed with all other variables remaining the same. I'm fairly certain that I would have heard the same scale of improvements if using a 300DR/500DR..probably more so .

ATB,

Mark

MDS posted:
Never tried the 252 with the 300DR, greekspec2.  I twice had a 252 on a 2-week home trial to try against my 282/SC/250.2. Although I found the 252 more detailed and subtle than my 282, on rock music it seemed to suck the excitement from the music so twice I rejected the 252 and stuck with my 282.  A number of contributors on here suggested I try the 552 but I wussed out.  Late last autumn I tried the 300DR and 250DR against my 250.2 and was hugely impressed by the 300DR.  I very much enjoyed my 282/SCDR/300DR combination and then early this year I finally gave in and demo'ed a 552DR.  It's not just another step up from the 252 (and 282), it's a whole staircase.

Mike  

Can you describe, in brief, in what ways the NAC 252 sucked the life or excitement from rock music and how these music sound more appealing on the NAC 282? FWIW I listen to a fair bit of rock and find the punch and dynamics of the NAC 282 to be excellent.

Also, how big of an improvement is the NAP 300 DR over the NAP 250 DR when these two amps are matched to the NAC 282? Is the degree of improvement larger than say going from an NAP 200 to the NAP 250 DR? In short, is the difference between the NAP 300 and 250 in their DR guises a big one or rather a small but appreciable one in your system and to your ears?

I'd be interested to read that too from a curiosity point of view, for me my newish 252DR makes rock and heavy blues come alive with emotion, timing and power... my 282 was great, but not at the same level, and just did not get that authentic feel right. Perhaps it's a synergy thing?. I use ATC speakers and CDX2 and Hugo source... A very  trusted musician buddy of mine, who has his own recording studio, agreed with me.. in fact he was bowled over with how The Wall sounded on my  252DR setup..

Agree about run in/warm up on 552DR... to my ears can sound quite clinical but very detailed until fully warmed up... but ultimately once there it does its business .. enjoy.

And for those with the 252 make sure the Burndy and leads are set up right and not strained  .. it can sound quite off when not done so.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

And for those with the 252 make sure the Burndy and leads are set up right and not strained  .. it can sound quite off when not done so.

Great reminder! This is the second thing I check after ensuring that all my mains do not cross any other cable within less than one inch.   

Chag -

Now this is a thread I did not want to read, but could not bring myself to ignore.
Congratulations and enjoy the music Tareq!

I was naively hoping / deluding myself that this madness of upgradiatis will stop () and the beast is now awake again.

On the 282 vs 252 debate - moving from 282 to 252 was one of the best upgrades for my ears. 252 seems to have restored the balance to music.

Chag... posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

And for those with the 252 make sure the Burndy and leads are set up right and not strained  .. it can sound quite off when not done so.

Great reminder! This is the second thing I check after ensuring that all my mains do not cross any other cable within less than one inch.   

Chag -

Anothe piece of advice with regards to 252 cable dressing - try running the SNAIC as close to the Burndy as possible. Don't know why but it works.

Absolutely. I believe that this is what Simon and I meant. The only exception of avoiding any cable to be in contact with another cable indeed is with the 252 Burndy and SNAIC. It is well known that the 252 is particularly sensitive and requires both cables to run as close as possible. I coincidentally touched upon this in another thread this morning.  

Chag -

Congratulations Tareq and best wishes with it. I was convinced the first time I heard a 552 (with a 500) at a Naim event. But I would not have bought it without a home demonstration. I'm glad it paid off for you.

I ran a 552 with a 300 for a year or so and was delighted every time I listened to it. It's very nearly like having all the HiFi taken away and music installed in its place. The "nearly" bit covers the 500 contingency. You don't need one. I didn't need one. I still don't need one. But I have one and it's worth every penny.

I'm sure the 552/300 will keep you happy for as many years as you want them to. If curiosity starts to itch I would look at alternative sources. Never mind USB or uPnP and all than stuff. It's the music that matters. You won't know what your amps are truly capable of until you hear something like an NDS on them.  And it will do USB if you insist on it.

But for now, have fun. 

Very true about the upgradiatis, the gremlins in my head will inevitably start humming the "what would it be like with a 500!".. But for now I am a happy puppy... And it is true, this time when I listen I found myself not looking at the quality of the sound but really feeling the music like never before... Have to admit, I was a huge skeptic that the 552 can make that much of a difference and could not fathom the difference in price but after splashing the hard-earned cash I can say it makes a hell of a difference for sure...

 

This sounds familiar. For me the 552 was a crossing over point. Material that hitherto I thought was challenging to listen to, made sense.  I’ve got some rough old stuff which now sounds magical because of the performance as opposed to the subjective sound quality. The only stuff my 552 doesn’t love is brick walled shit. But that stuff sounds fine on the office MuSo.

It’s difficult to know where to begin praising the 552. Maybe I’ll just go and wear it out some more

For me the beauty of this hobby (apart from the technical aspect and the music aspect) is that in every iteration of good upgrades, no matter how marginal they are one ends up thoroughly enjoying the result for a long time... I remember the NAC202 with the NAP200 setup I had, it sounded amazing to me (after it replaced my Onkyo receiver as the heart of music in my home), I was grinning every time I played music through it, then added a HiCap and a NAPSC to the mix and was again super impressed with the improvement, followed thereafter by a heftier upgrade to a NAC282/NAP250.DR, then later took the HiCap away and replaced it with a SuperCap.DR, finally SuperLumina speaker cables that bolted everything together nicely... Every step of the way I had a lot of satisfaction and never felt behind in anyway.

Thijazi, interesting journey. I share an almost similar upgrade path, starting with the NAC 202 / NAP 200 but settled with the NAC 282 / Hicap DR / NAP 250 DR. Although the NAC202/NAP200 replaced costlier amps in my system(Audio Research preamp and Plinius Class A power amp), the Naim amps gave me higher levels of listening pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed these amps for a good 5 to 6 years before going up the ladder. I still retain the NAC202 and NAP200 for a second system although I now have NAC282 / NAP250DR in my primary system.

It must be a very huge jump or improvement going from the NAC 282 to the NAC 552. I agree that every step of the upgrade will yield sonic improvements. Small or big they are equally enjoyable.

Enjoy the music.

Adam Zielinski posted:
Chag... posted:
Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

And for those with the 252 make sure the Burndy and leads are set up right and not strained  .. it can sound quite off when not done so.

Great reminder! This is the second thing I check after ensuring that all my mains do not cross any other cable within less than one inch.   

Chag -

Anothe piece of advice with regards to 252 cable dressing - try running the SNAIC as close to the Burndy as possible. Don't know why but it works.

Some say that the Snaic should actually be spiralled around the Burndy (my dealer included) whereas others say the two cables should just run side by side.

Any thoughts, observations from fellow 252 users, much appreciated.

Sorry to the OP for the diversion, hope you don't mind and congratulations on the 552.

Adam, don't you dare go trialling a 552 and then come on here saying how we all absolutely must get one. I mean it!

ryder. posted:
MDS posted:
Never tried the 252 with the 300DR, greekspec2.  I twice had a 252 on a 2-week home trial to try against my 282/SC/250.2. Although I found the 252 more detailed and subtle than my 282, on rock music it seemed to suck the excitement from the music so twice I rejected the 252 and stuck with my 282.  A number of contributors on here suggested I try the 552 but I wussed out.  Late last autumn I tried the 300DR and 250DR against my 250.2 and was hugely impressed by the 300DR.  I very much enjoyed my 282/SCDR/300DR combination and then early this year I finally gave in and demo'ed a 552DR.  It's not just another step up from the 252 (and 282), it's a whole staircase.

Mike  

Can you describe, in brief, in what ways the NAC 252 sucked the life or excitement from rock music and how these music sound more appealing on the NAC 282? FWIW I listen to a fair bit of rock and find the punch and dynamics of the NAC 282 to be excellent.

Also, how big of an improvement is the NAP 300 DR over the NAP 250 DR when these two amps are matched to the NAC 282? Is the degree of improvement larger than say going from an NAP 200 to the NAP 250 DR? In short, is the difference between the NAP 300 and 250 in their DR guises a big one or rather a small but appreciable one in your system and to your ears?

I listened to the 252 extensively over two-week periods twice.  I posted my impressions on both occasions. However, in summary, I found on We Are The Fallen, the emotional excitement of the performance had gone, and it t no longer gave me goose pimples; on AC/DC's live recording of Thunderstruck it didn't seem as if Brian and the band had their heart in it. The performance left me cold. On Eagle's live performance of Hotel California from the album Hell Freezes Over, when the kick drum cuts in it was a pale imitation of what I was used to with the 282.  

On your power amp question, I've never heard a 200 so can't advise there.  When I demoed a 250.2 against a 250DR and then a 300DR, while I though the 250DR a nice step up from the 250.2, the jump to the 300DR was a much bigger one. I was listening to Sopra2 speakers and they seemed to grow in size and power when the 300DR was plugged in. So I'd say the 300DR is a big improvement over the 250DR.   

Hope that helps, ryder. 

ryder. posted:

Thijazi, interesting journey. I share an almost similar upgrade path, starting with the NAC 202 / NAP 200 but settled with the NAC 282 / Hicap DR / NAP 250 DR. Although the NAC202/NAP200 replaced costlier amps in my system(Audio Research preamp and Plinius Class A power amp), the Naim amps gave me higher levels of listening pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed these amps for a good 5 to 6 years before going up the ladder. I still retain the NAC202 and NAP200 for a second system although I now have NAC282 / NAP250DR in my primary system.

It must be a very huge jump or improvement going from the NAC 282 to the NAC 552. I agree that every step of the upgrade will yield sonic improvements. Small or big they are equally enjoyable.

Enjoy the music.

Ryder - further to the questions you asked me about the 252 and then the 250DR v 300DR, looking at your post here where you describe your system, I think I'd be inclined to try a SuperCap before thinking about upgrading your 250DR to 300DR. When I demo'ed the 282/250.2 it took me about ten seconds of listening to the SC power the 282 as compared to the HC to decide I had to have a SC. The soundstage just expanded beautifully. In my view the 282 is capable of a wonderful performance when powered by a SC. 

Mike

A month into the upgrade, I can only say WOW, this was not an easy upgrade (cost wise) and one that took a while to wrap my mind around, but the improvement is incredible and keeps getting better, every music I play sounds bigger, richer, fuller, grander with detail I never even knew existed.. This is one amazing preamp... I wonder what it would have sounded like with a NAP500.DR versus the NAP300.DR ... But that is a separate project down the distant future :-)...

For anyone doubting this upgrade, GO FOR IT, it is worth every penny.

Congratulations. The 552 is a tough act to beat and really great value......compared to Statement!!!!

i built my system around my 552. I know many advocate source first but in my book the 552 was the hub/heart beat of my system.

The 552.....one happy relationship for many years to come, enjoy!

thijazi posted:

A month into the upgrade, I can only say WOW, this was not an easy upgrade (cost wise) and one that took a while to wrap my mind around, but the improvement is incredible and keeps getting better, every music I play sounds bigger, richer, fuller, grander with detail I never even knew existed.. This is one amazing preamp... I wonder what it would have sounded like with a NAP500.DR versus the NAP300.DR ... But that is a separate project down the distant future :-)...

For anyone doubting this upgrade, GO FOR IT, it is worth every penny.

Stop it I say.......just......just......stop it.

And that goes for all of you with 552s! Coming on here tempting all us with weak wills. You know who you are!

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