Upgrade to 552 - NDX 2

Hi,

today my system consists of a NAC 272 with XPS DR, NAP 300 (non DR) and Superline with HiCap DR adding a Rega RP 10. When listening to music the sources are the RP 10 as well as the streamer of the 272 - about 50:50.

I am considering to upgrade my system with a new pre amplifier. I very much like the naim sound, so that I think of a 252 or a 552. I have to add a separate streamer. This would be a NDX 2 powered with my XPS. I will have a demo of these components next weekend. Is it the right way to go or are the naim pre amplifiers a bit to old and will they be replaced in the product range soon? Then it might be the right way to wait for the new generation.

Original Post

Given where you are now, that sounds like a reasonable way up the Naim ladder to me. I’m not sure the Naim preamps are in for a revamp any time soon, but we will never know that for sure until any new product are actually released. By all means wait and see, but don’t hold your breath!

I just bought a 252 when my ND555 arrives. It did cross my mind about preamp updates, but life is too short to wait IMO. Naim have updated the preamp power supplies to DR relatively recently......and as a Chris says you only get a short warning of imminent product change.

Even if there were a new range of pre amps the old ones wouldn’t be redundant.  

Your 300 is obvious going to be an excellent partner for either a 252 or 552 but you will need to get an audition to decide which you prefer, they are different beasts.   I personally if funds were ever permitting take a 552 but the 252 has a very mature analytical sound and is VERY engaging.   I heard the NDX2 last week it is a very very capable streamer particularly with a 555 PSU - sorry!

Good luck. 

Lindsay

It’s worth hearing what a 555PS does for your 272. I found it to make a huge difference. Having in the past owned a 252, which I found really boring, and a 552, which is just wonderful, I’m very biased and but wouldn’t recommend a 252. A 282/Supercap and an NDX2 would be a good way forward, but I’d certainly try it against a 272/555 to see if you think the price difference is worth it. 

The old fish makes a worthy point vis a vis the 555 PSU.   It has made my CDS3 so joyous that I have dismissed any thoughts of a streamer at least for the foreseeable.   

As a 282 user I don’t however hold with the view that the 252 is boring in my opinion it just gives a different insight.

Regards,

Lindsay

To improve your system you should go separates, no question to me as nothing else would help improve massively your system ,the analog rig as well.

At that stage a 282 will do, much better obviously a 252. If you go for the former you could power it off your hicap dr and match the superline  but as a stop gap as  a supercap would be my sstrong advice. Nothwithstanding the 252/superline would definitely be the ultimate move assuming the ndx2/XPS DR would show itself to be as good as promised.

For me the 282 is not the right way. I have had an audition of 272 with XPS vs. 282, SC and NDX. The improvement in sound quality was not worth the money to my ears. The main reason why I am thinking of a 552 is, that it would be the end of the ladder of upgrades - at least for the pre. The 252 is in the audition, because I want to hear the different types of sound. Today I do not really know, what I will love more. But I do not want to go several steps of upgrades over the years.

a few options for your to consider with out changing the 272 from my point of view, before you commit to NDX2 +++ and I agree with you NDX/XPS is not worth the upgrade, however adding 555 is a totally different matter

as HH says consider a 555 for the 272, and (or) DR your 300, believe me it takes an already superb AMP on to another level  (had mine DR'd earlier this year)

but in saying that lot's of people say on here the 252 is the natural partner for the 300? some think so, and I am more than happy with my 282/HCDR

I found the 272 preamp really held back what my RP8 was capable of even with a 555DR powering it. Replacing the 272 with a 252 I’ve gone from virtually never playing records to it being my preferred source. 

With a RP10 I’m sure the improvement will be equally, if not more, dramatic.

ChrisBerlin posted:

For me the 282 is not the right way. I have had an audition of 272 with XPS vs. 282, SC and NDX. The improvement in sound quality was not worth the money to my ears.

I guess the cost of the Supercap makes the latter a rather expensive setup. I thought NDX/282, powered by 200DR, was preferable to 272/XPSDR, although I could happily live with either. 

The 552 will not disappoint. While there's regular debate on here about 282 v 252 (a flavour of that given in this thread) there seems to be consensus that the 552 is head & shoulders better than both.  That said, the price ticket is eye-watering, so it damn well should be excellent.  Leaving aside the dizzying heights of an S1, another  advantage of the 552 is knowing that in pre-amp terms you're done.

Finally, if you are tempted to spend that much on a 552, it's well worth thinking about the rack and where it is going to sit.  It's a fussy beast.    

My naim journey started with the 272, now I’m at 552 waiting for my 500dr and nd555 to arrive.  Good luck. All I can say is that the 252/300/nds is a very nice combo.  Wonder why I didn’t stop there?  For the price difference between the 552 and the 252 you can do a lot of upgrading.  Plus the price and availability of used NDS’s make them quite attractive.  Get with your Naim dealer and weigh all your options, there are lots of good choices. 

ChrisBerlin posted:

Richard: That does not work in my system. I have a distance of 4 m between my Superline and the preamp. You know of the earth problems I have had in the beginnings. The solution was a bit of cable dressing.

I have the same issue albeit with a different system I have to have my phono stage well away from the rest of the system on a shelf above the record player. 

The 552 is a wonderful black box - ok, two boxes! I heard it with my old 250 and with my 300 in the current setup. It was amazing how much control the 552 brings in the system with the 250. The round sound of 250 was blown away. And with the 300 it sounds impressive. Now I know what my turntable and the Superline is capable of. When listening to my vinyls I have had a permanent grin on my face...

The NDX 2 with XPS DR and the 555 were demonstrated at my dealer. I have also listened to the 252 with Supercap in comparision to the 552. It felt like there was a curtain lifted when we changed to the 552. The difference between NDX 2 and 555 was also amazing, but the invest in the 555 with a new power supply is a bit to big. But the 552 is a wonderful end of the ladder - at least for the preamp.

ChrisBerlin posted:

The 552 is a wonderful black box - ok, two boxes! I heard it with my old 250 and with my 300 in the current setup. It was amazing how much control the 552 brings in the system with the 250. The round sound of 250 was blown away. And with the 300 it sounds impressive. Now I know what my turntable and the Superline is capable of. When listening to my vinyls I have had a permanent grin on my face...

The NDX 2 with XPS DR and the 555 were demonstrated at my dealer. I have also listened to the 252 with Supercap in comparision to the 552. It felt like there was a curtain lifted when we changed to the 552. The difference between NDX 2 and 555 was also amazing, but the invest in the 555 with a new power supply is a bit to big. But the 552 is a wonderful end of the ladder - at least for the preamp.

Hi. The 552 is a superb bit of kit... the 252 is now slouch either.. but a somewhat different in presentation. The beauty I found with the 252 and continue to find with the 552 is that they make the best of your source components, and allow their traits to be exploited for different media/recordings/masters ... with a 552 you definitely will be missing out if you try and limit your self to one source... just as well you have those inputs... the 552 is for the true enthusiast. I use three sources regularly on my 552.

In the Naim world, I think many of us feel the most important component and the heart of the system  is the NAC, and it brings everything along with it.. So perhaps you will enjoy your 552 with your various sources ... and what ever NAP you decide to use.. you won’t be disappointed.. I certainly am not. But given the choice i say invest in the NAC first, then speakers, then source components, then amp...

After the impressions of the demo I think that I will listen to vinyl much more often. It sounds superb, like I never heard it before. Now I understand why it is said, that you have to go for the source and NAC first and then you should go for the power amp. The C in NAC clearly stands for control! And the 552 would control every power amp.

I made a big jump from Supernait 2, with Hi Cap DR (for the primary source of a higher level LP12) to a 552 pre and 250 DR. This enabled me to keep the Naim box count low, but with superb control. This system has been wonderful and leaves me with feeling very fortunate and satisfied. I made the move after hearing the contrary opinions regarding the 252. Plus I managed to get the 552 as second hand and DR, so not unreasonable and future proofing. Good luck in your decision making

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