2023 Upgrades Complete

Well since you asked.
I started the year by ordering a 222/300. Shortly after I got my LP12 upgraded with a Kore, Karousel, Lingo 4 and a a few other bits. The 222/300 arrived. A pause, then I bought an Aria, followed shortly after by a Dynavector XX2 and finally, I bought an NC250 to replace my 250DR.
My existing Star became what bedroom system and I bought a pair of bargain RX1s for this. The existing bedroom unitilite was given to a friend’s daughter who is following her father’s lead into the slippery slope of hi-fi ownership.


Well for a very short period I did run the XV1 -S in the Artemiz and I would say, and this is in defiance of diminishing returns, the XV is a bigger step up over the Rua than the Rua was over the XX I had before. Far bigger soundstage, deeper bass, voices with far more articulation etc.

When I first bought into hifi in the early/mid 80s with a Pioneer 12D/Grado MM and then Ariston RD80/LVX/K9 I was very doubtful as to the possible benefits of the top Audio Technicas/Troikas etc. C’est la vie!

Amazing. I am playing with on a Rua now, but a box is hidden in the shelf and waiting to be opened. Will I manage to wait longer ?!

I also had aXX2 bevore the Rua

Something to look forward to then :slight_smile:

I also

Umm… lots of change here as many of you will know. (And in 2022 as well!)

Starting with the study system, before I got the 808s in the main system (late 2020) I had an ndx and supernait 3 + hc into my nSats which I enjoyed. The sn3 and ndx went to free up some cash for the 808s (and a cheeky 500) and I got an atom. Later swapped that for a nova but around a year ago or just under I picked up a 282 and ndx along with a non dr 300. The Nova provided some funds towards the S1 pre last year. They all stayed in their boxes (work has been crazy busy this year :frowning: hence the upgrade funds :blush:) for a while until I ordered a new 250.3. After what felt like a long wait to hear with a deal for 3x250.3 in my main system, I got an offer for the nap S1 and traded the 250.3 back towards the cost of that. When the nap S1s came, as part of the deal (I am getting there honest :wink:) was a brand new one of the very last 250dr. I haven’t been using it enough (do you blame me with a statement downstairs?) so I suspect the 250dr isn’t run in yet as it’s sounding a bit harsh. Hoping that will soften / become a bit more listenable with time (and particularly hope that I have not just been spoilt by downstairs). Perhaps I should have kept the 300? I really did like that on the SBLs and then the SL2s when I had them - but I don’t have limitless space. Am thinking I may try an ndac on the ndx next year when funds have recovered a bit - although I do rather ridiculously have some Naim fraim lite in the garage that I could press into service…

Of course the main story is the S1 naps. And a Phoenix switch that I added in last minute to give the main system the best chance of sounding good. This does of course mean that I don’t know what the Phoenix net is doing as a standalone item but you can’t have everything :blush:

The 808s got a lot bigger, generate much more bass (without any boom - so precise and well controlled) and go a lot lower. The depth of field in the soundstage has improved dramatically. The full statement fills the room with beautiful sound with great ease. Effortless is a good word. But the power cut yesterday evening (4 hours) means warming up has to start all over again :frowning:. But this too will come to an end :blush:


I finally completed my full 500 series in January after getting a new 500 DR.

A couple of weeks ago I added a preloved pair of SL DIN - XLR’s which have surprised me with the amount of improvement they’ve brought.

Finally, this morning I’ve ordered an Isoblue shelf extension kit to move the 500 head unit off the top shelf and hopefully squeeze out a small improvement by moving the ND555 or 552 to the top. The strip down, dust and rebuild will be a job for the Xmas holiday if it arrives in time.


Traded my NDX2/SN3 for NSS333, NAC332/NPX300, NAP350 (pair). Managed to run an Ethernet cable from my SKY modem/router to NSS333.

Added English Electric EE8 switch between router and NSS333.

I have used Roon for a few years but finally took out a lifetime subscription this year and bought a Roon Rock.

However, the most important ‘upgrade’ for 2023 has to be the sheer amount of time that I am spending listening to music!


I really enjoy my 606s but wish I had the space for 808s. It sounds like you have an amazing system. Enjoy your music for many years!

1 Like

I would have liked to spend more time listening to 606 and 707. I don’t feel I ever had much chance to do so and when I did I found a way to go straight to 808s - by trading in vast amounts of kit. I turned down an opportunity to get a pair of them early on when I had just got SL2s - the price was ridiculously low but I hadn’t contemplated getting anything like them at the time. Someone assured me they wouldn’t work in my room but they do…

1 Like

I did hear the 808s at the time I bought my 606s and they really were superb. This was in a dealer showroom though so not comparable to my home. I set out to buy the S20s but loved the look of the 606 so much that I did the unthinkable and had a listen plus home trial - this blew my budget significantly! I could not have even contemplated the 808s financially.

You obviously made the right decision and you have an amazing system to feed them. Hopefully for you, you are at the end of your upgrade journey!


Yes I am - apart from maybe the odd Chord cable here and there. Certainly finished in respect of the big items - which is a very nice place to be


Well, there were no upgrades planned for 2023 after the NDS/XPS2 supplanted the NDX Nov 2022. The only plan for 2023 was to replace all our kitchen cupboard doors, pelmet and cornice adding some nice gloss panels to the cupboard sides. In the event, I stripped the veneer from one of the old doors and had a eureka moment. (Bear with me on this). They were in such good condition that I thought I paint them instead so I did and the results were spectacular. Added new cornice, pelmet and side panels and saved myself about £1500. Which went on an Olive Supercap to power my Prefix :smiley:. That was it I thought. But then a CD555PS came up on eBay and after a quick discussion with the seller, negotiated the price of a service off the asking price and bought it. There followed a “What just happened?” moment. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:. The reality is that I’ve actually completed the upgrades I had planned for 18 months hence and I have now completely run out of things to look for on eBay. I’ll have to find something else to do in the mornings after this forum now.


Someone away from the forum today asked what did I think the Vertere tonearm brought to the piece. Well far more resolution, bass definition etc etc but most far far far more in the way of dynamics. If you can remember the first time you heard a Linn with an Aro, perhaps that is the best analogy. Listening to Jeff Beck at Ronnies :sunglasses::flushed::sunglasses::flushed::sunglasses:


Years ago I described the 282 as an excited puppy, full of life, but could occasionally soil the carpet, and the 252 as a faithful, mature, Labrador, who will not let you down, or something like that.


Swapped my NDS out for a pre-loved ND555 (at a remarkably bargain price). It’s a blessed relief having a generation 2 streamer after all the instability problems of NDS/Tidal. Focal Sopra N1s have gone, replaced by Kudos 505s. Everything’s still burning in at the moment but I like what I’m hearing.


Last 12 months I’ve moved from 272/555PSDR/300DR to 552/NDS/555PSDR/500 and just finished off with a Super Lumina DIN DIN. Mind-blowing (and expensive) experience. With that said the former setup was superb too for far less money. Feel pretty much done for now. Music enjoyment every minute the system is playing music :slight_smile:


Traded In my NDX2 into ND555 (with one 555PSDR). Got a good deal on ND555 and letting go of my NDX2 with zero losses.

Also replaced my Technics SL1210 MK7 with a set of Audio Note TT2 with AN IQ3 cartridge, AN M1 phono stage and power supply replacing Ifi Zen Phono

Focal Sopra N1 upgraded to Focal Sopra N2

Second system, added active speaker PSI Audio A21-M and plan to replace my Uniti Star with NSC222 (or better 333/332?)


This year I replaced my Xerxes X with a Vertere MG-1. I’m also using phono boards within my 52 after rediscovering them on the suggestion of my dealer. I still have my NDS and am in no big rush to change it at the moment. Although with the MG-1 the gap in my view has widened still further between the two sources, the NDS is still a great source and I listen to it almost as much as the turntable (with bubbleupnp) to listen to new music.


I recently added a second 555dr power supply to my nd555.
The improvement in performance was more than I expected.
Everything improved such that it was like opening up a window on the music.
I was hesitant to spend the $ but now have zero regrets
Anyone who owns an nd555 should seriously consider this upgrade if funds allow


Quite a year for upgrades, in our house …

Running two systems, with changes in both.

Upgraded ZENmini mk3 to latest S specification.
By July, with additional benefit of more resources, (more RAM and SSD server ) started running Roon Core on the ZM and added long wished for Roon UI during 2023.

For digital first system : Following launch of NC200, from January to March, took a close look at NC 200 series and considered 222 + NC250.
During 2023, went from CD5 XS → DC1 → nDAC → NAIT XS2 + HC2.
ND5 XS2 → DC1 → ( with existing CD5 XS → DC1 → nDAC ) → HiLine DIN → SN3 + HCDR.

Started by adding SN3 + HCDR in March.

For analogue / vinyl first system : Trigger was launch of NC300, with NVC TT phono becoming available. Considered Naim NC items NVC TT + NPX TT, as well as SuperLine + HiCap DR and Rega Aura. For a reference point, we already had the marvellous Rega Aria at home. In the end, preferred and added SuperLine (c/w Z Foil Airplugs) + HCDR.

Last piece of the jigsaw was ND5 XS2 coming on board. A b’day treat. Also, finally bought into a Qobuz subscription. (Access to more music than we know what to do with).

ND5 XS2 → DC1 → nDAC is an entirely satisfactory digital source combination. Recommended, if you don’t mind two boxes.

Both vinyl and digital format(s) are sounding superb in our house.

Wouldn’t say it is “complete”. Not quite yet. But it’s getting there. :wink:

Now looking forward, 2024 is for new floor standing speakers.
Then, maybe 2025 or later, a PSU for the nDAC

Patience is said to be a virtue…


For me this was quite a year for upgrades as well.

In my main system I swapped out the NAP200 for a NAP250DR, a Bluesound node for a ND5XS2 and a Hicap DR for a Supercap DR. In addition, I added Stack Audio Auva 70s to isolate my Evoke 30s from a wooden suspended floor. Now a very happy listener.

Because I could not bring myself to selling the swapped out bits, I used them to build a second system with a NAC202 and re-use my old Technics SL1700 TT, for which a Stageline S was bought. A nice rediscovery of vinyl.

I don’t intend to keep up this tempo next year. Time for consolidation!