250 non DR vs. DR

Setup: Ndac/555PS(non DR), Macbook, CDS3/555PS(non DR)


thinking to get 250 non-DR vs. DR., no interest to get 282 for now.

How much better is the 250DR ?


Like everything, better is subjective. And it still has to match your system. I went from a 250 to a 250dr without a demo.

But I had chosen my speakers with a 250. The 250dr broke the spell. I could hear that it was more capable but it didn’t work right in the system. I had to change speakers to really get the full benefit.

So is a 250dr better? Absolutely yes. Will it sound better than a 250? Greatly depends on the system.


^^^^^^^^ wise words!!! ^^^^^^^^^

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Any particular reason for this? If it was me, I’d be going for the 282 first.


I would expect the 250 to show the limitations of your pre and actually sound worse. A better pre would be the way to go unless you have a great deal lined up. You obviously have your reasons for wanting to stay with your current pre which of course is fine. Your money etc.



Having over the years owned 202/200, SuperNait (Mk1), NAC282/NAP250DR, HiCaps and NAPSC’s (and to some extent mixed and matched to see what the strengths and weaknesses were) I would far rather have a NAC282/200 than a NAC202/NAP250DR.

I’m afraid I concluded the NAC202 was a bit of a weak link in the chain - in fact I preferred the preamp section in the Supernait to it.

But of course finding out what works for you is most important and that can only be done by demonstration.

If you are powering your NAC202 from the supply in the NAP200 don’t forget you will need to add a HiCap if you go to a NAP250DR as this doesn’t have a built in preamp supply.

I only compared 202/200 to the 202/250DR both connected with Hicap DR.

I would say a lot will depend on your speakers. If the speakers are mini monitors with 4" to 5" drivers the difference would be quite small. If your speakers are big boxes with 8" or larger drivers, the difference would be significant. You would get a lot more bass, both quantity and quality as the bass goes deeper and has more layering and texture with the 250DR on board. Going back to the 202/200 a huge chunk of bass went missing and music sounded incomplete. The 250DR will show the inadequacies of the 200 if your speakers are able to reproduce bass.

I did the comparison about 2 or 3 years ago. 202/200 for 5 minutes, switching to 202/250DR and listened for 5 minutes before switching back to the 202/200 and perhaps 202/250DR again. The differences are marked. You don’t need to strain your ears hard to hear a difference.

After all that comparison, I took the 202 out and inserted the 282 back partnering the 250DR.

No experience with the 250 non-DR

Thanks to everyone’s reply.

I have had Supernait 1 and 2, 72, 52. I conclusively prefer 202/200 for its separation and balanced approach, especially after adding 555PS, Super Lumia 5-pin to the setup.

Though 282 is an obvious/logical path that everyone would recommend, I am happy with 202. The only reason that I am considering 250 nonDR or DR is because I might need it for demanding speakers such as Dynaudio C1 or ATC SCM20ASL.

I need more horsepower going uphill. PRE upgrade is secondary.

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I would say trust your ears. People will have opinions and preferences. No doubt the 202/250Dr may not be a popular recommendation but having tried the combination albeit in brief, I would have no hesitation to say that it sounds more balanced, complete and better than the 202/200. I could have lived with the 202/250DR if I hadn’t bought the 282. The 202 has its own sets of strength and you must have known since you have owned the 72 and 52. I find the 202 to have a good balance of neutrality and detail. The 282 sounds larger and more dynamic, more colourful but i suspect it is not neutral as some frequencies may have been boosted to give it some desirable traits.

I wish the 282 had the fascia of the 202, might have given it a go, too many controls on the 282, balance dial, why? would not want to blow £ 5k on something I’m thinking what the hell, all the dials and buttons, one of the big appeals of this gear is clean, minimalist aesthetics


Without a doubt, the 202 looks better that all the other Naim preamps. But I’d not let that influence me. It’s not like the 282 is shocking pink (private joke).


Don’t give their marketing department any ideas, “NAC 282 Pink Edition” sounds catchy, may capture the teenage girl market

Somehow I feel 282 pre upgrade is unjustifiable given the marginal improvement relative to $.

I am sure many will disagree, but I would rather wait for the next 382 or 352 if it exist, given the price value collapse I see in SN2 afters news out on SN3.

@CalumF trust me once the 282 is in the rack you switch the display off and just get engulfed in the music. The 282 truly is a paradigm shift over the 202.




I did not like the 282 when I did a dealer dem. it just sounded bright and warm, granted it could sound magical in my own set up/room but at the moment I would only consider the 282 if at a massive discount, no way a £ 4.8k pre amp in my book, I’d go 252 but then you have mission creep (200 outclassed etc.)

Having owned and lived with both preamps for a number of years… 202 and 282

A great source is the key to getting the best out of both

The nap 200 is a very good power amp and can drive dynaudio 4 ohm speakers very well.

The 282 is much better than a 202 but I’d spend and upgrade the source first before spending a lot of money upgrading from 202 to 282

Same thinking applies between 250.2 and the Dr version. Even if the Dr is much better to my ears… source upgrades are the most rewarding to my ears for the same money

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I’m on ELAC 4 ohm, never had the 200 beyond quarter two to have it deafening, just love the 200, the way it just sits there heavy and anonymous saying “bring it on”. Sunk all my recent money into source components CD5XS + DAC and now XPS DR, sometimes wonder about the 250/252 though, I imagine this source would do them justice


Agreed 200%. It’s amazing how much value the 555PS has brought to the 202/200 setup.

@CalumF I don’t understand you’d go for a 252 which is a fine amp but that’s warmer than the 282. To my ears the 282 is neither bright nor warm. But we all hear things differently.

I guess this is my lane! Remember in the not to distance past when, Naim would suggest pairings of systems:


And prestigious members (552/500) of the forum would run Active Systems with the supplied interconnects that came with their units.
Not to mention, the coat hanger speaker wire that was essential for the newer amps.

Naim’s trickled down technologies sure did change the game!

Ok, what’s my point? Questions:

How does a PS improve the performance of a Pre-Amp, and could there be a point when Naim’s top tier power supply would be overkill or of no sonic benefits when paired with entry level separates?





PS. Mind you, I live across the pond and the only Naim preamps I’ve listened to is my own
282/HCDR which was suggested by the Forum nearly six years ago before the Statement was unleashed! I did get a chance to listen to the Statement @ David Michaels Audio! Manu hosted the event, had a swell time!