250 non DR vs. DR

Having owned all the Naim kit you have and are proposing, I have to agree with the majority here on the classic (sorry) amp upgrade route of, 202/200>282/HiCapDR>250(DR in my case)>252/SuperCapDR or 300DR, and so on….

You have a pretty good source which, IMHO, should see you through the amp upgrades you are contemplating.

The OP appears to have made up his mind to go 250.2/250DR (both of which I have owned) next before 282 and the only way to confirm if this (unorthodox) route is a good idea is to do the leg work and demo the alternatives (i.e. 282/HiCapDR first), in your system at home if possible.

I ran a 282/200/HiCap (with an NDX/Cuddly Toy then SuperCapDR source) for a while and found the 282 gave me so much more than the 202. The 200 had enough welly to power most real world speakers, including Dynaudios.

Good luck with your next steps.


I upgraded my 250-2 last year to DR (and had it serviced at the same time).

It was like a new upgraded amp. Deeper, tighter bass, lusher midrange and with better clarity, smoother high end. Punchier, more dynamic. Better in every way.

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@ptcm10 for if you are happy with 202, I would certainly look to get a NAPSC for 202 and if going to keep the 200 HCDR or HC

but for me the 250DR was going into my system, loved the uplift in detail control and balance from my then 200
but as others have mentioned i think the biggest step would be 282 esp with your sources but all of our journeys are different

Well said… for that reason I have not changed my 250.2 to 250DR specifications.
In my setup my 552DR working with my 250.2 into ATC (passive! ) speakers sounds sublime…I definitely don’t want to break the spell


But how do you I know what brought most of the benefit? The DR upgrade or the service? Or both and to what extent? :thinking:

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I had my 250.2 DRed without a service since it was less than 18 months old.

When it came back, (and I choose my words carefully here) it was clearly a different product.


I’ve listened to a number of Naim/ATC systems over the last few years, and I have always found that the passive versions, driven by Naim power amps, were the most enjoyable. Not really what I was expecting, but again, it shows that you should never make firm assumptions based on other people’s recommendations.


Indeed. I used to hold active crossovers as the holy grail.

I’ve since heard better passive systems than that previous assumption was based on. Conclusion: active or passive, it all depends on how good everything is. All things being equal (same power amps and same speakers), then active still wins. But the cold truth is things aren’t equal. We are almost always presented with a meaningless passive/active comparison with different amps or different speakers. You may prefer one over the other but too many variable have changed to reliably conclude active was the winning factor.

For me, the box count issue prevents me from ever contemplating a traditional Naim active system. Paradoxically, an ATC active speaker system solves that problem by using fewer boxes rather than more. This has clearly been successful for some, and I would rule it out. Just that the ATC actives I happened to listen to haven’t impressed me.

I don’t, but everything that changed about my system matches what most others have said about the amplifier upgrade to DR. It’s moot now anyway, since if you have a 250 upgraded to DR you must also have it serviced, if using Naim authorized servicer.

Not quite yet, that takes effect in September.

True, but that’s only seven weeks away.

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No that’s not true. Recapping costs extra and they won’t do it as part of the DR upgrade unless you ask for it and pay for it.

I had mine done by Naim in Salisbury. DR with no recapping service.

I was having a chat with the PMC guys at a recent demo about their active speakers. Owning a pair of PMC25.26 and loving them i was musing over perhaps i should think about their active ones. Then in conversation they just dropped the fact that they modify Bryston amps. Nothing wrong with Bryston, but came away thinking i just could not see me myself buying Bryston over Naim amps in a demo. Similar with ATC.

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No Argument there, as usual the major con against Linn’s Tangerine, Chord’s Music, and Naim’s Amps is Cost!

Not always, but usually there is a relationship between price and quality!

Although the gap has been narrowed between active and passive systems, cost remains a major deterrent!

PS. I’m quite sure an S1 would sound great in passive mode with an 500, But Activated with an Tangerine or ND555, I can only dream$$$!!!

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It’s not true today, but it will be so in about seven weeks, when Naim starts requiring a full service if you want a DR upgrade.

I wonder if (1) AV Options will continue to have access to the upgrade kits and (2) whether this applies to them as well. It may well apply if Naim will only provide parts in a kit that includes both full service and DR upgrade items!

As a Naim Authorized service center I suspect they will have to follow suit.

As another user that has had a 202/200 setup in the past, I too went for the 282 first (which worked great with the 200/HiCAP DR/NAPSC combo). I have since moved on to the 250DR. I can say that back then, when I was looking around for upgrade info there were a lot of posters that said the reg 250 was not a good match for the 202 & they preferred the 200. I believe the 250DR might work a bit better with the 202 as I have heard of some running that combo & not having issues. So my advise would be to listen first (especially if you go the pre DR route) if you do swap amps but my main advise would be try a 282 instead (or add a NiCAP DR to your existing setup)

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