252 Sound Signature

That’s a good idea - I’ll do that this weekend, before I move the 282 on…(assuming I have the same reaction, which I suspect I will!)

The further you go up the Naim black box hierarchy the more the setup matters. I see you have Fraim. I guess you have dedicated radial etc.

An inch between SNAIC and Burndy is too big. I used very short half inch pipe insulation which is smaller than the Burndy meaning there is a gap at the split, which I use to hold the SNAIC. They run pretty close along the entire length. Don’t use too much as it is not neutral.

Worth checking all the cable dressing and Burndy torsion to make them fit without having to twist to get alignment. Space between boxes inc Power Supplies matters as you go up the hierarchy.

I persevered for a year before my current boxes. It took nearly 20 months to really feel I had arrived with what I now have. Maybe should have tried harder with the 252!

However, you are in the very early days so give it more time.



Thank you

Yes, Fraim and dedicated radial. I took care with the Burdies and they seem relaxed. I was able to change the pre without moving anything as it’s on the top which helps elimate any other setup issues. Cable dressing is hard with just one stack but I think it’s a reasonable job.

Following feedback further up I have gently draped the Snaic on to the Burndy so it occasionally touches. It’s probably not ideal. I do have some velco cable ties on a roll that I could use to space down the length like you would tie a tree to a stake if you are a gardener! I may try that tomorrow.

Without doing any meaningful comparisons, trying to avoid over analysing I have played a few of my favourite albums and thoroughly enjoyed them, at the expense of household chores which is a good sign.

I actually like the more relaxed presentation and it’s certainly more insightful. I played a Chris Botti album and I swear he must have re-recorded the album with a few more musicians!

It feels like I am within a whisker of getting things right.


Don’t bother with cable ties. Keeping the two wires close will suffice. I look on this stuff with a wry smile; a Supernait 3 may not be a 252/300 but it has a certain appeal…


Thanks Nigel. You know me, I’m not much of a tweaker apart from mucking around getting Roon to work, preferring to fit and forget.

I may be kidding myself but this afternoon it’s sounding really nice. I am just playing the music I really enjoy and not over analysing things. I had to pop out to collect my daughter and couldn’t wait to get back to my unfinished album.

I’ve only had this once before. It was when I added a Hicap (non DR) to my 202/200. It also had been unused for a while and sounded worse when present. It took well over a week to come on song.


That’s the spirit.

@trickydickie A long time ago, (in another life) I had a 82 with Supercap and after a very enjoyable relationship moved on to a 252. For a while I thought this really is better but… After a few weeks more there was absolutely no doubt in the improvement and added enjoyment. Give it time.



I seem to remember it took my 282 a little while to come back on song after a service early last year, sounding a little thin and not particularly well ‘fleshed out’ to begin with. I can’t recall exactly how long it took to settle in again, but I’m sure it was only a few weeks, improving gradually all the time…it sounds wonderful now.

This lockdown business also set me thinking about upgrades, and I spent ages considering whether to change out my 282/250.2 for a 252/300 (I already have supercap Dr). I have heard 252/300 on a few occasions and I know this can produce an amazing performance. In the end though I bit the bullet and I’ve just accepted a deal on a used 552 DR (keeping 250.2). It’s currently being serviced at Naim, so I’ll probably also be wondering whether I’ve done the right thing when I plug it in and it starts running in!

Just listening to KD Lang’s version of ‘Air that I breathe’ on Radio Paradise at the moment and I’m hoping I don’t upset the excellent, beautifully balanced presentation I’m currently getting.

Anyway, stick with it, I’m pretty sure you won’t consider looking back after a couple of weeks.


First off it’s a service thing as mentioned above so just give it time.
Secondly a Filipe says, the sensitivity to setup will have increased, though I just make sure no other cable passes between the Burndy and Snaic, I don’t like to constrain either. on that latter point look up relaxing a Burndy, there might be a post on it in the forum FAQ but if there isn’t do a search, no one needs a stressed Burndy.
Then we get on the box and cable (plug) order, here there isn’t complete consensus and some use use star earthed blocks, some use twin sockets and some (me for instance) use chained single sockets. My favoured order is signal earth first, poweramp last and the rest in order of their distance from signal earth, except I give turntable power the supplies first sockets even over the signal earth (ND555 in my case). The key is to experiment with these and also with box order and payingattention to keeping as many cables suspended as possible. I found the supercap was best on the bottom shelf but mine powers a superline and I have two stacks.
There’s loads of permutations, maybe your dealer can offer some advice.


interesting … hope the 252 does come on song.

Apparently the 252 is fresh back from service and had not been used since. So a burn in and patience is the only thing to take into consideration for now.
After maybe 200 hours, things will be clearer.
However we have to not forget that some prefer still the 282 vs 252, but less than the contrary .

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well the OP has a source worthy of a 252, so let’s hope it does get better soon.

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In my limited experience with my recent Naim setup including the 282 I have kept a note of how many hours are on the hifi and after about 200-250hrs things definitely sound sweeter than the first 50% of that time span. I hope for you the same happens with the 252.

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I think there are two issues in play here. One is a newly serviced item and the other is ‘upgrade’ doubt. In nearly all my Naim upgrades I have felt like you.

Two weeks after moving from a 72 to a 52 I was complaining to my dealer that it wasn’t as good. Then, after a few more weeks, I had one of those special evenings where everything snapped into focus. Same again going from a 52 to a 552. I hated it for the first week, wishing I hadn’t changed. Same thing happened.

I had my 552 back from DR’ing and servicing over six months ago and would say it’s only now just settling down. Knowing this I wouldn’t worry yet.


Give it time…it will get better. My 552 was recapped and DR’d a few years back, it took month+ before it sounded good.

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There was a bit too much verve in my system with a 282. I swapped in a 252 (along with other changes) and have been happy ever since. Of course, it depends on the rest of the electronics, the speakers, your room and ears, so as has been advised on this forum many times, you’ll need to make the final determination yourself.

But do put on some significant mileage to the serviced 252, and let your ears adjust, before reaching any conclusions.


Notwithstanding the initial wow it takes time to appreciate the improvements, often nuanced, with anything new. I’ve heard the 252 on many an occasion, it is in all regards a more polished, mature performer than the 282.




I would rather have a 252 than a 282 that I do have. The 282 is a very good preamp, but to my ears the 252 is better.

the issue is the 252 is much more demanding of the source and also setup (with the Burndy’s), but the OP has the a source capable of fronting a 252, so hoping it is just running in (which I expect is the issue)

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A lot has been already mentioned above in the thread. So let me mention my experiences from going from a 282 to a 252.

  1. The 252 is sensitive to the correct positioning and the correct installation. If done well, it’s very rewarding…, if done wrong the 252 can seem to let you down.
  2. The 282 is forward, raw and fun. The 252 is much much more sophisticated and in the beginning you might indeed have the feeling of missing out on something. However we have to realize that we have a sound signature set into our mind and if it’s an inaccurate one we still are looking at it as we have hours and hours of listening joy with that signature. However the 252 takes some time to unfold. In my case it improved rapidly after installation but came to it’s peak after months of playing. Where at once I got an additional level of magic.

Keep in mind that the 252 for me is the pinnacle of Value for Money. It’s immensely sophisticated and can also boogie when needed. Assuming your setup is good and is not flawed. I would just give it some time and perhaps have it running low level in the background to more quickly get at the magical moment…


Let us know what you decide.