252 vs 552

Oh my life don’t say that :joy:!

The misses will leave me if I spend any more money on the hifi haha!

I’m her words when she had a listen… ‘doesn’t give me goosebumps anymore… send it back’ :disappointed:


goosebumps are a very good indicator for many things… :smiley:


Ouch! I do subscribe to the belief that things Naim improve over time, certainly that’s been my experience. Whether it’s me getting used a new presentation, or electronic burn in is another question however! Either way, hopefully goosebumps will be back in short order!

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I’ve recently gone from 252DR to 552DR and noticed a big difference straight away. Better definition and clarity providing a bigger sound stage.
I play mine through a 300DR and I’m happy with this amp.
Part of the reason I’m happier with the 552DR maybe due to the fact I’ve also upgraded my speakers to Kudos 707s and they are excellent.


It just gets better over a few weeks. Mine was amazing for the first few hours, then was hit and miss for quite a few weeks but the hits were getting more frequent than the misses after a few weeks. Now it sounds great all the time, and to my ears its very clearly better in every way than the 252 I had before it.


I went from NAC52/SuperCap to NAC552DR whilst retaining my NAP135s. I’d say it took just over a week for the 552 to warm up fully, but it was not the step change I was expecting. I wondered whether I had just been super lucky with my 52 and had a really good one.

However, it was when I added a NAP500 that I had the ‘wow’ moment. I’d always thought 135s were good, but the 500 absolutely blew those away, with so much more scale and presence. So, as others have suggested, I wonder if the 552 needs the 500 to show what it can really do? But then I also wonder if I’d have enjoyed the same benefit if I’d retained the 52 with the 500? I shall never know now, but the 500 was, of course, originally developed and demonstrated with a 52.


My comment may not be relevant since I don’t own the 252 or 552. Nevertheless, based on my experience it can be a case of matching specifically the quality of the other partnering component (source) or speakers in the system which may be the culprit to the less than stellar sound quality of the 552. A higher level gear in this case 552 is usually regarded to be more transparent. If the source or speakers are limiting the potential of the 552, the perceived differences between the 252 and 552 would be minimal. Just a possibility other than break-in of the 552 that’s being discussed here.

My experience above is based on a recent change of the source in my system. All the while I assumed the slight unnatural human voice I was getting is the inherent character of the speakers. The new source component addressed the issue with human voice reproduction. In the case of 252 vs 552, the latter may respond or perhaps shine more with select ancillary equipment. I think this was brought up by someone above who uses Kudos 606.

I went from a 300dr/252 to a 500dr/552 at the same time. The combination was a big difference, as it should be. Earlier in my upgrade patch I had gone from a 272/250dr to the 300dr/252 and to my ears did not notice any real difference.

I posted a similar conundrum a few weeks ago. I have since had the 552 serviced and there is a considerable upturn in performance albeit still running in. I’m still not 100 percent convinced though. (But maybe 75 percent there. )
I think as others have said, if like me you have aspirations for a 500 then it is clearly a no brainer. However, with the 250 or 300 as an end game power amp I think it depends to great degree on aspirations for the system in future against synergy with other components in the context of the current system and listening environment. I know several people are happily running the 552 into a 250, including NigelB in the past. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be what you seek for your system in your room but I hope it is!
We all try to optimise the sound for the room at the end of the day and whilst some can tweak with room treatment that is not always practical. It may be that the 252 does that better in the context of your room.
There is though, I am sure, also an acclimatisation factor in respect of one’s own hearing I am sure and that is where I am now.
It will be interesting to see how things develop for you. Hope it suddenly all comes good and brings much enjoyment!

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Oh… naked 272 or PS added?

There is something very badly wrong with a system that includes a 252/300 if it doesn’t sound loads better than a 272/250. There are many places that issue could be, such as the source, room, unserviced gear etc. etc. but something isn’t right there.


It had an xpsdr. As to the difference between the 272/250 and 300/252 I just didn’t hear it, but the jump to the 500 series was immediate and once it was run in was even better.

When I went from 252DR/250DR to 552 (non DR)/250DR, there was a significant improvement in all the important (to me) areas, although I knew the 552 was being compromised by the 250DR, which was being pushed to the limits of its capability.

I then skipped the 300 and went straight to the 500DR, as I wanted my end-game amplifier and the 552 and 500 work to their optimum when paired together. And blimey, what an upgrade that was. I could hear the synergy (sorry, an over-used word) between the pre and power amp.

The pre amp and power amp upgrades all happened with a ND555 as my source, and MA GX300 Gold speakers, so I know the source wasn’t holding anything back through the upgrades, but suspect my speakers are now the bottleneck.

I can’t comment on what improvement in SQ a 552/500 would bring over a 552/300, as I have never owned a 300 power amp. For the same reason I can’t say what DRing the 300 would bring. All I can say is a 552 paired with a 500 is fabulous.


252DR to 552DR was a marked improvement in all directions using 300/SL2s. Slight adjustment to the SL2s (inch further apart) and everything snapped into place.

I would never buy anything I might want to upgrade in the future. So if you think you might eventually want the 552, get it now. My only reservation about the particular 552 you are looking at is that you won’t be able to get it upgraded to DR (Naim has discontinued DR upgrades).

Wow. So either you have never upgraded a single item of your system, and never will / or you have made some bad choices along the way :slight_smile:

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It would be wise for him to avoid absolutes …

Are you sure this is true? I understood that although it was no longer possible to have the DR upgrade in isolation, it was still possible if requested at the same time as a service.

That was before the discontinuation. There was a thread about it and his was the actual information that was sent to dealers, which was indeed discontinuation:

Thanks, I had missed that thread. Fortunately for me, it’s not an issue as all my units are already DR, but I’m surprised that there wasn’t a warning with a short time window to allow those who hadn’t yet upgraded their kit to do so.