282 > 252 or 552 to upgrade or not to

I understand this topic has been discussed repeatedly, but I want to ask again in the context of my specific setup. I would like to seek opinion from those who have actually gone thru this path, not just opinion in general on the basis of guessing.

Your answer is highly highly appreciated.

Need to sell 282 + HCx2 for funding

Question: Getting a 252 with


Need to sell 282 + HCx2 + CDX2 for funding

552/PS(non DR)

Due to obvious money reason, keeping 250.2 not considering power amp upgrade path for now.

Existing setup

282/250.2/HCDR + HC(non DR)
CDS3/555PS(non DR)
Ndac/XPS2(non DR)

  • CDX2 (unused for now), still like its slowness but CDS3 sound is just more refined

Not sure what you are actually asking/wanting to know?

Are you asking if you should get the 252 or 552 and asking if your other kit is suitable?

Source first then think about the rest.


Source= CDS3/555PS, 250.2 not changing.

Question is after selling 282/HCx2, which option would you take ?

Trying to optimize improvement and minimize dollar spent.

Sell the CDS3, get a Uniti Core and a NDX2 or ND555.


Personally I would look at swapping the 250.2 for a 250DR then the two HiCaps for a Supercap DR. It will be quite a different sound. Supercharged if you like and I know it’s not to everyone’s taste. You are then set to move to 252 when funds allow. I don’t think that would cost a fortune either.


@ptcm10 I was where you are now a few years ago, this was my journey - my sources are LP12 and NDX - vinyl is about 95% of play


the 252 will happily use both a non or DR SC, my plan is to DR my SC in a couple of years

for me I would get either a SC or SCDR for your 282 and get the 250.2 serviced and DR, which I think we deliver the most music and create the path to then move to either 252 or the big one!

1 Like

No doubt the 252 would be a great upgrade over the 282 but if I were you I would jump straight to a 552 if funds permit.

Good luck,



Soon you will be getting the 282 advocates along advising you to maximise your system around that. As you will see, I have a 252 and for me it was a major step up from a 282 with SCDR. At that time I also had a CDS3 (with XPS non-DR) and an LP12 as my sources, with 250.2 as the amp. Since adding the 252 I have switched to the 555CD player and the 300DR. These were significant improvements in sound, so you can go a long way with the 252, in my opinion.

I presume you have some sort of streamer that you are using with the nDac and maybe as Mike_S suggests, you might want to think about moving to a single digital source as another option later. It’s something of a dilemma for me as I have an Aries Mini plugged into the 252 and use it to check out new music via Apple Music. It’s not near CD quality but I can imagine replacing the CD player with something that is. But then I shrink from the thought of setting it all up and ripping many, many CDs.


My general philosophy of upgrading is source first, then pre amp, then power amp, all the time trying to avoid too much imbalance.

I went through all 3 pre amps (282/SuperCapDR, 252/SuperCapDR, 552 non DR) keeping my 250DR, which I still use with my 552 today. During this time I went from NDX, NDS (+ a PS), added the PS555DR, and finally ND555 with the single PS555DR.

I am constantly amazed at what a great job the 250DR does with the 552 feeding it, that’s not to say upgrading to a 300 or 500 wont bring much more. A 500 (DR hopefully) might come next.

Knowing what I know now, I would have stuck with the 282 longer until I could afford the 552 and skipped the 252.

You have a great source and the 552 will let it shine. Much will depend on how long you are prepared to wait for a good 552 non DR to come up. All that time you could have enjoyed the wonderful 252.

When I traded in my 282 for a 252 of a similar vintage it cost me little money, as, like you, I already had a SuperCapDR on the 282. But if a good 552 comes up from a reputable source, and you can afford it, I would go for it and leapfrog the 252, no hesitation. The SQ gap between a 252 and a 552 vs 282 to a 252 is way more, even with a 250DR. What I cannot advise on is if this these levels of improvement are the same with your source and 250.2.

I should add that I was fortunate enough to be able to try out all these upgrades at home as I have a superb Naim dealer nearby. Always try before you buy (or trade in) if you can.


[quote=“NigelB, post:10, topic:14265”]
The SQ gap between a 252 and a 552 vs 282 to a 252 is way more, even with a 250DR.
[/quote] < this line is very important/enlighhtening and makes me think again whether I should just skip 252 … Thank you and everyone responded.

+1 for leapfrogging the 252 and going straight from a 282 to a 552, even if you have to wait a while for the right one to come along. It’s what I did a couple of years ago, and no regrets.

That said, if you’ve heard a 252 and are convinced it could be your endgame pre, I would go that route instead (life’s too short, etc.).

I really don’t understand why you would want to keep a 250.2 at all costs. It’s not a great amp.

A pair of NAP135s is embarrassingly more musical for the money. More significantly, a DR upgrade to a 250.2, or indeed a replacement 250DR, is a far more musical amp. The 250DR is a cracker. It’s like the 250.2, except far more musically engaging, fleet of foot, resolving and tonally balanced.

The 282 is a really good pre-amp with a hicap, especially with a 250DR. It’s noticeably better with a SupercapDR. You get more calm, resolving refinement with a 252 but skip it if you can afford to and jump to any form of 552.

Oh, and I wouldn’t swap a CDS3/555PS for an NDX2. I didn’t even swap mine for an ND555, preferring a couple of alternatives for less money. But that’s the subject of another thread or two.

Hope that helps, even if I’ve been a little direct.

Best regards, BF


I appreciate your response very much. Why want to keep 250.2? The speakers I am to drive are not that demanding. For that reason, I believe the right to do is to maximize the openness of the PRE first. As such, 252 and 552 are the obvious candidates. But I didn’t know “The SQ gap between a 252 and a 552 vs 282 to a 252 is way more, even with a 250DR.” in relative terms.

The 250.2 has been described as one of Naims worst on many occasions tho i personally haven’t ever heard it to comment.

[quote=“popeye, post:15, topic:14265, full:true”]
The 250.2 has been described as one of Naims worst on many occasions tho i personally haven’t ever heard it to comment.
[/quote] I respectfully disagree, and I have heard it. It’s meaningless to say good or bad without specifying source or setup specificity. 552 can also sound bad if the source is playstation 1 - LOL

The so-called 250.2 is an excellent and capable amp. The DR upgrade makes it more open, transparent and refined.


I used a non DR 552 with a 250.2 and it was a fine match. The 552 is imo a quantum leap above the 252, I owned both. I also had your source of CDS3/555 and I agree that it will take a lot to displace this on SQ. A good record player will do it but that is another topic altogether :upside_down_face:


A £21,000 pre-amp is an improvement over a £12,000 one. This is a perennial comment on the forum. Who’d have guessed? :roll_eyes:


Yes, but reiterating how much better the 552 is over the 252 helps explain the rationale for recommending moving from 282 to 552, and skipping the 252, assuming a 552 is affordable and is fed by a great source.