282 > 252 or 552 to upgrade or not to

I found the opposite. However, I was changing from a NAC52 to NAC552, where the improvement was only subtle.

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Naim used to use this to demonstrate the statement before the ND555 came along.

I always thought it was a strange choice given that they could have used a CD555 instead.

However good the CD555 is it is limited to red book CD quality…

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I have used an NDS for a while and currently own an NDX2, from a sound performance point of view, the NDS is streets ahead of the NDX2… in my opinion. It’s in the area of clarity, precision, and feel the NDS is simply way ahead.(hardly surprising really when you look at the design)
In terms of streamer networking/service and interfacing capability and performance, the NDX2 is streets ahead of the NDS.


Yes indeed, not least when you consider that until the ND555 came along, Naim considered their top source the CD555.
In fact I heard it was a design objective of the ND555 to create a streamer that would match or surpass the CD555 playing 44.1/16 and CD respectively, having recognised that to many the NDS fell a little short.

CD replay was dead to Naim by then, so they were obviously keen to show the direction they were heading in with their streamers IMO.


I found this the most significant upgrade I’ve ever done. Not subtle at all and affected all sources to the same degree -LP12, NDS

Maybe your 552 is better than mine or my 52 was better than yours. Or maybe the differences were masked elsewhere in the audio chain, including room and ears, of course. Who knows?

If you agree with this statement (I have not made the comparison) then it goes some way to explain why Naim named it the NDX2 and not the NDS2, with the ND555 being some way ahead of a notional NDS2.

I digress.

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Interesting - I went from 52 to 552 (had nds at the time) and thought the change was bigger than could be described as “subtle”. Though all these words are pretty subjective m, of course

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I wanted to get every ounce out of the 252 and had some good moments with some more albums and some where I preferred the 282/SCDR.

Knowing what to do to get every ounce is difficult, so I did not have Powerlines everywhere or the MusicWorks With sparkly bottom. I do now.

I think the upgrade journey is very personal for the many reasons we all understand. What one is seeking can be unknown unless one has the fortune or perhaps misfortune to have friends with systems that excel across a wide range of music. I didn’t so I have somewhat stumbled on what now makes me smile.

It’s music and hearing musicians make it as if they were in the room. @PeterR’s S1 and acoustic treatment may give more of what I have, but I have enough. A soundstage that brings the music alive is so enjoyable and relaxing. It makes the music more comprehensible. I don’t need or want the volume cranked up.


…and that of course is a great place to be and something we all want for. The problems start when you start turning the wick up to 10 o’clock to get that live vibe in the room. Enjoy Phil and as always we are all a bit different when it comes to our listening habits :+1:t3: ATB Peter

Played Blue Cheer Summertime Blues today.

My wife liked it.

And didn’t tell me to turn it down.

Is the 252 Effect?



Do you still have your 552 boxed up in your house? Just in case you change your mind and turn your back on Chord… I remember not too long ago you bought a Dave and returned it in no time…

“Power is nothing without control”


Yes… Dave didn’t work into the 552250 for my ears… but I finally parted company with my 552 two weeks back.
Chord Dave into Chord amplification is a very different proposition… I am really glad I discovered it… and further Dave drives my Empyreans beautifully… it was high quality mag planar headphones that got me to revisit the Dave… and glad I did that too… it just gets me so close to certain albums, it’s like a drug.

Not having a dedicated music listening room I have different rules to obey. I do occasionally turn it up just to see.

I wouldn’t dream of advising anyone on their upgrade, but it seems helpful to relate what I like when listening rather than what I have to make it. Experiencing the performance to me encompasses everything else. I don’t understand terms like smooth, but unnatural and more to the point natural to represent the norm of reproduction that doesn’t harm the performance. All musicians want to produce enjoyable music that captures the attention. If there was only one way to interpret the musical score there would be be no point in live performances at all. Differences in reproduction can hide the subtle variations in sounds that make it worthwhile listening to different interpretations. Music and sounds are very dynamic.


Simon, have you tried the Ultima 2 pre-amp?
I understand it’s Chord’s new one to go with the Ultima power amps.

Best, BF

No… it’s on the list at some point however… but got my system sounding pretty spot on right now.

Interesting and thanks. We’ve reached the point where the system works for us musically. It does everything we want, whether from vinyl or streaming.

However, we no longer want so many boxes and nor do we want such a high level of quiescent power drain. Our system is draining at least 100W ALL THE TIME, which adds up to over 700kWh per year. That’s too much.

We are now thinking about how to find a physically less imposing and more energy efficient system that sounds just as good. It might take a while though…

Best regards, BF