282 > 252 or 552 to upgrade or not to

It will also depend on what music you like… which is?

Will it ? Greater resolution with greater bandwidth would make all music sound better, no?

Since going for a 552 seems an option, I would take it, especially if you buy one used or ex-demo. That way you get to listen to better kit earlier, you will skip one or more steps in trading that save you money (esp if buying some stuff new) and the reality is that a used 552 will not lose much if anything. So it ties up cash, but not necessarily costs it…

I recently did this sort of upgrade (mostly on demo) and so whilst the spend was large, I’ve overall saved myself a lot of intermediate cost steps.

The responses here make sense. As the OP is considering the 552 and can clearly stretch for it despite the higher price, the answer is pretty clear. Don’t waste time messing around with half-baked options at the middle. :grin:

CDS3/555PS/552/250.2 should be one helluva system. I’d skip the bits in the middle in your position.

Plenty of folk paired CDS3/XPS2 with a 552 years ago (pre CD555) and I don’t remember hearing many who weren’t happy with that combo.

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[quote=“RackKit, post:25, topic:14265”]
CDS3/555PS/552/250.2 should be one helluva system
[/quote] < :gem: :raised_hand: on that setup (whoever understands what that means, no need to ask what it is)

I take your general point, but one of the great strengths of the 552 is its ability to get the very best out of any source, however humble. Adding a 552 to your system will lift all your sources up.

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And the fabled PlayStation 1 (SCPH 1001) had a high quality DAC and was a rather good player, though maybe not on par with a CDS3.

The answer to me is quite simple in the context of the OP’s system


I think the OP, if he can afford it, should skip the 252 AND the 552 and jump straight to a Statement Pre :grin:



I am not ideally placed to comment as I have never owned a 282. My suspicion however, is that the sound signature from the 282 will have a certain brightness which may seem to go missing from the 252 (which I have owned). Personally, I loved the combination from my then cds3/ xps2/ 252/ 300. A truly lovely organic sound. The 552 replaced the 252 and introduced a different level of transparency (and bass come to think of it!). My suspicion being that if you are used to the sound signature of the 282, you may well find the 252 initially very tame sounding and, in a side by side audition with a 552, very easy to dismiss. If you want to consider a 252 please be prepared to slightly retune your hearing to the smoother presentation of the 252 - there will still be detail in spades, but the initial dynamic may seem less impressive from the off.



I’ve recently home demo’d a 252 against my 282 (already have the SCDR). I wouldnt say the 282 is bright at all. I would say it’s a little vague in detail and imagery in comparison to the 252. To my ears the 252 is more precise. Everything is more focused. To me its more detailed and composed - less hifi and more real. It is, however, less forward than the 282 for sure.
Others feel differently of course and maybe it depends on the context of the system (sources/speakers). In my system the 252 just sounds right. It’s a keeper.



I think we are more or less saying the same thing! I say slightly bright, you say slightly forward. All relatively speaking. I was cautioning against reaching a conclusion on the 252 too quickly when demoing against a 552. I found the cds3/ 252/ 300 a very satisfying combination. It was only curiosity which got the better of me!



Agreed. I’d also caution against reaching a decision too quickly when comparing the 282 and 252.

I had the 252 in my system for 10 days before switching back to the 282. Have lived with the 282 for 15yrs and it is a fine Pre. Nevertheless, once I had switched back to the 282 it was little more than a day before I felt compelled to put the 252 back in.

The 252 is now on order and there will be a wait. In the meantime I continue to have the use of my dealers 252 unless and until he has need of it.

It’s unlikely I’ll ever be able to replace the 252 with a 552 so I wont be going there.


Well, I still do and I certainly don’t complain!



I give it a year … :smile:


It’s not that simple, particularly where 282 vs 252 is concerned, or even the former with 2xHicap or 1xSupercap, etc.

I’d be inclined to jump to the 552, like many others posting here - indeed that is actually what I did - but I’d be reluctant to advise that without an understanding of the bigger picture from the OP’s standpoint

Nah… the next thing, were there to be one, would be a NAP300. Right now I’m going to quit whilst I am ahead. There have been a number of significant upgrades in the last 18months, thanks to a very patient and understanding wife. There are other things we need spend our money on.


Unless you have an extremely bright listening room, I would go straight to 552 and be done with it :+1:t3: ATB Peter

282 = HiFi.
252 = Music.
552 = Musicians playing music in your room.

While I’m generally in the source first camp, this one is a bit more tricky. The CDS3/XPS2 is my favourite Naim CDP and it clicks beautifully with the 252/300. I don’t like the presentation of the CD555, technically superb though it is. If you must stick with CD replay you’ve got the right tools for the job. Although you are missing out on a lot of fun.

A used NDS/555PS with or without DR would be my first upgrade, followed by the 282. But that’s down to personal taste and experience. There is no telling how your room will play what you put in it until you hear it for yourself. I regard the NDS as the spiritual successor to the CDS3. They have a kind of familiar and similar balance to their presentations, although the NDS is way more musically capable.

The NDS will also better exploit the remarkable, almost magical detail retrieval and musical coherence that a 552 will supply, if and when you get to it. A CDS3 into a 552 would be waste of potential, but on the other hand, it would sound amazing (from personal experience).

You’ve set yourself a choice which in some respects is difficult, maybe impossible to resolve. I think you can do better than the 282 at its price point but it is nevertheless a capable pre for the asking price. I’ve heard a 282 with a SuperCap into a 300 which made a lot more sonic sense. A 250 will hold it back. Full disclosure - I think the 250 is an poor effort from Naim. Past the 282, you’re potentially throwing in two other amps which are peerless. And all three sound very different to each other.

When you go up the range beyond 282 or 250, you don’t get more of the same, or the same but better. None of these amps sound remotely the same, which they shouldn’t, given their cost differences.

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