282 > 252 or 552 to upgrade or not to

Having only come from a Supernait2 to using a still relatively modest 282 using just a bare NDX2, I have been amazed at the difference.
This is why I feel the NDX2 doesn’t get enough credit for how good it really is in my opinion.
A superior pre isn’t going to make a source sound worse than it is but it will deliver everything that it can possibly provide.

Not sure I’d describe a 282 as relatively modest!:grinning:


Well it feels like everyone these days on here is either using a 252,552 or an S1! :joy:


They keep raising the stakes, Nait 2 anyone?

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I’d agree Simon. As I detailed earlier in this topic, I upgraded from a full XS system to a top level classic system by upgrading source then pre then power. Each step improved the sound but dropping the 300 in brought about the biggest improvement. I don’t however think the 300 was the best upgrade, it was simply the one that allowed me to hear what the whole system was doing.

Next up was changing out the 252 to a 552 and again the improvement was very good. I’m currently in the process of replacing my NDS with an ND555. Impressive though the ND555 is, I feel the pre amp upgrade gave a bigger improvement.


From my experience I’m not really surprised :+1:t3: ATB Peter

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If the cost difference is similar and you don’t think the ND555 is doing that much over the NDS, have thought about upgrading the 300 to a 500 instead? The 552 & the 500 really are a great pairing. The 500 isn’t just about extra power, it has that obviously but it’s the extra transparency, dynamics, scale and realism too. Well worth thinking about before upgrading a great source for another great source.

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The NDX2 gets plenty of credit for how it sounds on here. It is now the top level classic series source since the NDS was superseded by the new platform streamers. By inference it should be good enough to use with the 252 and I’m sure there are some that are using it with a 552.

What you are describing is how much better it sounds with a better amplifier which is exactly @Simon-in-Suffolk’s point earlier.

It can also be improved further by using an external power supply.

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You misunderstand me, I am referring to as a bare unit. The general opinion it to add a power supply to the NDX2 prior to looking at preamp or power amp upgrades but I don’t personally agree with that now.
I am saying as a bare unit it can hold its own and shouldn’t be ruled out with higher ranged Pre’s.

If and when I am looking at the next upgrade, I would want to hear a 555dr inserted to my system and possibly a 552dr with my NDX2 bare.
Be interesting.

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No. I agree. The bare NDX2 should be good enough to hold its own with a 252 as it is the top source in the classic range.

Further improvement can then be gained by adding an external power supply. How good this sounds through a 552 I don’t know.

Many say it isn’t far off an NDS, some say it is better. For a long time the NDS was Naim’s best streamer and was used at HiFi shows with 500 series and Statement level amplification until the ND555 came along so the NDX2 should sound ok with a 552 but I suspect that if you are running an NDX2/555PS with a 552 it won’t be long before curiosity to try the ND555 takes hold.

Sorry @RackKit I do think the ND555 is a significant improvement over the NDS but I got a big improvement when I upgraded the 252 to the 552 which I think was more than when I change the source. I can definitely better understand the differences between the NDS and ND555 as I’ve had a demo ND555 here for a couple of months thanks to the lockdown and my NDS. For the 252 to 552 differences I’m relying on memory.

I’m at a tricky stage now. A new ND555 is on order so that is a done deal. My next step is either upgrade speakers (my current ones are PMC 20.26’s which were recently ridiculed on here as being not good enough for my electronics) or the power amp. I could of course just stick.

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I must agree I’m using a 252 with a ND555 as source over the lat twelve months or so I have had a couple of problems with my ND555 on the first occasion the dealer installed a NDS to use whilst it was away and a NDX2 on the second occasion.

In my system, room and my ears the ND555 is clearly the better source by far hopefully will be looking at a 552 later in the year.

What was your opinion on the NDS vs NDX2 ?

The sources on my 252 are NDX2/XPSDR and a Clearaudio Ovation/Universal/DVXV-1s turntable with SuperLine. These make me happy, and there’s nothing missing that makes me want to upgrade to anything else. It’s a wonderfully balanced and musical system.


Well, I added an XPS DR to my NDX2 with my SN2, the difference was an immediate and substantial improvement. To my mind, that demonstrates source first is the way to go, with a SN2 easily delivering the improvements form adding the power supply to the streamer. There does seem to be a tendency to upgrade amps before the best is ever got out of them. It seems more logical to build from the foundations onwards.


XPS DR on a SN2? That can’t be right. Do you mean HCDR or SCDR? Or XPS DR on something else?

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Maybe the tide is changing and “Pre” should be thought of as pre source when thinking about moving forward…

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I fixed it, the XPS DR is on the NDX2 with a SN2 for amplification, with a HiCAP :+1:

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A tough choice indeed if you take into account the new streaming platform but I would probably go for the NDX2 taking into account of how much I use Qobuz.

It’s about the delivery of the best cleanest signal to the pre-amp. Adding the XPS DR will deliver a better signal to the pre-amp. Then improving the pre-amp will process that signal better to the amp.