Its always difficult to define, as large sq improvement to-one person is small to another. But for me it was a big step up, with better control, timing and as if someone had wiped a window that had condensation on it…you can see or in this case hear so much more in the right system.
You’ll get a very big uplift from both the 252 and the 300, detail, scale, bass control everything. If the expenditure was comfortable it will all be worthwhile.
If its all new be prepared for a roller coaster ride for a few months. My 252 took about 3 months to settle down with good and bad days. After 3 months it also seems to keep improving but at least its all in one direction.
The 552 is also worth the extra cost providing you are comfortably off and have genuine disposable income to lay down.
But keep listening to music and the 252/300 is all you’ll ever need.
Hi @aristoweb, I echo the response of @AJK: I went through a similar journey. In the end there is more authority and detail in the sound. I also noticed that a new 252 needs quite some time before it reveals all capabilities. The 300 is super, Best be prepared for that. I cannot judge on the combo with NDS/555Dr since I use an NDX2/555Dr
I have taken a slightly different, and more controversial journey. I have gone through all the Classic pre amps from 202 to 552, but have stuck with a 250DR from 282 to 552. During this pre amp journey, I have upgraded the source, again going through the legacy and new streamers, from bare NDX to ND555 with a 555DR power supply.
Now you won’t want to hear this, but if I had my time again I would have skipped certain steps. The main component I would have leapfrogged is the 252/SuperCapDR, and would have gone from 282 to pre-loved 552. Don’t get me wrong, the 252 is a great pre amp and was a worthwhile upgrade on the 282 (I ran both with a SuperCapDR). But the 552 Is something special and even the modest 250DR can appreciate its finer points.
We all know the real sticking point with the 552 is it’s price. I was fortunate enough to come across a pre-loved example from a dealer. Pre-loved 552s are rare and may not be available where you live.
Having said all this, your upgrade is entirely logical and I am sure you will appreciate a significant uplift in SQ, when everything has been run in.
Wow, how do you summarise what the 552 brings above the 252?
Well the 552, to these ears, combines the exuberance and excitement of the 282 with the subtlety and mellifluousness (there’s a word I have never used) of the 252, and then some. Everything is so much more natural with a 552 in control, allowing the listener to relax. But the 552 is never boring and will have you on the edge of your seat, when the music calls for it. Frequency extremes are more extended but the 552 always remains in control.
So much has been written about the 552 on here and on the old forum. Maybe you could do some searching, but as you have committed to the 252/300, why bother. I am sure you will get huge pleasure from that combination and it might be all you will ever need or want.
Yes, but the 282’s exuberance can trip over into harshness on some tracks. The 252 takes better control, but never sits on the music. Believe me, the 252 can wack you around the head (in a good way) when the music calls for it. The 300DR is also a perfect match for the 252DR IMHO.
I know there is some disagreement over the 282 and 252, but for me the 252 is more musical and is the better pre.
Well written, I came to the same conclusion when I had a couple of long demo’s several years ago when upgrading my Olive system to the new black boxes eventually choosing th 252…My 252 was originally used with a 250dr but I upgraded to a 300dr after a couple of years.
My original source as a NDX/XPSdr which I upgraded to a ND555 a couple of years ago, changed the speakers to Titan T606s last year.
My ND555 has had a couple of problems and I have used both a NDS and NDX2 in recent months the 252 is at a level that allows you to clearly hear the benefits of the ND555 over both the NDX2 and NDS.
Also having a 252 in my system as it stands make my next upgrade option a very easy choice should I decide to climb further up the Naim ladder.
This is what I did. I’ve tended to find most upgrades underwhelming (relative to their reviews), and so I suspected that a 252 would leave me wanting. As a Statement is out of the question, and I’ve no interest in leaving the Naim fold any time soon, a 552 was the only option.
It took me about a year to find an elderly, unserviced 552 of known provenance (I’m in the U.S.), which I then sent off to AV Options for the full monty service and DR update. No regrets: if I don’t downgrade (always a possibility), and if I don’t peer over the fence, it’ll probably see me out.
Specifics aside, I would encourage anyone with an endgame in mind to plan their journey there in the fewest, biggest steps possible. At the very least, in the Naim universe, upgrade in two steps at a time rather than one (202 -> 252, 282 -> 552, etc.), if financially feasible.
@aristoweb in my journey and to where I am now, I think the 252/SCDR/300DR is one of the finest musical conbinations in the NAIM range
I too like others have moved through the range in my ownership - be prepared to wait for a about 4 weeks (esp if new) for the 252 to come fully on song, I moved from 282/SC to 252/SC and the difference in musical detail is worth the upgrade, thats not taking anything away from 282 but the 252 is a superb pre AMP
IMO the difference will also be efident in the move to 300DR = to me its the finest ££ for ££ AMP in the NAIM line up