333 and 222

I would be very interested in the perspective of anyone who has had a good demo, or direct experience, that compared the 333 to the 222. As best I can glean from the Naim literature the primary difference seems to be the inclusion of more input options on the 333 although the 222 seems pretty comprehensive. There does not seem to be much information about more technical differences in such as the DAC, power supply etc, although some on the long New Classic thread have noticed a difference in SQ. I am sure I am missing something and would be happy to hear peoples’ opinions/experiences. Thanks so much.

I have home demoed both. Sound quality is much better on 332 for me. Bear in mind that 332 is a dedicated pre amp it has no streamer, dac or digital inputs and also no built in phono stage

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Thanks so much. You made me realize that I meant to ask about comparisons between the 333 and 222 and I have edited my original post to get that right. Thanks again!

I’ve a demo of 222/300/250 vs. 333/332/250, both into Spendor D7.2 speakers, set for Friday Jan. 12th. Whilst I’m confident the 300 series configuration will sound better/different, I need convincing it’s worth the extra in the short term. Longer term I might migrate towards a 300 series if I go 222/250 to start with, or choose to add the NPX and finish there.

I’ll report back on my findings.

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The 333 is just a streamer and it is much better than the streamer section in the 222. I did hear it briefly played through a 222 in my dealers when the 333 first arrived. The 222/300 is amazing for the money but is well beaten by a bare 332 and 333 which costs a lot more. I heard these pairing with the NC250 and 350 power amps into SCM40s. The 222/300 and NC 250 were fully run in, whilst the 300 series kit was about a week old when I heard the combination. If I were to make the step up, I think I would go for the 332/333 first and later get the 350s. I doubt I will, what I might try though is 2 NPX300s on my 222.

So I’m guessing that although you thought the bare 333/332 was far better than the 222/300 you didn’t think it was worth the extra cost?

I would be interested in this comparison (of the DACs side mostly I imagine?) but not sure why the 332 would be involved as this introduces another element? Would it not be 333 into the 222 and compare?

Paul, thanks so much. I have passive ATCs now too and they are really excellent. I heard them driven by both the 250 and a pair of 350s and I think my conclusions were similar to yours. They don’t have a 332 to demo at the moment. Thanks again.

Are you trying to just compare the streaming capabilities of the 222 in comparison to the 333? If so your post makes sense otherwise you’re not really comparing like for like unless you consider a full 200 v 300/250 system?

I have done a back to back listen of 222/300/250 v 333/332/250 and the latter was clearly better; and I only listened to 3 tracks each (and speakers were FACT 12 Signatures).

333/332 was more resolving and smoother; but it’s all relative. 222/300 front end still sounded great…

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Thanks Sinewave. I use vinyl, CD and streaming and I thought the 332 would do all of those like the 222 does. Maybe I am mistaken.

Whilst the 332 is a pure ‘analogue’ preamp; it doesn’t have a phono stage so you would need to budget for that also - Naim will happily charge you £2600 for the matching NVC TT phono stage if you’re feeling flush!

If I had the spare cash and space for two racks I would have definitely gone for it. As I don’t, I am sticking with my current system, which is excellent, especially for LPs now that I have an NVC TT and NPX TT for my LP12/Ittok/XX2mk2.

The 2xNPX300 is a demo I think would be well worth doing.

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What amplification are you thinking of pairing with the 333?

I listened to the 222/250 compared to my 282/250.2 and easily decided they weren’t going back to the shop. There’s no streaming on the 282 so I’m comparing CD playback. I added a 300 to the 222 and jumped with joy. Had the rest of the 300 series not existed I would have paid my money and been a happy man.

Streaming wise, I found that 333/332/250 improved things over the 222/300/250 in all respects. In essence, it was so much more musical and involving.

The CD player which had connected to the 222 now connected to the 332, so it isn’t a like-for-like comparison.


Thanks so much; this is exactly the sort of experience I was looking for. To answer your question it would go with a 250 although I think the ATCs would sound terrific with a pair of 350s (eventually).

More knowledgeable heads than mine will prevail, but I don’t think you can wire in a 333 directly to the 250, or the 350. You will need to factor in a preamp like the 332.

When people say 250, which edition do they mean exactly ?
Is there six or seven editions by now ?

yes, related to this in a way was my question above that if to best (or more directly) compare the 222 and 333, one should connect the 333 to the 222 and listen with and without the 333 (everything else the same)

To be clear - and I think there is confusion in this thread - the 222 is a streaming preamp. It is a streamer combined with preamp functions. At 3 series level the streamer and pre-amp have been separated into the 333 and 332. I apologise if I am stating what you already know!

Thanks Clive. There is indeed confusion and it is my fault! I had assumed that the 332 was the 300 series version of the 222 but now I understand that the preamp and streamer are separate when you move to the 300 series. So I guess you need both the 333 and 332 to get the same basic functions as the 222.