52 Preamp/supercap DR upgrade

Hi - I am looking to replace my NAC 72/NAP140 with a second hand 52 Preamp/Supercap DR. (I use an ND5 XS streamer and CD2). Wondering if there will be any issues connecting these 2 components into this system regarding plugs etc?


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You won’t have any compatibility issues but get ready for plenty of posts about needing a better front end for a 52.

It’s useful to put your system in your profile. It will help people provide advice. To that end, what speakers do you have?


Speakers are Epos ES 14

Very wise - the new ones are quite hard to come by these days.

Seriously, though - if you are going to invest in a 52 it will expose any weaknesses in your sources.

Get ready to sell them both and get the best single Naim source you can afford.

I sold my Rega TT and Naim CDP years ago and focussed on developing an excellent Naim streaming front end only.

I use a serviced SuperCap 2 to power my 52.

I would not waste money on a SuperCap DR as that’s not what the 52 was designed to work with.

As regards cable, I can recommend a Naim Hi-Line from source to 52.

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Obviously, a 52/SuperCap will not replace your 140.

If you sell your 72 and keep your sources, power amp and speakers you would have a severely unbalanced system.

Then your preamp will cost about £4k and the rest of your system will cost about £2.5k.

The NAC 52 will outperform all your other components and frankly you will never hear what this wonderful preamp is capable of.

See if you can get a 52ps rather than a supercap. They are said to be much better. In what way, i have no idea.

Sincerely hope not!
I’ve just bought a 52/SuperCap for my system (replacing a 72/HiCap).

Have you ever compared a 52 with both of those power supplies?

Otherwise you are just spreading rumours.

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No, and absolutely. Although i’d like to try.

I’d ask the question first - what’s wrong with what you have? It’s a great system.
If you feel you’re missing something start with the front end - NDX/NDX2 before considering the 52/SC.

I started with a similar setup - ND5 XS/102/180/SBLs - the 52 is stunning but does need a great source.


So what would be a good match of similar vintage regarding a power amp for the 52/supercap? Assuming I upgrade my streamer?

A lot of people on the forum use a pair of NAP 135 monoblocks.

Or a 250.

If you bought a really good Naim streaming source (or CDP), and a 52 and 135s - then you mind would inevitably turn to whether your speakers were suitable for that system.

I went this way quite recently too with a freshly serviced 52 and Supercap, to replace a 72 with hicap, and couldn’t be happier

I currently use with a pair of 135s but would have done the swap if I was using the 180 that they replaced, accepting there would have been an imbalance for a while but the same is possibly true of my system whilst the 135s were fed by the 72

I don’t think you can go wrong with the 52, it’s a lovely amp, although once purchased you may want to consider other parts of the system in the future

For me that’s just part of the journey and one I’m still enjoying as, at some point in the future, my SBLs may give up the ghost and I’ll be forced to think about the next step

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Of course you could even use a NAP500, which was originally developed and demonstrated with the NAC52. The NAC52 is a very good preamp, which represents excellent VFM these days. According to my ears, it’s only a whisker behind the NAC552.


I second this. I can’t comment on the ND5 XS, but I moved from a bare NDX as my only source
with 82/250 to a NDX/52/250 and it worked very well. The introduction of the 52 with the NDX as a source was a milestone for me as it was the first time I couldn’t really fault any aspect of the systems performance. It just sounded right. I felt I could have happily left it at that if I didn’t have the means to upgrade further.

Was that with SBLs?

Yes it was. I’ve had SBLs now for many years. Originally I had a pair with mk1 mid/bass drivers, which I had with the ndx/52/250. About 3 years ago I came a pristine pair with mk2 drivers going at a very attractive price.

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Interested to know if they re worth the change - mine are Mk1 & it’s on the list to get a second pair of Mk2s - just in case :slightly_smiling_face:

My motivation for the change was for the cabinet as well as the new drivers. My mk1s are black ash, my mk2s are walnut. The new driver gave a noticeable improvement to the sound performance but not what I’d consider an upgrade, for instance as the improvement that the move from the 82 to the 52 represented.

I have done exactly the same thing. My original Mk1s are in a cupboard in case my refurbished Mk2s ever give up.