552/552PS question

Hi all, I have an opportunity to purchase a used 552/552 PS DR. The PSU was not originally a DR model but was upgraded (and also recapped) by AV Options back in 2014.

My questions are: 1) is there anything about the upgraded PSU model that is somehow inferior to a factory spec DR unit or are they functionally the same?

  1. how long is a recap good for? The S/N of the preamp, which has not yet been recapped, is 248560 which puts it at 2007. Am i looking at an expensive recap soon?

I really appreciate the group’s feedback as this is a significant purchase as I’m sure you all know :smiley:

The DR upgrade now forces a service at the same time so maybe get them serviced as the DR upgrade did not service the components at the same time previously unless the customer specified it. Then it will be good as new (apart from the aged components they don’t change during service but on that basis they should be fine for the lifetime of the product)

There are no DR parts in the 552 preamp, so the service will usually entail replacing a few tants and caps, plus a thorough check that everything conforms to specification. Once done you’ll have another 15 years on the clock and will sound pretty much the same as if you had just spent £25k on a new one.

If this is true - that the 552PS was DR’ed and re-capped, then its been serviced - and is good to go for another 12 to 15 years. It should - I believe - now be identical to a factory built DR version.

The 552 itself, being from 2007, is now in the 12 to 15 year range that Naim recommend for being serviced (for ‘Black’ units). On cost, my only comparison would be my 82, which cost GP£219 to service, at Class A in the UK, in 2014.

Were AV options a Naim service centre?

According to the AV Options website, they are “the only 3rd party authorized Naim Audio restoration center in the USA”.

AV Options is owned and run by Chris West who worked at the Naim factory back in the chrome bumper years and then moved Stateside and, along with Chris Koster, distributed Naim for a number of years as Naim Audio North America (NANA for short).

Personally, I would have complete confidence in any piece of Naim kit serviced by Chris. He’s also a member of the forum, an all round top bloke, and posts here from time to time.

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Is this the same Chris who works his special magic on the Nait 2

Chris West knows more about Naim than anyone in the US and is a nice guy as well.

Another thumbs up for Chris West and AV Options.

I had the full monty AV Options recap and DR done a couple of years ago. A brand new 552 was/is out of my reach, so decided to take the time to track down a used model. After a year, my dealer found me a 2003 model of known provenance. I lived with that for a while, then sent it off to Chris for some tlc.

The upshot of all this was that, in return for a dollop of patience, I got a 552 that’s every bit as good as new for about 2/3 retail. Given that sample variability is real (admittedly more a thing with older Naim gear), and given how painstaking AV Options are, it’s even possible that the path you’ve chosen may land you with a better than new 552.

Pre-COVID, the process left me without my 552 for several months. If you haven’t already done so, I’d recommend verifying with Chris that he has the necessary parts in stock before sending your kit off.

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