552 preamp

What can I expect if I move to the 552 from my 252.?

Hi loads of stuff on this if you search on the forum. But my take is a lot more dynamism, detail, greater soundstage, the 552 is a phenomenal pre.

But most you’ll have a lot less in your bank account.




Upgraded from a 252 to a 552 in my system (see details) three months ago as Lindsay said it is a phenomenal pre amp indeed.

Incredible detail, clarity, dynamics with an astonishing soundstage just more of everything really.


I’d like to be able to tell you, and will as soon as mine arrives.


I moved from 252 to 552 around 18 months and I’m still hearing things I’ve never heard before in very familiar music. It is just top to bottom better than the 252.

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Unless you are luck enough to own an S1 Naim’s 552 preamp is likely to be your endgame. I’ve had mine for around 4 years and with DR’ing installed it’s about as transparent and musical as you can get. Every CD, record or streamed piece of music becomes a bit of an adventure and before you know it several hours have passed.

When the system is given a really good source it will weave it’s magic and place you in the recording studio or the front row of a live venue. Feed it a less than perfect source and it will still sound good but that holographic image of real musicians in your front room will become a bit hazy and your concentration will start wander.

Many forum members on here will tell you that the 552 preamp is the best piece of equipment Naim makes.


The 552 is more upfront than 252 which is more laid back…you will find that initially it will appear brighter…but it is not as simple as that the 552 appears to let allot more information through…which initially (this is my experience) comes across as bright…the bass is very fast and agile…and the midband is quite explicit. The whole presentation gels to give you a very rhythmically charged result…if you like prat. I am sure you will enjoy it…it will expose your source relentlessly so that needs to be as good as you can get…


Sounds like a 282!


Yeah sort of…but with more of everything!!! much more…

At a whole lot less !

I went 282, 252 and, in the end, 552. I really liked the liveliness and attack of the 282. As noted above, the 552 is the end of the line unless you have vast resources. It’s my stopping point and I am happy to be there


If I am not mistaken, people who have tried all 282, 252 and 552 reported on the dynamic, liveliness and attack of the 282 and slightly laidback sound with reduced dynamics of the 252 in comparison to 282 and 552. Only those who tried the 282 and 252 (but not the 552) felt that the latter is not short of liveliness and dynamics.

Based on experiences on the forum, this is what I observe;

282 - dynamic, lively, attack
252 - slightly reduced aspects of the above with added clarity, detail and refinement
552 - combined strengths of 282 and 252


My (nearly) 20 year old 552, DR’d and recapped a few years ago, is the centerpiece of my system. The 552 makes the most of every source, good or bad. It demands you pay attention, it does not create background music. I go against Naim dogma and believe its more important than a source… I know Heresy! But once you own a 552 you understand there’s no longer a roadblock in your system… music just flows, all the details are there. It’s magic.


As everyone above says, we have all been on a journey through Naim’s very capable preamps from the 202 and ending up at the masterpiece 552. It’s as good as it gets unless you have buckets of spare cash for an S1.
It’s the centrepiece of a wonderful system that will let you hear your music on a whole new level. You should get one as soon as possible. Expect an uneven break-in period of a few weeks and then settle in to the task of re-listening to your music collection. Enjoy the task.


I have heard 3 552/500 systems now, all DR, all fronted by a Chord Dave.

They all sounded different.

Because of the speakers.

the one I thought least rhythmic (after all for me at least, Naim is about rhythmic ability) was the one with Harbeth speakers.

Speakers also have their own rhythmic ability, and even a 552 cannot compensate for that.

I came home and heard my 282 and 202 system with Dynaudio’s and although the dynaudios are not perfect, they have an abundance of rhythmic ability.

on the Harbeth I was struggling to get my foot tapping, on my Dynaudio’s with a much less able preamp (202), the rhythm was very easy to hear and enjoy.

my opinion and experience … hope it helps.

Preamp is not everything.

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Which Harbeth speakers? Just curious.

An extra Line Out/Unity Gain Out and programmable inputs were compelling advantages of the 552, to me.

Unique in the Naim lineup.


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M40… whatever the qualities of that speaker, it just seems to remove the reason to own a Naim amplifier.

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I think you probably meant 40.1?

yes… the reason I added my post, was because my observations over the last 12 years listening to a lot of Naim systems, some set up properly, some not, some with rhythmic speakers, and some with speakers without an abundance of that ability.

simply put, I would rather much have a 282 with a speaker that has that ability than a 552 and a speaker without rhythm.

I could have bought a 552 as some great deals came along, but did not… as I am happy with the synergy of what my system does.

this is not going to be a popular view… but getting a system to work together is far more important (in my view) than going up the Naim ladder.

I think Naim understand this very well when they made/make everything from source, amplifiers to speakers - even the speaker cable and banana plugs.