At the risk of being hung, drawn and quartered, has anyone come to the conclusion to remain with a 252 after comparing 552?
Currently experimenting with a 2011 model 552 (DR’d in 2013 but not serviced) against my 2018 model NAC 252 / Supercap. The 552 is from a good home and is in unmarked and apparently pristine condition. I know it has been in constant use since 2011 though.
At present my thoughts are that there is something amiss with the sound.
My initial thoughts are (surprisingly) that the 252 is more detailed and that the 552 is at present powerful but lacking in pitch / timbre. The 552 appears to be slightly better with vocals but not by a huge margin. (Appears to add a little weight.)
My impression so far is that the 252 is giving more detail especially in the bass, and particularly in what I would call the “percussive” elements of instruments. For example the 252 is revealing subtle clues like that feeling when you can hear the touch of a finger on the guitar string ( Not the squeak as it is moved but the actual touch as the string meets the fret) It also appears to have more texture and tunefulness in the bass, with a real ability to follow every change / nuance. The 552 which has been powered up for 4 days doesn’t play bass tunes so convincingly. It all seems to be a tad dull albeit fuller in that regard. I guess less alive and less real is an apt description.
Piano notes appear more realistic on the 252 with better representation of complex decays. This is also mirrored by resonation and decay with acoustic guitar. All of this is the opposite of my experience in previous demos.
I have experimented with cable dressing and made sure I followed the Burndy de-stressing dance! Hopefully the neighbours didn’t see.
Overall there is more body to the sound with the 552 but it is clearly excluding the subtle details which are present with the 252.
All of this is counter intuitive to me !
If I keep the (bargain) 552 I would want to get it serviced and I am wondering if the slight lack of detail etc is indicative of a need for a service.
I’m confident that if serviced I can recoup the cost and I’d really like it to be spectacular. At present it is very good but underwhelming compared to the 252. That is totally at odds with my expectations as I am more than confident in the fact that it should be as detailed as the 252.
Specifically asking those who have experience of the 552 as to whether I persevere to see if it comes into it’s own or whether what I am describing might be indicative of service need?
At the end of the day I can stick with the 252 but would really like the 552 to sing!
I’ll put my tin hat on now and run for cover!