A little suggestion for Naim hierarchy

I am very content with my NDX2/SN3 single boxes solution and appreciate that Naim upgrading is feasible due to high residual value…BUT…
I am all for keeping the Donegal producers of transformers in work (very much so), but the upgrade path seems a little wasteful.

It seems that there is a journey towards the best sound and the ultimate system which involves pre-amps, power amps and power supplies. With this being the case, should Naim perhaps bring 500 series principles to the classic series?

Just like the 500 series streamer requires a separate PSU to function, should that principle not be followed on the classics? If each streamer, pre-amp amp power amp required a separate PSU to function, surely the path would be realised by a sliding scale of available PSUs?

Rather than buying a 250 for example with a very good Power supply in-built, would it not be better to have a reduced price 250 or indeed same price but upgraded power amp performance, and a requirement for a PSU?

Adding a PSU to a 250 makes half of the 250 box redundant, surely better to have a lighter box.

I appreciate that Naim (mercifully) do not release incremental changes as new products each year, but perhaps modernisation could have a new classic line without internal PSUs.

Over to you good people…

That would be a 300.


Thanks HH, but being lazy about reading up on all Naim products, is there a matching streamer and pre?

The 282 does not have a PSU built in, it comes with a NAPSC to power the ancillary circuits, but requires an external power supply for the pre-amp circuitry. This can be from a 200 power amp, or from Flatcap/HiCap/Supercap.
The 252 requires a Supercap to work.
The power-amps aren’t upgradeable with an external PSU, the 250 can’t take a PSU and the 300/500s both come with their paired PSU?
There aren’t that many boxes with internal transformers and the option to add another external PSU. The NDX2 and 272 spring to mind, not sure I can think of any others.
EDIT. X Sorry I was thinking separates. The integrated amps also have transformers and optional external PSUs, as well as the option to use just the pre or power section. The Unitis don’t, but you can use an external power amp and thus have duplicate power amps.

Some people just want the one box. Crazy, I know…

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It’s how I ended up with Naim. Not that I minded having many boxes, I minded having to have specialized furniture / having to choose furniture around it!

Regarding upgrade paths, I hate them. A lot of wasted money. I long ago decided to stop upgrading components, I just wait until I’ve saved up enough to replace the whole lot. Consider each component and then decide if the improvement over the ‘old’ stuff is worth the expense.

I agree with the original thread premise. It’s long bugged me that a 272 is a pretty good bit of kit and that the logical upgrade is to add either an XPS or a 555 power supply to it, but adding a PS renders its own internals redundant.

I really hope that whatever replaces the 272 is available with & without on-board power so that those who have upgraded to an external PS can use that without the unnecessary cost of internal power.

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The Naim range has always worked like this. Take the CDX. Onboard power but upgradable. CDS - needs a power supply. The NDX is just the same, upgradable. NDS - needs a power supply. When I bought my 272 I used it with just a 250. I didn’t have the money for a power supply so if it wasn’t available as a stand alone item I wouldn’t have been able to buy it. Later, when I got some more money I was able to add the power supply and make it better.

We don’t know where Naim are with streaming preamps. Now I have my 555PS I’d like a new model that would use the full 555 capability but I think that would only work as part of a streaming preamp range. So get a 272.2, add a 555PS and then move to a 572. You get the idea.

Agree HH, to a point. Naim should accept that by now a lot of people have followed the upgrade path and added a PS to a box that worked fine without. It’s not too much of a step to design the next generation of boxes to be available with or without an internal PS. Granted it could expose that the cost difference is a lot less than we’d like to imagine it might be, but the excess in the modern world of selling something a third of which is completely unnecessary for a large number of buyers, is something that grates. It’s partly about the cost, but more for me about insisting that e.g. the replacement 272 can only be built with a lot of internals that won’t be needed by a lot of buyers.

The premise in this thread seems poorly thought through to my mind. To have each of the classic series components available with and without their internal power supplies would make the Naim portfolio almost twice as large and introduce a myriad of potential system permutations. Chaos would ensue!

If the internal PSU bothers some people best think of it as having a free, redundant PSU internally (when powering with an external PSU) than to compel all buyers to purchase a second box to power their new, PSU-less Naim component.

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A free PSU that has zero use other than as a backup isn’t a free PS, its merely waste.

And my point was to offer the option: with, or without. I’ve got a PS, I don’t want to buy another thanks nor does it seem very 21st century to insist that it’s not possible to offer a product without the surplus ps.


I addressed your with/without PSU point in the first part of my posting. If having a Naim unit with a redundant PSU offends you to the degree you are expressing perhaps your original purchasing decision is the problem rather than the design of the unit?

Following my thread I have going at the moment the consensus is that the parts inside aren’t that expensive so why worry :man_shrugging::thinking:

It isn’t the parts, but think about the design time. Naim spend a very large amount of time on each box optimising the internal layout. It isn’t just taking out the transformer, that would mean a redesign of the internals. So significant incremental cost whch will be added to the prices,.
Maybe I’m missing something, but aren’t there just 2 boxes in a large range where this applies, NDX2 and 272?
Yes the integrateds, but I’m not quite sure that is fair, an integrated is designed to be one box, Naim give the option to then have an upgrade cycle, designing them to be non-integrated with external PSUs seems a bit odd.

Integrated are exactly that - integrated! Surely a higher than SN3 could be offered and everything else would require an external power supply.
My thinking is that those wishing to upgrade will want to maximise the potential of their black boxes and would inevitably buy a power supply anyhow.

Buying an NDX2 for £5,000 and later adding a PS for £4,000 or £7,000 is very different proposition to having shell out £9,000 or £12,000 in one go (less the £100 or so that would be saved in omitting the transformer from the NDX2). And then if you wanted to sell the NDX2 it would be much harder as any prospective purchaser would also need a power supply. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s worked very well for Naim and their customers for over 40 years and there seems no point in moving to a model that would limit choice and make upgrading or reselling more difficult.


I disagree. Naim could produce ‘ultimate’ one boxes (NDX3?/SN4?) for those of us who have a great affinity for Naim but do not want to/cannot pursue the ultimate separates route.
This would then leave separates as a more niche/specialist pursuit.

Just because it has worked for the past 40 years does not mean it is the best strategy for the next 40 years.

I am not wishing to sound confrontational HH, just offering a different perspective :grinning:

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Doesn’t sound like a great business plan for Naim to me, that want people to upgrade and buy more black boxes. 🤷🏼

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Yes indeed. However, the ‘ultimate’ single boxes that I describe would see off many competitors, leaving the separates as a more aspirational approach at a cheaper price point than many exotic brands - Statement aside!

FWIW, if had the resource I would buy statement - God knows what speakers I would use though! My Kudos 606 would be woefully inadequate! :joy:

I’m afraid it’s a very odd idea and has nothing to recommend it as far as I can see, so I think it isn’t going to happen, if only because the market for the reduced capability boxes would be vanishingly tiny.