It is just over a year since the first announcement of the New Classic range and the excitement as dealers received the NSC222, NPX300 and NC250 units - unboxing pictures and the first demo sessions and the debate started about green LEDs etc. With over 10,000 posts across a couple of threads which maybe reflects the relevance of the launch of the 200 and 300 NC components to Naim users, it might be said we don’t need any more threads on the subject - if @Richard.Dane deems it so am sure this one will disappear quickly! I would really like to hear what difference the NC has made to your enjoyment of music (if any).
I had no initial plans to move from my 272/XPSDR/250 DR at all as 2022 wrapped up but my interest was piqued with that first announcement on 4 January last year. The fact that dealers were receiving the gear immediately moved the discussion from the theoretical to how the music sounded in reality. Pete at Acoustica offered me the chance to listen to the system late January and a reasonable trade-in offer of 3 boxes for 2 (sans NPX300) and when I received my 222/250 and started listening via my Russel K red 150s, there was an immediate uplift in sound quality out of the box and it has only improved since then. The offer of a NPX300 has made it even better and the Qobuz integration on the app has drawn me down that particular rabbit hole.
In conclusion, very happy with the move and no inclination to look at the 300 any time soon!
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how your Rega P3 SQ compares to streaming via the 222? With added NPX?
Going to confess that I have not used the 222 with the Rega P3 but my older P1 - only because I listen to vinyl more in my shed over the Atom system. Bit of a lazy b when it comes to moving vinyl around
My year of the NC range has been a rather expensive one, but worth every pound.
I started the year with a Star into 250DR into ATC SCM40s, which was a bit of a mullet system but I went this way because I was waiting for the 222 and I got good deals on the 250DR and SCM40s during lockdowns.
The Star is now in the second system with a pair of Rega RX1s
I ordered the 222/NPX300 immediately I heard them and committed to a major upgrade to my LP12 so it is now around Selekt level. I then just enjoyed the system for some months. Then I got an NC 250 and finally an NVC TT and NPX TT to go with my Dynavector XX2 Mk2 a few weeks before Xmas.
Well, my “just one more track” addiction has got noticeably worse, if that’s any indication
I rarely post though frequently browse the forum, and have some experience with a 350 upgrade to share. I have a Roon nucleus (Qobuz and NAS library)/Hugo TT going to 252/SC (non DR) and recently upgraded from 250.2 (non DR) to the 350 amps, played through Quad 2905 electrostatics. I hadn’t upgraded equipment in ages, and partly decided to go amp first b/c the quads have been in and out of the shop for the past year+, and I wanted to be ready to move to large dynamic speakers (maybe Sopra 2 or 3) if they went out again. I’ve kind of had it with their frequent problems. I’ve had the 350 for over a month now, and they have been phenomenal. I wasn’t sure if I’d get the same improvement I’d read about with electrostatics, but the difference in sound reproduction has been exhilarating. Much deeper, tighter base, incredible control of dynamics (notes start and stop on a dime), more life-like sound and detail in all instruments and voice (I can hear Sarah Vaughn’s breath control in a way I couldn’t before), and my previously lousy-sounding CDs (pop music from prior decades and some Jazz albums before the 60s), no longer sound flat and harsh, but closer to well-produced modern recordings. I have been listening for way too late at night because I keep wanting to hear “just one more song.” Rediscovering older music that I haven’t listened to in ages has been a thrill.
One question I have to think about is what to upgrade next, likely in about a year. Sadly my wonderful Naim dealer of the past 25+ years recently passed away, and I don’t have others to ask, so I’ll throw the question out here. If I lived in the UK I know the answer would be home-demo, but in the Northern California and I think most of the US that’s not an option. I think source first theory would say upgrade to a Hugo TT2 and maybe an M scaler before the preamp. If I were to change the pre, I’d probably need to do a bare 332 before getting the 300 power supply. Most of you who have compared 332 to 252 have done so with DR supercaps. I wonder for a 252/SC that is due for recapping next year if the 332 alone would be an improvement or at least not a significant downgrade.
Happy New Year and happy listening,
Are you sure this isn’t a sponsored thread?
Well, a first quarter if not an entire year.
Although I did spent an outrageous amount of time over the first three quarters mythering (endlessly analysing) whether or not to change my 272/XPS DR/250 DR for the NC Series, attending Naim led dealer days and individual demonstrations of both the 222/250 and 222/300/250 configurations.
Finally I decided to switch three boxes for two with an acceptably good deal and acquired an NC 222/250 system, which I found a nice upgrade over my older boxes, possible servicing not withstanding.
However, I then succumbed to temptation and organised a blind comparison of the system with and without the NPX 300. Having viewed all the comments, especially those originating with the dealer channel, with more than a pinch of salt, I was really quite shocked at the impact of the external psu. So, I became the owner of a 222/300/250 system almost immediately thereafter.
I can understand the previous post suggesting the possible sponsorship of this thread , however, I cannot see how anyone might be disappointed with the move from OC to NC, unless they have an unbreakable attachment to the OC sound, obviously taking available budget into account - NC is not a low cost option and for me represents the Naim end game. I’m sure I’d like the 300 Series, but just not an option.
ATB and Happy New Year, K
Combining 20 years development and a move up in price points it shouldn’t be a surprise that MOST people are going to see the new range as a step forward.
Classic owners are just going to have to put up with the positive reviews.
I believe I was the first in the UK to receive the 222/300/250 in January (certainly first from Acoustica as confirmed by Pete) last year and I can conclude that I am very happy that I made the move from CDS3/252/300. Even the last few weeks have shown improvement in SQ to the point where it’s difficult to perceive how it could be improved with further upgrades given that I am limited to a single Fraim stack due to space.
After a shaky first couple of months of ownership where I was seriously doubting my investment, Naim thankfully were able to resolve. The resultant was a 222/300/250 with no transformer noise that delivers cloud based streaming beyond my expectations and integrates seamlessly with my home cinema set up in a relatively compact stack. For me it is a very good performer for the money, the best I’ve had the pleasure to own, and a view that is reflected by the hifi press generally. Bizarrely the fiercest critics of the new classic range appear to be on this forum. Thanks for the new classic range Naim.
Of course, where else? You have to know your stuff to come up with substantiated criticism and who knows Naim better than us, the brand’s most loyal customers.
higher price in itself does not make gear better, only makes the move from classic to nc harder.
The 252 with either SC or SCDR is capable of pairing with the very best of sources. I am sure a 332 300 pre would be even better but my feeling is that a 552 is still the way to improve the pre. A source upgrade makes sense to me in your situation Steve unless you are willing to move to 500 components. Others might disagree of course.
That makes sense. I can still feel the pain in my chin from it hitting the floor when I first heard the CDS2 running through my 92 with hicap and 180 20 years ago. (I think that’s the preamp I had- that was a while ago and I was doing a lot of eBay and audiogon swaps). Will keep my eye out for a second hand TT2 and maybe M scaler when funds build up again.
My “transition” involved swopping out a SN3 + NDX2 for a NC NAP250 and repurposing my Linn Selekt DSM (to act as a streaming preamp).
My logic and timing for doing that mainly driven by resell values and increasing supply of trade in hardware.
I’ve had this setup a while now and have no regrets, I loved what I traded in to get here but this now gives me a longterm baseline to build off, the NAP250 integrates nicely in my case with a Linn preamp and opens up options in the coming years to refine further.
I posted on the other thread that I was very surprised to discover my mid eighties RP3 with exact is very competitive with my 222/300 as a source.
Transformer noise was at an unacceptable level but all sorted now. Whilst very pleased with kit now it would make me hesitant of purchasing Naim again.