All this Active Stuff

Just speculating!! Go active with my S20s or remain passive and upgrade to 505/600s? And don’t say active with 505/600s!!



Are you a tweaker Lewis? My understanding is that while active systems offer many significant benefits they are also very high maintenance. I also don’t fancy the extra cables and boxes. Given these factors I would develop my system as a passive one. That might still mean keeping your S20s. Just my thoughts of course.

Do Naim even do SNAXO for the S20s?

Arghh. That might be a show stopper then!

I would want to listen to either a 252 or a nap 300 as well as the active 250,s in your system. The Naim crossover does cover the Cardea Super 20 A, if that is what you have?

@Gazza I’m clear that yes the 252 and indeed 300 would be a step change but equally I’ve decided that if I were to change amps it would be for a 552 which just isn’t affordable.

On the speaker/active thing as I say I’m only speculating but in slower time I will demo properly both the 505 and 606.



I can understand that…take care

My experience of active systems hasn’t involved a lot of tweaking.

A fair bit of messing around to get the cabling right (and thinking before I started connecting things) then a bit of adjustment.

It does add boxes (SNAXO+PowerSupply+2nd Amplifier) and cabling though.


I would imagine even a pair of Nap110 into active 606 would be a compelling listen.


My first attempt was a NAC282, a modern SNAXO 242 into 2xNAP200s (feeding SBLs).

Sadly an old bolt down NAP250 was overall a better sound.

I’ve since changed to a NAC62, CB SNAXO and 2*CB NAP250. Overall this sounded better.

Have just put a 52 in place of the 62 and that needs time to settle in but it certainly sounds good.

Thanks guys for the inputs.

This tallies with the advice that Naim used to give. Maximise your passive system first an only then go active. They also advocated only the very best sources should be used.

I agreed with this advice and my system remains passive. However, I was surprised when Naim released the Ixo (?) to be used with the entry level stuff years ago…

Yes but we should not forget that the 200 has a leaner sonic signature than the 250 anyhow.

There are people who prefer the sound of a 200 over a 250 and for them going active using 200’s might be the way to achieve the virtues of an active setup whilst keeping the relatively lean sound.

I’m very much doubting about the directions I want to take my SBL’s (driven by a 200 currently). They are worth the very best source and amplification but I’d like to avoid too many cables. When I would get a 250, I have the feeling that I might get another one and a hicap and a snaxo in the end … maybe 135’s will protect me against these greedy thoughts.

Hi Lindsay, hope you are well.

I am not entirely qualified to answer your qusstion as I have never lived with Kudos speakers, but have demo’d them extensively at shows and dealers. But here is my strategy for upgrading, which has held me in good stead over the years.

Source first, followed by ‘balance’. I have always gone for the best source I could afford and then the best pre amp I could afford, keeping a wary eye on the balance of my system so that it never became too Monkfish-like.

I too remember Naim’s advice to optimise your passive system first, and only then look at active, although the step up going passive to active with Kudos Titan speakers is significant from my limited experience.

As you have a well-sorted source(s) and speakers (the S20As are superb), as long as you have that tweeter under control, if it were my system, I would be looking at a 252 next and a 552 in time if/when funds permit.

I have been through 282, 252 and now 552, all used with a 250DR and each step up in pre amp has been significant and well worth the additional outlay. Your single 250DR is capable of great things and I still cannot believe how well mine performs with a NAC552 controlling it.

Great though the Titan range is, you will only hear that greatness with an ‘optimised’ source and amplification.

Just my thoughts, and the usual advice of home demo first applies in spades here.


I would agree with all of that Nigel although I went 252/300 rather than 552/250. This was because the 552 is beyond me financially tbh.

I would go 552 rather than active 300 if I was thinking about upgrading now. Into SBLs by the way.


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Yes Stuart, going 252/300 is equally valid to 552/250, and probably more balanced. I made the mistake of bringing home a pre-loved 552 to audition!

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@NigelB I’m well thanks.

I’ve never been persuaded by source first, balance/synergy for me. As we’ve said before there’s more than one way to skin a cat and I recall you commenting how good the 505s were with the Uniti at the Bristol show a couple of years back. That said I’m content that my front-end components are about as good as I’m going to get. Equally, I know that a 252 would improve upon the 282 but I’ve never been persuaded that it would be worth the extra expenditure it would be 552 or bust!

However, I’m minded that had the Titan 505s be available when I bought the S20s I would have gone that way and having heard them with a NDX2/282/250 I know they are awesome with that configuration.

As I say I’m speculating - at this stage!



For me once I heard an active system that’s what I aimed for. This was in early 1980’s, but I only achieved it in the 90’s with a CDS, 52, 4x135s driving SBLs. In the 10’s I wanted to bring things up to date so added an NDS and Ovator 600s. It’s still out of date but I’m happy with the sound having sorted out my mains electricity and moved my music library to a dedicated server.
So @LindsayM if active is your dream plan your journey to the stars.

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Lindsay, for someone who has never been persuaded by source first, you appear to have invested rather heavily in your vinyl and CD sources, which is why I have not suggested you upgrade at the front end at this point in time.

The only way you can reliably ‘dismiss’ the 252 is through an in-home comparison with your 282. Anything else is pure speculation, as you say. You also say that a 552 is financially out of the question at the moment, so I was suggesting a stepping stone with the 252 to give you a considerable uplift IMHO, and who knows you might be persuaded, though actual experience, to stop there.

I did indeed wax lyrical about the Nova/505/Core system I heard at the Bristol Show a couple of years ago, but considering where you are now, I would see that system as a retrograde step.

Of course the 505s might just be a significant improvement on your S20s, but again there is only one way to demonstrate that. I still though have a suspicion that the 505s will need better pre amplification (and possibly better power amplification) to show a clean pair of heels to the S20s. But again, we are in the realms of speculation here.

Good luck, and let us know how you proceed.


Well truth is that the CDS3/555 was 2nd hand, an opportunity not to be missed.

True a home demo is essential but when the guys in Cymbiosis swapped the S20s for the 505s on a 282/250 configuration it was night and day. Surely an £11k amp configuration matched with a £7k speaker is about right? But many ways to skin the cat!