An upgrade conundrum

This is my first post after a good few months for of reading the forum to glean as much Naim knowledge and advice as I can, and it’s been good fun and insightful.

I’m now at the point where I’m ready to make the next step on my hi-fi journey, and I’d really appreciate some insight from those who have been there before / have much more experience than me!

For some background, my current set-up is:

LP12 (Majik spec with Hercules)
Lejonklou Slipsik 7
Rega Elex-R
Q Acoustics 3050
Arcam mini-blink for bluetooth streaming from Apple Music

I’ve had the LP12 and Rega for just over a year now, and both are from that well known Leicestershire based Linn guru…whilst the Slipsik is new to me this year.

My question is this, with a budget of £3k, and wanting to make the next improvement would you:

  1. Replace the Rega with a Supernait 2 (possibly inc. HiCap DR now or in future)
  2. Upgrade the LP12 to include Lingo 4 and Kore
  3. Change the speakers

For some extra insight, I demo’d the 5si when I purchased the Rega last year, and marginally preferred the Rega, but it has left me with a lingering Naim niggle that I don’t think Rega can solve moving up the hierarchy…and I also now want the ability to listen through headphones for late night music. I know that there are a couple of 2018/19 boxed cosmetic second SN2’s at a dealer.

Recently I demo’d the PMC 25.21 at home for 5 days and found them too bright, and nowhere near the step-up over the 3050’s that I expected given the differential in price. So with the speaker route I feel that maybe the 3050 might just survive a bit longer (they are 4 years old now).

Finally, the LP12 upgrade ladder is almost infinite, and I appreciate I’m at the bottom of the very tall ladder. But I would still class this as a good source compared to the rest of the system, so in the source first approach I feel I’ve made some headway at least.

Any thoughts on the route I should take would be greatly appreciated!

PS - my room is 3.5m x 5m, with beamed ceilings, solid quarry tile floor, and open plan on one side. I sit 2.3m from my speakers and they are in an equilateral triangle arrangement.

It looks like this…


Supernait 2 would be worth a look and listen, can also add a HiCap DR to it for enhanced performance it Also has the means to power a Naim phonostage and has a headphone output.

SN2 or maybe look at the PMC 22 or 23, they’re both a big step up from the 21

Yes this seems to be a very popular route. The SN3 to me makes no sense as the phono stage is redundant with the Slipsik I have which I highly rate, and is specifically made for my Linn Adikt cartridge.

If it was me, I’d be looking at the speakers. The trouble is, speakers sound so very different from one another, that no-one else can know what character you would most enjoy - the only way to find out is to listen to a lot. And don’t rule out secondhand or ex-dem: with a limited budget I certainly wouln’t be rushing to pay new prices.

The size of your room may be relevant in considering speakers - for example, if a small room where possibly you might find you like the sound of ATC 19 speakers, when you might consider the active version, there being some floorstanding SCM19A speakers on fleabay at the moment just within your budget, that would give you (power) amplification. optimised for the speakers. Yours is medium sized, and I don’t know if the SCM19 would meet your needs - its bass will be limited.

But a lot also depends on your future plans, if any: with this £3k do you want your system to last indefinitely without further upgrades - if so you need the result to be nicely balanced - or do you expect to keep upgrading, in which case something that positions you well for the next upgrade even if not perfectly balanced at this point.

My own preference is for transmission line bass, and not the smallest implementationsPMC is the main modern manufacturer. your budget opens the door to several models at secondhand prices - however they generally seem to need a good amp to control them well and I have no knowledge of the Rega’s capability.


I would move the speakers a bit closer together first, say, each 15cm, to get the right hand speaker away from the right hand wall. I would also try having them firing straight ahead. IME this can produce a wider and more involving sound.

Any improvements to your electronics might depend on your preference for one source or the other. For instance, if records are your main source, then look to upgrade the Linn.

Hope that helps.

Welcome. Question - what do you think could be improved?



My question would be, where do you want to end up?
Is this part of a series of moves you may make over the coming years?

My advice would be to get a good dealer and try to identify your end goal, then the most wallet efficient way to get there.

I generally find the best 2nd hand deals I have got have been through my dealer; just a thought.

Thanks for the reply, to cover off probably the most important question, I intend to keep upgrading. I like to do a bit each year to keep moving onwards and upwards (hopefully). I am fine with ex-demo, my LP12 was, and I realise it opens up better opportunities.

I expected a lot more from the PMC than I go, so I’d definitely be wary of them moving forward. I’d like to get to listen to the Kudos X2 and X3, and now they’ve been discontinued stocks will be minimal.

Thanks - I’ve actually just bought them in since removing the PMC from demo, they were a lot closer to the wall, so I can adjust again later, as well as the toe-in.

Records are the main source, but I won’t rule out a dedicated streamer like ND5XS2 next year.


Yes, this is a question of ‘what first’, rather than ‘what’.

In my mind I’d like to keep it to a 3 box max if I go down the Naim route, so integrated, power, streamer. Plus then LP12, phono and likely Lingo. I don’t see me going down a separates route, at least not in my current house due to space restrictions.

I’m not sure what the hifi and records are standing on, but, if the wall behind is solid and you intend to upgrade the Linn, you might want to consider a wall shelf for it.

They are on an Ikea hacked sideboard, that’s got plenty of additional support.

The floors in this house (1820’s cottage) are all solid, and the LP12 therefore suffers no ill effects from footfall etc.

A heavy sideboard is a poor place for a Linn. It wants a light stand or a wall shelf. I think you’d be surprised at the difference this would make. As to upgrades I’d be looking at a Supernait 2 or 3 and then some new speakers. I’m not convinced you’d get the benefit of improving the Linn spec at this point.

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I agree a dedicated stand would be ideal, and definitely one for the future, and once / if I get a streamer this will obviously be a necessity given lack of space.

Given the current unit is Ikea it’s reassuringly light and cheap (bar the records), but I get it’s not designed for hifi kit. It is how aesthetically quite pleasing and the dedicated rack will need some selling up the chain!

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Don’t underestimate the importance of the surface your LP-12 sits on.

My setup is a bit like yours in that I can’t set up the system anywhere except between the speakers. With nothing hanging on the back wall, my tone arm will skip across an LP at high volume. Hanging stuff on the wall cured that. I would think about hanging more stuff.

Great room, by the way!

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