Anyone added a new NAP 250 to an SN3?

Like many, I have an NDX2 and SN3 with power supplies.
The classical music I listen to often has a huge dynamic range and I wonder if adding the new power amp might offer more grip and clarity during the loud passages. If anyone has done it, I wonder what, if anything, it achieved.
In due course I would like to upgrade the preamp and do away with the SN3 but will wait and see what new products NAIM offers us. A 2nd hand preamp in the old classic range may satisfy my needs at a better price.

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Hi Alan, my experience is that the the power amplifier in the SN3 is excellent, as is the SN3 overall. I added a 282 first as like you I already had a HiCap, the uplift this gave with the SN3 in power amp mode was very nice. When I later added a 250DR the benefits were not so immediately obvious.

I’d try that first, the new 250 sounds like a fantastic update, and I’m interested myself, but I think an upgrade to the preamp side first may give you what you’re after. I found it really helped separation and clarity, I don’t listen to much classical but with the music I do listen to I found it a nice improvement. Whether that improvement is worth the cost I’m still debating … I have kept my SN3 just in case, absolutely love it :slightly_smiling_face:

My 282 is pre-loved bought from a dealer at a great price. If you can do the same or arrange a home demo for a few weeks I think that would help you decide.



Hi @AlanF, you beat me to it. I’ve recently listened to the new “trio” and have a similar setup to yourself less the power supply for the SN3. I also, am contemplating how best to move into the new classic range, do I need to? My speakers are PMC Twenty5.23 and I suspect may enjoy the additional oomph from the new power amp.
I, like many others, suspect that there are some new boxes potentially coming in the near (define near?) future so may wait a bit. There is also a niggle in my mind around cabling and how best to achieve connectivity in the mixed environment.

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Thank you Mark. Interesting to hear your experience and sound advice.
I am happy with the SN3 so in no rush, but will listen to the forum and the hardware and eventually make a decision.

I’d be inclined to add an NPX 300 to the NDX 2 first. Sell the XPS DR and Hi Cap DR and put the resulting funds in to adding a NC NAC (almost a certainty you’ll see a 200 Series NAC within the next 12 months) then swop the NPX 300 PSU over to the NC NAC from the NDX 2 (at this point the SN3 is acting as a Power Amp only and the NC NAC is your Preamp), then add a NC NAP 250 (sell the SN3 to fund it), finally add a second NPX 300 back on to the NDX 2, then eventually replace the NDX 2 with a NC ND source (also capable of being powered by the same NPX 300).

Interesting that the old adage of preamp first is again coming to the fore. That is fine. I am in no rush.

I’ve got a similar setup and gave it some thought from my own perspective recently. Also having heard the new boxes in a few configurations and considered a long term migration/evolution path, this seemed to work well from a phases and trade up perspective.
In reality you could also add a NC NAP 250 first of course and even add an NPX 300 to your NDX 2 now and then swop out the SN3 once the NC NAC’s appear.
Any separate PSU’s I had in the past are now gone and out of my current system, so the harder part is knowing when to liquidate the current XPS DR and HiCap DR PSU’s as you can’t take them in to a NC system whereas a NPX 300 can at least power an NDX 2 and a multitude of NC boxes both available and yet to be announced.
I think you’d only really want to do all this if your intention was to eventually remove any OC black boxes from your system, whilst you could add a NC NAP 250 to your current setup, the SN3 preamp is always going to be your weakest link and wouldn’t make for a favourable longterm solution. Replacing the SN3 preamp with a more capable one and still using the Power Amp section of the SN3 just seems to make more sense overall especially if you’ll be living with that system for any length of time.

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I have no wish to spend huge sums but the NC250 does seem to be particularly good. To realise its potential I would in due course need a proper preamp but further options (not just the 222) will I am sure appear.
My initial question still remains - “has anybody added an NC NAP 250 to an SN3 and what, if anything, did it achieve?” I am just curious.

I get your point here entirely, I’ve not done that myself nor plan to any time soon but it’s inevitable someone will eventually even if today it’s not a common occurrence. You’d expect it to bring improvements and give more drive and agility, I’d not be convinced it would be worth doing unless you planned at some point to replace the SN3 with a dedicated preamp, ideally a NC one!
If I had the funds I’d still swop in the NAP as the last step in an upgrade from SN3/NDX 2 to NC NAC/NAP.

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A lot depends on how deep your pockets are. For the price of an NC250 you could get a used 282 and 250DR, and end up with a lovely matching setup and significantly better sound. The 250 will be a lot better with your 24s than a Supernait.

The risk of adding a NC250 is that it leads to a full conversion to the new series, but if you’ve got the necessary cash, then why not?


Just thinking out loud so may be well off beam.
Any thoughts on buying new NAP 250 and old Classic pre-amp 282/252 to replace SN3 (plus any SN3 external power supplies) and then getting the new pre-amp whenever it comes out with potentially NDX300. Then eventually replace NDX2 and its power supply when new streaming box appears. May be a bit pricey to go this route. I’m still considering @HungryHalibut option and may just stick with that.

You could keep the HiCap DR and power a NAC 282 or even a NAC 202 with it of course.
The NDX 2 can be powered by a variety of external PSU’s, if needed it can also power itself which is a handy feature if you want to trade in anything powering it externally to trade up your system elsewhere.
The old Classic upgrade path from a Supernait typically takes you to a NAC 282 (HiCap DR supporting both) and a NAP 200 or 250. Most would agree this is a performance upgrade and beneficial if funds and space allow.
Nothing wrong with that at all, but longer term, I’d be looking to invest in the latest generation as a priority, most of the Old Classic range will go end of life in a short space of time with the NDX 2 and SN3 dropping off the list last.
I know today Naim have a sterling reputation for service and repair but in these uncertain times and with parts availability increasingly uncertain, things like DR parts or Alps pots as examples will inevitably become harder and more expensive to source and make maintaining any Old Classic system more costly to maintain.
I’d be happy with either system realistically, I ended up with a 2 box setup as part of a desire to keep it simple and focus more on listening so in my case doing nothing is also my preferred approach, I’d still think the NC boxes are a better longer term investment at any point I might decide to change what I have vs simply upgrading on an Old Classic path.


Thank you all for your detailed replies. It is probably best for me to see what pans out in the next year or so. Maybe by that time Putin will have backed off and my investments bounced back into life.
(Maybe my next purchase will be an Atom Headphone edition as I move into a nursing home.)
Meanwhile I am 95% happy with what I have.

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Depending how desperate you are, there’s always the New Classic Supernait that I assume will appear in time. If they can shoehorn a new volume control architecture, high quality headphone amp/pre, MM stage, streaming board, DAC and power supply into the NSC, then maybe the NC SN will incorporate the new volume control and pre architecture, plus a derivative NAP implementation. That would be something to look forward to.

[edit: I realise that’s pure speculation, but if you’re 95% satisfied with what you have then definitely seems worth waiting to see how the rest of the NC lineup looks and sounds]

They’ll almost certainly do one eventually, I’d expect the SN3 and NDX 2 to be the last of the current Old Classic range to get a refresh.
You only have to look at Naim’s latest reseller price list for the clues.

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48 years ago I bought the Quad 33 and 303. They created contentment for many years. I suspect perfect contentment will not again prevail until I again have separate pre and power.

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I will be interested to see what non-streaming preamps NAIM comes up with. Rightly or wrongly my instinct is to keep streamer and preamp separate.

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Agreed, likewise. Nice to have options and choices regardless!
It’s only a matter of time before the New Classic NAC’s appear and probably a replacement for the NAP 300 to fill that gap in the portfolio.
Today you have a big hole between the NC 200 Series and 500 Series. You would anticipate that Naim would release equivalent new versions of the NAC 282 and NAP 252 with simpler NPX 300 based power options, lower spec NAC with a single PSU (like the NSC 222) and the higher spec one optimal with 2x PSU’s (pure speculation on my part here) and with a dual mono NAP 300 successor also powered by a NPX 300, following the philosophy of simplification of power options and upgrade paths.
I’ve always been a NAIT fan even when owning NAC/NAP systems, so a 200 Series NAIT could be an interesting proposition also, probably priced at a similar point to the SN3 and with a 200 Series NAC possibly at the same price point as the NSC 222, that then leaves the 200 Series ND to come in later also at same/similar price point.

…New 300 series should be a New Classic NDS-class stand alone streamer for sure, and at the same time a new classic pre-amp in 252 territory. Or else it would pretty much mean:
Only streaming-preamps from now on!

I would struggle a bit to see the point of only releasing streaming pre-amps since the lifespan can be pretty short for these compared to separates which are future-proof (Im looking at you 172)


I picked up a well-priced 250-DR a few months ago and am running it with my SN3.

Noticed an immediate change as everything felt a lot “fuller”.

If, like me, you are looking at upgrading to separates (282/252 + SuperCap DR) then I’d recommend buying one if the price is right.