Electronics upgrade order

Question here for the NAIM cognoscenti who have done this. I have a NAC252, SuperCap2 and NAP250.2. The NAC252 and Supercap are the earliest versions (so ~20 years old) and the NAP205.2 is about 13 years old. I’m guessing they are all about due for a service ( “recap”) and, in the case of the SC and 250 a DR upgrade?

I can not afford to get them all done. The cost for the service/upgrade of Supercap is $3200 and the NAC252 is $1500 (in the USA). The NAP250.2 is $2100.

My understanding is that the power units (SC and NAP250) are the ones that get the most component-destroying current flowing through them, so these should be serviced/upgraded first. On the other hand, the “source first” philosophy would suggest the preamp and SC should be serviced/upgraded first. Given that the preamp and SC are 7 years older than the 250, is this the way to go?

Thanks in advance,

That sounds very expensive. Could you ship them to the Uk yourself to get serviced, then ship them back yourself. No idea how that works with customs though

At 20 years without a service, your Supercap is shot. The 250-2 is not far behind.

The sequence does depend on your total budget. Depending on your budget, it probably makes sense to service the Supercap but not upgrade it as the first step.

You can then either service but not upgrade the 250-2, or trade the 250-2 in against a 250DR.

Finally, have the 252 serviced. As the pre-amp has no power supply capacitors, it will last the longest before needing a service.

Hope this helps, BF

I would do the 250 first. The 250DR is efffectively a different amplifier to the 250.2, and far better. Additionally, should the 250 fail and become unstable it could take the speakers with it. I would then do the Supercap as soon as you are able.


I like more 250-2 comparing with 250dr. Better bass sound and swing. 250dr makes bass move forward and sounding fake.

You always have the option of only having the NAP250.2 serviced. It doesn’t have to have the DR upgrade. Might save you a few dollars.

(Likewise with the SC, come to that.)

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Well, yes, but if you get the DR upgrade, the rest of the recapping is half price (or less), so it’s a case of “while you’re in there…”


Up to you. I was trying to help.

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I know. Appreciate the suggestion.

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At those prices, it’s still more cost-effective to get them serviced than to buy new-to-you used DR versions it looks like. From what I understand, there is quite a backlog of this work here in the States (at least with AV Options), so getting it all done at one, soon, by them, isn’t really an options. I dont know what the deal is with Focal-Naim North America.

I’d get in line and get the 250 serviced up to the 250DR levels…SC after that…then the 252. Amortized over the long age of these units, it’s quite remarkable that this can be done this cost-effectively. Almost every other brand and you’ve have to just throw them away.

Yes, I’ve come to the conclusion that high end NAIM equipment isn’t worth much on the used market any more (there’s a 252/SC on Audiogon for $4500 right now - yes, that’s $4500 for BOTH of them). So selling it and buying new/newer versions or getting something else isn’t really an option. I think I’ll probably go the SC, then 252, then 250 route over the next year or so.

I’d agree. The DR upgrade on the 250 is very significant, almost making it a new amplifier. When I’ve heard a 252 it’s always been with a 300 but I suspect that DR’ing the 250 may do more to improve SQ than if fronted by a 282. All IMHO, of course.


I’m with @anon4489532 on this one - DR the 250.2 first

I am still very happy with my SC on my 252, will look at in 2021 - but the DR upgrades on AMP’s are exceptional

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