In terms of the best VFM upgrade I would agree an ex-dem or pre-loved 250DR is the one to go for.
But, (sorry there is a but) with a 250DR you would have a wonderfully balanced system sitting on a far from optimal stand, perched underneath your telly. You will never get the best out of your upgraded system while it is sitting on the Atacama (AV?) stand, IMV.
You don’t need to go to the expense of a full fat Fraim, although this is the best IMV. There are cheaper purpose built options out there.
I use the 804S, they did cost about £3k back in the day, but that was a lot for a set of speakers then, don’t underestimate their quality. I use 135s to drive them, and they seem to respond well to the control of the old monoblocs. So I’d go with the other people who know the speaker, a better power-amp would do a fine job of getting a lot more out of your excellent speakers.
I think the advice from Eoin is well worth taking account of, @Arc7 - someone who actually owns the speakers. They need power and the 300 is far more accomplished than the 250, which I know having owned both. I really wouldn’t worry about the stand at this stage - Atacama make good equipment and as you say it’s not cheap. Find a nice used 300DR and it will be like you’ve got new speakers anyway. The 200 is far too weedy for them.
You mention that you ‘…don’t have a lot of space to work with’ and I wonder if a radical suggestion might apply.
Are the ‘speakers too big for the space? They’re clearly over demanding of the 200.
Rather than a solution to make the speakers work better is it out of the question to change them for something more suited to the 200/space? I say this for two reasons - 1. I rate the 200 as a nice, nimble and very ‘musical’ power amplifier and 2. You don’t want to just fix a problem. You want an upgrade.
I’ve just swapped out an XPSDR for a 555PSDR on my NDX2 and it is transformational in degrees I hadn’t expected. Certainly more palpable than any power-amp upgrade I’ve made (with the exception of 250DR from a 250.2 because the former sounded more like a 200!).
Radical I know but worth experimenting if possible.
There is a perception that B&W don’t match Naim, but polls done on the forum show that a lot of people run Naim with B&W. The 500 series poll showed that 800 series B&Ws like yours are among the most common speakers with the 500 series. I run 804S and at least another 2 posters have them, there’s no reason to think they won’t sound good with Naim.
You haven’t mentioned what interconnect you have between the NDX2 and 282, or speaker cables. I have Superlumina on my NDX2 / SN2 system and they have significantly improved the soundstage (width and depth) and transparency. That will give you more out of your electronics, and then I’d be looking at the 250 as the natural match.
Guys, thanks for some great advice. I couldn’t reply last night as I had apparently used up all my reply allowance as a newbie!
On reflection, I think I’m going to go with the improved amplification camp first and then maybe this order…
Because of the design of the 250 - being a regulated amp (as are the 300 and 500) - there is probably a bigger change (from a non-regulated amp, such as a 200) - in the sound. Will be interesting to find out what you perceive.
Well I hedged my bets and went for a 250dr. Now I don’t know what a 300dr would sound like, but the 250 is amazing - it’s taken my system to another level; deeper, controlled bass, greater transparency and atmosphere. It really shines with hi-res Qobuz tracks, revealing things in a way I hadn’t heard before - I can’t stop listening to it and searching out all my old favourites!
I know I will carrying on upgrading, but for now this was a great step, so thanks again for all the help and advice.
What you describe - ‘…taking my system to a new level…’ is what ANY upgrade should do - I think. And - it should put a Big Smile on you face - AND send you diving into your collection to play more music…!
After a series of impulsive decisions and temptations placed under my nose, I’ve all of a sudden arrived at:
NAC 252/Supercap DR
I’m a bit punch drunk now and useless at describing these things, however…I think the 282 to 252 was a big step change and the 250 to 300 more subtle but just as enjoyable. Now it’s allowed, I’m going to try to listen to some new speakers for comparison; I have the Titan 505’s and Confidence 20’s shortlisted so far…