How a 500 outshines the 552!

Hi all,

I must say what I’m about to write is almost cliche, but cliches exist for a reason and I wanted to share my experiences upgrading from a 252 to a 552 and then a 300 to a 500…

Upgrading the 252 to the 552 was an unbelievable wow and the track I know implicitly well is ‘Blind Willie McTell’ by Bob Dylan, and I was struck how the texture of his voice became revealed - layers of trembling heightening the poignancy of his words. Even my father who is a former electrical engineer yet an antithetical audiophile with cloth ears told me he could hear a change.

Now my recent upgrade of the 500 at the same time as the Chord Powerhaus M6. (7 months after the 552 upgrade.) WOW that one has has blown me away and I’m now perplexed why so many have hailed the 552 so much over this!! I get I’ve thrown in a confounding variable with the M6, but the note distinction and decay of a cello. Another layer lifted! I mean I love Beethoven’s 7th and I’m sure many of you do, but the presence yet finesse of such a beautiful piece is an experience to behold.

Surely there must be others like me who have been more gobsmacked by the 500 than they were with the 552???!!



I’m with you. NAP500 would be the last box that leaves me.


When the Nac 552 and the Nap 500 are together,that´s when they really shines.


A slight change of topic, but if you love Beethoven’s Seventh, you owe it to yourself to hear Carlos Kleiber’s recording with the Vienna Philharmonic (on Deutsche Grammophon).

I was one of the lucky audience members at London’s Royal Festival Hall for CK’s concert with the London Symphony Orchestra on 9 June 1981, his only ever orchestral concert in London.


I’ll pretend I haven’t read this thread.



The 500DR is a great match with the Statement Preamp. That’s all you need to know about how good it is.


So true.

But if you had not bought the 552 already with the 500 have sounded so good?


Yes……i just wanted the 500…… i walked away with a 552/500. The 500 has a special sound to me.


My thought exactly - you probably wouldn’t be able to hear how good the 500 is without the 552 first


Yes I had a Nac 52/500 for some time, not even close in performance to the Nac 552/500.


Muting this thread :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


In my opinion the 500 in the last DR incarnation Is still up to date, not so the 552, the volume control, that useless record selecton and worst of all, the assignable inputs, a very annoying feature

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Anyway, surely the 500 really needs the 552 to give its best. Even then, some say the 552 is the weak point, as the S1 will give even more. A bit contradictory probably.

My experience was the same when I tried a 500DR in place of 300DR on my 552DR. However, I suspect that much of the magic that comes from the 500DR is ‘enabled’ by the 552DR and that, say, putting a 500DR in place of 300DR being fed from a 252/SCDR or 282/SCDR wouldn’t. Synergy matters.

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Me too! I went from a 52 to a 552 and thought it was meh! May be a few percent increase in performance with a little more finesse. 135’s to a 500 was the true WOW moment for me!

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Fingers in ears over here. @khan84 ’s topic is bad enough! :joy:


I loved my 552 & 500 but after I left Naim I realised I needed to dial the system back a bit and free up some cash too, so decided either the 552 or 500 had to go. In the end I decided it had to be the 500 as the 552 sounds great with even a NAP110 whereas I felt the 500 really needs the 552 to shine.


I’ve dialed back for many reasons that I cannot divulge on an open forum but I’m more than happy with a 552DR/250DR.


Hmmm not to my ears

The 552 is the star of this combination

The 500 is very good no doubt but 552 first