Integrated with extras or separated amp without extras

Hello, I am new at this forum. Can anybody tell me wich option is the best with Hartbeth 5+ speaker. In one option I probably have a better quality from the source, and the other option a better quality from the amp.

Option 1 (17.200 euro)
Supernait 3 (not using the mm phono), hicap DR, NDX 2, XPS (PSU for NDX 2);

Options 2 (19.400 euro)

Naim 282, Hicap Dr (single PSU for preamp), Naim 250 DR, NDX 2 (without PSU)

Thank you!

Only you can decide this with a demo at your dealer. Very few people will have an SN3 at the moment.

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I would be very much tempted to go with a better source, meaning option 1.

I’d go option 1. The NDX2 with a PS would be a good source first option into a decent amp.

I was never that happy with the 250DR, it took a jump to a 300DR to open it all up.

Not familiar with it, so where does the Hicap DR fit in?

Plural of extra is extras btw, not extra’s. Apologies but Grocers’ apostrophes do my head in. :slight_smile:

Source first, I’d go with option 1 provided the speakers are not too demanding to drive, I have this system with the SN2 as my set up is limited to 4 boxes and I need the headphone stage (which is very good as well). Although, with Option 2, if you feel you’d be able to add the XPS DR later on, the 272/250 would be a step up I’d imagine.

I had a 282/HCDR/250DR + NDX2. It is an amazing good system. In the meantime I added a XPS-DR to the NDX2 and replaced the HCDR with a SuperCap DR. I couldn’t be happier.

I always prefer the flexibility of future improvements with upgrades, so I’m not big on integrated solutions as good as the SN3 may be.

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Hi @MikeN, do you have a chance to audition both systems as listed?

Also what system do you own now?

Source first. But, the 282 route will offer more upgrade flexibility long term. And the 282 may be transparent enough to let more of the bare NDX2’s detail through that it offsets the lack of XPSdr.

It’s a tough one. I’d be incline towards the SN3 route if I was 100% sure future upgrades were off the table for the next 10 years. Otherwise the 282 route.

option 2 should sound better i feel. The uplift in the source is not enough, in my opinion, to match the 282/hicap /250 dr.

Throwing a spanner in the works, I might also consider NDX2/XPSdr/282/200dr

In fact, yes, I’d probably do that.

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Check out the post from Marka dated 2 March 2019 on this thread below.

He upgraded from the Supernait 2 to the 282/250DR/HicapDR on the Super HL5 Plus Anniversary. Assuming that the Supernait 2 is quite similar in sound to the Supernait 3, you may take some from the experience.

Personally I would sort out the amplifier for the Harbeth Super HL5 Plus first as from experience this speaker surely sounds better when you feed it with more power. Otherwise, not only the bass response will suffer but clarity, openness and dynamics would follow suit as well. I have gone from Nait XS to the 202/200 and lastly the 282/250DR with the Super HL5s. The speakers sounded best with the latter. Everything from clarity, power, punch and dynamics are considerably improved when going from the 202/200/HicapDR to the 282/250DR/HicapDR. Avoid the Nait XS as the Super HL5s sounded very mediocre and uninspiring when driven by this amp.

The SHL5 Plus will likely sound great with the Supernait 2 or 3 but I’m convinced it will sound even better with the 282/250DR/HicapDR. If you peruse the Naim and Harbeth thread above, you would notice that most Super HL5 Plus owners are using 282/250DR and above to drive the speakers, Few use 300DR and 500 to drive the Harbeth.

It will depend on your goals, whether the options above would be your final destination or there are plans for future upgrades. At any rate, I would pick Option 2 as from personal experience as well as other Harbeth users, the Super HL5 Plus will sound better ie. more complete with larger Naim amps. I haven’t tried the 300DR or 500DR with the Super HL5 Plus (no intention to go there anyway) but can endorse the 282/250DR/Hicap DR for the speakers which in my mind the best value separates that is able to give you a taste of high quality Naim sound without having to break the bank. One advantage of the Supernait 3 is it’s a one-box while the separates are a 4-box. A major win for the integrated if you are into simplicity and don’t have much space on your rack to accommodate the additional boxes.

Good luck in your decision. Whichever way I don’t think you will be disappointed. It’s just that the larger amp will likely reveal the shortcomings of the smaller amp when matched with the Harbeth Super HL5 Plus.

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It’s also worth noting that after all the black box upgrades Marka moved from Harbeth to B&W 805 D3 Prestige Edition with B&W FS805 D3 Stands.

I upgraded from a supernait 2 with hicap dr, which was great, to a 282 250dr and the difference was very significant. I’ve not heard the supernait 3 of course but unless it is very very much better than its predecessor I would go option 2 all day long

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Thanks HousholdNaim. I will use the word EXTRAS from now on😉. The Hicap DR is the minimum as PSU for the 282. The 300 DR is an option, but I will not be able to buy the 252 with a supercap budget wise😂. I do not know If the 282 with the hicap DR will be good enough to match the 300 DR. What do you think?

The most important thing is that I keep the punchy sound. This is was missing (for my) with the Luxman 509. As I was hearing every detail, and voices were to the front (as hearing every breath etc.). I missed the darker and punchy sound I had with my simpele sn2.

Thanks Quinn

I’d go with your option 2 and add a power supply for the NDX2 at a later date. If you could find ex demonstration deals on some of the boxes you may find the time comes sooner than you think. I’m sure you are aware of this, but do make sure you get a good rack to put it all on, and ensure that your mains supply is good. Without those you won’t hear what your expensive purchase is capable of.

Thanks JosquinDesPres,

What happenend in the sound, when you changed from the hicap DR to the supercap?
It is 3500 euro difference, wich is a big expense (at least for me :see_no_evil:)

Better to get an XPS or 555PS before thinking about a Supercap. I’d listen to some options before getting carried away.

Hi Timbre,

I now have the NDX2 with the supernait 2 and Hicap DR, and Hartbeth 5 plus speakers, Chord Epic loudspeaker cable. I also love vinyl, so have a Thorens 124 and the VPI classic. The turntables run on Icon audio pre amp (best I have heard). At this moment the Luxman 509x runs in my system. Beautiful amp, but I mis the PRAT. So I put the loudnes on all the time. With certain albums it helps, with other Music it is to much.

Thank you Mike. The 272 is not an option, since I have the NDX2 as a streamer, and need the 282 for my record players