Life outside of Naim?!

I appreciate on this forum this may be like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas but…if you were about to spend the thick end of £10k on new amplification for your NDX2 where would you put your money??

Hypotehetically of course - I’m obviously going to upgrade to NAP250DR/NAC282 combo…

I’m waiting for delivery of my new 282 since before Christmas, so have had lots of time to think about amplifiers.
I left Naim for a few years 15 years ago and went for Border Patrol P20 power amp and Border Patrol’s Control Amp. It was totally different to Naim. If it was now I’d match my DeVore Fidelity speakers with Shindo Labs amps, maybe Monbrison and Cortese. But I’m happy to wait for my 282. Naim’s view on the music is very different, but just as enjoyable.

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Still waiting for my 72 to come back from service. Always wanted a LAMM tube setup, maybe a pair of M.1 reference monoblocks.

@frenchrooster will be along any minute with a laundry list.


Which Devore speakers do you have? I regretfully sold a new pair of Super 8s years ago, great speakers, and a very nice owner, John Devore. Spoke with him on the phone prior to buying the Super 8s and he was very patient with his time.

Hahaha :laughing:
If only I could, it would be Lamm L2 reference pre with Ml 2.2 monoblcks.
Only a dream, well far outside my budget.
That combo was one of the best I could listen to. In 2017, the ML 2.2 were 43 k dollars !!

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Way far outside my budget too, have you heard Vladimir’s amps before at shows?

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At a dealer place, only the combo I mentioned above.

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Is there true life outside of Naim? Surely it is just a monochromatic simulation :wink:

More seriously, for 10K, I would stick with Naim gear as you are planning.

I have Gibbon 3XLs which are now too small for the large room I’ve now got. I previously had the Nines and now regret selling them. I wanted to get some Gibbon Xs. Unfortunately the UK distributor isn’t getting them in I understand, so I’ll be moving to ATCs. Very different in design approach but, like the DeVore’s, really bring out music in ways that give me goosebumps.

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I’ve recently moved to a smaller appartment but with a larger listening room (38 m2), so, looking for a more powerful system, I tried Sopra 2 at the end of 300/252. Verdict: very good on rock music, but a bit sterile on classical or cool music with acoustic instruments. Not a lot of emotion or sensuality, at least to my ears.
So my dealer proposed me to listen to an Accuphase E650 class A Amp on the same Sopra 2. And I must admit I was very impressed: it produced a much richer sound with all subtelties and emotion, but still with a weighty sound (not sure it is as fast as Naim, but it had a good slam effect).
Has anyone else tried Accuphase amps, and what are your thoughts?


I had the similar problem with 252/250. Very good on rock but lacks some refinement. I ended with a tube pre. Ear 912. And I didn’t lost the Prat :grin:

I’ve Norma IPA140, and looking at putting an NDX2 on the front. I’d suggest it’s definitely worth putting on your shortlist.

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I went chord Hugo TT 2 into Chord Ultima 6. For my needs it was better by far then my 282/250dr and 2 Hicap drs

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I was about to post about my own system, which has undergone a similar transition from Naim to Chord. I never had any intention of heading in this direction, but it just made sense.
I added a Hugo to my NDX/282/250, which was a nice improvement, but for me it was nothing like the huge improvement others have claimed, and I still felt the source was a little lacking. Enter Dave, and that was the end of that little problem! But…then I discovered that I could remove my 282 and use Dave as a preamp direct into the 250DR. I found the presentation to be neither better nor worse, just a little different. On that basis I couldn’t really justify keeping the 282, so I sold it and was very happy to lose 3 boxes.
I was still a little ill at ease with the whole idea of running a Naim system without a Naim preamp. So the Étude seemed like an obvious choice given that it was designed to match Dave. A clear improvement over the 250. The NDX2 is staying, though.


Switched from a 5 box 200/202 to a Rega Aethos which was very good, very heavy and very difficult to attach inter-connects which made it very difficult to do anything with in the rack.

So with one cataract, two hernias and one dodgy knee it had to go.

Having erred from having Naim amps for 25 plus years am now back in the fold.

Miss Whiplash has offered corrective treatment for my digression and very reluctantly I have accepted her offer


I’ve owned Naim amps (amongst other Naim kit) for over 30 years now. I moved from Naim amplification in 2012, first to a Berning ZH270 and then onto Devialet, which I’ve used for the last 7 years. If Naim introduced a 500 series integrated then I’d be tempted back. The pre-powers, as enjoyable as they are, just don’t appeal to me at the moment.

@JLS22 Your proposed 282/250DR is a classic combination though and difficult to fault. If you can do some auditioning, then it may be worth comparing the NDX2/282/250 vs NDX2/555PS/SN3 which could be another way of spending your 10K. Ultimately it depends on what you want to do - find a happy place and just enjoy things or keep on climbing the Naim ladder…

I don’t think we would change from our current olive setup; after the odyssey trying to find a system that gave the sound presentation we wanted. Yes we’d both like fewer boxes but unless things change drastically I don’t see things changing any time soon and even then I’d probably just go for a NAIT. Nothing to do with brand loyalty just presentation

Hi James - how are you finding the Devialet and what speakers are you using with it?

Personally, it will depend a lot on the loudspeakers that will be matched to the amps apart from listening tastes and preferences. 282/250DR is a classic combination and for me, it packs a punch and delivers a powerful dynamic performance at its price point.

This is just my personal opinion based on my limited experience. There are not many amps outside of Naim that come close to 282/250DR’s sound or performance. If looking outside of Naim, at an almost same price point you may get higher level of refinement with a more delicate delivery. After all, the 282/250DR is known for its brute power and dynamic delivery hence detail and refinement/sophistication takes a back seat. There is always a trade-off between lively, upbeat, dynamic and delicate, sophisticated, refined. A fine line separates the two and perhaps the 552 or superior amps outside of Naim manage a good balance between both attributes.

Many options outside of Naim and there is surely life outside of Naim. Ultimately you pick the one that suits your criteria and preferences. 282/250DR is still a solid choice especially if one favours a sound that is big, powerful and dynamic at cost that is not too prohibitive. This is an unpopular comment - if looking at higher levels of refinement, apart from going up to 252 there is life outside of Naim, amps that may give you some of the delicate gentle touch. It all depends on what sort of sound presentation you are looking for.

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Not sure people think of it as Naim vs. Everything Else.

Hi-Fi is all one big pool of which Naim is just one part; no more or less than anything else in the whole.

The System Pics 2021 thread would be recommendation for the OP. If a person wants to see what forumites do outside of Naim, there is plenty there - myself included. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that buying within your region has huge benefits in terms of cost performance. I don’t know which country the OP is in. That would affect my shortlist greatly. I’d be looking to form one out of mostly stuff that didn’t have import duty and distributor markup.

Of course the 282/HC/250 is very fine. I ran such a combo for years and still have it in storage. Though as @ryder correctly pointed out, there might be more refinement outside of Naim - for quite a bit less money as I found out. Presentations differ vastly and while there are poor products on the market, there are a lot of superb products that sound quite different and will be subject to your personal notion of “correctness” that I don’t think anyone here can decide for you.

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