My 40yr old CB system with nDAC/555PSDR

Well this year marks 40 years that I am joying my original CB 250 based system.

In 1982 I bought a new 32/SNAPS/250 (extruded aluminium case CB).

Over subsequent years the 32 was upgraded to 32.5, SNAPS traded for a HiCap, to get the dual rail power supply to the 32.5
All the internal 32.5 boards swapped for 72 cards (Unofficially naimed(sic) a 72.5).
Upgraded grey SNAIK for latest blacks.

All 72.5/HC/250 been recapped twice in these years.

Source was(is) LP12 Ittok with Koetsu Rosewood, and a tube CD player.
Speakers BBC studio monitors with NACA5.

During panademic lockdown my tube CD player died, and so started a new source journey.

So I bought a preloved nDAC and CORE to regain access to my CDs, and took a leap of faith and purchased a dealer’s demo 555PS/DR for the nDAC.

I am totally smitten with how the CB system still brings out the beautiful music from the Core/nDAC/555DR. So if any other legacy system users are concerned about mixing era’s of Naim boxes, if chosen carefully, it can sound superb.

The dealer played some current Naim gear to me which included a 252/300, but I was relieved to go home to “my combination of Naims”.

Greeting from Perth Australia.


Love my 32.5/hicap/250CB also

Have Core and NDAC and XPS-2 not yet connected up as nDAC and XPS in another location 100kms apart but will get there


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I see that the HiCap has that strange, almost golden tint to the white logo and lettering, which makes it look as if it has occupied the same space as a smoker with a 60-a-day habit. Does that bother you at all and, if so, is there any way of cleaning the fascia or even getting a new front plate from Salisbury?

But please don’t let my rather silly concern detract from my admiration for what is at heart a lovely old CB system.

You will need a VERY long set of interconnects unless you move the nDAC and XPS a little closer to home! But you probably know this!!

Same with my hicap and 250 graham, had gone a bit yellow over the years

But my wonderful Naim dealer here in Sydney just happen to have replacement facia for both ( last he had )

Bit tricky getting the old ones off but now look sensational

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What a lovely post ! I hope I’ll make it to 40 years of naim to post a similar message :partying_face: about my own 282/HcDR/250dr

But if you have the option, move the 555 away from the Ndac, and if it is no possible, then reverse the arrangement, so that the amplifier and the power supplies will sit, at the bottom and the pre and the Ndac will be at the top.
Good luck


Exactly my experience.

My CB sets keep going on and on and most units come from early 1980s. The preamps (12, 32 and 32.5) have 729 boards and of course servicing gives the daughter boards up to date caps.

I love those old CB units. Good looking system.

The system looks fantastic. If it were me I wouldn’t stack the boxes on top of each other. I would use a dedicated rack or have shelves in between each level for separation. Also having them separated prevents marking of the units.

However, your system and your choice.

To have the system for 40 years is a wonderful thing.


My 32.5 & 140 amp, bought together in 1986, went gold over the years. I am a non-smoker.

My Hi-Cap, bought new a year later, always stayed ‘as new’ silver until the day all were replaced in 2019 by my Nova.

Amps went back for two services, 2002 & 2015, & on the latter occasion Naim said that they could not replace the facias.

Totally agree with the positive result when mixing old and new gear.
Have my nd5xs2 a week now. Fed into nDAC / XPS. Amplified via olive 52/135.
Works really fine.

The OP might add a streamer some day! And I will do so with 555ps :o)

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Wow! Cool thread. Glad to see the old timers can still cut the mustard!

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The issue of some CB fascias where the silvery white logo and lettering turn a brownish/gold colour is mainly down to the ageing of the polycarbonate that was briefly used around '85-'86. Be careful with these as the polycarbonate will also be very brittle by now.

I have a 1987-vintage CB 32.5/HC/135 NAT01 system which swaps seats with a 272/XPSDR/250DR every now and again. I’ve said it before on this forum but the 250DR and 135s are so close I’d not be able to tell the difference if I couldn’t physically see them! Good post on adding a modern source to an old but capable system. Thinking of trying a Uniti Atom Headphone on the CB system as I reckon it would be a good match.


Thankyou for the kind responses. This old-timer is only just in early 60’s

I did recently find another ‘wow’ moment when replacing a non-Naim digital cable to the Naim DC1 (BNC-BNC) between the Core and nDAC, apart from a tangible sound improvement, oddly the 250 runs cooler.

This was a very nice thread to read before work. Thank you!

Having had the Olive gear (52,SC,135) then Black (253,SCDR,250DR), both with the nDAC as source (and an LP12), I can say that the presentations were both wonderful in similar and different ways.

The nDAC with the four pack of BB PCM1704 DACs together and the AMD SHARC doing the DSP magic, really did and does an amazing job of taking the time jumbled bit-salid being fed into its in spite of the temporal disaster that S/P-DIF is.

As for facia, if Naim HQ does not have the item some of their authorized service partners and larger dealers may have them.

I am blessed living very close to our US service partner.


I have a similar, somewhat lower tier system - Bluesound/nDAC + Karousel/Core/2m black LP12 + NAT03 feeding a 32.5/HC/160, all recapped very well by Naim NA, all in Rega RS3’s…pretty fantastic. I have listened to a lot of “better” systems and don’t feel like I’m missing much.

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I was looking for a streamer for my system but no luck from Naim, so I ended up getting as Auralic which works well with my 135’s and meant that I could “retire” a few boxes (hopefully to another room).

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