NAC 152 XS/NAP 155XS upgrade

Hi, here is my current setup :
BlueSound node 2i/nDAC/NAC 152 XS/NAC 155 XS/NACA5/Sonus Faber Sonetto V

Sonus Faber Sonetto V: 90dB, 4 ohm, (50W to 300W)
Room size: 33 m2

I would like to upgrade my electronics.

I have already auditionned ND5XS2/Supernait3 and ND5XS2/202/200DR on Focal Kanta 2 at my dealer’s but found it was not worth the extra money.

I’m considering other upgrade possibilities (option 1, 2 and 3) and would like some advice.

Option 1:
Buy a Flatcap XS, and 2 powerlines (one for the nDac, one for the NAP 155 XS or the flatcap)

Option 2:
and maybe a HiCap2DR

Option 3:
and maybe a HiCap2DR
Which represents a massive investment for me, but will probably be my endgame system.

Question 1: is option 1 the best value for money?

Question 2: I haven’t read many reviews on the 282/200DR combo? How good is it? Is the replacement of the 200DR by a 250DR worth the investment with my current speakers?

Question 3: is the 282/250DR setup way “over” my speakers? (I do not listen to very high volume levels)

Thank you

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We have Sonetto III and are awaiting a 300DR being delivered.

The speakers sounded very detailed and controlled on the end of 250DR, with 272/XPSDR. They really respond well to the amplifier gripping them, especially on bass.

Question 3 - answer definite NO! 250DR as an absolute minimum amplifier we’d say, having heard at demo on 200DR. The 250DR just adds so much clarity and the V would benefit from the bass control.

We’re about to use our Sonetto III on end of NDX2/nDAC/555PSDR, with 252/300DR. We expect them to sound fabulous. SF speakers respond really well to amplifier upgrades.

Saw the VIII at dealers recently but if we change speakers it will likely be to Olympica Nova. Sonetto range is very, very good value for money.


Option 3 HCDR or SC essential, 250 can’t power the 282 as the 200 does.


I have your ‘Option 2’ (standard 200 not DR; serviced this year). The system was only used with now sold KEF LS50s having traded my previous 202 for the 282; but sounded amazing (in storage at the moment).

New speakers inbound in the new year; and SF Sonnetto III or Olympica Nova II are on the shortlist. 200 is a gutsy amp and had no issues driving the SFs when I auditioned them this year.


Welcome aboard!

You’ll probably get option 3 sooner or later, so interim stages are probably not good VFM.

I suspect that your speakers will really benefit from a 250, which is considerably better than 155 or 200. The 282 needs a Hicap, but really works well with a 250 - which the 152 probably won’t.

A cheaper option would be olive 82, Hicap and 250 - as long as they have been serviced in the last decade or so, or are priced to reflect that it is needed. You get a tad less detail and bass control than 282/HCDR/250DR but just as much music (some say fractionally more).


NDX2/SN3 job done.

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…actually just get the best pre-amp/power supply you can afford - will probably be a game changer for the 155


The suggestion of SN3 is an interesting one, being better than 200 but not a 250.

Perhaps, given OP also has an nDAC and listens only at low volume levels, the following could be an upgrade path: (lightly used):
SN3 - 3k
XPSDR for nDAC - 2k
HICAPDR for SN3 - 1k

Total spend (over time) of 6k to get to a very decent system.

Can auditions be done?


Hi, I would add a source upgrade to your list. The NDAC is great on its own, but responds very well to power supply upgrades. It was developed before the DR upgrades arrived, and works well with the non-DR versions, which can make this more affordable if you can find a good used XPS or 555PS. Do check the age and service history though, as a recap is quite expensive and is best dome every 10 or 15 years.

For your amp, a FlatcapXS is a great option if you decide to keep the 152/155, but no use if you replace them.
282/200DR is a great combination. I ran this for some time before moving on to a 250DR, but as long as your speakers are not too demanding the 200 is still a great amp. It has a different presentation to the 250 which some prefer, so I wouldn’t discount it despite the fact that the 250 is generally a better amp. Try to get a demo and decide for yourself.

Good luck!


I seriously doubt the premise.

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Certainly far removed from my experience.

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Personal experience is just that. I’ve some experience with Naim amps and without a shadow of a doubt they are all capable of acting very, very differently from one set of speakers to another and from one room to another.

I’ve heard a 250 sound better than a 300 and a 200 better than a 250 and I’ve heard the same 82 sound quite different powered by different Supercaps and most surprising of all was going from a 282/2xHC/300 to a 102/HC/180 and enjoy them both equally.

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We’ve never listened to a SN3 so the “better” should maybe have been “similar to”?

When the 200 was discontinued one factor mentioned on these forums was the performance of SN3/HCDR being at least as good as 202/200 and hence the market for the baby separates disappearing. Perhaps that’s simply not true.

Still think OP will find his speakers come alive with 250DR! That was certainly our experience. 200DR driving Sonetto III got muddled at higher volume or on complex arrangements at demo which is why our first naim power amp (added to SuperUniti) was a 250DR.

Every demo will be different based on the electronics and music chosen. Some people might be perfectly happy with Sonetto V and 200DR but the speakers will be capable of so much more. Might be hard to demo a 200DR now, given it has been discontinued.


I made the jump from 152XS/155XS (with SF Concerto’s) to 282/250DR/HC and the improvement was not subtle. I did consider 200 but the improvements were not so great.

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I did the same thing as Brown Owl and it was a big step up. The exception was that I had an interim stage where I had the 282 but kept the 155xs while saving for the 250DR. The 155xs was good fun with the 282 and I certainly spent a lot of time listening to it.


I’d start with a hicap dr, that’s in all cases a worthwhile step.

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Thank you very much for your replies.

I guess the best way would be to compare 200DR with 250DR/HCDR on a 282. My dealer kindly proposed me to home demo 282/HCDR/250DR, but I may add the 200DR on my list and determine if the HCDR/250DR is worth the extra money (+5k euros). Tomorrow I’m going to audition 272/250DR on SF Sonetto V at another dealer (they do not stock 282 for demo) which should give me an overview of what the 250DR can achieve on the Sonettos.

Adding the XPSDR to the nDac will probably be my next move.

Don’t overlook your existing power amp with a better pre-amp and source. Especially if it allows you to buy better and then pause while you plan your next upgrade.

I’ve heard a NAP 155 XS sounding very fine with a variety of sources and a 252/Supercap!


As someone who has access to a 552/90 combo when required - I agree - go for best pre possible, maybe replace power amp down the road.


Great to know, I will definitely try the 282/HCDR/155 but I am afraid the 155 will not reveal the full potential of the 282.

I agree on upgrading the pre first.

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