Nac252 + nap500

Hi all,
last year I bought a second hand NAP500 and was trying to find a good used NAC552 to pair with it.
In the meantime I’m using my SuperNait 2 as pre-amp paired with the NAP500.

I now have the opportunity to buy a second hand NAC252 + SuperCap DR.

Is it a good alternative to the NAC552?
Does it work well with NAP500?

Tell me your opinion, please.

I don’t know the SN2, but I ran the 252 and 500 together for a while, and they’re a great combination. Ultimately the 552 is in another league, and the 500 (especially) goes bonkers when DR’d. So plenty to enjoy right now and plenty more when funds allow.

Wow! Does that work? I guess you have the power, but not a big step up in details et cetera?

But what about the transaction costs? And is this purchase going to delay your purchase of a NAC552 when one comes up?

552 is the one and only answer here

If you get the 252 you’ll be constantly looking over your should and wondering what a 552 would be like
The 552 does come available quite often and there’s a good chance a non DR one could be less than 252DR


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The 500 amp was launched before the 552, so many had a 252 preamp with the 500. Having listened very recently the 252 dr/500 dr is a great combo. Just listen for yourself. I did buy both a 552/500 both dr, but if i could only afford to buy one…it would have been a 500 dr to go with my 252/SC dr.

Used 552’s are relatively hard to find. Not surprising as excepting the S1 (Statement), they are the top of the chain. Whereas 252’s, 282’s etc are items that people ‘move through’ on their way up. I purchased a new 552 recently; gave up looking for a used one. Traded my 252/SCDR towards it.

Given that you’re thinking about a 552, I suspect that you ‘won’t stop until you find one.’ So until then, you can use the SN2, or buy the 252/SCDR and deal with trading those or selling them off if/when you get a 552. If it’s in the budget, sure go for the 252/SCDR. Chances are that the total cost of ownership, even if you trade it relatively soon, won’t be very great. Meaning if you get a good price on it now, you can probably sell it off for a significant % of that price.

That’s not quite right. The 500 was the first of the new boxes, so replaced 135s to go with the 52.

If it were me I’d wait for the 552; it’s massively better than the 252. A 552/300 would beat a 252/500.

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Not to my ears…as i said, have to listen for oneself, i could have flipped a coin on it, or just took the 252/500. But the 552/500 was just wonderful, just music, speakers melted away. Installed tomorrow, happy days😁

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Yes it works, but it was just the first step to start with 500 waiting to find a good opportunity on a 252

Reading all your comments, I should just wait to find a used 552.

I agree with Bart that a used 552 is relatively difficult to find and in any case what I’ve found so far has a budget too high for me.
So far I have found only a few offers with costs from £ 12000 to £ 15000 for a 552 while I found a 252 + SCDR for only £ 6000

That’s why I was seriously considering going ahead with the 252 + SCDR which is definitely a big step forward compared to my current SN2 …

I am planning to upgrade to 500/552 over the next year and like you had “distractions” but I keep telling myself what my goal is and if I buy 252/300/SC all it will do is cause me agro come trade in time and I will never be happy with it as it will be (as said above) “just” a stepping stone. At the end of the day the stuff you have now will give you a much better sound than a good percentage of hifi out there, so just enjoy what you have, while you have it and just enjoy the journey ! That’s what I am doing.

If you have your heart set on a 552 I would either wait or just buy new. On the other hand I find 252/300 ridiculously good and after 15 years have not felt the need to move on. I suspect 252/500 would be similar.

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That’s a very good price - assuming they are in good condition. You really won’t lose much money on them if you do get them now and sell on later

@PPT Traded in my 2/3 year old 252/SCDR in part exchange for year 2001 NAC 5552 serviced late 2016. Did the 300 DR for the partner 500 also serviced. Best thing I ever did. Don’t waste time on the 252.


That is a bit harsh on the 252/300DR combination I feel. Plenty of refinement, flow and power in the right set up. Not to mention relative affordability both in terms of initial buying costs and through-life recapping and servicing expenses. Personally, I am more than happy with this great combo.


In the right set up is definitely key. I had the opportunity to upgrade from 252/SCDR/250DR to 552/300DR. I tried first 300DR for a few days with my 252 but after hearing the 552 I was smitten. The 252/300DR didn’t gel as well in my system. The 552/300DR combo is awesome.

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Well, I’ve lived with a 252/Supercap DR and 300DR for a while and am perfectly happy with it. No doubt a 552 would offer an improvement but I’m always weary of words like ‘massive’ and as usual it’s all down to personal preferences at the end I’d the day.


Didn’t know one could use the Supernait as a pre-amp to say a NAP250DR. Would this be a big step up in sound quality compared to a clean SN? I mean, basically I could do a slow step up in the Naim range when I afford new components meaning SN1 + NAP250DR now and then later sell the SN1 and add used Nac252.

I can’t find a copy of the SN1 manual with a quick search, but the SN2 manual linked below takes you through the options to use it as either a pre or a power amp. Edit - found it, replaced the SN2 manual link with the SN1 one.