NAC252 + SC DR ... too many boxes?


I recently bought a NAP300DR to add more power to my Nova.

People on here warned/advised me that the source will be unbalanced form the power amp and speakers (TAD ME1). And of course I’m now thinking … NDX2 and NAC 252.

But I’ve just found out that the 252 also needs a SuperCap.

So I could be going from 1 box (Nova) to 5 boxes (NDX2/252/SC/NAP+PS) and many ££££ in the space of a few months, with potentially a PS for the NDX2 on my mind next …

Is it worth it? Is the SQ improvement really going to be that much better?

Or should I stop, because it does sound great, I just wonder if it will be a whole world better with these upgrades…

All opinions very welcome! (Btw I can’t demo them as my wife has others plans for my time! I either go for it or I don’t…)


Well, that’s a conundrum. It’s probably best to try and decide where you want to end up, then work out steps along the way. Unless your swimming in spare cash.

And you may well be best to sell both then Nova and 300 and go NDX2/SN. Another option is to wait for the 272 update and run that with the 300, or get the existing 272 in place of the Nova. Usually a power supply is recommended with the 272 too though…


Hi Carlstone, I expect this won’t go down well here but I have been running a 300DR fronted up by a Superuniti for a couple of years now waiting to make my next move.

After much ear bashing I auditioned a 300DR fed by an NDX2 and 282 and the same system fronted up by my Superuniti instead of the NDX2.

I liked the NDX2 it did add some clarity over the SU as a source as you might expect, but the 282 did little For me. The dealer sat in with me for part of the session and came to a similar conclusion. I simply could not justify the extra cost or real estate taken up by the NDX2 + 282 upgrade, For me the change in sound didn’t match the cost. Diminishing returns in action perhaps.

I have tried the Nova into a 250 and I thought the change worth it, using the Nova as a source into a £50k+ amp was a revelation. I say don’t underestimate the Nova. Why not live with it a little longer?


@Roog makes good points and there are so many variables. If you can’t demo, then making such a big step is probably pretty risky I think.

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Thanks guys, some great advice and feedback. I have read (of course haven’t heard for myself) that the 252 is a big step up in SQ from the 282… and I’ve also found a 252 at a really good price.

Also thinking, with Corona, etc… If I’m destined to upgrade anyway, why wait! But it has to be worthwhile, and that I’m not sure about, your views are making me think prob not, enjoy the system as is - and let someone else get a bargain 252…

Carlstone, a bargain is only a bargain if you need it.
Without hearing things it’s all a gamble and Naim equipment is an expensive one.
Some people don’t like the 252 at all compared with the cheaper 282.
Think of things like people’s accents, they all sound different and what sounds good to you and what you like may not be the case for me!
There is no rush with this game, Naim is a journey and the upgrading is part of the fun.
Not many go all out in one hit and buy the ultimate final system. The majority build it over years, learning what they do and don’t like about what they have and what specifics they want to improve.

My advice is don’t rush it, listen to things. Find a dealer who is prepared to let you home demo and enjoy the experience. At the end of the day it’s all about the music, not the equipment.

Good luck. :+1:t2:

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from my experience over the past 20 years with NAIM and having owned 202.282 and now 252

252 is a superb Pre amp but needs to be part of a balanced system to sing and to be honest needs a great quality source to make the most of the 252, I am delighted with my 252/300DR in my system

on source I use a naked NDX (2014) with a Titan Elecktra source lead my main source is LP12 which is above ackrute level only play NDX around 5% and on Iradio and FLAC, I dont stream

I have always followed source first approach so I would demo source first and plan where you would like to be a couple of years time - enjoy the music!

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welcome to the club … of those that have a 300DR and are trying to avoid 5 boxes. We are all hanging out for a 272 replacement but as time goes by it is getting harder to maintain brand loyalty

Fun only if you enjoy the hassle of auditioning, and some people suffer journeys rather than enjoying them, the destination being what they want!

But I agree with your concluding remarks about not rushing: For the money involved, quite aside from the house space, it would be sensible for the OP to be sure it gives what he/she wants or expects, so hearing if at all possible is strongly recommended, side by side with the Nova, and preferably through the same speakers - and ideally at home. If dealers are not available within manageable distance (and last time I auditioned speakers I did an 800+ mile drive, taking my speakers with me), then for the sum involved it would be worth taking a trip elsewhere to hear. If that means awaiting the end of coronavirus then it does - or the alternative is take a gamble, which of course might pay off, especially if there are bargains to be had now…

In that instance I would be purchasing the demo equipment and returning within 14 days for either a full refund or the purchase of the item/items new.
Sure in this instance dealers would be happy to help with postage costs also.

Only pain then is going to the post office.

Ultimately you want to hear the stuff at home anyway.

If you go with the 252 then to balance things out you are looking at an NDX2 and power supply, not simply the bare player. Work out the cost of all this, including the racking, any interconnects, Powerlines if you want them, and suitable mains arrangements. Write it down and think about it. Is it worth it? Can you afford it? Are you comfortable with the idea of owning a system like that? Does the idea fill you with joy? Or does it worry you?

I’m not going to push what I own on you as it’s not current and doesn’t provide all the features that the Nova does, such as Roon, Qobuz and Googlecast. But - if you can live without those things and local streaming is your thing - the 272/555 has a lot to recommend it. The 272 is also a very very good preamp if you wish to connect analogue sources such as a turntable or tuner.


The feedback that I’ve received has been incredibly helpful and consistent. It’s clear that if I go down this route blindly, it will lead to more and more expense, and it isn’t justified in my current circumstances.

So thank you all, for now, my upgraditis has been cured, and I’ll enjoy my current setup… and maybe a next gen 272 will be released before I get the itch again!

Nb. This is a private sale so the buy/try/return route isn’t an option.

Regards, Carl

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As someone who went to a NDX2/XPSDR + 252/SCDR/300DR last year I have to say it was really well worth it to me. I just added a SuperLine to it this month.

Previously I had a ND5XS + 282/HCDR/250DR. It was very good, but nothing like what replaced it.

Thanks for the feedback, what would you say the main improvements have been?

Oh, eveything, across the board. Better bass; lusher, warmer, richer midrange; extended, smoother treble; greater resolution of details; bigger, broader, deeper, and more accurate soundstage. It just opens everything up and pulls more of the music out.

But when all is said and done, I just want to relax and enjoy the music, and not care about system details. And that’s where the big improvement is. The system just gives me so much more joy playing music. I want to listen to it more, and and hate having to stop to do something else (like eat, sleep, work…LOL). I really feel like I’ve reached a very happy endgame.


HH, you’ve mentioned mains arrangements improved your system before, what was it you did to get this improvement?

Dedicated mains, with its own consumer unit - there are various threads on how to do this - and a good mains block - I use the MusicWorks G3.

I have tried my brothers 252/Supercap 250DR instead of my supernait1/hicapDR. I hade at that time a Bare Ndx. The 252 was perfect. Big air and surround sound. Als the Ndx came very natural sounding. Not as good as vinyl. I always kept that sound in my head.
So I sold my lp12 and the rest. Bought a 272 and a 300. The 300 sounded way better over the 250dr with an A/B comparison.
But, now at home it never sounds as I heard the 252 with the Ndx. It is thin and unnatural sounding. The air and 3D sounding is the same as the 252.
I hope that a xps whil solve this problem, but i’am affraid that it has to be a 555ps. And that whil be a lot of years saving money before a can buy that.
So the use of a 272 is perfect with the app. The 1 box sulution is what I want.
But the sound of a bare 272 is far from a 252/supercap.
If I had the money and space for a 252/ndx combi, ill go for that and leave the 272 behind.


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