NAC52 + Supercap + NAP300DR?

I recall a conversation with Andrew Everard of HiFi Critic magazine, he was very enthusiastic about his NAC 52, I don’t remember so well but I think his had something special about it, association with someone or something perhaps, dare not mention the other possibility!

Should have listened better!

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Sales & Marketing Manager at Naim between 1985-2001 (16 years) according to Linkedin.

Thank you @Slamdam I guess I could have done that search too, Duh!

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I have a 52, Supercap and 300DR paired with a CDS3. I have no intention of changing it or upgrading it. It gives me all that I want from my music. My speakers are modified Troels Gravesen Illumina 66 loudspeakers.

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Thanks for posting this link - A very interesting read and a nice reminder of what a superb (and much missed) writer Malcolm Steward was.

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That’s intriguing, Nick, as it’s the first time that I recall reading any suggestion that the original 52 PS might be better than its successor, the Supercap.

I wonder if there’s anything to support this notion?

I am sure that we can find an Objectivist to argue that the differences cannot possibly be audible. On the other hand, there are threads like these: -

https://forums.naimaudio.com/topic.php?oid=1566878604534784&coid=159503632588890

https://forums.naimaudio.com/topic.php?oid=76469591931436816&coid=159503632588889

…and more recent comment in other threads.

There is I think a consensus that the POTS8 upgrade made a big difference to the 52 - many now have it.

By contrast, I am not sure there is much consensus on PS - some like 52PS best, and lots have olive Supercap and have never heard the older 52PS (or not for 20 years in my case).

A few have swapped to a modern Supercap DR but kept the 52 instead of swapping to a 252 (more hifi but no more music) or a 552 (better in every way but look at the price). I don’t know how that works - I would have guessed at it being a not-great mix, but then I heard my 52 with a 300DR, and that works brilliantly, so perhaps swapping an olive Supercap for a modern SCDR would be worthwhile too.

I’d be interested in swapping my olive (quite brown actually) for an actually-olive 52PS - partly from curiosity over whether I can hear any difference at all, but (I will admit) also because the fascia doesn’t quite match my other olive boxes.

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Hi @Slamdam ,

A left field thought. I use an Icon 4 passive pre-amp with my 300DR into SBLs. I find it works brilliantly. Pal uses autoformers that are transparent and dynamic. He also has built the pre-amp so that the non-amp logic is powered by a 5v PSU, and includes a remote. If you phone him he may lend you one …it may surprise and delight.

A thought.

M

Thanks for all feedback! So a potential transition for me could be the below. Pretty sure this would take me few steps further on the sound quality path? Also allowing me to be more flexible in the future. I’m sure the new 272.2 will be released the same day I sell the 272…

From
272 + 555PSDR + 300DR + Lumin streamer

To
Newly serviced 52 + SC + NDX2 + 300DR

Thoughts? :slightly_smiling_face:

It won’t help (or surprise) you much, but the NAC52 and Supercap are fabulous. I’ve had mine since the 1990s, and they’re fabulous. They are well overdue a return trip to Salisbury, though, for service/recap or whatever, which I will do via my dealer very soon.

I have never heard an NAP 300 and I would probably stick my fingers in my ears if anyone tried to make me(!), but many Members report that it is an improvement over the 2 x NAP135s that I have had for the last 30 years or so, which must make it a hell of a beast.

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I expect it to be very good - let’s see what your ears say.

Next on the list will be a PS for the NDX2 - if you want. Of course, if you keep the 555PS…

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Would need to sell the 555 to free up some cash and I expect a naked NDX2 doesn’t sound crappy and so I’m thinking long term an XPSDR would do for me if adding a PS. Sometimes you gotta say stop :slightly_smiling_face:

FWIW…

Naked, I thought an NDX2 was very good, but not usually quite as good as (for example) my CDS2 or LP12, and not vastly better than ND5XS2+nDAC.

Adding the XPSDR made a bigger than expected difference to my ears, making all my sources about equally good imho. However, I agree there is no rule that says everyone has to add every possible upgrade.

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Had 52/250 then 52/300 and loved it. Tried several other pre-amps but nothing better until 552. Different level but nothing better between this and the 52.

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Hm, I’d caution you there. Selling the 555PS will loose some value and it’s the ideal PS for the NDX2 with that amplification. Going with a bare NDX2 at this level will not reveal the potential of your amplification. In my view, if you need to sell something to fund the upgrade, go from the 300 to the 250 and keep the 555PS.

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I love my 300DR so it ain’t going anywhere :slightly_smiling_face: Could get an nDAC cheap and add 555PSDR on it and save up for an NDX2 and then add 555PSDR on it down the road? I assume nDAC with 555PSDR is no slouch even though it’s rather old these days.

52/SC + nDAC + 555PSDR + 300DR + Lumin U1 mini

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That’s what I’d be doing.

555 on nDAC feels like huge overkill, surely?

I’d forget the nDAC and put the 555 on an NDX2 if you can, or trade it for a XPSDR and cash. No bad options here I think.

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The nDAC would only be a transition onwards towards getting/finding an NDX2 :blush:

If you could make the finances work and you’re happy with the capability of the older platform the 272 is based on, then there’s always the option of a pre-loved NDS. Ridiculously cheap for the performance on offer and a perfect match for the 555PS.

Other than that, keep the 272/555PS combo for now and just use that as a source to the 52. You’ll need a 2xRCA to DIN5 cable to use the 272 line outs.

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