Naim 252 phono input

I recently bought a new Naim 252.
I used this with the olive supercap.
I mainly use a Linn Lp12 with stageline.
I also have olive Naim CDS and XPS.
Plus 2 x olive 135’s.
Speakers are B&W 804 3D.
When playing records I found that some familiar albums sounded ok sometimes,
then excellent sometimes.
I found this quite often with albums I’m familiar with.
I thought this might be down to the synergy between the 252 & Olive Supercap.
I then bought the DR’d supercap.
I still found it the same.
I’ve spoken to a few dealers which have pointed out that it might be the 252.
I thought that because the 252 was new it couldn’t be.
I then thought it could be the stageline that was the bottleneck.
I thought I would give a few phono stages an audition.
I read up on quite a few & made a short list of.
Allnic H1202.
Gold note PH10 & PSU.
Manley Chinook.
I am going to audition a Urika & Superline soon also.
Each audition, I found there is hardly if any sound quality differences.
The above phono stages should be, I would have thought far superior to the stageline but the four sounded more or less exactly the same.
I am now wondering if it could be the 252’s input for the phono.
I’ve tried aux phono with the above phono stages & the 5 pin phono with the stageline with the same results of excellent then good.
The CD player plays faultlessly as does the AV.
Hope to to have some thoughts

I reckon this may well point to an issue at source. How’s your Sondek? And perhaps more accurately, how are the arm and cartridge?

I had the turntable serviced recently by Peter Swain.
It sounded good with his naim gear after service.

Have you had a Naim superline to try? I recommend this phono preamp. I herd it on some amazing systems and it is really very very good. The superline is very nice too but not a superline.

Also your 252 will take up to 3 months and some to run in, that would be the same for a new supercap. Be sure to keep your system powered on all the time if possible. Don’t worry it will work out I’m sure.

Very nice system just give it time to run in imo.

Thank you
My next audition will be a Urika & a Superline

If you are using Peters company nice one, what a excellent place to be!

OK thanks. Hmmm… Then I’m a bit stumped as to why such diverse phono stages should all sound the same and presumably rather lacklustre.

Have You tried disconnecting the CDS from the pre-amp?

I’m going to borrow a Rega RP10 from my local hifi store to see if it is maybe the Lp12.
If it is a problem with the lp12, I’ll be at a loss on what it could be.

Peter will sort you for sure, just let them know your thoughts. I had a major (to me) a while back and wow they are very very good at what they do.

Please try disconnecting the CDS (and any other source) and see if the phono stages improve and start sounding a bit different.

Interesting, are you thinking that earth issues that the old nait 3 had with Naim CD players, or is it beyond my mortal comprehension. I would suggest the latter🥴

In the absence of any other obvious issue, it may possibly be down to signal earth issues - two references. It tends to bring down performance and make any comparison sound similar. This is why Naim strongly recommend that you NEVER try doing a comparison between two sources with signal to earth connections, especially Naim sources like a pair of CD players, with both connected to the pre-amp at the same time. The result is that performance will be impaired, and they will hence sound quite similar as a result.


I did have a ground issue but I managed to get it under control by plugging the culprits (Sky, DVD,Telly & AV amp)into a different wall socket.
It was audible at 12 o’clock now it’s gone.

I would definitely also have them unplugged when doing any demo auditioning of phono stages.

Would be interested to know what your final thoughts were and what the final outcome was of the phono stage shoot out.

All to no avail as the tip on my cadenza red was faulty. This was the cause of all the problems.
I borrowed a RP10 with Apheta 2 from my local dealer which sounded much better than my lp12.
So I knew the problem did lie with my lp12 as suggested by one or two of the forum members. I finally got the problem back to the cartridge as I thought it can’t be anything else as it had been serviced by Peter of cymbiosis. When I had a magnifying glass on it there was a slight bend or even a split maybe. This must of happened when my felt mat came off with a record through static. That’s the only thing I can think of. As this happens quite a lot.

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