Naim 282 or 252 with phono pre amp

Well, a lot has been written about the topic of a 282 pre amp vs 252, and before dropping my question, I tried to find the answer in the former topics. But was not able to find it.

I mostly play vinyl records. I changed towards a dr. Feickert Firebird with different Tonearms and upgraded towards a really high end phono preamp.

My thought and maybe wrong thought is, that the phono preamp is most important in bringing the quality of refined sound to the Naim 300 DR. So I drive the Naim 300 DR with the 282 with a high cap. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe Someone has an opinion or experience on this subject?

The thing is, that I am really happy with the sound, but wondering if upgrading towards a 252 would be in benefit to the sound, while already using a high quality phono preamp.

The other thing I wonder is, if a 252 makes the NDX 2 sound worse, when not supported bij a xps dr psu, since I read it is more critical towards sourses as streaming divices.

If you have the ability to get a demo then that’s the best bet. Where do you live?

For what it’s worth I went from HCDR on the 282 to Supercap DR and found it a massive improvement. When I changed to the 252 the difference was more subtle but ultimately I’m happy with the sound.

My main source is vinyl but I have a Core and Bluesound Node 2i playing through Chord Qutest. The LP12 is clearly far superior but I wouldn’t say the 252 makes the Core or 2i sound worse than they can sound. It just lets what is there through.


Thanks! I live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. So it will be possible to arrange a demo to try at home, since I bought all my Naim Gear from an authorised Naim Audioshop.
I am a sucker for live music kicks, and play some music myself. I found the there are a lot of audiophile systems that provide ultimate detail, but do not capture the music the way live music sounds.
My feeling was and maybe still is, that the 282 provides the sort of up front sound that I feel and hear with live music. But I am not sure. So you are completely right, I should demo at home, and try. Somehow You got me really curious about trying a SC on my 282 instead of my Hicap. The reason I did not think about this to much, is so many on this forum did not really experience improvement changing from a Hicap to a SC. To me it is a big mystery who one experiences big improvements and the other almost non.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! And keep spinning the records! :v::musical_score:

You may well find 282/SC preferable to 252/SC. You wouldn’t be alone in that.

Happy demoing and let us know how you get on.

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For me an SCDR on my 282 was a huge upgrade. But once the SCDR is there the 252 beckons.

For myself I made the subsequent step of upgrading to 252 and have never regretted it. My NDX2 hasn’t suffered as a result but it already had the XPSDR.

As for refined sound, for me that’s what the 252 excels at.


Which phono preamp do you use now?

I recently moved from Supernait 2 + HiCap DR and Superline + HiCap DR to a NAC282. I feel the lp playback gained a lot from the better preamp, although I also put in a NAP 250 Dr, so a bit hard to isolate the preamp effect only.

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In my system the 252 was a huge step up from the 282 - with CD555 as source…


Personally I found the 282, great though it certainly was, a bit too much in my system and speakers, with a 250… the 252 added, yes, refinement but also was as gutsy as the 282 without the fatigue at higher volume. What would have been interesting was to try the 282 with the 300, but that I bought after the switch ( and with great pleasure ensuing!)

I’ve not found the 252 laid back, non toe-tapping in the least…maybe it just works better with my 805s.


I run de Firebird with the Avid Pulsare 2 phono preamp. Before buying this one, I also had a demo with the Nagra Preamp. Both were a big upgrade to my former preamp. But the Avid was sort of the sweet spot.

Well, maybe the 282 does not bother me in being forward, because of the 300 DR. When I moved from my supermait towards more boxes, I started with the 250 DR, 282 with Hicap and the NDX. Later moved towards the NDX 2 and sold my VPI turntable and Goldnote phono preamp. And bought the Avid phono preamp and the dr. Feickert turntable. The upgrades in digital and analogue sources made a big improvement. But still I was not happy with all sorts of music.

BUT THEN THE BIG GAMECHANGER, moved into my system, and it was the 300 DR. I could not believe how moving from a 250 to 300 made a incredible use difference to my whole system. Bass is super tight.
Last thing I did is change all my power cables and speaker cables and decoupled the parts with some danish ansuz.

Now something happened to me, I always wanted to prevent. I have become an audiophile :thinking::see_no_evil:. And wandered if it is really possible to have more improvements to an already great sounding system. Of course with limited money :wink: When for example I was playing the NDX 2 with the 250 DR, I was happy, but I knew it could be better. But now I am running it with the 300 DR, I wander what a XPS DR can possibly do, as it already is so great.

My wife does not understand why I seek for change, when she sees how much I love to play music on the current system. Well, luckely she does not have to understand, it is a hobby, in wich I seek what is possible. And on this forum I see I am certainly not alone​:wink::metal::musical_score:


I agree Mike - the 300DR is pretty darn special…my initial reaction when I first heard mine was “my oh…my…oh my…”.
Hell of an amplifier. I thought the 250DR was good, although not overmuch for me at higher volume, but the 300…phew. My hankering to pursue the box upgrade trail pretty much expired with 252/300.

Much as I think/believe the 552/500 would be fantastic, I can’t afford it - and I’m not at all unhappy to stay where I am. Unless a 552 comes within my ability to pay for it! Which I can’t see realistically happening anytime ever…


Ha Stevie, THE 552 dream. Just two weeks ago there was a trade in 552 DR from 2015 for 13.500 euro at a hifi shop. That day I was thinking, would it be smart to buy a 7 year old preamp for the price of a new 252 + SC. I thought :thinking::thinking::thinking:Yes! I called, and it was just sold.

So another lesson learned. 552 are hard to come by. At least if one is not willing to pay 29500 euro for new.

My wife asked me, why is the price of these two black boxes the same price as a brand new mini copper?
I said, my love, that is easy to answer. The black boxes sound much better than the mini copper :crazy_face:


Also more reliable and have a better re-sale value .

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Hi @MikeN

I have a 282/SC and I’m very happy with it, nice and noticeable improvement over the hicap.
Home demo required for sure as not everyone who tried that combination shares my opinion.

Greetings from Capelle a/d IJssel :wink:

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Hi Kacper,

Thanks for sharing your experience with the upgrade from Hicap to Supercap on the 282. I will have a demo in March, as my Naim dealer can provide me one at that time.
My gut feeling is, that the different PSU’s have a big effect on the quietness en focus of sound and tightness off the bass. I did 4 things that made a big difference, and made my system grow big time. The first was adding a separate group to the electricity in my home, with special audio cartridge and fuses. When I had that installed I really could not believe what I heard. Second I worked with upgrades of all cables, with gave another great thing to the sound. But when I moved to the 300 DR, the background of the music was fully black (quiet). And fourth thing was try different kind of decoupling manners of the components. In this there was a big improvement on the NDX 2 and the Dr. Feickert.
So maybe the effect of a XPS DR on a NDX 2 and or a Supercap on a 282 is bigger, when not having the 300 DR or 500 DR, since these amps have a PSU on the end amp. The same goes for the clean energy flow into the system.
But it is just a gut feeling, and I am very curious what the upgrades can bring in a already balanced system.

Well, country followman :wink:, have a great day

If I may advise you, try XPS DR too. To my ears XPS DR was magnificent upgrade for the NDX2 - even better then SC/282. :wink:


I would second this. If you like an up front forward driving sound, the 252 may be too laid back for you

I have a 252 (after a 282/SC) and it’s certainly not ‘laidback’. Have you heard one directly in comparison to a 282?


I would describe the 252 sound as rich, elegant and unforced. Never heard a 282 but am curious to now.

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I went from a 202 + Hicap + 200 to a 252 and 300. The 252 + 300 is fantastic. Not laid back at all but just so much closer to the music. Of course like all Naim stuff needs time to come on song after a power up

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