New Classic series upgrade path

Good morning. in your opinion what is the best update for a current owner of nac 252/supercap dr- nap 300 dr and nd555. do you think it is better to upgrade the nac 252 with the nac 332 with npx 300 or upgrade the nap 300 de with the nac 350?

Neither. Stick with what you have. It could well be better… :thinking:


Assuming you have a dealer close by I’d be doing a demo of your possible upgrades and decide for yourself. 332/300/350(2) would be an even swap in box count and is likely going to be a big improvement but I’d have a listen first.

Agreed, really too early to tell where the new 300 range sits compared to a 252/300 based system

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I’d do neither, I really don’t think mixing up your system with those options is going to be a significant upgrade on an already excellent system. In your situation, I’d only really be thinking about a 552 DR to upgrade from the 252 DR. Also, if you haven’t, use a decent switch with a linear power supply for the ND555.


Yes, a s/h 552 was going to be my suggestion. Huge upgrade in my system from 252.



No doubt there will be differences in the nature of the sound with the 300 but can’t help but feel this will be a sideways. If you want an upgrade a 552 it must be!

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A friend who has a similar system as you, except for the nd555, chose that route last week.

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I really think this is the right path. Also because the nac 332 can initially go without power. So someone can calmly see 252 and supercap and then finance the purchase of the NPX 300


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You obviously want a 300 series box. I think it would be important to demo a ‘naked’ 332 vs what you have. Nobody yet can really tell you which will be better, or if just ‘different’. £15k for the pre/PS I’d want to be sure.

A 552 will be better, by a big jump. I have the tee shirt…


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That would be really sad that, if, over two decades later they replace the 252 with something that’s not as good.

As far as the OP’s question. I’d go preamp over amp as first upgrade. Since you already have a ND555 a 552 may be the way to go if it fits budget wise

What does a 552 add that a 252 doesn’t? I always regarded pre amplification to be transparent, without altering the source signal. How much does transparency cost?

Oh, so much. Detail, texture, nuance, pace and a totally engaging performance.

I went from 252/ScapDR to 552/552PS DR last month and I am rediscovering my music collection. The biggest upgrade jump I have ever made of any component in my system over 25 years.

I think others will share that the preamp is far more than just a ‘window’.



If not a window, an expensive DSP!

I can only tell you the lesson of my ears. I don’t care how it works but it has been worth every penny for musical enjoyment.

I think other owners will share a similar experience.


You really should go to your dealer and demo for yourself. If you don’t have a dealer and are buying blindly I’d go with the 332/300 for your 252/SCDR for a pretty significant improvement. The 350 will be a huge improvement as well but I’d start with the pre. Always better to listen for yourself though.

Not saying it won’t be better, OP needs to listen and make their own mind. Looking at the prices I would say bare 332 would be a 282 replacement and adding the 300 would be a 252 replacement so I would expect the 332 on its own to be better than a 282 but would have to listen in comparison to a 252. Even though I have a 252 I would be delighted if the 332 on its own was better.


The 252 was ‘better’ than the 52. It was also ‘different’ and many debates have been had as to which people found more enjoyable. Me included. Who knows about the 332?

Should be better, might just be different. Shiny and new is always tempting though

Surely demo essential, preferably at home?


Guess it’s difficult to compare the 332 against the 282 and 252 without factoring in some sort of power supply cost for the older models.

282 @£5,400 plus HiCapDR @£1,600 would be closest to a bare 332 @£7,900
252 @£7,700 plus SuperCapDR @£5,000 would then be closest to 332/300 @£13,600

So I’d hope that given the new tech etc that the bare 332 was better than 282/HCDR, but I would be surprised if it can surpass the 252/SCDR without the addition of the 300. Great if it does, or even if it gets close.