Hi all, I’ve built my system incrementally over about 3 years and I’m looking for advice for my next upgrade. Here is what I have today:
Thorens turntable vintage
BlueSound Node 2i into QuTest DAC
Naim XS2 Integrated Amp
Naim NAP 200
HiCap powers both the XS2 and NAP200
Harbeth P3ERS bookshelf
Stereo Pair of REL T5 (x2)
Am I better off upgrading the preamp or power amp?
Also, I had a dealer tell me that the SuperNait 3 would sound better than a NAC 282 separate.
Sounded strange to me since I’ve always heard separates were better.
His reasoning is that the signal paths are shorter in an integrated amp.
Does this sound right?
No that doesn’t sound right. The 282 is way ahead of the pre section in the SN and pairs brilliantly with the 200.
Thanks. I didn’t think that sounded right. BTW, Should I upgrade my preamp or power amp next?
I agree with what Lindsay has just said, but it seems to me (from what you say) that you need to find a proper Naim approved dealer, who can advise you and - more important - let you hear which of the many options are available to improve your system.
You should concentrate on getting the best preamp that you can afford at present (a 282 would probably be ideal), and you should get a pretty good price by trading in the XS2 against that.
In the world of Naim the preamp is king. Unless your speakers are hard to drive the preamp upgrade usually gives the best results. That said the source has to be good enough in the first instance. I don’t know your sources so I can’t really advise.
What about this:
Save the money on changes - upgrdes -
Enjoy what you have, listen to some music…
Of course, as you have asked the esteemed members (apart from me) of the forum you will get a hundred recommendations, no, more I guess.
In the world of Naim, upgrading is king!
I would also support upgrading to a 282 as the preamp as your next step.
Thanks! I heard this from a licensed Naim dealer that a SN3 integrated would sound as good or better than a separate. Strange!
Nope, 282 with 200 is a great combination add a hicapdr and you’re in dreamland
I have the SN3/hicap Dr in second system , it’s great but 282/200 would be better
Preamps very important in the naim game
Speakers. Unless your room is very small some good full range. E.g. PMC Fact 12 if room not very big, otherwise MB2 (or upward…), however I’m not sure how capable the 200 would be with these, so an amp upgrade might be needed as well. Alternatively ATC actives, SCM40A if room not very big, otherwise 50, 100 or 150… However if your room is very small then maybe stick with satellites and sub, but consider perhaps a pair of Wilson Benesch Torus subs plus one of their satellites.
Once speakers are perfected (with at least adequate amp), you could upgrade the DAC - Chord TT or better still Dave, are the obvious beneficial upgrades. - perhapd plus MScaler…
Is the TT the TD150? (What arm?) that’s a good TT - I upgraded arm on mine to Rega RB300. But regardless, better sound quality with the best streaming so retain the TT for nostalgia and/or vinyl ripping duties.
Of course, all depends on budget which you haven’t identified, and speakers would be influenced by room dimensions.which you’e also not stated……
I have a 202/200 DR with HiCap DR and NapSC. Sounds better than the SN3 I demo’d all my speakers on by a very noticeable margin.
Streamer is next for me and then, in a couple of years, a Pre upgrade probably…
I had a 202/200 with an un Naimed power supply. A local dealer had a used 250-2, I traded in my 200 for the 250-2, after I had borrowed it for a week, the difference was absolutely staggering. The soundstage changed to one with more PRaT.
The digital side consists of a March DAC, acting as a Roon endpoint.
The analouge side is a #Cymbiosis upgrade Pink Triangle turntable.
Speakers are Kudos X3’s
On my upgrade path I had a Nait 5 with a NAP200 and it never really sounded right. It was only a staging post until I got a NAC202 and everything sounded much better. I don’t know how well slimline and classic series stuff really mixes?
I had a NAC282 and NAP200 with dynaudio Focus 140 (stand mounts) and loved it. I then got some Kudos Titan 606s (isobaric) and loved them too, but something was lacking. I don’t think the NAP200 could really handle them.
I don’t really know your speakers, but if you feel the NAP200 works well then them, then the NAC282 would be a good choice. NAP250 are getting cheaper these days too, and that is a good step up from the NAP200.
If you’re looking to upgrade your streamer, NDXs (and NDSs) are very well priced. I don’t know how dated the software interfaces are now? However, it wasn’t until I got an NDX that music replay started to sound real or live?
My late Dad had a phrase “Let the hare sit” and that’s what I’d recommend.
I fear buying a 282 now will be like buying a NDS a few months before the ND555 was released.
Most forum members advised at the time that the NDS would still sound as good (which is obviously true) but I don’t think there were many happy punters who bought an NDS just before it was replaced. It’s like buying at the top of the market, best avoided but hard to call. I don’t think 2023 the big anniversary year will go by without the classic series being replaced.
Not what you want to hear probably and plenty will tell me I’m wrong but plenty said the same in 2018.
I really think @Sloop_John_B has a valid point. Next year might well bring some major changes to the Naim lineup. I doubt they will change the upper end 500 series (could be wrong) but the 250/200/252/282 might well see some changes. I would do my best to wait and see what is coming.
Interesting. I would think not since these things have been a constant for years now. Perhaps a revolutionary power supply line for pre-amps, but of course I am just guessing
We don’t know about the room or what areas you would most like to improve or budget, and I at least can’t judge your Thorens.
With those huge caveats, I’d say that the answer to your question is probably pre-amp. If a 282 would be a big stretch, you could certainly consider an ‘olive’ 82 instead - very much the same advantages for a much lower bill. That might give you enough budget to swap 200 for a 250 (olive or DR) and maybe get a dedicated phono stage.
I’d get rid of the 200 and xs and get a SN3 (or SN2). Then go separates from there if that’s your ultimate goal. The 200 is very forgettable. The 250DR is where I’d be heading when funds allowed.