Next Upgrade

So I know there are hundreds of threads out there on this topic but I guess I thought I’d ask my fellow Naim peeps anyway
I have an XS based system (ND5 XS2; NAIT XS2; Flatcap XS; Stageline N; Rega RP3 with power supply etc - my speakers are PMC Twenty5 23) and even tho I’m epically pleased have the upgrade itch!

Opinions only please - no arguments as life is too short - if I were to go to power amp (a 200 is all my budget would stretch to) has anyone noticed a difference?

BTW - I always flinch when I see folk say ‘my modest system’. I’ve worked hard all my life to get the system I have and I’m over the moon with it. One person’s modest system is another ones lifetime dream!
Yes I’ve marvelled at some of the system pics here but…


So many choices!

How about moving on to a Supernait 2

You could also change your TT for a P6

Budget plays a part of course as you can go silly with it all but a NDX 2 is a nice step up on the ND5

Indeed so!

I heard the supernait when I demo’d my speakers - very nice! I guess the couple of extra watts helps but I’ll have to do some digging on any other differences

And I made the silly suggestion of plugging an NDX2 in…!

202/200 vs supernait I wonder? :thinking:

I would save - until you can make the jump up to a NDX2/SN3 system. Wait for a few years - they’ll show up used soon enough. The PMC 25.23 should grow with the ndx2/sn3.

Another option is not an upgrade, but a change of flavor. Just change speakers. Enough to fix the itch maybe.

For an upgrade - do you have a dedicated electric circuit. Don’t underestimate this. Might be the biggest value spend. Powerlines, Hiline, Fraim-(Lite) will all make your system give more of what they can - and you’ll be able to use all these even when you move to the next naim rung.

Already running naca5?

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Thanks for the suggestions- much appreciated

Speakers are only a couple of months old (back end of ‘19) so happy with what they’re doing!

Rack is an Atacama affair so also OK I feel

I’m running Chord Shawline to the speakers

Power is an interesting point - I’ve moved house recently and away from ‘noisy’ solar panels and underfloor heating pumps so have seen a marked improvement but maybe more to squeeze out

Go with a s/h 200, then a preloved 202 and then your set after a hicap. And the cables you’ve been recommended can be final step. Good luck!

Yeah that was where my head was at!

My reluctance with the supernait was all the features on it I know I’d never use - as silly as that sounds because I’d have a 252 in a heartbeat if I could afford it!!

But I’d rather plough funds into a ‘lower end’ pre/power that would be fully utilised

Would the flatcap still serve it’s purpose in the short term so we think?


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A different perspective from me, another fan of the XS range.

I once ran a CDS3 into a Nait XS and Naim SBLs. A wonderful set. Detractors here (and there were many) said that the XS wasn’t a good enough amp for the first class source. Myself, I say that they had never heard an XS fed with such a good source and consequently had no idea of what such a ‘modest’ amp was capable of.

You are basically happy but have the upgrade itch. So get the best sources you can for your Nait XS2. NDS, Rega Planar 8 etc.

Good luck with it and please report back on your findings.


It sounds like you want to move to a pre + power type system from where you are today with your NAIT. I would agree with others comments of optimising the system you currently have unless you aim to stick with a NAIT type system.
I’ve owned a NAIT XS and later an XS 2 and the XS 2 you have is a very engaging amp. I later moved on to a SN2 and more recently a SN3 and along the way added a HiCap DR when I had the XS 2 and it’s moved to new systems since.
It’s worth noting that your focus shouldn’t just be Watts or Power, yes the different amps have different power ratings but the improvements you’ll find as you move up through the ranges are more about isolation of noise and improvements in timing and control of your speakers.
You’ll often hear the phrase “source first” meaning that a better source (a streamer or CD player for example) will give more improvement to your listening experience than a better pair of speakers.
If you can afford it and digital is your main source, i’d be inclined to replace your ND5 with an NDX 2.
Later you can sell everything else including the NAIT and the Flatcap and then move to a NAC200 + NAP200 level system and take it from there.
You could also swap in a HiCap and replace your Flatcap now and use it on the NAIT then later use it on your NAC202.
I’ve owned that pre/power combo and it is a nice setup, in my case I wanted to go beyond that to at least a 282 pre and eventually a NAP250 but then kids and major home renovation happened and I downscaled back to a SN2 at that time, I’ve since stuck there and focused back on improvements elsewhere, namely replacing the ND5 XS 2 I currently have with a NDX 2. I’ve just swapped out the SN2 for a SN3 as well.
The goal here is a 4 box system with NAIT + Streamer and PSU’s on both.
You can find a lot of value and enjoyment as you move to a pre/power system but expect it to get expensive as you tweak and tune it, adding a Fraim for example and moving to Super Lumina cabling.
Keep the thread active as you explore your options, happy to share some ideas having owned lots of different NAIT’s and PMC speakers too!

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Fantastic Mr.M - thanks for taking the time out to share your thoughts.

The NDX 2 is so tempting but just out of reach for me at the moment hence looking at the pre-loved market for other options - minimum boxes is a definite pull for me having had an 8 box system in the past (albeit half width)

I guess the Supernait being the top of the NAIT tree it brings significant improvements over the XS2? The functions I referred to that I would never use is the balance and record output features however I assume there are other differences in it’s bowels as you describe.

What was your opinion of the 202/200 vs SN? Same kind of ball park?

Perhaps a preloved Supernait and/or HiCap are the way forward in the short term and in the absence of funds for the ND!

I would ring a round a few dealers to see if they had or were willing to offer you an ex demo NDX2. My dealer knowing i needed 252/300 as well as streamer told me when i could have them as ex demo, so i waited a few months…then bought the lot.

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having climbed the Naim ladder a rung at a time, I have always ended up improving the source, just ahead of the amp level. So, CDX2 before 202/200, and CDS3 before 282/250, and then 555Dr for the source before 252/300. This was always the result of auditioning the options first.
Gazza’s advice is spot on too, as when I realised I needed a CDS3 as my next step, but knew I couldn’t afford it new, I asked my dealer to find me a pre-loved one, which he did without objection,

@Gazza makes a good point, you could look for decent trade in against ex demo units as they cycle through stock. Dealers tend to keep demo stock 9-12 months then pass them on, always worth keeping in touch with whoever you have local in that respect, a good dealer will be flexible enough to do a deal.

In terms of comparisons between systems, it’s a good question and a very common one!

When I went through the XS NAIT’s then on to a SN2 I also had a SN1 for a short time between the NAIT XS and NAIT XS 2. The SN1 had the two rows of facia buttons and also had an internal DAC, ultimately I ended up swapping it for a NAIT XS 2 and built up from there. I enjoyed the XS 2 a lot and added a HiCap to it and changed CD player around same time as well as moving from mostly Chord Interconnects to a Naim Hi-Line.

The SN2 made quite a difference I felt mainly having more power overall especially bottom end and a wider soundstage especially with a HiCap on it driving the Preamp in the SN2.

It’s probably fairest to compare the NAC202/NAP200 to the SN2 as they are at closer performance levels, if budget space was/isn’t an issue then the 202/200 is a more musically rewarding system. It needs at least a HiCap (can use a SuperCap) and ideally you’d be looking at a better source, certainly for digital like an NDX 2 for example, the NDX 2 tends to end up with an XPS DR powering it, so you can see you could get to 5 quite expensive boxes even low down the ladder on the pre/power range.

From there you can move to a NAC282 easily enough and that in fact was my “old” plan that from a 202/200/HiCap I would replace the preamp with a 282 (powered by HiCap) then replace the HiCap with a SuperCap then replace the 282 with a 252 (powered by the SuperCap) then replace the NAP200 with a 300 which has it’s own PSU (300 PS) which gets you to 6 boxes and a temptation to go to more!

This is all based on a passive setup, if you then moved to an active system and used a SNAXO crossover you can then separately feed each speaker driver with it’s own NAP either 2 way or 3 way.

So you can see if your appetite and wallet allows you can take this a long way and that’s just on a path from the XS range and up through the Classic range!

Whatever you have there’s always something bigger and better above it unless you’re Louis Hamilton or Richard Branson, so the advice to get the source specced up is probably a valid one, it does mean you won’t have anything to change for maybe months to come but it’s probably worth doing things that way in the longer term.

In the meantime yes you can sell on your Flatcap and get a HiCap, that will improve the amp you have and probably the next couple after that! It will tighten up the bass and open up the sound a little on your NAIT XS 2, beyond that you can use it on a SN, a NAC202 and even a NAC282 either on it’s own or as a pair on the NAC282, it’s a very flexible PSU and for what it costs, even new it’s good value.

If you look out for a used one aim to get one around 2-6 years old to maximise price against value. Avoid older non DR ones, they look the same but lack the benefits of the DR (Discrete Regulator) technology. The suggested maintenance interval on amps and power supplies is 10 years so again buying used kit that’s less than 10 years old means you avoid a possible service bill, they can be expensive depending on the kit you are servicing, that said Naim are very good at servicing and repairs and apart from some products where spares aren’t available, like DVD players, they can and do servicing almost anything they’ve ever made.

I don’t know what Interconnects you use but a Hi-Line works well and is worth a try, your rack is a part of the system as well so you could also look at a used Fraim Lite for example.

Great advice all - thanks so much

It’s a good shout Gazza - my dealership is very good and we are on first name terms so to speak so I’ll have a chat to them

I love this - it’s a need not a want!!

I will of course audition but as a starter plan feels like an immediate hit with a HiCap and some patience finding an NDX2 and XPS before hitting the amp section

Honest, experience based advice - thanks again - I’ll keep you posted

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SN3 is obvious but I’d say dedicated radial spur first.

I’ve just come back from that thread!
Now is that 6mm or 10mm T&E?

Hi @Dene

I’d think hard before scratching that upgrade itch. It’s only too easy to change a box only to find you really need to change another for balance, then a new PS, then new speakers finally ending up with a system that is sonically superior but not necessarily giving you extra listening pleasure commensurate with the money spent. OK if you’ve got loads of cash to spare, but we’re not all in that situation.

You have a very fine system which seems to be giving you a great deal of pleasure and (barely run in?) new speakers. How about just enjoying it for a few months? If you are then hearing weaknesses in the setup you could effectively target your upgrade to those weaknesses. Or, who knows, perhaps that mythical beast the 372 will have appeared giving you an alternative low box-count upgrade route.

Have fun



I think that’s also a great shout @PeakMan

This is why a post on here is a positive experience (mostly!!)

It affords a well rounded, balanced discussion

It is a great system and I sometimes have to pinch myself at owning a £10k music machine (which makes me smile when I see some system pics posts saying for example they have just ‘upgraded’ to a ND555…one upgrade is my entire system :joy:)

That said I’m always a great believer in having a goal and having reached my ‘top’ in guitar ownership thanks in no small part to my amazing wife it’s onwards to the hifi side

But maybe yes to enjoying it for a while… as you’re spot on with the speaker run in - they just keep getting better

My dealer suggested the PMC / Naim combo and he was spot on! Albeit first demo was an NDX2/SN2/HCDR/PMC25.23!! I had to come back down to earth a tad before signing!!

Here’s a suggestion. Use the Nait as a Pre amp. Get a pair of 135s, the least expensive you can. Send them to Naim for a service. You can get an appropriate cable to connect the Nait easily on line, with one plug for the pre amp and split cables for the 135s.
The sound will blow you away. Far superior to a 250 (I’ve got both). Sure, your turntable is not a Sondek but presumably you stream most things.

V best, Adrian