NSS 333 review

Rega P10 into NSC222/NPX300 vs bare 332?

I only used the 332 without the NPX300 briefly with my LP12 as it was so much better with the NPX300. So take this with a grain of salt.

To my ears, in my system, the “open box” NSC222 with broken in NPX300 was better with the LP12 than the bare 332 with the LP12. Would it be better long term, I’m not sure.

It does show the NPX300 makes a huge difference with both the 332 and the 222

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Interesting. I assume you used the same phono amplifier to feed both?

I read your beautifull 332 review as well. I m planning a 332/250nc combo. Do you think it will sing or the 250 will not suite ?

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Under the NDX2 page the upgrade path is NSC 222, @JonathanG how much is the improvement as just recently I have connected NPX 300 to the NDX2 or should I sell the NDX2 and buy NSC222 in case the improvement is huge.

I would guess it’s an error. I would expect some at first while the new website takes proper shape over the next few days/weeks.


The photo is of NAC 332 and not NSC 222, may be there is an error either while copying a photo or mentioning the text below.

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It’s a huge claim for the NSC 222 to be better than the NDX 2. Unluckily I haven’t compared the two directly but I would guess the NDX 2 is better (even though the NSC 222 sounds great). A deep comparison among the NDX 2, NSS 333 and NSC 222 would be very interesting.


Yes. Exact same system. Using the Rega Aura for both. I’m shocked how good the NSC222/NPX300 works as a preamp.


That’s very interesting to one constrained by space to a single Fraim stack. Would I be contemplating upgrading from a NSC222/NPX300/NC250 to a 333/332/350, I would need to lose the NPX300 due to lack of space (given the P10/Aria) for a bare 333/332 combo at some additional expense, even with the NPX300 trade in. Sounds like it’s not a straightforward upgrade and would deserve careful audition (discounting of course the 350s over the 250). Says a lot for the NSC222/NPX300 combination.

Thanks for pointing out the wrong caption on that pic - will ask for it to be changed…


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I’m guessing the 333 and 332 have been designed for use with the NPX300 in a two tier Fraim stack configuration (assuming vinyl source as part of the equation) to achieve the sizeable uplift over the NSC222/NPX300. Maybe a better alternative for occupying the spare shelf in my Fraim would by achieved by replacing the 250 with the 350 monoblocs? :thinking:

To answer your question of whether the 332/250nc would make a good pairing - the answer is assuredly yes! Naim tell me that the 250nc has superior drive capabilities to the outgoing NAP300 combo. It’s not a pairing I have reviewed of course, but from everything I have heard and Naim have said I think it would make a superb system. Frankly if I had the budget for 300 series I think 332/250nc is where I would be putting my money simply because it’s the modern day (superior) equivalent to my 82/250 and I don’t really want more boxes than I have now.

Some others have asked my view of the NSS 333 having recently acquired an NDX2. Personally I thought the NSS 333 was a huge step up from the NDX I was using at the time of the review. It made me realise how much Naim have moved the game on since the NDX days and directly led to me upgrading. I couldn’t stretch to a 333, so I went for the next best thing! The NDX2 is a lot closer to the 333 for sure - but I still feel the NSS 333 is superior, it’s more ‘analogue’ sounding and communicates the emotion of the music even better. That’s what really shocked me actually when I had it in the house. It gave me goosebumps and made me teary eyed in a way I’ve found only top flight analogue (or live) previously did. It wasn’t just me either, my wife asked me to stop playing some Mary Black one night because it was making her too upset/emotional (she’s Irish and her Father passed away last Summer).

My Soundstage reviews elaborate at length, but to summarise: In my view this is Naim’s finest ever industrial design and they’ve managed to harness the magic that made me fall in love with Naim back in 1988 with that little Nait 1. It’s vastly more refined of course, but in terms of emotional communication it’s like reconnecting with your first love twenty years later and sensing she was ‘the one’. Sure she may look a little different, but in all the ways that matter it feels just the same…



Thank you @JonathanG for your thoughts. When I listened to the NDX 2 for the first time it gave me goosebumps, so I do wonder how the NSS 333 would make me feel at this point. Hope to test it sooner or later!


The 333 / 300 ps seems to be very close to the Nds/555 dr, « more analogue sounding and communates the emotions better » vs the Ndx2/555 dr.
So if someone streams only locally and has already the 555 dr, I guess it’s no point going to 333.

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I don’t think it’s a huge claim, the NC streaming platform is different so a direct comparison is difficult b/c some, many, most, will prefer the new platform. I passed on the NDX2 b/c it just sounded meh to me. It needs a XPS/555 to sound decent. I prefer the 222/555 to any NDX2 combo I’ve tried. The NC platform is just better in all respects for me. You’ll need to decide for yourself though, no one can tell you what you like.

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Speculation leading to a definitive conclusion.


The NDX2 and NSC222 (and NSS333) all share the NP800 streaming platform. Their DAC implementations and analogue reconstruction are different though, as might well be the operating environment of the streaming card. They do all share the latest Naim streaming technology (from StreamUnlimited) though.


If sound quality began and ended with the NP800 there’d only be one streamer. Clearly the implementation and environment it sits in matters.

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Speculation or subjective listening impressions, not a big difference.
My conclusion is personal, so yes, I could have written IMHO.
And I said only « not worth going for 333 « in the case of local streaming. And if someone has already a 555 dr. An Nds will cost 2k, the 333 5 times more.

I based my speculation on:

  • it’s quite established, for a majority of members, that the NDS sits between NDX2 and ND555.
  • recent reviews pointed that the 333 sits between Ndx2 and Nd555.
  • I heard several times the Nds and Nd555 at my dealer place, on a very similar system, with an usb stick fitted inside. For me, the gap is not that big, but significant.

So it makes me thinking that Nds and 333 should be on similar level, maybe one a little bit better, maybe both just different. Does it worth spending 8k more, if someone streams only locally. No, in my very humble and such subjective opinion. :grin: