Seeking Upgrade path advice

Hello,
My current system is an XPSDR>NDX2>HiCapDR>SN2. I have Dynaudio Focus 260 speakers. My room is 5m x 4.25m x 2.5m; open on one end and glass wall on the other. I have an opportunity to get a grade A refurbished 282 from my dealer or a combo 282/250DR on the used market for a good price. Ideally I was going to hold out for a 300DR as I will eventually upgrade speakers (contour/confidence range) and possibly pre although this could be some time. Should I use the 282/SN2 until I can get a 300DR or would adding the 250DR now be a significant upgrade and the wiser move? I would describe the overall sound of the current system as somewhat laid back/dark which I would like to counter to some degree. Low level listening is fairly important as is bass response.
Much appreciated.

Hi, like you I have NDX2 and XPSDR. I can thoroughly recommend the 282, it was a big jump in SQ from my 202 pre amp, so would certainly be the same from the SN2. I use a 200DR power amp which is a good combination with the 282/Hicap DR. You appear to have the same thoughts as me regarding power amps. I have more or less decided to wait a while and go straight for a 300/300DR and miss out the 250. You could as an option go for a 200DR with a 282. The 200DR is a lot cheaper than the 250 but still performs very well with the 282. Might be worth talking to your dealer and having a listen. Your own ears are the best judge. There are a few options, finance is also a consideration, which is the most cost effective route!
Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!

Andy

It depends on the funds available and the timing of that availability. If I was thinking of a 300 in the future (and I am) I’d look at a 252 and 250 now, with the aim of going to the 300 when further funds could be allocated. I have gone down that path, and I think my next move will be 552 first and the 300 as the final piece. The pre is the key for me. I am sure others will disagree but I think the 282 will be the weak component in your proposed final setup with a 300.

The 300DR is a brilliant amplifier but you’d really want a Supercap on a 282 to get a balance. If all that sounds like too much then a 282/250 may we’ll be the way to go. It’s odd that it sounds dark. Maybe it’s the speakers that are the issue? It’s worth ensuring that your stands, cables and mains are all up to standard before upgrading boxes any further.

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The 300 seems to be very much in favour on the forum at the moment - with good reason as it is excellent. However, the enthusiasm for the 300 risks underestimating the capabilities of the 250. I went broadly from 282 + 250, to 252 + 250DR, and then to 300DR (speakers: SBL and SL2). The sources over the period have been CDS3/CD555 and LP12. The source and pre-amp upgrades all preceded the change to the 300 and over those years the 250 was more than capable of showing the improvements and producing excellent musical sound. So, as with others I would advise putting cash into source and preamp upgrades before the power amp.

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For me Naim is sligtly “dark” in voicing, but Dynaudio is very dark vs Naim !

I’ll point the speaker for this. Dynaudio are very nice speaker but i’ve always found their sound to be muffled personnaly.

Certainly a mather of taste !

What’s your interconnect between the NDX2 and SN2? This can make a huge difference.

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I owned Dynaudio Special 40’s with a Naim SN2 - HCDR. I wouldn’t say Dynaudio’s are dark, I’d say they are very precise and a bit dry. I’d agree that Naim are colored. Not dark but warm and a bit lush. Naim lacks in transparency to the source, that’s the “Naim” sound: Warm, Forward, lots of bounce and fun.

Thank you for all of the replies. “Dark” may not have been the right word to describe the sound. I think what I may be hearing is congestion in the mid/upper mid. When I used other integrated amps I did not experience this-especially when I ran tubes. I am using an AR Lunar Eq. as my interconnect as I do prefer it over the stock cable. I have a Hi-line en route as well. I know the Dyn’s don’t really have a forward sound which suits me as I cannot abide bright. I have also found that, in my room at least, the 260’s are very sensitive and difficult to position so I will continue experimenting with that. My main concern is the SN2 as a power amp. The music plays very loud-don’t usually go past 9 o’clock- and the bass is defined but not as deep or visceral as my tube amp with KT 150’s. Low level listening also not as dynamic. Will the 282 help with this aspect or would that fall more to the amp? Overall I am very pleased with the Naim sound and look forward to moving up the ladder. I live in Hawaii so auditioning-especially now-is not an option. Thanks again to all.

There’s nothing at all wrong with the 282/HCDR/250 combination - in many ways it’s the best ‘bang for your buck’ combo in the Naim range!

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From all the posts, it sounds like the 252/250 (DRs) is a great goal to head for. If I decide it’s time for separates at some point, I’ll go right for that combo. I really don’t like doing incremental upgrades.

Concerning bass at low volume listening though; my ol’ Kef R107s provide plenty of controlled bass, but at low volumes, like when we have friends over and are talking, my subwoofer saves the day. The music would be absolutely lifeless without it. We’d be better off listening to the Klipsch TV sound bar (it has a sub, of course). So you’re not alone with the low-volume bass issue.

During the day I’ll be doing something and have Classical iradio in the bacground, and it really needs the sub.
The sub needs a remote though, of course.

Dave

While going straight to a 252/supercap is tempting I am a bit concerned about the reports of the 252 sounding great but not as lively as the 282. I’m not sure if “lively” refers to brightness or the level of PRAT but it reminds me of my system before I came to Naim. Technically, I would say it sounded better but nowhere near as involving. I’ve also seen the 252 described as “refined” or “mature” and I definitely need some bite to my music. Mainly, I’m trying to enhance a few of the qualities which were diminished when I went to the SN2 - I’d like an opening of the upper mids with more transparency/separation overall and more defined/deeper bass at lower listening levels. This in conjunction with preparing my system for the inevitible speaker upgrade. I don’t mind incremental upgrades as they allow me to judge the character of the component. I do have a good sub but I live in a condo. I use it for movies and the occaisional blu ray concert but I don’t want to subject my neighbors to maddeningly repetitive bass lines.

A Superlumina full loom on the current set up would probably get you well on the way on a lot of what you are looking for. It gets more out of the boxes you have before you swap in other ones as well.

I don’t like the 300 dr . Would skip it and wait for a 500 dr, and enjoy the 250 dr in the meantime.
I know i am in a minority there, but not alone. My dealer too, and 2 or 3 members here.
Better try before buy.

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I have had similar dilemmas in the past … the 250 is good but it will not satisfy your itch…I would hold out and get the 300… Maybe you could get a pre dr … model and have it updated later??? Re the 282…thats a great pre … you will have no regrets there…as long as you like the presentation…(upfront sound)

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You and your dealer should have your ears checked! :rofl:

It’s all a matter of taste of course - for example, I personally don’t like the 282 and I skipped it, upgrading from 102 to 252.

I do however with your last senntence - better try before you buy

Claude

I will go with @timmo1341 to see a specialist and check my ears Claude. I understand, we should not prefer the 250dr. :rofl:

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I have to say the 300DR in the dealer’s demo room did outperform (although only by a small margin) the 250DR. It was in my lounge that the 300 simply didn’t deliver - or rather it did, but too much boomy, overblown bass. Replacing with the 250 solved it completely.
Hence my total commitment to home demo - I would never buy blind (or deaf!) unless on a sale or return basis.

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Before I bought the 300 dr, I demoed it vs the 250 dr, on 252, in a large well sounding room.
I preferred by some margin the 300dr, because the sound had more authority and bass.
But I was surprised to see that the 250 dr was sometimes more agile on some tracks, more immediate and fast. Perhaps 1 track on 3.
I finally choosed the 300 dr, but it was not in my mind : whouah ! The 300 dr is so much better. No, I had not that impression.
The speakers were the same as mine, easy load speakers.

So bought the 300dr. Despite the long run in and changing speakers place, despite some acoustic treatment, I was not fully satisfied. The sound was too bass boomy.
4 months after, I needed some cash and sold it. Bought a 250 dr and overall the sound is a bit leaner, faster, agile, and not bass boomy.
Before the 300 dr I had the 250/2.

I went from SN2 to 252DR/300DR and finally 552DR/500DR.

The 300DR and 500DR are very capable amps, far better then the SN2 and certainly the 250DR.

The 300DR has a tremendous agility, and is able to manage and firmly control frequencies from the very low end up to the top highs.

The 500DR even more. It grabs the very low end with power and total control/grip. It’s simply stunning!

I’d say that the 300DR and 500DR are quite similar. But there are differences, of course. With Naim you always get what you paid for.

I usually don’t value reviews, but HiFi Critic managed to describe the 500 DR quite accurately.

–> https://www.naimaudio.com/sites/default/files/Naim%20NAP%20500DR%20HIFICRITIC%20Complete_1.pdf

Comparing the SN2, and possibly the 250DR, to the 300DR or 500DR I’d say : less control, less extension in both lows and highs.

The combo 252DR/300DR is, in my opinion, the sweet spot in the Naim range. Marvellous value.

If your goal is to get a more detailed, sparkling and refined presentation, I’d say a system built around the 252DR/300DR or 552DR/300DR-500DR is the way to go.