SN2 Upgrade path - first box recommendations

Appreciating there are already various posts in this manner, which I’ve read a number of already… I thought I’d better start another one!!

So, I’ve had an ND5-XS with Supernait 2 for a while. The SN2 showed up my B&W CM9’s, so replaced with Focal Kanta 2’s a few years ago (I do love the Focals, oh my!)

Last month I went to audition some new headphones… and left with an NSS333 (doh!!!)…in preference to the new 200 series pre/streamer/power combo: I thought the 333/SN2 sounded lovely to my ears, and of course I had one eye on a better future upgrade path.

so I’ve had the 333 a week now, which is amazing - even my wife, who isn’t much into music, immediately noticed the step up in clarity - and clearly the future has now arrived… so, what next?!

funds are fairly low, so I’m trying to keep away from the 300 series amplification for a while, hence I’m considering raiding the piggy bank for a small upgrade in the short term, which might be with me for 12 months… I notice new legacy 200 series kit in a few places, at 1/3 off last years prices now the new 200 series has arrived.

So, is it:

  • HICAP DR @ £1200 for a nearly new or new one
  • 282 @ £3330
  • 250DR @ £3000

answers on a postcard please!

I know I should try them, but that will be difficult given its discontinued stock.

I think it is very good equipment and you will notice further improvement, i prefer its looks to the new classics. I am being offered a trade and purchase of atom he nap 100 hcdr sn3 vs refurbished/ demo 252 supercap dr and 300 dr to go with my remaining ndx2 for about 11k us. The three id be buying are almost 34k us new. Low funds with 2 kids in college but i might still do it. Id be effectively selling my second system to upgrade my primary.

If your aim is to go 300 series amplification in the future then I’d stick where you are, enjoy the NSS 333 with the SN2 and let the funds build up.

You can then add a NAC 332, using the SN2 in power amp mode and then look at the NC power amp options later on.


yes I was thinking of demoing that when I go back to the dealer next month, but I’ve just got really itchy feet now! I can tell the amp is limiting things!!

If you really want to spend some money then the 282 or Hicap DR would be my choice, SN2 with Hicap, or 282 with SN2 in power amp mode. Either piece would need to be traded in / sold if you go the NAC 332 route, but I suspect you’d lose less on the Hicap.

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Staying where you are until you can get a complete New Classic setup makes sense.

If that looks to be years away and you want a shorter-term vfm upgrade, I’d suggest olive era boxes - a serviced 82 and Hicap and 250 together will cost less than £3K.


200 Series NAP250 on the SN2 or an NPX300 on the NSS333 both spring to mind.
You could keep going with an old classic journey of course, but in doing so you’d be looking at a NAC282 + HiCap DR or a NAP250 DR entry point and realistically, by the time you’ve done all that you might as well have aligned the budget to 200 Series additions.

If it was me and my money I’d add a 200 Series NAP250 to the SN2 :partying_face:

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Hi Nick , I’ve asked this question but think it’s got lost , do older olive series amps synergise with naim streamers

It depends in part where you think you might end up.
Sn2 plus hicap could be all you need
If you think you might end up at 282/hicap/250 then you have 2 choices:
Hicap now, then you’ll have one for the 282 when the 250 arrives
282 now, but you’ll need a hicap when the 250 arrives. The 250 can’t power the 282, but the supernait can.
So the paths could be:
282, then hicap, then 250
Hicap, then 282 then 250
Hicap, then 250, then 282
I’d say hicap first as it’s the cheaper option and an obvious upgrade on the sn2 bare.
(There is a 3rd option of 250 first before preamp, but it makes sense to improve the preamp first).

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I’ll be ending up with a high end integrated, or the 300 series pre/power combo I imagine.

The 333 streamer can go higher than the 200 series… and I didn’t like the sound of the new series 200’s on demo, albeit I’m unsure if that was the 222, the 250, or the pairing I didn’t like

Of course this means I might not like the sound of the 300 amps either (I’ve not heard them yet) and I’d perhaps prefer less boxes anyway… Constellation Inspiration Integrated sounds quite magical

Given most of the options there are 15 to 20k, I’m trying to distract myself with a cheaper upgrade in the short term, whilst I pay off the 8k for the streamer at least!

I’m very much with Leonard Cohen on this though… “a man like me don’t like to see temptation giving in” :slight_smile: … so who knows when I’ll end up with the better kit, it might be far sooner than I expect!

the NPX feels like an extravagance… that said, I’ve never listened to a power supply upgrade, as I can’t believe it could do that much, so I don’t know what I’m missing!

the 250DR is tempting at 3000 new… I didn’t like the sound of the new 250, although that was paired with the 222, so not clear which bit I wasn’t keen on

This hand’t crossed my mind!

Interesting… although I’ve always been a 2 box person so going straight to 4 might be too much (for my wife!)

The bit that’s surprising to me is that you leapt straight for the NSS333, you could for example have gone for a used NDX2 instead, a popular combo with the SN2 or SN3. A NSC222 + NAP250 is another obvious “next step” from a SN based setup. There’s not necessarily a bad option from those already outlined above, it’ll come down to your budget and longer term aspirations.
What is clear is there’s a lot of bargains now to be had for new or ex demo classic hardware, so you have about as good a chance as ever to get a lot of system for your money looking at something like a NAC282 + HiCap DR + NAP250 DR, beyond that you’ve got a NAC252 + Supercap DR and even a NAP300 DR, any of those combinations would almost certainly integrate favourably to the NSS333 you’ve already invested in.


I’d buy the hicap and run that for a few months. Since you have a good source and good loudspeakers that should bring substantial improvement.

An hicap is an easy sell on if it doesn’t work out for you.


Very much so. There are some family favours that differ between olive and classics boxes and between DR and non-DR, but judicious mixing and matching works well imho.

I have NDX2+XPSDR driving an olive 52 and Supercap and then a 300DR. I have heard a 252 many times in comparable systems and don’t prefer it. Before the 300DR, I had the above driving a (serviced) olive 250, and that worked very well too.

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Why I went 333… as per my first post … the 333/SN2 combo sounded much more pleasant to my ears than the 222/250 pairing.

The old naim sound from the SN2 but with a large step up in clarity and definition. Noises became clearly discernible instruments. Soundstage was improved. And a better upgrade path

I did consider the NDX2, but digital tech becomes obsolete quickly so went for the newer model. Also the dealer didn’t have an NDX2 to listen to!

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Nah! Get her invested in the process. We went from 1 box to 7 1/3, with SWMBO fully onboard, and she now absolutely loves listening to music again.

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The NSS333 and NDX2 share the same Naim NP800 streaming subsystem, so in that respect they’re the same.
I’m curious you disliked the NSS222 + NAP250 enough to not consider it.
If you’ll hold on to the SN2 for a while adding a HiCap makes sense to power the SN2 preamp section, you can use it later on a NAC282 as a bonus.
The rest comes down to budget and your ears mostly, enjoy the ride (and the tunes) on the way.

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Look at what you want to end up with and how long will it take to achieve that?

I would be looking at a final system of

250NC or 350 350

And then 1 or 2 300NPX.

So next on list depends what you want to end up with.

The 250NC are going for £4k used now. Then swap out Supernait for 332. Would be great 3 box system.

At least then you’re not buying something and selling it on.

Or just leave it as it is and see if Naim release a new version of Supernait!

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This makes the most sense to me. Having said that I have a mixture of all boxes apart from NC boxes.