SN3 and Focal Electra 1038BE 2


I am thinking of switching from 250DR/272 to SN3/NDX2. Would the SN3 up to the task for the 3 subwoofers of the Focal Electra 1038BE 2? With current setup I notice not much engagement at low volume say 20-25%. Don’t know if SN3/NDX2 will improve that. Any opinions on this? Sensitivity is 93 dB of the focal, so easy to drive is said.


The SN3 will drive them but won’t control them as well as the 250. It would be very much a sideways step to change. I’d suggest either adding a XPSDR to the 272 or swapping the 272 for an NDX2, 282 and Hicap DR. Unless, of course, a ‘new’ 272 suddenly appears. If you went the XPS route you’d be ready for that possibility.


There’s no getting away from the fact that the 250DR is a better power amp than the one in a Supernait. To my ears, the improved front end you would get from an NDX2 more than makes up for this, so if I had to choose between the two systems, I would go for the NDX2/SN3. Having compared the old NDX/SN2 to 272/250DR in a demo, I preferred the former, although the difference was not huge.
I would concede that demanding speakers might tip the balance in favour of the 272/250, but how that would work out with your Focals, I couldn’t say.


I once heard the NDX/SN2 vs 272/250(DR) in direct competition into the Focal Sopra 2s. To my ears the former was clearly the better performer, better staging, better defined bass.




Thank you for the insight, I was already in doubt about with switch to SN3/NDX2. So was the Naim dealer and he is willing to lend a SN3 so I can test but in combination with 272. Don’t know what cables I would need then, but that is up to him. However I also think it is more a side step as in the past I had SN2/HiCap DR/NDX . The HiCap did not add much I thought then and made the switch to the 250DR/272. I was also thinking to go 300DR/272…so many options

Really? I had both combinations with my Focals and found the 250DR/272 the better combination, not by miles, but stil. I am looking for more authority at lower volume levels. thx for your respons

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I had indeed the same experience with SN2/NDX and 250DR/272. It’s because that high sensitivity of 93 dB that makes you feel that any amplifier can do the trick, however that I don’t believe.

Have you tried a XPSDR or 555PS on your 272? The latter in particular makes a massive improvement in engagement and general naturalness.

No, not tried both yet. I can asked if the dealer has a demo model, which I doubt. I would love to hear the 272/555PS combination, it must be great.

Do you have a limit on box count or cost? The NDX2 would be the better streamer, but adding a PS to the 272 now would be an instant lift on the 272/250 and could be used with a NDX2 later on if you replaced the 272 with a pre amp heading the 250. Maybe decide what is the end goal - and work back from there. If you had kept that SN2…

Box count is important, Ideally = 3 :slight_smile:

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I think the answer then is to add a power supply to your 272. I have an NDX2/XPS DR/SN2/HiCAP, so 3.5 boxes. But I think the 272/250 with an XPS DR would be at a similar level, though I haven’t compared.

Yes, I was thinking of adding psu. Thx

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I run a SN3 with a NDX2 and they are a very good combination.
The XPS DR is a big improvement on the NDX2.
The SN3 has no problem driving and controlling my Evoke 50s.

Good to hear :slight_smile: , your speakers are more demanding I read into 4 Ohm. However you have 2 woofers, these focals have 3. Is it that in order to play good bass, the woofers are more demanding then the mid and high range?

I can get a pre-loved 555 PS, but is from 2012 and later DR was added. Is the unit not too old ? What’s the opinion on this?

Was it serviced when it had the DR upgrade? If you’re not sure, ask the seller for the serial number and Naim will be able to tell you. Any PSU that’s been back to Naim for a service is pretty much as good as new for about another 10 years. If you buy unserviced 2012 unit, you will need to budget for the price and inconvenience of getting it done yourself at some point, so the price should reflect this.

It’s a 324xxx number and DR’ed in 2016, they say mint condition. Price seems fair.
I will asked if the unit was serviced.

I bought the 555PS DR! Can’t wait to connect it and listen. I honestly don’t know what to expect ….
must be something good.

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Nicely done! What is it going to power out of interest? I’m looking to add a 555PS DR to my NDX2 at some point, that combined with a SN3. Whatever it’s powering the 555PS is a very capable supply that will be sure to add refinement and enjoyment to your system.