SN3 and NAC 252 or NDX2

Currently I own a SN3 with HiCapDR and Proac’s D20R speakers. My source is an Auralic Aries LE streamer with Sbooster PSU and a Denafrips Pontus II Dac with Iris DDC. Connected with a morgana cable to my SN3.
I have to upgrades alternatives;

  1. NDX2 Dac/streamer
    2)NAC 252 preamp
    Which upgrade alternative will offer the best sound quality with my setup? Thanks for your support!



A NAC282 will slot in to your system (powered by the Hicap) but a 252 would need a SUPERCAP also.

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Assuming you are purchasing “new”, a 252/Supercap is approximately £13k.

Given that you presumably do not have a power amplifier, I assume you would be using the power amp.of the SN3. I don’t think this would be a great course of action unless you are ultimately aiming for a pre/power combination.

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My plan is to sell the SN3 and buy a NAP 250 DR later this year. Sorry for the lack of info.

You’ll need to listen yourself I am afraid.

252/SC/250 is definitely a lot better than SN3/HCDR. All 3 boxes can (and, for many of us, should) be bought second-hand. Your speakers are plenty good enough to show the difference.

I have an NDX2 and think it excellent, but thought it considerably better when also using the XPS2 or XPSDR.

I don’t know your source streamer/ DAC/ PS/DCC, but suggest you dem it against an NDX2.

If the NDX2 is not well ahead to your ears, then I would aim at 252/SCDR/250DR and keeping your source.

If 252/SC/250 is simply too much cash, even S/H, you may opt for old kit in the shape of 52/SC/250 - if serviced in the last decade or so, they are very close to 252/SCDR/250DR (and some of us marginally prefer the 52).

Even a 282 (or old 82) will out-perform your SN3 if matched to your HCDR and a 250. It is also a much cheaper option than 252/SCDR.

However, if the NDX2 sounds considerably better than your source to your ears, then the suggested route changes - NDX2 first, and XPS for it second. That combo is not too good for your SN3/HCDR and will really sing with your speakers.

Good luck!


Lots of threads on upgrade paths from SuperNait and the search function and reveal 50+ threads/discussion on the paths that members have taken.

I added a NDX 2 to my SN 2, then a XPS DR, then a HiCapDR, then a NAC 282, then a NAP 250 DR and all were very worthwhile upgrades. Worked with a dealer on all and had demo in showroom and at home before purchase on each step of the way.

My first Naim system was ND5 XS > Nait XS 2 > ProAc D2D and have over time upgraded components a few times and current system is: XPS DR > NDX 2 > Hi-Line > HiCap DR > NAC 282 > NAP 250 DR> NAC A5 > ProAc D30RS.

Lots of advice on the forum, the best advice I found was working with a trusted dealer. Good luck on the journey…


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