SN3 + LP12 Upgrade paths

Hello, I’m new to the forum after getting back into HiFi during the recent lockdown. My local dealer has been very helpful in allowing extensive home demos of lots of kit and after starting from scratch I’ve ended up with a Majik LP12 (w/Lingo4 & karousel) and ArcamCDS50 as sources into a SN3 and Spendor A7s.

What I’m finding is that I’m using Tidal to discover new music and for background music, then for the things I really like and want to sit and enjoy I’ll buy the vinyl. I have a decent sized existing CD collection hence the CDS50 as a cost effective way of covering both CD and streaming.

Given that my focus at the moment is primarily on improving the sound from vinyl I’m interested in what upgrade paths folk have taken from a similar starting point. I chose the Naim/Linn combination because 1/ it sounded the best to my ears and 2/ the ability to upgrade in incremental steps was very appealing.

I think I’ll be quite happy with the MM adikit into the SN3 phono stage for the moment, but knowing the pros/cons of superline & hicap vs radikal & urika when moving to MC would be helpful.

More immediately would my next steps be better served with adding a hicap to the SN3? I expect my end point would be separate pre/power amps and also adding a better digital source. I’ve been keeping an eye on Naim PSUs on eBay etc and would not be opposed to buying used - I assume the PSUs last for ages and are less impacted by age/technology becoming obsolete?

Any guidance most appreciated!

Thanks

Welcome to the forum

You have a very god starting point, and with the new karsouel which is exceptional, I would look at internal on your deck better phono stadge and kore

On my lp12 have had number of upgrades from Valhalla, to stage line, then Naim pre powered by HCDR, now landed with Urika and Radikal

As with Naim, try and work out end plan, and work towards that, first thing I would look to change is the majick phono

The Lingo 4 is brilliant and is a keeper until later

Thanks for the kind words Antz. I guess I’m a little loathe to add a phono stage at this point given I’d probably want to jump to MC and either a Superline or the Ulrika. I believe the Stageline isn’t going to be any better than the phono stage in the Supernait3.

So given I’d like to stick with the MM and SN3 phono stage for a while is my best next step adding a power amp, preamp or hicap to the SN3? Seems to be quite confusing!

Thanks

You can add a Hi-Cap DR to the SN 3 for now and you should demo one with your dealer to see if it works for you on your system in your room. If you go with the Hi-Cap DR it could be used with a 282 pre amp if you decided to move to a pre/power combination. A number of people will start with the NAC 282 pre with the NAP 250 DR power when moving from a SuperNait.

Good luck with your decision and enjoy the journey!

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As you’ve dropped £8,000 or more on hifi in the last few weeks, the best advice I can can give is simply to enjoy it. Why on earth do you want to upgrade so soon? It’s probably not even run in yet.

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Imho you may get a better pound for pound improvement trading in the lingo 4 for a pre loved radikal than going for a hi cap DR on the SN3.

Would set you up for a urika in the future.

as @hungryhalibut suggests I would let the whole system bed in for a while, and then look the natural partner to SN3 is HCDR, not the pre amp route

I like you only listen to vinyl. I have the SN3 and recently acquired the NDX2.
I find myself listening less to vinyl as the NDX2 is that good!!!

I use to have the LP12 with Radikal etc and moved onto a Kuzma which IME is much better. I use MC and a seperate phono stage.

Now I have the NDX2 I am seriously considering putting a good MM and going direct to the SN3.

The most I enjoyed my LP12 was when I had the Majik with the Addikt cartridge before going down the LInn rabbit hole.

Sometimes it’s best to enjoy what you have. Having spent silly money on my LP12 I found I could get better results from other TT and arms.

A hicap DR is the first step to a pre power setup from a supernait but as said above, take your time.

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@OpenD, As an aside, which Kuzma deck did you swap out the Linn for?

Ref2. Using a 4 point 11 tonearm.

Many thanks.

Thanks some solid advice there, especially the warning not to be too quick to want to change up. I guess it’s human nature that once you get a system sounding really good you wonder just how far you can take it!

OpenD it’s interesting you note that you best enjoyed your LP12 with a MM cart. If I ever do decide to go down a MC route (Linn or other) I would only do so on the basis of an extended demo and ideally at home.

Without wanting to open up another can of worms I do question whether many people can actually hear a tangible difference, let alone an improvement by making some of the Linn/Naim upgrade steps. I get the sense that in many cases there is such a strong bias towards justifying a purchase it “has” to sound better! I remain sceptical and will approach with caution :slight_smile:

I think a good way to reduce the risk of disappointment is to try the Naim power supplies second hand - no improvement and you sell them on for what you paid. That obviously isn’t going to be possible for all considered elements though unfortunately.

Anyway must go, got some NDX2 reviews to read!!

on my deck I have used DV 10x5, 20x5 and now XX2 moved from MC to MM each a set up

simple answer is YES in each set both in source with LP12 and System with NAIM, the goal more music which I had with each step - it’s a journey which you can either make as you go, or if budget allows to non stop

Welcome WhiskeyGuy! Best advice has been given. I know it can be hard to resist the upgrade bug, but listen to the forum and just enjoy your system. You have a very very nice system…

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