Sonic differences SN3 vs 282/250DR

Since its quite difficult to audition the 282/250dr combo these days since they are discontinued I would like some input on the sonic difference.
The SN3 was released 15-20 years after the 282/250 so I’m wondering whether the technology hasn’t caught up over time to close the gap between these.
Does it still makes sense to go for this option when you are on a SN3 + HC DR?
The NC is out of budget range before anyone makes this suggestion.

For me it definitely was worth it. Music is bigger in all areas more forward and engaging. Was honestly shocked when I went down to the sn3/hcdr during in my demo comparing (though admit my dealer did warn me :joy:). It took me a couple of months after the demo for it to stop influencing how I heard my music while I saved up.

Don’t get me wrong the sn3 is brilliant and I can totally understand why some people stop there. If you prefer a less forward/exciting presentation you may prefer a different combo. It also depends on your speakers/room of course.

It may be that the next supernait equivalent matches 282/hcdr/250dr, I’ll definitely be interested to see if that is the case.


having just tested a SN3 vs my 282/HCDR/250DR I was pleasantly surprised how good the SN3 was

However it is not a 282/HCDR/250DR and the 250 DR (helped by the excellent 282) quickly shows why it is more expensive than a SN3, simply put there is more quality of bass as well as quantity , and much better grip on the speaker. There are more differences, but I won’t get into those, suffice to say I was happy to have made the jump to 282/HCDR/250DR, and only confirmed this after hearing them side by side. I know over the years on this forum, many say the SN is as good as a 282/250DR/HCDR, but this is just not the case to my ears… still the SN3 in isolation is really good though, until one hears the next levels up

did the same test against 202/200DR with NAPSC, the SN3 did sound very good indeed, but some high frequency notes were a bit more “clear” to my ears (but in no way unpleasant) but I never hear this on my 202/200DR. They do sound quite similar, I have to say, and apparently have similar parts, so no surprises… but I never bothered to purchase any Supernait.

I prefer the more analogue and gentle sound (yet with clarity and resolution) of the 202/200DR/NAPSC, I guess I always preferred Naim separates.


I’ve tried to reduce my boxes count by replacing 282/scdr/250dr with SN3/hcdr without success. Like @dmu said, music is bigger in all areas and more engaging with the 282/scdr/250dr.


Would the exciting / upfront character cause quicker listening fatigue than the perhaps more gentle SN3?

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I haven’t found it fatiguing at all, it might be with certain speakers I don’t know it depends on your preferences. But I’ve now had two different speakers and I could listen to either with the 282/hcdr/250dr combo for hours. Edit: I know that there are a couple of people who prefer an alternative presentation at which point they either stick with the sn3 or with the current drop in prices could try the 252/scdr/250dr which seems to have a more laid back sound than the 282. But if this forum is anything to go by I haven’t seen many who felt that way.

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I would highly recommend adding an HCDR to the 202/200DR/NAPSC combo, it will become considerably more dynamic, tuneful and engaging.

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This question is kind of interesting as well, apart from you main inquiry - I went from a bare SN2 to a 82/SN2 and then 82/HC/SN2 and even the first step was a very significant one, which actually confirmed that 82 is a great (or among the greatest) Naim pre amp/s and SN2’s power amp stage is of a similar quality. Adding the HC on a later stage made the system more or less complete, balanced, enough to make you erase your upgrade desires.

Nevertheless, SN and 282/250 levels maybe technologically closer now (statement based solely on the tech evolution of the past 2 decades), yet still there is a gap in between, a considerable one, which I am not sure that even SN/Supercap combos can narrow down.


Anyone else with the this experience?

I have just moved from a SN3+HiCap DR to a 282+HiCap+250 DR (driving PMC 5.21i) and I can confirm that the move was a major improvement in sound.

As others have said the SN3 is a very good integrated and was driving a pair of Monitor Audio Silver RX1, I swapped these for the PMCs and the improvement in sound was major to say the least. I then added the HiCap DR power supply and saw an improvement across the whole soundstage and improvements in the bass (more solid and deeper).

I was looking to add a NAP 250 DR only as there was a good deal on offer, but on the advice of the people on the forum, I mahe the jump and also awapped in the SN3 for the NAC 282.

Initially I was a bit disappointed with the sound - bass was less defined vs the SN3, the soundstage was less than with the SN3 and was considering contacting the dealer to get my SN3 back - but again on the advice on the people on the forum, who told me that the units need time to run in, I let the units just play in the background - in may case it took two weeks before the 282 and 250 DR came ‘on song’ - and now the sound is beautiful - bass is deeper - a couple of track I used with the SN3, now seems to have a deeper bass and some details I have not heard before. I am actually surprised at how much base the PMC 5.21i (their smallest standmount) is being generated…!!

So bottom line - if you are comfortable with the additionl number of boxes, and have the money to upgrade, I would say do the upgrade. There are some good deals on now for new/refurbised/nearly new units around (i.e. Peter Tyson as an example) - I know that NAIM have the new range, but in my mind the previous range is still very very good and at the prices they are selling now, beats other brands hands down for sound/£

I calculated that I saved about 50% vs the full price for new units


Sorry for the typos - new laptop…!!

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