Superline + Superline (2) question

I have a Superline + Supercap DR connected to the non-powered AUX input of my 252.

Next year (or so) I might upgrade my Clearaudio Ovation/Universal (9") to a Clearaudio Innovation/Universal (12"). However, I think I’ll keep my existing 9" Universal arm and install it as a second arm on the Innovation (and sell the Ovation without arm). Then I’ll have a two tonearm/two cartridge setup. I still need to think about what I really want for the second (9") arm. Maybe a mono cartridge. IDK.

Anyway, I believe I can move my existing Superline/SCDR to another input on the 252, and add a second non-powered Superline on the powered AUX input. Correct?

I would think yes. My Superline is now tethered to the powered input on the 552 via the Snaic 5. When my Supercap DR gets out of the shop, it will go back to its rightful place powering the Superline and will feed directly into the 552 via the Chord interconnect. The difference between the two setups is more subtle than I would have imagined.


When I added a Supercap DR to my Superline, it was very much not a subtle improvement, but you have a 552. I have a 252. I had the Superline about 18 months before the SCDR came along (thanks to @Bart).

I’m pretty sure what I want to do works, but appreciate any pearls of wisdom in that regard.

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Adding a second phono stage may not be necessary. If you don’t mind changing the leads going into your Superline and potentially changing the tuning plugs, when you would be using a different arm and cartridge, you would be able to take full advantage of the Superline + Supercap combination. While you could add a second Superline, and power it from the pre-amp by using the powered socket (Aux 2), this is said to somewhat impact the overall performance of the pre-amp. You could experiment with this with your current equipment to see if the differences were important to you by removing the Supercap now powering your Superline from the system and powering your current Superline phono stage through the pre-amp. (You will need a SNAIC 5 cable to try this.) Most users, once they hear a Supercap on the Superline, are reluctant to remove it, but the NAC 252 does have a dedicated output for this purpose which draws on the Supercap now powering your pre-amp. This is better sounding than using a dedicated Hi-Cap to power the Superline, for many listeners, myself included.

Good luck,


Thanks. I’m well are of all these things. I set it up, so I know how to insert the phono leads and loading plug. I’m also aware of the requirement for SNAIC on an unpowered one. I didn’t always have a SCDR for the SL, and still have the SNAIC I used.

Using a single SL and changing leads is just not an option. I don’t want to have to reach back and change leads and plugs. That’s just too fussy, and eventually risky for damaging the cable or something. I just want to change input and use the relevant arm. I would end up not using the arm otherwise.

What you’re proposing @JosquinDesPrez (SL on Aux2 and SL/SC on another input) will indeed work.

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Illustrates that things get exponentially more complicated as one’s system grows arithmetically.

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This is all still tentative, but I think the SL/SCDR for my main arm and a second SL/252 for the second arm will be the way to go. I guess if anytime in the future I sell my 252 for something else (not planned at all) I could just keep my second SCDR at that point, and get another Burndy and DIN4-5 IC .

Yes indeed. It’s the law of diminishing returns again isn’t it. Financial constraints combined with the desire for best possible sound quality would suggest using one Superline/SC but practicality says use two for more cash and compromised quality on the second. I’d probably go with the the latter because, in the big picture a pre loved Superline isn’t hugely expensive and I wouldn’t want to waste time changing loading plugs to listen to one album/track.

It will work.

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My thinking as well. Thanks.

I could also make it easy and get a Boulder 1108 phono-preamp. That supports two inputs. But not cheap at US $21k.

A Superline in the powered Aux will drag down the performance of the whole Preamp.

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Unplug it?

Problem is you have to wait for the Superline to warm up every time.

I run a supercapped superline and also have run a stageline N for a mono Decca from AUX of my 552. Having the stageline connected is mostly OK but does impact the performance when using the superline a bit, mainly noticeable with large orchestral works when the brass lets rip at the back of the soundstage, the sound is clearer and better placed with the stageline disconnected but that requires powering down the 552 to pull the Snaic. I’m short of sockets and a 4/5 DIN to use my spare hicap for the stageline but that’s with two decks, I’m putting a two armed PTP Lenco together which will free up a socket if it’s good enough.

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Fair point. Maybe a bit of planning could overcome that. It’s an esoteric issue really.

Allnic H5500 , 2 MM and 2 MC. 6 k US dollars.
@Dunc has the top one.
Or Paas Labs, Audio Research….all are 1 box and you can run 2 cartridges.

I don’t see why I would replace a $15k phonostage with a $6k one. That makes less sense to me than just using the two SLs, one powered, one not. I also don’t want any tube (valve) gear.

My Naim dealer is a Boulder dealer. Maybe it’s time to audition the Boulder 1108. Before I bought the Superline, I auditioned the entry-level Boulder 508 phono stage. It is really quite good for $5K. I like that the 1108 has a dedicated mono circuit, supprots two inputs and it’s fully balanced if I ever decide to go down that road.

I’ll just have to see how serious I get about using two tonearms. It’s still very much TBD what I do. I may just defer the phono stage question to when I have decided on a real use case for a second arm.

Given the valid point that the SL in Aux2 pulls the pre down, why not buy a s/h HiCap for it? If it’s a second stage, a non-DR HiCap would likely be fine and they’ve dropped way down on price now. Just a thought.

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Yeah, maybe. If I go down that road I might first see how much it really “drags down” my 252. I have found in the past that certains claims on these forums stating something is a is an improvement or an impediment ends up making no difference to my ears (like turning off the preamp lights, and locking out the rec bank).

But at the point I buy another SL and a HC, I have to consider just selling my SL/SCDR with cables (incl PowerLine and HiLine) and getting something else altogether. Then maybe the Boulder isn’t that much of a stretch (and Boulder sounds every bit as good, if not better, than any Naim I’ve ever heard).