Superline Vs competition

I’ve been toying with the idea of a Superline for a little while now and wondered what people’s opinions were of it against the vast number of alternatives on the market. Obviously it will change depending on additional power supplies etc, but I’d be interested in others experiences. I currently run a Tom Evans Groove+ SRX mk2 which has seen off a fair few in the past (recently: MF NuVista Vinyl and Leema Agena) and is clearly no slouch but I’m leaning heavily towards Naim these days and wondered were the Superline with PSU (HC or SC) would rank against others.
Ideally I’ll be doing a home demo, but like I say be interested in others findings in the first instance.

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A member here went from Superline/ Supercap to Tom Evans Mastergroove.
2 others from Superline/ SC to Whest audio.( @varyat )

I recall that during the development of the Superline we had one of the Groove’s in for a listen along with a bunch of others. We had a range of different MCs at hand including Dynavector Te Kaitora, XV-1T, Clearaudio Insider (which decided to break in two my hand - oops!), Benz L0.4, SPU Royal N, Troika, Arkiva. We were comparing against the Prefix with a Supercap. I found it fascinating. To be fair to the others, while most beat the Prefix for forensics, all I’ll say is that I much preferred the earthy “groove” of the Prefix to any of the others.

Richard do you prefer prefix to superline?

No, much as I love the Prefix, the Superline is a big step up but without losing what I love in the Prefix.

Honestly I heard the same this is why I asked, I misunderstood your post :smiley:

Ah yes, I should have made clearer that it was early on prior to proper development so no, the Superline was not in existence then.

No No, it is due to my poor english

Superline/Supercap is really tough to top, but boy was it an expensive proposition for me in the realm of phono stages. I’ve ran a bunch and can honestly say for MC (Dynavector, Lyra and Transfiguration carts) that there were three or four I liked as much or better for a significant cost savings:

• Tron Seven
• Tavish Audio Design Adagio
• Art Audio Vinyl One Reference
• Graham Slee Accession/PSU1 Enigma*

*though nowhere near as good as the Superline/Supercap, it is a truly engaging phono stage/PSU that has no business being as ‘cheap’ as it is.

Obviously if you’re looking into Naim, then the opinion is moot. It’s just there are so many good ones these days that offer incredible playback that it’s difficult for me to essentially swallow that kind of scratch.

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This is good info thanks guys, but keep it coming. I realise everyone who has a Superline will say they love it, but I’m interested in what they compared it to in coming to that conclusion. I am leaning to Naim as I said, but not at the expense of SQ!!!

FWIW I had a Rega Aria and found the SuperLine (powered from 252) much, much better. Of course it’s more than twice the price when new, so it should. And I got it used and can power it without additional expense

I believe there would be no expense of SQ, period. You wouldn’t need to trouble yourself with that. It’s just there are equal or better out there at much less than a Superline & Supercap, IMO.

Having had various stages over the years I would say a secondhand superline costing about £1300 is going to give you the best value for performance to cost.
The problem with the superline is all the extra bits you can add, and you probably will over time this is where its starts to no longer add up to the same value and is beaten by newer cheaper options.
So if you have a 252 or 552 that will run it, I say go for it, but if you have bigger ideas, for sure try a rega aura, as this is a lovely sounding stage, especially with rega cartridges this is what replaced my superline/ supercap/ z foil plug, etc.
I now have a tron severn gt, which is altogether a different from the other two, very open very musical and just superb really.
But really it’s about finding a good match with your system, but mainly your cartridge

varyat

AHT

Mar '20

Hello AHT,
Actually I’m quite surprised that more Naim owners do not use Whest phono stages…Very Naim-like qualities of speed, dynamics and boogie. The Titan Pro is my second Whest stage and I rate it very highly. I am considering the Whest Ref MC atm as a final upgrade. James at Whest is a pleasure to deal with and can modify loading/gain to suit your cartridge needs.
The Allnic is an entirely different animal. Deep, deep immersion with huge soundstage and very sweet top end. Unlike the Whest, the Allnic puts you mid-hall in its’ presentation- front row with the Whest :grinning: Acoustic, voices are first rate with the Allnic but it does not have the driving leading edge that some music really thrives on. Very quiet, very black background.
I run two decks and this allows me to have the best of both worlds for various music genres.I am a big proponent of spending a sizable sum on your phono stage and IC to the preamp. Changes here can make a very significant difference. I would go as far as say that I would use a lower spec MM cartridge with a great phono preamp vs a higher spec MC cartridge with an average phonostage. To my ears, the phono stage is critical to get the best out of your deck.
ATB,
Mark

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@Lyndon , from a past thread:

“ For me I use a Tom Evans Mastergroove SR
with an active 500 system
I used a Superline / Supercap DR with the special plugs and as good as that was I wanted something extra to match the level of the rest of the amps and didn’t feel this was going to come from Naim

Lyndon

But the OP has already something better than the Superline/ Supercap. IMHO.

Has he, if so then don’t bother with the superline.
It’s nice, but it’s not the best by a long way

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My 2pth worth as my name has popped up

I’ve had a few superlines, the best being with a SC DR and the cyro z foil plugs

As seen above I did think this was the weak link and I’d prioritise the phono above the pre

My initial upgrade was to a series 1 Mastergroove
This did things differently to the superline, more detailed, more separation of voices from instruments but lost the absolute bottom end clout and attack

Having the units built to full SR spec took everything to a completely different place
It enhanced on the standard Mastergroove but also where that previously had shortcomings to the superline, this was now a memory the SR goes deep deep down to places the superline dare not and has a speed and rhythm, dare I say PRAT that’s totally another level compared to the superline

It’s also worth noting here that the SR is £22k, much more than the superline but for those of us with a 552 £22k on a phonostage is more balanced

Lyndon

Thanks @Lyndon for this information regarding the bottom end…for it is a thing I really like about the superline - and would fear to loose.
Another thing I’m wondering is synerngy, foremost the type of interconnect necessary to hook a non-naim phono stage to the 552. The naim-preferred DIN-DIN is obviously not possible with the Mastergroove SR. So do you do RCA-DIN or RCA-RCA to your 552? And would you mind to mention which interconnect you settled on?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts,
Regards,
Jodl

Just as an aside
There’s been a lot of fanfare lately about a newly released turntable
Obviously it’s main competition is from Scotland and also had an array of aftermarket upgrades and most people on this forum that have a reasonably high level version of the Scottish one would probably be using a superline

So why on earth is Naim selling their premium turntable with a down rated phonostage

Lyndon