I’m a long time follower/peruser of the Forums, and just recently signed up. I’ve been using Naim gear for about 10 years now, starting out with a 5i and CDX2, then to XS2, Flatcap XS, CDX2, to current config of SuperUniti, UnitiServe, CDX2 and VPI tt on full Fraim, with Harbeth C7’s. I’ve had the SU for about 6 years, and have enjoyed the music, 1 box simplicity, streaming benefits, etc., but feel the desire to move up a level – for more power/body, clarity, resolution, transparency. As far as % of music sourcing – probably 20% CD, 30% Vinyl, 50% ripped music/internet radio/Tidal, etc.
That said, I’m trying to decide if:
- SN2 or SN3 w/Naim streamer (NDX2 or ND5XS2) or
- 272/250DR would be best path forward. If 272/250 path, I know a number of other SU users have utilized the 250 DR as a stopgap for improved performance from the SU while waiting on Pre/Streamer piece.
- Another potential option would be to purchase my dealer’s 282, 250.2 and HC demo’s at a good price – upside on 282 seems well documented – downside is box count and need to DR the 250 straightaway (is that necessary to do right away?), along with need for a streamer as well. This seems intriguing, however I don’t want to proceed down the slippery slope…would really want to stay within 4 boxes or so.
I have pored over the archive and current forums, and appreciate all the experiences members have shared (and I’m sure I’ve missed a ton as well). With the pandemic and stay at home orders, it’s become that much more difficult to get F2F/home demos, so wanted to reach out to the collective wisdom of this group for assistance/thoughts/input. Thanks in advance for your help!
FWIW - My recommendation would be you go with a NDX 2 > SN3 which would support your current CD and TT. Eventually add the XPS DR for your NDX 2 and a HiCap DR for your SN 3.
Your Harbeth C7’s should sound quite lovely in this configuration as well!
A lot of good choices and good luck with your decision(s)!
seakayaker offers good advice!
I would also suggest upgrading your speakers. I moved from the Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 speaker to the Graham Audio LS5/9 BBC Monitor and I have not looked back.
I had a SU at one stage and when we moved back after refurbishing our house I plugged in my 555CD into it to SL2s.
I was a little surprised at how well it stood up to 552/300.
Beware of the law of diminishing returns.
Don’t buy without demoing at home.
Thanks for your perspective - much appreciated. I see you have the NDX2 and SN2, along with the XPS and HC’s - very sweet sound I’m sure
Thx - I do enjoy the Naim/Harbeth sound, and would really like to improve the front end initially to see if they would open up even more (and will hopefully find a way to home demo as Sjb mentioned). Btw, I looked up your speakers, beautiful!
I have a Superuniti as well, which I very much like the sound and convenience of, but I’ve been wanting for a step up in SQ lately. As such, I am receiving an SN2 in the post tomorrow, and I’ll be running the digital section of the SU thru the SN2.
I am expecting a nice increase in SQ, and this setup will do me fine until I can afford to swap out the SU for an NDX2.
However, if you have the ready cash flow, then an NDX2 and a SN3 would be a very nice sounding setup I’m sure. And a HiCapDR or two wouldn’t hurt.
Just a thot.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.
I would say the third option, I use Harbeths and I think they are super speakers, they are I think deserving of oodles of current and a good pre / power combo will bring the best out of them.
Thanks Dave, would be interested to see how the SN2 sounds once you have it connected and up and running with the SU - nice incremental step forward.
Thx for the reply - 3rd option is definitely of interest, just curious from others that have/had similar setup if it’s a significant step up and what the presentation would be like as it comes with a 250.2 (vs 250dr).
I would definitely go for option 3 if sound quality is your priority, and you can cope with the box count. The two things pretty much go hand in hand with Naim systems, and of course, you will need a decent rack to put it all on.
Remember that the Superuniti only has a pre out, not a line out, so you will be putting the signal through two preamps and two volume controls, which is not ideal. Still, as a short term move until you get the streamer, it will still work.
I’m an SU owner and will be going the 250DR->272->555PS route. Unless Naim come out with a compelling reason not to.
Thx @ChrisSU, I’ve read many of your posts and followed your progression. I’m sure the 282/250.2/HC route will sound great (am hoping to get it here at home from my dealer to test out) - just unsure as to sonic differences between .2 and DR versions of the 250.
Ideally I’d like to keep things at 4 boxes or so, if I go this route, may move on my CDX2, as I’m not using it that much anymore. I do have 4 level full Fraim, would probably need another level. Thx again for the input.
Yes, I’ve read that many have gone down that same path with excellent results (and many still waiting to see if there will be a refreshed 272)!
The consensus here, as you probably know, is that the 250DR is better than the 250.2 but there are those who prefer the older model, and it’s all too easy to assume than newer/more expensive = better. Also, what works well in one room and system may not work so well in another. Enjoy the demo. After all, you can have the 250 upgraded to DR spec later if you want.
Hi. I forgot to reference you initial post when I replied.
The 3rd option does seem to be best way forward, especially considering that when one takes a small step forward, one finds oneself lusting for an upgrade all too soon. And that dealer pricing sounds fairly attractive.
I would also think that the 3rd option would be enough of a jump in SQ over the 1st two options, that you could take your time having the 250.2, DR’ed. From what I’ve researched, the 282 is going to outperform all the other preamps by a noticeable margin.
Oh, and something to keep in mind regarding the 2nd option, is that the 272 does will not stream qobuz, and from what most people report; qobuz hi-res files sound significantly better than other streaming sources. Just a thot. It’s really too bad, cuz the 272 was on my shortlist a while back before I realized the issue.
Yes, right. Y’know, even while I was typing that post, I paused for a mo, and tried to visualize the connection, and wondered if I’d be just using the power amp section of the SN2. I really don’t want both preamps in the path, so I guess that’s what I’ll be doing.
I think I was hoping for digital out to analogue in. I guess that’s not going to happen.
Thanks very much Chris for pointing this out.
If you’re committed to a 2 box NDX2/Supernait or similar setup, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’ll still work fine. (If you think you might go further and get a separate pre/power amp, now’s the time to change your mind !)
Yes, I do want to stick with a simpler setup. I’ve had separates in the past, a cj PV-5 pre with an Ayre power amp, among others; so I think I’ll be happy with the NDX2 & SN2. (Yeah sure, huh?)
The eventual decision will be whether I move to an SN3 or add a HiCapdr to the SN2. I believe the NDX2, when I get it, will eventually want a HC.