The nagging 282 question

No - I don’t want them to add a headphone amp or a phono amp.
This waters down the budget available for the purpose of the amp of sending signals to 2 loudspeakers.

Others including some hi end manufactures seem to manage without any dramas, the Naits now all have both headphone/phono amps and I can’t remember the word compromise being used anywhere. However regardless of what you or I may think, I have no doubt the Naim will do what’s best.

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And the headphone amps in the naits are fine for lower end headphones. But anyone driving HD600 and better isn’t get anything like their potential from a built in amp. I drive my HD800 with a HCDR/HL2. I tried with less and it wasn’t cutting the mustard. That’s nearly a GBP2k dedicated headphone amp. They simply can’t manage that within the same preamp cost.

The headphone amps others are incorporating certainly are not bad (well in the case of my UQ2 it is quite bad) but they are not at the same level as the preamps they are part of.

What is clear to me is that, overall, there are competing groups if customer demand where people are saying “Naim better do X next or I’m leaving the brand” This is totally normal. But I guarantee Naim can’t be a jack of all trades and keep everyone happy. Having been close to various stages of product development (not hifi) I know that companies are aware of these divides. They will calculate their preffered roadmap and knowingly wave bye bye to a subset of customers that can’t continue the journey with them. We don’t know Naim’s roadmap for preamps. To have a headphone out or not? To have record out or not? To have 6 inputs or not? To have analogue only preamps or not? I can assure you whatever happens, a fair few on the forum will move on to non Naim as a result and another subset will be attracted to Naim from elseware.


i.e. keep their separates separate.

My HD800’s sound lovely on a SN2.

If they don’t keep up with market trends, they’ll get left behind. Hence phono on SN3. No headphones on refreshed power amps will loose market share IMHO. People want less boxes. Others can do it.

And that’s perfectly fine @Mike_S. You are not in any way wrong. But some people (myself) Want separates and flexibility. I left Linn precisely because they went too integrated (and started sounding boring) and their solutions increasingly became “want an upgrade? Then sell the lot and start again.

Naim might go that way, and even sound good doing it. But if so, the need for flexibility would lead me elseware. As I said, no customer is wrong but you can’t make them all happy. You have to pick your customer base and accept the consequences.

My main disappointment is the with the Headline, as I did almost order that but went for the SN2. The Headline has no system automation, no remote and needs a seperate power supply rather than running of a HiCap connected to a pre-amp. It just doesn’t tick the box for me, and I wish it did.

I had it and it never really impressed. I was running it off a power supply from the i thingy they had years ago and having to get up every time you wanted to change the volume was a pain.You need to add a Hi Cap to get the best out of it. I think the DAC - V1 is the best option. No need for a power supply.

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A v1 isn’t the same quality source as an NDX/XPSdr though. And not much good if you have other non digital sources.

A lot of people only have digital, suits that market perfectly.

I think DAC v1 into HD-800 is a headphone mullet personally. HD-600 sure.

And that is the very point of an integrated amp, to integrate multiple functions served by separate boxes otherwise at the higher end. The point of separates is to provide components specialized to the specific task at hand, without integrating other components unnecessary for it.


For both phonos and headphones I’m guessing that there are trhee types of customers. First, those who just want the capability and who are, “I am spending $XXXX for an amp and it better have a headphone jack (or the ability connect a tt).” Second, those who are specialists and would only want to use their own higher end phono stage and/or headphone amp anyway. Third, those who do not intend to use either.

A 282 is great value for money. I had it for 2/3 years and found it a very engaging pre-amplifier.


Had mine for 10 years. Brilliant pre-amp. If anyone would care to give me a 252 I’ll gratefully accept but until then…

I’m a big fan of the 282, too. I think it’s perhaps the best VFM pre-amp in the Naim range. I preferred it over the 252.

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I wouldn’t say that, I’d have a 252 but there comes a point when you conclude you’ve gone far enough, probably!



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With a 282 and Supercap DR I think I’d upgrade my 250DR to a 300DR before I would upgrade the 282 to a 252. I realize this goes against conventional wisdom, but I think my speakers (Dynaudio Confidence C2 Platinum) would benefit a lot from the extra current.

Yes the orthodoxy - such that it is - tends to be less prescriptive at 282/252/300 level. That said the 250DR is a proverbial powerhouse if not as articulate as the 300DR.

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Yeah, I have complainst about my 250DR. Neither the 252 or 300DR are on my radar for upgrade. I"m really quite happy with things the way they are, and I have a SCDR on the way to replace my HCDR so it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.

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