Too Impetuous? Not a bit!

For quite a few years now my system has remained pretty much unchanged; Arcam FMJ CD23, Linn LP12 (Tramp2, Keel, Radikal A, Karousel, Ekos 1.5 and Hana SL), Naim NAC72/HiCap/Nap250, and Naim Ariva speakers.
I’ve tried to create a balanced system (even though most of the funding has gone into the source) and for the most part I think I’ve succeeded. All of the elements work well together and I’m very happy with the sound. I’ve never played so much music as I have over the last couple of years. All good so far.

I’ve said on the forum on a few occasions that I would never consider parting with the 72/HiCap/250 combo, I simply love what it delivers. However, I am clearly a weak-willed hypocrite and, despite never having heard one before, I’ve now committed myself to a just-serviced (by Naim) NAC52 and Supercap which I’ll be able to pick-up on Friday.

This is the first time I’ve jumped to buy an item without auditioning it first, so I’m perhaps understandably now plagued with doubts; will a 52/SCap unbalance the system? Will it show up any of the other items (the Hana is a bit of a giantkiller but can it handle more scrutiny)? I get exceptional (IMHO) sound with the 72; is the 52 really likely to be that much better? The Arivas (despite criticism from some) have always been able to show the benefits of all of my previous upgrades, but bearing in mind where they were pitched in the Naim pecking order, could this be one step too far for them?

I guess I’ll find out for sure on Friday!! :confused: :worried:

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Congratulations on the purchase. :slightly_smiling_face:

I went from a 62 to 52 back in the 90s and it was a lovely upgrade, and although my LP12 at the time (Lingo1, Ittok, Koetsu Black) wasn’t as well specced as yours, it sounded very good indeed through the 52, and didn’t seem to emphasis any shortcomings upstream. I must say this was a long time ago, but I do remember it being a nice surprise as to how everything worked so well together. That said, your 72 is certainly not going to be a slouch, and although I’ve never done that particular 72/52 back to back comparison, I think it should be a worthwhile upgrade, especially post service.

Look forward to reading your observations when it arrives.

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Oh yes. A lot better.

No. The Mordaunt-Short MS 10s used for the demo I did over 30 years ago were more than capable of showing the difference. And lost the somewhat rough edge to their sound after the 72/HICAP was swapped for the 52.

I suspect you’re in for a treat!


I have done that exact comparison and I found the 52 better by a margin that justified the difference in price.

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Ah, good stuff - I knew someone would have done that comparison :sunglasses: I do remember my dem, and the switch from 62 to 52, was, ahem, ‘memorable’ ! A fabulous preamp, and I’m sure Swanny will be delighted.

I still have my 72 from 1990, in my third system. It’s a keeper. I had 72/HC/180 for a while and it sounded great. But 52/SC/250 is much greater.

You won’t be disappointed, I’m sure.

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I love Naim owners :grin: Considering whether a switching out to a preamp that was last manufactured 20 years ago is “too impetuous!”


Well, I bought a pair of Arivas as part of a new all-Naim system in 2004.

I loved the 2-and-a-half-way bandwidth of the Arivas and only sold them when I got the SL2s.

I bought a 52 on the last day of 2021, and had it serviced by Class A and it has just blossomed into a marvellous music-making machine.

Nope - there’s no way you’re too impetuous.

You done good.

Your speakers are going to love it.


But don’t let HH find out you’ve got Arivas.

He’ll have your guts for garters.


I went from a serviced 72 to a serviced POTS8 52 and the difference was not small.

The 72 is unbeatable for value, IMO, but the 52 is in another league for performance. Paired with my 135s I have no intention or desire of switching the amplification part of my system.


The Supercap/52 will take a while to warm up (primarily the S/Cap) and, I suspect, your thoughts/findings may be that the sound is less edgy and excitable than the 72, as the 52/SC delivers more detail and control, especially around the bass.

I found when adding an Olive Supercap to an 82 (an excitable amp to my ears, hence why many love its visceral nature), this was substantially calmed by the Supercap, which in my room at the time was no bad thing, plus adding the SC was a bridge to a 52.

So, IMV and experience, a 52/SC will be materially ‘better’ – just give it time, and it should allow the LP12 kit to reveal itself even more.

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It will be incredible and you will wonder why you waited so long :+1:

The downside is that it may start something. I find the black classic 250 sounds so much clearer than my CB250. :rofl:

Congrats on the purchase and enjoy re listening to your music.

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Thanks for all the responses. I guess I needed a little bit of reassurance on some aspects of system matching (having never heard a 52). I am actually looking forward to picking it up now. :ok_hand:

I get the irony, but for some of us, dropping a significant wedge of money on an item of equipment that I haven’t heard before and has only just become available, does seem impetuous (and maybe a little insane :crazy_face:?). I had no plan to move on from the 72/HiCap. I just jumped at an opportunity that seemed (on paper at least) too good to resist.

I had HH in mind when I used the phrase: (despite criticism from some). :wink:

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Your Nac52 will sound amazing and will compliment your system well. Nac 72 was very good, Nac 82 even better, and Nac 52 excellent. You can rest assured it will be stunning. Allow a couple of days to warm up properly and you will be happy.

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I understand your nervousness as I’ve ordered a NAP500 as an unauditioned upgrade to a NAP300 with a system that I think is sounding utterly gorgeous. I expect we will both be pleasantly surprised,

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My personal view is that buying pre-loved Olive kit of this quality is a sonic bargain (in relative terms!). And I very much like the look of Olive kit, which looks very under-stated IMV.

And the Supercap (assume Olive and pre-DR) is fundamental in all this.


Yes, they are both Olive. I understand that both units are 1995 and have just been returned from servicing at Naim.

I’m in full support! In fact it’s a credit to the brand that its products have such staying power.

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I have a 52 that I bought to replace a 102 (this was back in 2011 or thereabouts). Hadn’t heard one before I got it but no hesitation in recommending pen strongly. It wasted with me a good few years before I went for the 552… enjoy!


Had an enjoyable visit with James and Henry this afternoon to pick up the 52/Supercap. Once I returned home the practicalities of housing the units hit home.

Once the 72 and HiCap come out, I’m clearly one shelf short of a full rack (story of my life)! Dohhh!

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