Update to upgrade?

Just looking for some opinions. Currently have 282/250 combo that I’ve had for 17 years. The 250 has been serviced. Using these with B&W 804s also 17 years old. I use a Linn Sondek and have recently purchased ND5 XS2. I’m using third party power supplies. Couldn’t afford the Naim HiCaps. Thinking about possible sound upgrade without spending much extra cash. Has technology improved so much over the years that it would be worth selling my 282 and 250 and buying a Naim integrated amplifier and part exchanging my ND5 XS2 for an NDX2? Also….any thoughts on speakers. My HiFi is now in a much smaller room and whilst my speakers still sound great I do have to crank them up to get them to sound their best. Do speakers deteriorate over time and once again, has speaker technology changed much? Several questions I know but I’d value any opinions. For what it’s worth, my HiFi dealer thinks I’d be crazy to get rid of my 282/250 combo! Thanks guys.

Well, there are other brand integrated amps that you might find as musically rewarding as the 282/250 but within Naim it’s the SN3 a brilliant amp in itself but I think your dealer is basically right. Of course for understandable reasons discussion of 3rd party PSUs is not permitted but in my experience the SC is a brilliant upgrade to the 282, used examples are normally available on a well known auction site. That said whether a NDX/SN is a better balanced configuration is open to debate, only you can decide, but it would give the advantage of reduced box count.

Speakers - I don’t know the BW range, I imagine the designs will have improved with technology but whether you will find another pair that improves upon what you have can only be down to you listening to some alternatives, preferably in your room.

Regards,

Lindsay

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Another option if the 250 is none DR is to trade this in for a 250DR.

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While I think it’s true that technology in things like streamers has moved on, the same isn’t true of amplification. Your dealer is right in saying the 282/250 is better than a SN3 even though the latter is very good.
I’ve recently auditioned stuff from other manufacturers in an attempt to downsize but as yet haven’t found anything I could live with.
As has been mentioned, pre loved examples of HCDR or 250DR could improve your system for a modest outlay.

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An NDX2 is really the minimum source to match a 282/250, ideally with an XPS to power it for a really well balanced system.
Another, possibly more cost effective approach would be to keep the ND5XS2 and upgrade the DAC. A used NDAC is the obvious choice if you don’t mind an extra box.
There are plenty of non-Naim DACs around too.
There’s no way I would want to downgrade from 282/250 to a Supernait, so I agree with your dealer on that. If you really want fewer boxes without losing sound quality it will mean a move away from Naim, which is an approach that unexpectedly worked well for me but may not be your preference.

As for speakers, I would suggest that you sort out the electronics first. Then decide if you’re still not getting what you want from them.

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A quick check of the basics before we rush off to spend your money for you.

When was your amplifier last serviced? If the answer is not in the last 17 years, I would recommend boxing up both the 282 and especially the 250 then sending them to Darran at Class A Servicing in Sheffield for a full Naim approved recap & service. The main reservoir capacitors in the 250 will be on their knees after 17 years.

On the other hand, if the 250 has been serviced in the last 7 years, then others’ posts about new streaming boxes would be well worth considering.

Hope this helps, BF

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Your dealer offers great advice about the amps. If the chance of a cost effective swap to a DR version arises, great, but they are great amps anyway.

I find the ND5 XS2 great with this arrangement and on audition found the gap to the NDx2 to be too small to justify the cost - with a power supply that is reported to be a different matter.

I would recommend saving for a HC but also looking at interconnects and Power Lines before speakers. I was staggered how much difference this made and you can see in my profile how far I went in this!

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This brings a cartoon image of them smoking and bulging at the seams almost ready to “go off” into my head. :grinning: Good way of putting it though. I’m surprised they haven’t failed already.

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To my ears…

  1. The 282/250 combo is great, but the comments about servicing are 100% right.

  2. They will work better with a better source. ND5 XS2 is not that much worse than NDX2, but a long way behind NDX2+XPSDR. Most who have added an outboard nDAC to an ND5 XS2 reckon it sounds as good as a naked NDX2. That (or a different DAC) may be a good upgrade for you.

  3. Hicaps from eBay may be better than the PS you have, but I am sure that a second-hand Supercap is the best supply for a 282. Again. servicing matters much more than age.

  4. What spec is your LP12 and have you had its suspension serviced in the last decade or so? If it’s your main source, you may want to address possible changes there too.

  5. I have B&W 804 D3s and used 82/Hicap/250 with them for a coupe of years - great sound. I found many earlier B&W 800 series iterations too shouty, unless the room was vast and solid and the speakers very carefully positioned indeed, but found the D3s worked brilliantly.

  6. My room is just over 6M X 4M, with a 2.5m ceiling and wooden floor. It’s only just big enough for the 804s to sing unimpeded. In a smaller room, I would think seriously about a smaller speaker. However, as others have said, I certainly wouldn’t be changing them first. You may want to get the tweeters checked, but if the speakers sound fine they probably are.

  7. I have recently moved away from Naim cables, and the sound has improved a little. However, the standard cables are pretty good, so I doubt that spending your money there will be a priority - as long as your speaker cable is Naim A5 or better.

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Can’t add a lot here to what others have said - I’ve the same amp combo as the OP (upgraded from a 200/282 a couple of years ago), and with the PSU’s I think I’d have to spend big money to gain any improvement. Speakers are of course a highly personal thing and totally subjective, there’s no official line on what’s better (or worse). FWIW I’ve found B&W’s to have a refined presentation, perhaps the OP is driving the volume up because it sounds more exciting? If so, then yes - checking out some alternatives from other manufacturers with a reputation for a more “dynamic” delivery may be the thing.
Otherwise, as NOW said - if there’s money to be spent and it ain’t on the amps or speakers then it’s probably “source first”, so the streamer and/or LP12 IMHO.

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This is where I would start - and I have a similar Naim set up (82-250), but with (2) Hicap power supplies. I got my 2nd one pre-loved from TomTom - for less than £400 (back in 2012). Servicing was less than £200, at Class A.

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Not sure there is a consensus on this. Can a 282 consume more than 4 of the 10 power rails provided by the Supercap? Is it good vfm over two hicaps? There is a lot of debate about this.

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I think we can say there is not…!!! A 282 (or 82) can only use 4 of the 24V DC outputs from the Supercap - via its 2 ‘HiCap’ style DIN-5 outputs sockets. Whereas a 252 (or 52) uses everything…!

I fully understand the logic of the SuperCap as a stepping stone towards a 252 (or 52), though… :thinking:

But - 82 with 2 HiCap’s here… :grimacing:

  1. Not normally, though in a few cases foam if used for internal damping, or foam cone surrounds (which were popular at one time) can break down - generally either going to dust, or becoming sticky/gooey, either of which is very evident). It is possible for crossover capacitors to deteriorate over time, but most types used in crossovers are pretty stable at the temperatures and currents involved, so unlikely in 20, 30 or even 40 years or more, and if the crossover is accessible they can be changed easily.

  2. Whilst some brands have developed better speakers over time, that is often in the realms of refinement rather than major leaps, and not all claimed ‘improvements’ are necessarily better to everyone’s ears. Meanwhile prices appear to have increased to a much greater degree than normal consumer price inflation would explain, so a step up in sound quality may involve considerably more than might be expected - though of course one can buy secondhand or ex-demo, and manage a step up for less. Of more significance than technological improvements would be simply better speakers, meaning better to your ears, which might be a step up from the same brand, or change to something completely different, whereby it is not inconceivable that you might find something sounding better to you, in your system and present room.

Fair enough - none of wants to do a Yes/ No count-back on the previous threads on this.

I had 82, rather than 282. I went from 1 Hicap (which I eventually got serviced) to 2, then to olive Supercap - and then changed the 82 for a 52. The 82 and 282 are not identical internally but the architecture is the same.

IMHO, and not I think a unique view, servicing the Hicap made slightly more difference than adding a second Hicap. Then going from 1 to 2 Hicaps was an audibly smaller change than getting the Supercap (which was just serviced).

The bigger surprise to me was that patience on eBay can deliver a SC for less money than you can get for 2 Hicaps - pricing of actual transactions has not perfectly reflected what servicing now costs.

Would it be fairer to say that either 2 HCs or 1 SC is best, depending on what you can buy cheaper and your own ears’ opinion, and one of those has advantages if you ever want to upgrade the 282?

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I had the 250 serviced at Class A in 2015. I’ve never had the 282 serviced.

It’s a 250-2

With you on this totally. There is a big difference in upgrading with a higher goal in mind than simply upgrading for a perceived increase in SQ.

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I agree but we do want to challenge assertions otherwise we get an echo chamber. Where’s the fun in that. :slightly_smiling_face:

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By HC I presume you mean HiCap? If so, I do have third party power supply that is (supposedly) the equivalent of two Naim HiCaps. I simply could not afford the Naim HiCaps.