I agree. There is no end to improvement, and I would add that even if the speakers are not up to par, it means they will be performing at their maximum potential.
Over time, I’ve learned that even an imperfectly balanced system can bring great satisfaction, because it’s not always about “sounding good or bad,” but rather the characteristics of that specific combination. So it will sound in its own way, and there will always be a “better” and a “worse” somewhere.
The important thing is to enjoy what you hear, and over time, understand which characteristics to look for in a particular speaker and/or component, to make more informed choices.
For example, look at my systems: I use the Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution with the Old Classic series and the more modest B&W 783 S3 with the new series. This is because I really liked how the new trio managed to make the 783s sound, previously driven by a 250.2, and that this brings lovely things also in the AV context. I know very well that they would have also brought great benefits to the Guarneri and perhaps it would have been a more balanced system, but I’m already happy with how the old system sounds with the Guarneri. Instead, I needed to elevate the potential of the 783s.
I don’t follow that sorry. Are you suggesting the new 250-3 over cheaper classic gear, because the classic gear might be even cheaper later on - which you wouldn’t be buying if you have already paid more for the new 250?
@Mike_S , I’m saying that I do not recommend buying an older series preamplifier or streamer today because they will most likely drop in price. I suggest purchasing a new series power amplifier because doing so will give @Katmaimatt more freedom to choose whether to pair the excellent 250-3 with older series components (at a greater discount) or those from the new series, including those yet to be introduced. By purchasing an older series component today, not only would he potentially have two components to replace in the future, but he would also not be getting the best savings. Furthermore, I believe the new 250-3 is a better fit for how the Nova sounds.
Sorry @HungryHalibut , I hadn’t understood that you were talking about Wilson Audio Duettes. I cannot comment on these speakers because I have never tried them. However, looking at the characteristics of the speakers, I believe a 250-3 could be very helpful in making them sound better than Nova alone. And I’m sure better then 250DR.
Cost is not an ideal proxy for compatability but the Duettes are £20,000+ speakers and thus most unlikely to be an ideal match for the Nova. The 222/NC250 will clearly be a much better match though still not ideal. The speakers are designed to be used with top end electronics. I’m a great believer in matching the speakers to the electronics - and room of course - but that doesn’t matter to others, which is absolutely fine of course.
Ah yes, I see what you mean. The alternative I had in mind was the NDX2/SN3 as a good step up from the Nova, but seeing the issue with the speakers, is does seem that much better amplification is desirable here.
I’m too, but the @Katmaimatt has these speakers. Either we advise him to sell the speakers to buy a more balanced system (with the proceeds, he can probably aim for an NSC222+NAP250 and speakers with a better fit), or, given the budget, steer him towards a series of upgrades over time to achieve the correct balance for those speakers, which perhaps deserve the 500 series or equivalent.
Great stuff everyone, thank you. A pleasure to wake up and read all the thoughtful responses. I may try and get my hands on a new 250 and see how that sounds. Lots of great options but @Akron makes some good points for further upstream upgrades. The system sounds great as it is. I’m not sure exactly what a mullet system is, but if this is a mullet system so be it. It sounds great, just looking for a bit of a lift. A 500 system will probably make any set of speakers perform their best.
Like I mentioned, I was thinking of adding a turntable to the Nova but logistics of it aren’t that ideal.
How do you connect a Nova to a new 250? XLR to RCA?
Interesting discussion… No one has asked about listening volume. In my opinion, if you are satisfied with the volume level (and you mentioned you like the sound quality) you get from the Nova with your present loudspeakers, I would suggest the Naim approach of improving the music source first. Would that lead to a suggestion of an NDX2 for this system?
Naim are supplying leads to connect new and old classics. If you get a NC250, get the special lead at the same time. Or save money on the lead and trade the Nova for a 222. You’ll end up with one anyway.
Lots of (mostly very sensible) options are being suggested. If VFM is more important than box count…
I understand the new 250 costs nearly £6K. You can buy a 300DR for less than that.
Similarly s/h NDX2 + XPS (or ND5X2 + nDAC + XPS) plus a s/h 282 & Hicap all together look (on eBay) to cost less than a new 222.
I have not heard the new boxes, so we’ll need someone who has to comment - would they really out-perform that multi-box list? And wouldn’t a 300DR do a better job with those impressive speakers than a 250 of any vintage?
I’m looking forward to giving the new 250 a try; hope to pick it up next week. The Duette’s are super efficient speakers and work perfectly in the listening room. The dealer is closing out the 250 DR’s as well which could be a better VFM but I’m thinking new technology would pair best with new technology.
I have climbed the classic ladder from 202/200 to the 552/555/500 I have on my main system. I have had every amp and preamp combo. It’s been awesome. Perhaps this is another introduction to the journey I started 17 years ago. @HungryHalibut you may be right about the 222. I also wouldn’t mind seeing what the new 250 would sound like with the 552 in my main system! Appreciate the help and this forum is so great. Not too many people around me locally that share my enthusiasm for hifi. It was great though, we had our daughter’s piano teacher over to listen a couple of times. He’ in his late 20’s and brought some great piano albums. To see his reaction to the listening had to be like mine when I was fist introduced!