upgrade from nd5xs/supernait2 suggestions

dear all,
I have:
nd5xs with non-Naim ps
supernait 2 with hicap dr
pmc twenty5 26
chord epic twin speakers cable
chord indigo din cable

the feeling is that speakers might need extra power, moreover streamer might have better dynamics.
sound quality is very pleasant, I never get tired of listening, but would look for improvements.
possible solutions I thought I could introduce:
nac 282/nap 250 combo
tellurium Q black ii speakers cable

any suggestion?



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If 282/250 is a viable option then you could go part way, with 2 possible routes:
1 is add a 282, power it with your hicap and use the sn2 as a power amp.
2 is add the 250 using the sn2 / hicap as the preamp.
Next stage is add either the 250 or the 282 depending on whether you did 1 or 2.
But then you are in the situation where the source isn’t a perfect match with the 282/250.
In which case the wisdom is go with the ndx2 first. And then xps dr. And only then start towards 282/250.

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That’s a lot of speaker for a Supernait but you really don’t want to go to a 282/250 with just an ND5XS, power supply or not. So it’s probably best to get an NDX2 first, than the 282 and then the 250.


Thanks a lot. Speakers are above the system average, I know. I enjoyed pmc twenty5 24 but found twenty5 26 second hand, there was no story among them. Now I know I shouuld upgrade all the system and I am ready for that. I understood you both suggest me to go for the streamer first, for 282 250 combo after. I have a friend that followed what Robert suggested, adding to supernait a nac 282 and later nac 250, he said nac 282 was the biggest improvement ever.
My doubt is just if look for a 282 or a Ndx2 at first

I’m in a similar situation in some ways, with demanding speakers (XL6) and have found sorting the amp does pay off. If you believe in source first though, I would say the ND5XS would be a good platform to add a DAC to. There’s a lot out there. Or if an nDAC then put the power supply on that.


Thanks amead, a ndac could be a cheap and easy upgrade, I was evaluating this option too

Hi @Gruido71 and @ameads

Sorry if this is bad news, but FWIW I’d agree with HH and others here on this.

There’s nothing wrong with an unbalanced system on paper if it sounds good, but it often means wasting potential for even better sound.

Your speakers would sound a good deal better with 282/Supercap / 250 or old 52/Supercap/ 250 amplification (or better). You can save by powering a 282 from a Hicap instead of a Supercap - most would say that the difference is rather smaller than most of the differences being discussed here.

A Supernait 2 is good kit, but you are asking a lot of it.

That speaker & amplifier mix will show a big difference between NDX2 (with or without the excellent XPS) and your ND5XS2 - the two streamers differ in much more than just a screen.

Given all that, I suspect that sooner or later you will want to upgrade source from ND5 XS2 and amplification from a Supernait 2.

Instead, I would join the voices saying that you will be most pleased (if & when it is affordable) by getting NDX2, 282 and 250 - in whatever order, perhaps as & when options appear on a well-known auction website.

Finally, I use Tellurium Q Black speaker cable and think it better than Naim A5. However, unless you are finding everything a bit bright or uncontrolled, I’d be surprised if replacing your Chord cables would be the best value for money upgrade. After all, you wouldn’t want to use Naim amps with really short cables and it’s not cheap.

Thanks a lot Nickof, this is the path I would like to take: 282/250 and NDX2. Let’s see what I can find second hand first. Unfortunately after brexit buying from UK became very expensive due to duty taxes. I found upgrading from A5 to chord adding detail, but maybe lost a bit of rythm. Tellurium could give both detail and rythm?

I’d take a look at Witch Hat Phantom cables. They preserve all the benefits of A5 and most seem to find them better.

A cable change should help the boogie aspect, whether Tellurium or Witch Hat, but it won’t be the biggest change.

Ebay suggests one can get a 282 for c.£2,500, a Hicap (not old or serviced) for c.£600 and a comparable 250 for £1700. An NDX2 is over £4000. On the other hand, there is good demand for your existing boxes.

If you want to cut the total bill, you could buy older ‘olive’ 82/ Hicap/ 250 for little under £3K. A little less transparent but still plenty of vigour.

On the other hand, if more cash (or a great deal) becomes available, adding the XPS to the NDX2 or even replacing buying a Hicap with a Supercap would probably both bring audible benefits: not cheap though.

I was was using Supernait2 with my Twenty5.26. Then changed to 282/25DR.
The 250DR certainly drives them much better.
The sound becomes detached from the speakers.

thanks Popeye, this is very interesting, do you think the contribution is mostly from 282 or 250? I was wondering about the possibility to do the change in steps: I could either add a 282 and use supernait as power amp, or viceversa use supernait as pre and add a 250. Idea is to get to 282 + 250, but in steps. having already a hicap dr both options are possible. I know 282 is a terrific pre-amp, while on paper the power of 250 is the same of supernait 2… therefore buying a 282 could be best option apparently, but maybe the real power of 250 is bigger than the one of the supernait.

It’s best to go preamp first. But if you are eventually getting both, grab whichever appears first.

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I went NDX2 and XPS. Source first seems good policy. Farther along the line I went to a 300DR over a 250 as I didn’t think the 250 was significantly better than my SN3 at the time.

thanks John, did you upgrade the pre or did you keep the supernait as a pre? 300 is a nice beast…

I think the aspect of the music becoming larger and detached from the speakers is due to the 250DR.

It’s like the 250 has opened the window letting you hear more and the 282 has cleaned it letting you see more of what’s going on.


very nice representation. it looks like adding 250 to supernait would already improve the breasts of the system… thanks!

I upgraded to a pre amp at the same time.If I’d known then what I do now I’d have kept the SN3, NDX2 until I could afford my current system. Unfortunately the Naim improvements are graduated to keep you incrementally hooked.

dear all,
from supernait + hicap dr / nd5 xs with non naim xps/ pmc twenty5 26 I am upgrading:
seems I found a nac 282 second hand, 10 years old but should not be a problem for a nac, that will be supported by mine 2019 hicap dr. nap 250 dr are pretty popular so for the ampli I am almost done

source: I found a ndx 2014 recently serviced.
I also found nds but is too much money for an old platform, even if its dac is great
other possibility would be to wait for a 2nd hand dac to be used with node 2i as transport only

any suggestion?


With that amplification, an NDX2 is likely to be audibly better by a fair margin versus the ND5XS, and better again if you ever add the XPS