Upgrade from SuperUniti - Olive Options

Thinking now could be the time to move on from our SuperUniti in office, maybe to separates.

This is being driven by falling SH values.

Three lines of thought

  1. Nova
  2. 202 / 200 - too sideways?
  3. something vintage - no experience

Option 1 is about £3k, option 2 is £2.5k (without streamer/DAC).

We’ve heard all the classic options during our naim journey at dealers.

I do however love vintage naim olive look, but have zero listening experience with these boxes.

If we went option 3 what serviced pre, PSU?, amplifier combo for £3k or under would be a worthwhile upgrade on a SuperUniti? Remote control a bonus…

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What are you missing in the SU?

Detail, clarity, muddled threads of music. The SU is easily improved by fronting it with an nDAC, that’s one option.but suspect the pre section is the weak link.

Our main system is obviously way ahead, looking to close the gap but remembering not to go too silly on budget. Otherwise we’d just go buy a 282/HCDR/250DR.

Olive boxes seem to be great value and vintage would be somewhat interesting/cool, but I’ve no idea if say 82/180 would be any good nowadays or a step up on SU.

I had a SU for a few years and I would regard the 202/200 as a massive step up (with a suitable streamer). I compared them at length in my dealers demo room and the improvement in all areas was substantial. That was using NDX/202/200DR with no Hicap.


Interesting. The SU was based on SN2 power section I think, so likely most improvement coming from pre.

202s are cheap. And option to tinker by adding hicap I like.

Streamer is up for debate. We’ve been surprised just how good our little SMSL box into lounge sounds. We might get another nDAC, or a chance to play/explore - maybe a used Hugo etc.

But sort amps first.

I would strongly agree with this. I upgraded my SU in stages, first adding a 200DR, then an NDX. At this point it felt like a waste of money with only marginal improvements. Then I traded the SU for a proper preamp and everything fell into place. In the end I decided to up the budget and get a 282, but having heard the 202 I could certainly have lived with it.

Hi @IainO

Sounds like a fun project.

Can’t say much about options 1 or 2…
For Olive, (option 3) recommend (a) 72-HC-140, nice level within Olive, which seem reasonable prices 350-500 per item on SH market. Factor in maybe 500 for all three to visit Class A for full service. So maybe total budget of 2000 - 2200.

If you wish for slightly more, go to (b) 72-HC-250. (Using 250 instead of 140).

Nice Olive 250’s maybe slightly more challenging to find and typically 1000-1200. So leading your total budget more to 2500-2700, etc.

Both (a) and (b) are absolute Olive classics.
This post might be helpful, as a resource…

Sorry, no remotes. Which doesn’t matter (for us) as ours is used mostly with vinyl source, which involves getting up and down every 20 minutes or so…

Serviced and “on song”, think 72-HC-140 at the level of XS2+HC2 or maybe bare SN2, (which I’ve had the chance to listen and compare).

The Olive sound has a different sonic character, compared to more recent classic pieces. Think 72-HC-140 ( or better 250) might compare well - for SQ - compared with bare 202-200, but will sound quite different tonally. Bear that in mind.

Hope that helps?

Good luck

edit : for streaming options, maybe look at Innous Pulse Mini , which is brilliant (at its price point - 900) and would sit well with Olive shoe boxes. For a latter upgrade , maybe add Chord Qutest, later, as external DAC, (small enough, to be hidden out of the way).


282/200 could work, but costs a good bit more than olive options.

Lots of older options out there. Maybe 82/180 if you want Olive?

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This is the main reason for investigating olive….

I’ve lost the ability to tinker with lounge without spending £10k and SWMBO approval, but the office system is open for play within agreed slush fund limits.

202 or 282 would in many ways just make me want a 252 in office.

Rather spend same on something more interesting.

This could be done in stages… olive 250 fronted by SU for instance. We did this in lounge adding 250DR…slippery slope, I’ll probably end up with 52/SC/135s in 3 years, but who cares it will be fun.

The thread you referenced is all half width boxes. Not got my head round those yet, since 1996 every hifi component I’ve owned has been full width (except our recent Stageline, which looks a little lost on the rack). I realise I’ll have to get out of this mindset as a NAPSC/HC will be involved at some point,

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@IainO absolutely understand, as we went on a similar journey recently, which was so much fun.

Good luck with yours…


p.s. The easy option - right now, at current SH prices - would be a pre-loved SN2 and any decent streaming box you like. 2 box bliss :+1:. Maybe Olive will be more fun :wink: . Good luck again.

Yawn :laughing: where’s the fun in buying that!

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I went from SU to Nova and was surprised how much of a sonic improvement it was. Six years later I am more than happy with it and have no desire to go back down the rabbit hole of separates. Definitely worth a listen and the streaming board is the same as the latest kit, wheras olive streamers will have the same streaming capabilities as your SU.

If you do go down the olive route, bear in mind they will probably need servicing and that will cost a few hundred pounds per box.


That was my (subtle) point :wink:

Good luck

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I’m not sure that such comparisons are meaningful. The components may be the same, but implementation is everything, and cramming stuff into the same box as a streaming board, DAC, WiFi module, FM/DAB radio etc. is a huge compromise.

A Supernait could be another option to consider. Less scope for ‘tinkering’ but still a nice amp. When I demoed my SU against NDX/202/200DR my dealer also set up NDX/Supernait2 and it was a nice step up from the SU, but the separates were as big a step up again.

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If we did stay classic, then there’s a myriad of boxes and deals.

Used classic boxes are cheap, just googled 250DR prices.

Now a 250DR we know we love sound of, and would be better than olive 180 or 250. But at twice the price still.

Options, options, options….

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Plus a Hicap, which you will need with the 250.

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Nac272/250.2 worth’s considering, maybe add an XPS2. Prices are nice used right now.

Surely for an office you need something small and shoebox size?
As others have said, 72/140 or add a HC if feeling flush. Doesnt need to be more complex than that. And of course get serviced my Darran.


I suggest a NAC72/HiCap/NAP250, all Olive - very hard to beat for the price you will pay for some decent ones.

Speak to your local Naim dealer, or go to a specialist such as TomTom Audio in St Albans (who specialise in S/H Naim equipment) or a good dealer like Cymbiosis in Leicester or Grahams in London, or your local dealer from the Audio T chain.

If what you buy hasn’t been back to Salisbury for some TLC recently, remember to allow a few hundred additional ££ for servicing/recapping.

There’s no remote control for the NAC72, but RC Naim preamps are MUCH more expensive.