Upgrade my system

Hi Naim enthusiasts, my system napp250 chrome bumper nac 282 supercap not dr michell orbe turntable sme5 gold arm koetsu cartridge, ear834p phono stage bower and wilkins 804 nautilus speakers, system sounds very good if i wanted to hear a noticeable improvement what would i change and how much would i have to spend.

Noticeable change would be to a 252dr and then a 300dr, in that order. Cost would be dependent on new or previously owned. I wouldn’t be looking to change the TT until those were done, but thats me.

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To my ears

300 DR is considerably better than any 250 (or non-DR 300 imho).

282 to 252 is still a bigger step, but the cost may reflect that.

Given cost of 252, a 52 is worth hearing - a different presentation to a 282 but to me a good deal better overall. It’s also likely to be good with your CB 250 while you consider other options (and probably won’t lose you lots of money if you buy one now and upgrade past it in a few years). Actually, given what your 282 is worth….

I have a 52, olive Supercap and 300DR (recently replaced a 250) into B&W 804 D3s. I wouldn’t change the 52 for a new 252, though one day I might find the extra detail and space from a 552 irresistible.


If you’re willing to consider P/L then a 500 may be worth considering, particularly if it has some service miles on the clock.

Hi @Hoggyslittlemount. ND5XS2/Nait XS3 is only slightly more expensive than a Nova and some who’ve done the comparison have preferred the separates. At the very least they offer more upgrade potential — it looks like you’re starting climbing the upgrade ladder! So perhaps an audition would be worthwhile.


Edit: sorry this got posted in the wrong thread, oops!

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The first line of the electronics, the phonostage.

Others will be able to suggest exactly which but I suspect a Naim Superline on your NAC282’s Aux2 would be a good place to start.

I believe you can achieve better sound quality by changing from vinyl source to streaming music from your own store of digital music (purchased as downloads, including hi res, or ripped from CDs). But vital for sound quality is a good DAC. Cost - how much do you want to spend? My store + rendering software cost about £1500, but something like a Melco or Innuous would be easier to set up. My DAC, Chord Dave, is something like £10k today. Cheaper DACs like Chord Hugo (£2k) or Chord HugoTT (4k) also play music better than vinyl (and if you didn’t have an analog source none of these DACs need a separate preamp, though some people prefer to use one). Naim used to do the N-DAC, I think somewhere around the cost to Hugo, but only available secondhand now. Naim also does several streamers combining the rendering software and DAC (but needing a file server), the ND5XS2, NDX2, and ND555 at a range of costs. All of course are available at lower cost secondhand.

Some lightly oils thoughts, having just got in from the restaurant and listening to my wife snoring.

A streamer is very handy for tasting unknown music but even an ND555 hasn’t supplanted vinyl as my primary source.

First question, are you providing your system with a signal earth? Usually this is via a Naim digital source but if one isn’t present it’s as well to use the earth post on the 282 to take a line to the earth pin of an otherwise unconnected plug, experiment with where you plug it in but close to the system components and maybe even the prime socket of a linear block. If it doesn’t appear to matter than it doesn’t but try again if you upgrade the pre.

I’ve a bit of an aversion to SMEs magnesium arms but I’ll try and ignore that and assume you’re happy with the front end, the Koetsu will no doubt help.

That take us to the phonostage, the ear is well regarded but a comparison with a superline on AUX and with a supercap could be interesting, don’t bother with a hicap.

The pre could of course be upgraded and if you can chance on a 552 it will free up the supercap for the afore mentioned superline. Perhaps put that one on the back burner for later.

A 250CB will be the least capable of the 250s but is reputed to have a certain charm. A 300 would put it in perspective. The B&W 804 comes in several series up to D4 with varying demands on the amp.
A speaker quest could be interesting but is the current power amp the right starting point? It all depends what you’d consider. Vivid have a shared ancestry with B&W and have some enthusiastic owners here.

Maybe before all that you’re probably ready for Fraim if you don’t have it yet.

HAs the CB 250 ever been serviced? If not, get that done first or trade it in on a 250 Classic.


If I were you, I would wait to buy any new products right now…

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I would upgrade the phono stage first. Ear 88 pb is a big step vs 834 p. Or Superline/ Supercap. My first choice is towards the Ear.

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