Looking for someone who has had a similar set up… and what direction they decided to go in terms of an upgrade and whether or not they’re pleased with the path taken.
My system: NDX2, CDX2, Uniti Core, Rega RP10 TT, Superline + HiCap DR, SuperNait2, Harbeth M30.1 speakers
In terms of an upgrade, I’d be looking to step up from the SuperNait 2. Do I go the route of a SN 3 or separates? Thanks!
Welcome Paulie. Dangerous place for your wallet
SN3 will give you little or even quite nothing vs SN2.
282/250/hicap and XPS for the Ndx2 or Cdx2.
Or step by step, you can begin with a 282.
Agree with FR. I just made this decision about a month ago. I already had an XPS-DR for my NDX2, so slightly different setup. It is worthwhile, though.
I went from SN2, which I loved, to a NAC 282/NAP250DR and added another HiCap-DR (to the existing one I had on the SN2). You have a ton of options/routes. I’d personally find separates the way to go, then get an XPS-DR at some point; but the separates route, I can’t help but feel, will reap the most benefits for you. I still cannot believe the improvement.
I ran Supernait 2 with and without Hicap.
SN3 is same cloth.
Replaced with Aethos as I wouldn’t invest in 252 or 282/250DR/psu.
If you haven’t separate psu on NDX2/CDX2, ?
this might be another option, even a better headunit than CDX2 if high use.
Do you agree that the biggest one step is the 282? I think that.
Logic tells me that would be the case. I made the upgrade simultaneously with the NAP 250DR, but I’ve always been of the opinion/experience that the preamplifier (as technically it is a source) will bring the largest gains and uplift in performance. The NAC 282 is something else.
You have hit a wall. You can either stick with your existing box count and make relatively small incremental upgrades such as SN2 to SN3, maybe squeezing in a Hicap to power it. Or just go for it and accept that you need more shelves on your rack to accommodate an amp that’s in 3 or 4 boxes for a real jump up in performance.
If you want better performance without lots of boxes you will need to look at non-Naim amps.
You put that very well, and it’s really rather a shame. It would be easy to say ‘just be happy with what you’ve got’, but if that’s not the case it’s something of a dilemma.
I’m not sure I’d swap from Supernait 2 to 3, especially if I didn’t need a phono stage. So that means 282, Hicap DR and 250DR, at which point a power supply for the NDX2 becomes highly desirable. Of course it’s two more boxes and two more shelves etc etc. Those Harbeths are quite a lot of speaker and a 282/250 is really more appropriate than any Supernait.
Good point about the NDX2, ideally that’s another box to add if it’s to hold its own with a 282/250 or above assuming streaming is a priority. I imagine the RP10/Superline would be plenty good enough for a few more amp upgrades yet.
Thanks for the advice.
Interesting observation RE: the speakers. You think the SuperNait 2 isn’t enough for the speakers? They sound great to me… but it makes me curious to hear them with a 282/250 combo.
I’m not sure the SN is insufficient per se, it’s just that the 282/250 will be much better. The 250 is a fully regulated amplifier and much more capable of getting hold of more demanding speakers.
HH is spot-on with this. I own pretty revealing, semi-demanding speakers (perhaps not like the Harbeths), and going from a SN2 to the 250DR…well, my speakers told me immediately the differences. I’ve waxed about how they seem to have really come alive. They don’t ‘hold back’ or seem subdued. Music feels very apart from them.
I would do the 282/250 DR for a worthwhile step up. I wouldn’t worry about the PS for the NDX, the better Pre and Power amp does a much bigger upgrade. I have personally done this. And I would imagine would be very beneficial with your Harbeths.
Thanks all! Seems like the 282/250DR is the set up to explore.
I haven’t experience with NDX plus psu but with CDX/CDX2.
CDX/XPS was good however,
I clearly preferred various CDS headunits with XPS, - this was before the current situation re. support and lack of essential spares for most Naim CD players, so probably not valid for OP.
To my ears the streamers benefit just as much from a PSU upgrade as the CD players. Once you’re into separates I’d say an XPS was de rigueur.
I added an XPS DR to my NDX2 with a SN2 and found that worthwhile. As you have the NDX2 and a Core, you could swap out the CDX2 for a power supply on the NDX2 for an overall improvement.
For the amp, I don’t think swapping to a SN3 would be a big enough improvement, so I’d suggest separates. There the choices get wider, a 282 with your HiCAP and a 250, or a 252 even - but best if you can plan towards an end point. You can run the SN2 as a pre or power amp with another separate in the range as a stepping stone.
I had planned a 282, but ended up with a 252/250 due to a great second hand opportunity.
Would first put PS on ndx2
Selling cdx2 and put it toward 555ps
If you would like to, or asking strictly speaking, to upgrade your amplification, there are of course options, including separates, and especially on a Naim forum - the usual narratives. If I look at the whole of your system though, and assuming you are not entirely happy with how your music sounds (?), may I suggest to allow the possibility that it may be your speakers that might benefit from an improvement in the setup? Those who’ve had Harbeths might know that the M30s are the easiest of them to drive, I think unless some room size or characteristics, you should have plenty and plenty of grunt with your current amplification. The M30.1, with all my respect to their musicality, are not so transparent, and a bit rolled off as well. Trying something similar but sounding more open and “alive” may be the best next step to improve your music … or at least what I would do if I were you
As for the SN2 I would get a HC DR which to my ears is essential and how the SN2 and SN3 are actually designed.
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