Upgrade planned. What first?


Having had Naim products for over 20 years, have been delighted with small upgrades over that time and considering path ahead. Current set up:

2 x NAP180
3 x Hicap
Active SBL’s
Project Carbon TT

Always aware that my active set up is limited first by the 180’s. The SBL‘s can do more. Ultimately I will upgrade 82 to 52 and replace my turntable for LP12 but am considering first step before that and to move to 4 x 135’s…



I can’t comment on active with SBLs having heard neither. I have an LP12 & Nac52.
As you will be looking for second hand gear I would suggest whatever comes up first in terms of great condition/provenance and vfm.
The Nac52 is a great preamp and I won’t be going any further looking for preamp upgrades and I love my LP12.
As you have the end plan I don’t think it matters in what order as long as you get there.


I have had active SBLs with 140’s and later 250’s. I would say that even although the step up did add something in general the 140’s did a pretty good job and I would personally be looking at the power supplies next.

A Supercap on the SNAXO makes a really big difference over a HiCap, as I suspect it would on the 82 (I had 52, then 252). For a smaller outlay an SL active cable upgrade for the SNAXO was really effective in my system.

That is my experience.

Cannot compare 82 with 52 personally but I know many on here will be able to do so. Buying a s/h 52 requires a bit of research to get a good one.



I have the 82, Supercap 2 x135s, CDS3 and XPS, NDS with 555PS and LP12, Cirkus, Kore,Lingo 1.

Your CDS2 with XPS is great, having had one previously.

Changing the 180s to 135s will be a big step up. I haven’t had an active set up but going from a 250CB to 2 x 135s CB made a big difference in my system. More drive and dynamics.

And of course the 52 with a Supercap or 52PS will be a step up from the 82.

An LP12 is great as well. Just be careful where you buy and you may need it serviced and set up by a specialist. I bought mine on eBay only to discover the bearings were damaged and then ended up spending a fair bit to get it fixed.

So you are looking at a fair bit of money to make the changes, especially remaining active with 4 x 135s.

You may need to factor in servicing all your amplification. I have had all mine done apart from the Supercap which is 2012.

Be aware the LP12 can be a money pit of upgrades. It’s my favourite source.

So what to buy first?

Source first seems covered in some ways as you have the CDS2. So perhaps look at a 52 to start. Then the 135s.

And if you want to get into the world of the LP12 then go for it. They are amazing.

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2x 250’s or 4 x 135’s will certainly see an improvement. Active SBL’s are brilliant to my ears.
Swapping the 82 for a 52 will also be a great improvement - I actually changed from an 82 to a 252 but I’m sure the 52 will be great too.
Power supplies as mentioned already; Supercap on the Snaxo or other components all a good idea.
If you’re looking to gradually change things, any of the above will bring about a nice improvement.


I hadn’t considered the Supercap on the SNAXO. great point. Also the cable upgrade. Thank you and something I’ll look to include as I go.

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Thank you. Appreciate your insights. Would like to go with a new LP12 and spec it through dealer… big spend but at least avoid money pit surprises.

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If an Lp12, 52 and 4 x 135’s are an option, I’d go LP12, 52, 4 x135s .
I would consider some speaker cables although 2 sets of the exotic ones are going to run to quite a price, perhaps WH Phantoms may deliver without eye watering cost?


A new LP12 will be magical and sound superb on the system you already have. Very exciting times for you ahead. The Kore and Cirkus made a big difference (Karousel now).

There are LP12 specialists who can source and set up an older one which would be equally good. If I had the knowledge that I do now I would be looking at going with Cymbiosis used.

But you will be 100% with new.


Indeed, I was very happy when I had mine done a while ago

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I would go to a dealer where you can hear several different TTs. Peter at Cymbiosis can demo you an LP12 against the Rega RP 8 and 10 and Jack at Audiobarn can demo both and the Vertere.


Thanks for the steer. Yes, a big investment so will def go and listen before making a decision.

Off to see Peter tomorrow… looking forward to it. But which cartridge should I go for MM or MC?

P.S. I’m on a limited budget …

I’d also put in a shout for David at the Sound Org as an LP12 guru :grinning:

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Definitely so.

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