Upgrade streamer or power amp?

People asking for advice regarding equipment purchases in this forum are understandably recommended to visit a dealer and let their ears decide. That’s difficult for me as I now live in rural Japan and the few Naim dealers here are in distant Tokyo and stock a very limited range of equipment. So I’d like to tap the knowledge and experiences of other forum members.

My current set up (with vintage) is: Naim NDX streamer (2011), Naim 252 (2015), Supercap (2011), NAP 250 (1998, reconditioned in 2012). For vinyl I use a Linn LP12 at approximately Akurate specification with a Naim ARO arm & AT33 PTG cartridge. Speakers are B&W 804 Diamonds (2015). None of my Naim equipment is at DR spec yet.

I’m looking to upgrade the amp stack and possibly the NDX streamer. Option A is to get the Supercap upgraded to DR spec and get a new DR spec NAP 250. Option B is to just replace the NAP 250 with an ex-demo NAP 300 DR I’ve been offered. The cost for both works out at about the same. Option C is to replace the NDX with an NDX2 and to either upgrade the Supercap or replace the NAP 250 with a new DR version.

While this would make a great A/B/C comparison at a Naim dealer, for now I don’t have that option so I’d be interested in the views of those who may have upgraded their Naim kit to DR spec, or who have upgraded from a NAP 250 to NAP 300. I understand all views are subjective but you need to start somewhere and I’d appreciate all constructive opinions and advice. Thanks in advance.

Given you have a 252, and a recent one at that, I would consider an option where you DR the SuperCap and add a XPS DR to the NDX (or better, get NDX2 and XPS DR). Do that before making changes to the amp.


Definitely start at the source and work forward so probably the power supply for the streamer and then yes Supercap DR IMHO.



1 Like

Power supply for the NDX, or NDX2 and power supply. Source first will add a lot more to what you already have in the rest of your system.


@kurauchi from my point of view and experience I would look at AMP rather than NDX2 or PSU

for me the biggest improvement is by replacing your AMP with a 300DR, for me its the best pound for pound musical delivery in the NAIM range, I too was looking at 250DR to move from my then 200, my dealer had in for PX a 300 which I took and then had DR fitted 2 years ago

300 non DR ia brilliant AMP, focus seperation and really musical - the 300DR is just more of everything,

your system is very similar to mine - I too have NDX (2014) but I play manly vinyl, the ONE single biggest improvement I added to my NDX in December of last year was a Titan Eleckra cable = and the cost vs Musical return is ashtonising - I too was looking at PSU for me NDX but for less than £400 I have found it and I dont need another FRAIM shelf

and of course any of what you are looking at will add you your current system, for me a real sweet spot in the NAIM range is 252/SC/300 either DR or not,

enjoy the journey


Go for 300DR and also Supercap to DR. Then use the bare NDX 2 without PSU for a year or 2 before adding PSU. You may appreciate the PSU more maybe haha. I myself intend to upgrade to 300DR first and then a 555PS last.


Option 3 Source first NDX2 with 250.2 upgrade to DR

But I would put my money on NDX2 with XPS DR


Fix the networking first. The newer generation is more agnostic to that - but if you can get your networking dialed in, you’ll see the NDX deliver.
Maybe get a Naim Dac and use the NDX as a transport into the Naim Dac? that’s a cheap thing to try out - and then put a PSU on the Naim Dac.

My upgrade path was:
NDX/282/250 to NDS/282/250 to NDS/552/250 to NDS/552/300 to NDS/552/500 to ND555/552/500.

I’d recommend you also try to listen to a used NDS. Those are cheap nowadays.

1 Like

Bigest bang for buck will definitely be XPSdr on the NDX plus DRing the Supercap.

Probably, the NDX, 252, and Supercap are all due for service too. May be easier to send them all off at the same time.


Given the low prices a used NDX will sell for, I don’t think NDX2 is a cost effective upgrade, although it’s something you may want to do eventually. Better to go for either an XPS or a DAC upgrade to the old NDX first.

1 Like

The super lumina interconnect between source and preamp is quite an uplift too


I would put a XPS DR power supply on the NDX. The Power Supply can move forward when the time comes that you replace the NDX but will make an immediate improvement on your system today.



Thanks to all for the advice - an interesting range of views.

“Source first, amp later” makes sense, although my current NDX is so old it has no Bluetooth or Spotify etc functionality, and cannot be upgraded to handle these. So I will probably go for a new or ex-demo NDX2 and get the Supercap upgraded to DR spec. Actually, given the 2,000 pounds I’ve been quoted for the DR upgrade, it might make more sense to just trade in my Supercap for a new DR version (as a non-EU resident I don’t pay VAT on equipment).

I had not thought of adding a power supply to the NDX. As opposed to pairing a power supply with a component that doesn’t have its own, I’ve always felt using a separate power supply to by-pass the one a component already has seems wasteful. But I will do an A/B comparison on that option next time in the UK. As well as a 250 / 300DR comparison if funds allow.

In the meantime, many thanks again for the input and enjoy your own audio journeys!

If you have a very early (2010/2011) NDX, it may not run Spotify, Tidal etc. but a streamer board upgrade can be done to add this. Then you just need to update the firmware.

I can understand why people feel this way, but I think it’s best to keep an open mind. A DAC or power supply upgrade does mean that there will be some redundancy, but it can still be a cost effective upgrade path.


I am a big fan of ex demo and gently used Naim. If these are rare where you live, and the price for the ex demo 300DR is a good price, my tendency would be to get that because of the opportunity. This assumes that you might be able to do other changes in the future as well, vs. there is only ONE chance you have to make a change. (And the 300DR is a WONDERFUL amp; I went from 250DR to 300DR and am so happy I did. Your speakers and your ears will be very happy.)

Because who knows – maybe an ex demo or gently used NDX2 will turn up!

Getting the Supercap up to DR spec is something you can always do - vs. buying a nice ex demo / used Naim box at a nice price, which is a more rare opportunity.


totally agree with this comment

Thanks Antz - am not giving up on power amp upgrade but will focus on the front end for now. Appreciated your feedback.

Any of your thoughts on upgrades will add to the music, which is what we all want, the great benifit of the forum is each member has different experience and therefore view following their journey

just enjoy the journey

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.