Upgrading olive 52

I have just been reading about the choice between 282 and 252 in a thread started by @Antonio1
My 52 is 20 years old or so, is powered by a Supercap, feeding into active Ovators600 via 4x135s

I’ve been pondering an upgrade:
A) add 2x135s or a 250 (really only space for a 250)
B) replace the 52 with a 252.

If I choose route B can I use my existing Supercap?

And do I have any other options, given that a statement and probably a 552 are out of the question?


Having been there, the only practical way up for your pre is a 552, the 252 is considered more of a sideways move, there’s often good deals to be had with the
2 x 135’s will always work
Or what about your front end


Presumably your ok with mixing black and olive gear then …
Sell the 135s and buy 3 X 250dr
Just a thought…you would get good money for the 135s and probably drop the noise floor a bit

Thanks @Lyndon and @anon23139555 for your comments.

All my boxes are out of sight … so I’m fine with mix and match.

I have a NAT01 and NDS as front ends.
I’m rather attached to my 135s but forking out for 2 more is a step too far for my space restrictions (2 stacks of fraim), but I could squeeze in a 250. But I thought I could tackle the pre-amp first.

I had not thought about 300s - pause for thought. Ah just had a look I’ve no space - they would need another fraim stack

I have had this same scenario earlier this year re my beloved 52.

Firstly check your 52 is serviced and in ‘final’ spec ( I think called ‘Pots 4’ or something). Ditto service the supercap.

I then bought a supercap DR and a 252 s/h

I tried: 52 plus Scap DR; bit of difference, touch more heft not entirely convinced. 252 plus old Scap was quite dull, lost the spark of the 52 somehow. However 252 plus DR Scap to my ears was a step up. I know not everyone agrees and the differences are interesting. Their is a sort of transparency and ‘lightness’ of the 52/olive scap combo that goes missing a bit but I found the 252 added significantly better bass and made things sound more balanced, cleaner and ultimately more engaging in my active system. I think it is one of those products that takes a while to impress rather than being an instant hit.

So for me this was the step up.

One final tip-best value in my system recently was an SL active cable twixt preamp PS and SNAXO (I might have to look at a wiring diag to exactly recall if that is right but you get my drift. Amazing opening out of the sound. I’d also have a top notch PS on my SNAXO before any other upgrades in pre-amp etc.


@BruceW thanks for you thoughts …
I had the 52 and Supercap serviced in 2012.
The Snaxo is also powered by Scap which was serviced at the same time.
I had not thought of cables - worth a look. I’ve always discounted their potential impact - not sure why?

I am relistening to music since I had a new earth and separate consumer unit installed, which got me thinking about how things might be improved.

Yeah me too. SL interconnect on my NDS was an 6/10 upgrade from hi line, but the SL cable amp PS to SNAXO PS was 10/10. Quite a shock, but great value. easy to get one to demo at home as I did.

Is your SNAXO still olive? Olive PS on this?

As a general rule as I have incrementally switched olive to new style you really need DR power supplies to make the change worthwhile. There is a sweeping statement!


Running 600 then i guess you have the floating bmr snaxo like my self ?
I run quite a similar system to you
NDS, 52, supercaps, olive 250’s x2 and s600 running active.

I tired a 252 on my system and couldn’t really tell much difference and certainly not worth changing for, but i did change all my cables over and now run non naim ones and this did bring an uplift to the system and as others have said well worth trying.
As for adding a 3rd amp to run the s600, looking at what others have said on this, it looks like its a poor valve for sound over costs, unless you play at loud volume and money’s better spent elsewhere unless you have topped all the rest out and its all thats left.

A 552 is the only way forward i feel thats worthwhile and then you go all again.
But having said all i have i will have a pair off 300’s in my system by the end off the week to see what they have over my olive 250’s and if it good then they will stay and then i guess its time to get the 52 checked over, but i have one off the last ones, with pots 8 and the newest boards, but it still probably time to get it done

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Interesting. I’m sitting here with my old stuff and some borrowed new stuff in about the same situation. Trying to decide. I’m moving to a flat so selling off some old music/studio gear gives me a budget to play with.

Until a few days ago I had been all set for the 272/555DR/300DR but when I actually tried the 52, SC, 300DR last weekend (in my thoughts a really “unmatched” set) it turned out to be a very-very lovely and musical combination. I ran it with SBL:s and then a pair of Devore 3XL. A healthy improvement on the 135’s. So then I just need a streamer to match the 555DR …

I’ve ruled out a 250.2 (from a period I wanted to go active with the SBL:s, no match for the 135’s) and a newly serviced 252 (its good, but I prefer the 52, I have not tried it with the SCDR and I’m not going to :smiley:).


I had an olive when running SBLs but the move to the 600 meant I needed a new one.


My conclusion about the 52 vs 252 is that you should not compare directly without giving each one the ‘right’ supercap as well. Hence Jan and maybe others are perhaps not giving it a ‘fair’ go.

The 252 was also a slow-burn pleasure for me; maybe because it does not do any one thing outstandingly obvious. Just everything really well.


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Wasn’t it Pots 8?

Yes …Pots 8

I run a Nac52,supercap,Nap300 non dr and find it very musical also. I was looking for 135s to match my system but at the time I couldn’t find any but did find a good deal on a Nap300 so I gave that a try and have not regretted it. When the time comes for a service I will get the dr upgrade.

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How do I do this?
Thanks @BruceW and @ChrisSU

Huw, Email Naim with the serial number. They should be able to tell you your NAC’s service history and spec.


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Thanks @Christopher_M
I came across the invoice the other day so I will do just.

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It may be useful to send them the S/no of the Supercap too.

OTOH, speaking personally, when one has the itch for change, then change it is going to be regardless of any amount of rational information about state of service of kit, latest spec, etc :joy:


@Christopher_M … that itch … since improving my mains I am wondering what else could be improved for a similar outlay

Anyone know what the up to date cost of a service on the 52 is, if not I can ring them I know.