Weekend musings. 252 - 552

I have the sc/252 into a 250-2.
I’m strangely drawn to the idea of a 552.
Has anyone gone from a 252 to a 552 and kept their same power amp? If so which amp?

Techies. Can anyone tell me what the technical differences are that make would the 552 sound better than the 252?

I need convincing that the uplift in cost is justifiable.

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Did the exact change you are pondering…252/250.2 to 552/250.2
Still the biggest positive change that I have heard in swapping Naim boxes. The 552 really is the game changer in the whole line imo. Later added a 500 to the 552 but the 252 to 552 switch was the real shift for me. Imo, the 552 is the best box to invest your money regardless of your amp ( within reason ). Wide open window …just let’s everything through . Prepare to upgrade your source :slight_smile:

Thanks. I wanted to hear that it wasn’t worth it and save some money :slight_smile: I just knew that wasn’t what I was going to hear.

I’ve been planning a service on the 252 for next month ( when some other kit comes back) but I may leave it and look for the holy grail of a 552 at a good price.

Yes, hold off on the investment into the 252 …keep an eye out for the 552. Even a pre-DR model will clearly show its superiority …Good luck!


@NigelB did exactly that. I’m sure he’ll be along to comment.

Best regards,


Yep, as Lindsay says, I went from 252/SuperCap DR to 552 non DR and used my 250DR with both pre amps, which I still have today. There is a significant uplift in SQ when going from a 252 to a 552, even with the modest 250 power amp. But you will need a great source to get the best from a 552.

@Simon-in-Suffolk also went from 252 to 552 and kept his 250-2 with both IIRC. @Richard.Dane also runs a 552 with a 250 if I am not mistaken. Monkfish of the world unite!

The 250 is easily capable of showing the difference between the 252 and 552, although a 300 or 500 will clearly get even more out of the 552, and that will of course be my next (end game) step.

The NAC552 splits the power rails and also places all the sensitive circuitry on brass mass-loaded suspension systems. The power supply makes even a Supercap look a little bit puny. Everything is upgraded over the NAC252 - even the knobs, buttons, connectors, and casework. It’s very special and is very capable of showing the pre-eminence of the pre-eamp in the pre/power hierarchy. A NAP250 will be great. I’ve used mine with a NAP110, NAP140, NAP160, NAP250(CB), NAP250.2, and currently a NAP250DR.


Thanks. Yes I think my end game will likely be a 552/300 but possibly non dr, just because of the various comments of the dr being perhaps a little too revealing. The sc/252/250 combo just works so well together I was/am concerned that I may detroy the symmetry. Your various experiences has reduced that concern.

Thanks Richard. The techie explanation is always important to this ex computer nerd. I like to try and understand why things are working differently.

I went from 252 DR to 552 DR, at the time I had the 300DR.

Much better in all aspects.
You get what you pay for.
Obvious upgrade.
There isn’t much to say, it is that simple.


I have found that the DR upgrade to consistently give greater insight into the music above that of their non-DR predecessors, e.g. SuperCap, 250, 555PS. I only went for a 552 non-DR because of affordability issues. If I do go for a 500, I will wait until I can afford the 500DR and get my 552 upgraded to DR.

I would certainly try to compare non-DR to DR before you write them off as too revealing. I think you could miss a trick here and possibly not get the very best from these top-flight black boxes by going non DR.

Just a thought.

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I think cost may also be a factor. I started this upgrade journey a few months ago with a budget which, ahem, has seen a little mission creep. The other thing is my location in France and the covid restrictions which make comparisons a little difficult at the mo. I am going the previously used route to both reduce the cost, but also reduce the risk. Anything that I’m not happy with I can move on again with little loss.
If and when we get out of this mess then new kit and full demo becomes possible with myself more experienced in current kit and what to expect. It’s a steep learning curve I’m going through and catching up on at least six years since I last focused an interest on hi fi.

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Indeed, NigelB is spot on.

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Yes, i think you have nailed it. It is also expensive to DR later on these days…better the OP talks to a friendly dealer for an ex demo deal or impending trade in…rare that they are.

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what’s the all important … source???

Sqbox into a qutest.
Hana sl mc cart on a P3-24 via Rega fono, to be replaced by a P8.

Rega Aura may be worth auditioning when you get the P8…source first and all :slight_smile:


I went from 52/sc and a pair of 300s active (non dr) to 552dr. Had a dem version and then after a week wouldn’t let Geoff of acoustica take it away again :grimacing:

I did then dr both the 300s almost immediately - got in before the cost went up

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I went from a 252 to a 552 with my 300DR back in February. Had a bit of a false start as it had to go back to base very quickly with a stuck relay. Once back and run in though, the smile hasn’t left my face.


I’m another satisfied 552/250 user. My previous pre was a 282. If it helps ease your mind, both my 552 and 250 are DR, and my modest 30 year old Creek tuner with a cheap indoor antenna always sounds OK, and is occasionally fantastic.

It’s been said before (and I agree with this) that, though you’ll need top notch sources to hear what the 552 is capable of, it has a way of lifting up even modest sources.

I also have a Yamaha digital preamp, which I use for occasional streaming duties, mostly internet radio. The variability of SQ from different internet radio stations is striking, yet the sound is always good enough to hold my attention.

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