What should I buy ? Getting a headache

Hi guys .
I’m currently very happily using my HD audio pre and monoblocks in my main system but I wish to move that to my second system so I’m looking for something to replace it .
My source is a Bluesound node N130 which I’m not changing , my speakers are Ruark crusader 2’s ( don’t knock ‘em they’re brilliant)
I have been told to go for a Nac 82 and nap 250 but then I’ll also need a hicap which puts it out of my budget ( just ) and I really don’t think I need to spend close to £2.5k to get a nice sounding system.
I’ve also been told that the supernait 3 may be a contender.
I’m getting a headache tbh as it’s a minefield to me .

Original supernait, and go digital from the bluesound into its dac.
Or go older : 72/hicap/140.
The choices are endless.
To be perfectly honest, if you’re not changing the bluesound, 82/hicap/250 is too much amp for the source. Even the supernait is on the limit.


What’s your budget and what did you pay for the he audio gear?

Totally seconded.


Starting with the BS source, you’re wasting your time.

I had one once in my system and it sucked.

I know that ‘source first’, is not perhaps the easiest philosophy to adopt for a bloke whose name is ‘the finisher’, but…


Other option: BS > DAC > XS2

Paracetamol ?

I’ll get my coat…

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I don’t know what the HD equipment is, so it’s not possible to know your starting point, but I’d suggest that saying you will not change the Node is a mistake. If the 82/250 was still current, it would cost over £10,000. Back in the day it would be used with a very good turntable, such as a Linn LP12. That’s the system I used very happily for many years.

A satisfying system needs to be put together carefully so that everything works well together in balance. Is it sensible to match a £10,000 amplifier with a £500 source? No, it isn’t.

Of course, the 82/250 doesn’t cost £10,000 today; with a Hicap it’s more like £2,500. If that’s your budget, you should look at how to get the best system with that. A used ND5XS2 and Nait XS2 would be excellent, or alternatively a used Nova. If you want the 82/250 you should add budget for a good streamer, such as an NDX2.


If you were keen to go for a NAC82, instead of buying the NAP250 you could consider a NAP180. The NAP180 will power the 82 without the need for a HiCap. You could upgrade later if you choose with one or two HiCaps or even a SuperCap - these PS options would then justify a better power amp.


The DAC in the BS is such a weak link, I’d be looking for a separate DAC. Staying with Naim, either the SN1 as suggested above or nDAC into original Nait XS should work. Both should come in at under £2.5k, even allowing for a possible service.


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The Supernait 1 has the same DAC as the NDX2 (PCM1792A), although the analog circuitry may be different.

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Maybe try upgrading the power supply, there are several good options out there, Fidelity Audio comes to mind.

The digital circuitry will be very different too. The TI DAC chips are just part of what constitutes a DAC in a Naim box.

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I know nothing of the Bluesound, but no it’s probably not sensible to match a £10K amp with a £500 source.

In the olden days, like most of us on the Linn/Naim trip, I vehemently subscribed to source first. It was part of the hi-fi bible.

These days, and looking back in retrospect, I do believe it all went too far. One needs an adequate source of course, but given that I would now give more weight to the speakers in a system rather than the source. Of course neither approach is generally sensible taken to extremes, and it’s balance that’s important. I would rather listen to a Rega 3/NAD3020/Mission 700’s than to an LP12/Tandy amp/Goodman’s Minimax.

Apparently a Nova / Wilson Sabrina X combination was one of the best sounds at a recent show - and that’s hardly source first.


I’m now sorted guys . Thanks

So what did you do?

I bought a different brand of Amplifier(s)

Which one?

Congratulations - what did you get?

Maybe Bluesound.

Would work well with a BS DAC.