Why does the 252 divide so much opinion?

Hi all

Interested to know why this highly ranked Naim pre amplifier seems to divide so much opinion.

I personally have never heard one but time and time again I hear it being referred to as boring, lacks any excitement, and has no real boogie.

Maybe one day I will get the chance to have a listen for myself, but interested to hear the opinions from those who own, have owned or decided against it and went a different route.


Maybe because its getting very serious at this level and starting to really show up any short comings you have in your system?
I for one know that, the more transparent the gear gets, the more it shows up any Problems.

I’m not sure Popeye and it’s a perfectly sensible question. I had a 272/555 and then upgraded to 252 / SCDR with NDS which was a lot better and then to 552DR which was a lot better again - all exactly as I’d expected.

I demoed 282 1 / 2 Hicaps and Supercap and they improved with each step but IMO the 252 / SC was on another level.

Main music is classical and the 252 added more detail and refinement. In orchestral it built up sections of the orchestra with with more definition so you could follow different strands of music more clearly. In a quartet it let you hear extra detail in individual instruments. Across everything it added ambiance (echo) which gave the impression of live music in a concert hall.

When I had finished IMHO it just sounded a better box. But having found the forum I think this is just one view. On the 252 many rock CD’s sound overproduced or “dissected”(?). I blame the producer but I can see why some would prefer the 282.

Of course, this isn’t like running 100 meters in the quickest time so there is never a clear winner.

I haven’t been brave enough to demo a 552 but maybe it just gives you the best of everything.

I only demo what i can afford, now and in the future. So with this in mind and reports of 282 being more of a boogie preamp, i tried both. For me i was always going to improve, the 282 was great, the 252 just opens up a new window on sound with say a nd555, that the 282 does not…

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I started with the 202, then up to the 282 HiCap Dr, now have a 252 SC DR and agree with Gazza and AJK. I would love to hear a 552 on my system as well but like Gazza, I only demo what I can afford.

I agree with consensus here so far. I went from 202-282 to 252. I mostly listen to classical and jazz. The 252 has a transparency, soundstage and level of detail far above the others and it boogies all day long. Maybe those who don’t like it haven’t quite yet sorted their source(s) and the 252 is just telling them so.


Agree with the general sentiment so far. I demoed 282-hicap, 282-supercap, 252-supercap and 552 on one memorable afternoon. Each was a substantial step up but I thought 282-supercap to 252 was probably the biggest jump. It is highly revealing of sources but with a quality source the step is very noticeable.


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