Why does the NAC make such a difference?

I recently upgraded to a 252/Supercap in my NDX2/282/Hicap/300 system. I only use digital streaming audio. I was super happy with my existing setup so the upgrade was nothing more than scratching an itch when I saw a good local deal pop up. Frankly I was not expecting much given the already very high performance. Early days and I’ve only been listening at low volume so far, but i am already very impressed. Low volume presence is at a different level. While a number of you have talked about Naim pre-amps being a core part of the chain, it made me wonder why this is so? What is the pre-amp doing, technically, other than input selection and some gain? What is the 252 doing so differently to the 282 in the context of my system?

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I am like you wondering why the pre, which is the less sophisticated component in a chain ( straight wire with gain as some journalist define it) is probably the most important part, the heart of the system.

IIRC, it was Julian Vereker who once wrote that making a good pre-amp was way more difficult than making a good power amp. I’ll see if I can dig out his post(s) on the subject when I have a free moment.

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I recall in the olive days going 72, 92, 82 and 52, the 52 being easily the best.

It would be very interesting. I too am interested in reading. Thank you

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