With 20+ years of Naim’s Classic pre’s/powers where are we at and how have things advanced in this time?

It’s been 20 years since the NAP500 made its debut looking at the product history via Naims website and 18 years for the 202,282,252 and the incredible 552.

Other than the digital side of Audio, things don’t seem to have changed much.
Time and time again it’s spoken about the classic range being due changes but ultimately what has changed?
We have the Statement that is Naims absolute pinnacle and a testament to everything they have learnt over the years with no expense spared.

Using this as a reference point any further classic series development must fall under this…
This leads me to believe that any update will not be as astonishing as it must have been, 20 years ago when we welcomed that classic range we have now.
It makes me marvel at how truly incredible the Classic range must have been when it was released some 20 years ago and how it still sits at the forefront of today.


Totally agree Popeye

I have and still do own components of the classic range since the early 2000’s having just recently invested in the 252/SCDR/250DR. Previously I did have the full 500 series (cd555) but moved to smaller premises, and the 252 based system works very well in new digs.

As you say some believe the series is due for update - I don’t really mind if that finally eventuates, I get immense daily pleasure out the current products, (and can only wonder what improvements would come through and at what cost anyway !! ) they are certainly standing the test of time




Not sure they were astonishing Popeye, more evolutionary. I went from an 82 to a 252 at the time. Strengths were similar but the new kit had added refinement. I could easily go ‘backwards’ and own a 52 instead.

As for future direction your guess is as good as mine but the success of the 272 might hold some clues.


I think you are largely right popeye, but I also thought that the DR upgrade gave the range a breath of fresh air and kept it on contention with other brands. Both the 552 and more so the 500 responded very well to the DR upgrades in my view. As you rightfully pointed out in another post this also help blissfully with their trade in and second hand values. ATB Peter

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Agreed, I still refer back to my point now being the Statement has to be the ultimate reference point.

What technology is going on within the statement that could filter down to the classic range to give it that impressive one up many of us desire…

Your right Stuart and reinforces my ultimate point even further.
Does that mean Naim were game changing back then and stagnating in the now? And this isn’t specific to Naim but all Hifi manufacturers.
In analog context.

I remember going to my dealer at the time to demo the new Classic series and left feeling hugely underwhelmed and disappointed. I stuck with and progressed through the Olive series instead. I still have it.
It was only when the DR stuff came out that I thought switching series was worthwhile, but by then my money was going in to other things.

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I don’t think so. The DR upgrades essentially made it a new range. Naim also say they keep their products under continual improvement.

I do wonder if some of the Statement technology will trickle down to a new range. However you could argue that the Unity stuff is a new range. My 252/300 are now 16 but they haven’t suddenly started to sound bad because of new stuff.


The dichotomy is this, if it ain’t broke leave well alone, on the other hand if you don’t move with the times. But there have been other changes the Supernaits, the CDPs being superseded by the streamers etc.



Totally agree Lindsay and my point was completely referring to the analogue domain.
I do think things have come on massively with the Digital aspect. :+1:t2:

I thought the opposite Graeme, each to their own. Perhaps the (slightly) smoother presentation suits my long term use of SBLs?

Ordered that LP12 yet?

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No, not yet. Been upgrading the pain cave for the winter months. Next year.

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Does the S1 have a Phono input button? Maybe this could trickle down to my 252 :slight_smile:
The NDX2 is fine with Tuner, same thing really.
On the technical side, what I would appreciate is a volume control that isn’t unbalanced at 7:45 and too loud at 9:30


I wonder if the “Classic” range is a bit of an orphan now for NAIM. I think their vision is for ultra-high profit items like the Statement and high volume items like the Muso and Uniti. They may follow Linn’s direction with the LP12 - expensive upgrade/updates (like the DR) for their Classic range.

I don’t think most people on this forum would like the thought of this as we are mostly Classic range owners!


I’m sure Naim have a small handful of improvements they could make but not enough for a new range.

I expect the interrelated nature of preamps and power supplies complicates things too. Designing things that go out of their way to reuse existing supplies, obsolete the supplied, or develope new ones? It’s a headache.

I have no crystal ball and cannot vaguely predict the direction they’ll take. Sticking with analogue will give the next range good longevity though. Advances just haven’t been as fast there. One could argue that the biggest leap wasn’t the current classic range but the previous olive range. Already, some products had much smaller change over their predecessor than others. The 282 over 82 and 250.2 over 250 seem like prime examples.

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Bear in mind that with the introduction of the DR power amps we saw the amazing NA009 output devices developed for the Statement power amp appear in the NAP250DR, NAP300DR and NAP500DR. That’s a very serious (and welcome) bit of “filter down”…


Yes I agree Richard. We did make reference to this earlier on in the thread.
It’s what else could we see within the classic range going forward that comes from Statement, if anything…

Indeed, but very much worth reiterating.

As for what else might trickle down from the Statement, I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see…

Well the new transistors and DR regulation already have…

Ah, just saw Richard best me to it…

Is the DR not the new range? It just sits in a classic shaped box?

Evolution is good but I wouldn’t want the power, pre, amp separates concept to be thrown away in favour of selling larger quantities of Musos or Streaming amp combos, however good they are.

Next Classic should be DR plus whatever sound quality refinements are developed.