23 Nov Naim green lights and white lights do mix! Replacing NAC252/Supercap DR with NAC332/NPX300 in legacy Naim system
Naim has recently updated its product ranges with the release of the New Classic 200 and 300 Series. For the 300 series this includes the NAC332 Preamplifier which can be used stand-alone or powered with the NPX300 Power Supply. For many owners of Naim legacy classic systems there are many questions, including whether the New Classic system represents an upgrade. There is also, perhaps surprisingly, a nagging worry as to whether the white logo lights in the New Classic series will mix in with the legacy series green logo lights! I will admit to having both worries when I borrowed a NAC332 with NPX300 for a home demo in place of my legacy NAC252/ Supercap DR. Other components in my system are ND555/555PS, Michell Orbe with Superline/Supercap DR, and NAP300 DR. These play through Audiovector R3 Arreté Loudspeakers. All cables are Chord Signature.
The new system, including the NAC332 and NPX300 is shown in the photograph. Immediately it is seen that the white logo lamps of the New Classic Series blend in nicely with the legacy products. And so, one of my worries is answered immediately! This is, of course, the lesser worry, but for many people this will, indeed, be an issue.
The real question for the NAC332 is does it represent an upgrade over the highly rated NAC252. In this respect I can confirm that straight out of the box the NAC332/NPX300 gave a significant and stunning improvement in musical enjoyment. I was able to pick out detail in music that was not previously apparent. Dynamics were faster and the soundstage wider. With more extended listening the level of performance has been maintained and I am simply enjoying my music even more than previously.
Another concern I had in making this change was in respect of System Automation between the ND555 and the NAC332. Would the ND555 be able to control volume level and the preamp inputs on the NAC332? I can confirm that with the addition of a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable (£6 from Argos!) to connect the two boxes this worked perfectly.
The NAC252 remains a good preamplifier and produces a very enjoyable sound. But, for me, the NAC332/NPX300 is giving me more enjoyment. And it fits in with my legacy Naim Classic products. It will be making a permanent place in my system!
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