272 into NAP 300 - how sensible?

Hi,

A Facebook friend of mine has proudly displayed his Naim system on social media and I desperately want to say something diplomatic but am holding off.

Basically he’s got an LP12 into the 272 (pre-amp) then under that are two boxes that are clearly a 300.

As far as I can see, it looks like he has a majorly out of balance system and would probably have been better served with (at the very least) 272 + XPS DR + 250 DR

Anyone ever listened to such an unlikely combo?

Thoughts…

I have a friend who auditioned for a 272-250DR into the old Kudos Titan 88.
Then the 88 was compared to Sopra 2 and decided it was better.
Then compared 300DR vs the 250DR - and the 300DR was so much better with the speakers that is what he decided to get - so 272-300 into Sopra 2.

The dealer had mentioned that the 250 did not get on with some speakers as well as the 300 did - and the latter made the 250 sound shut-in and struggling, which with other speakers it does not.

He also as alternative to getting the 300DR compared to it keeping the 250DR and using an XPS DR with the 272 - but the 300 did more …and the HiFi budget was blown and more by then…and I later got blamed! :astonished:

I had just sat-in and listened and said nothing and let him decide on it all - I think my role was to tell him if he was making a mistake - he was happy and I agreed with his choices in context of the auditioned system and his music preferences.

DB.

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Yes, when I was listening to some systems at my dealers not long after the 272 was released I compared 272/XPS/250 with 272/300 along with some separates systems. In some ways the 272/300 was a lot of fun, but it was unrefined. It would have been a great system for cranking up the volume at parties, but a bit too in your face for regular listening.
In the end I concluded that separates gave better sound quality for the same money, so didn’t buy a 272, but if I had it would have been powered by an XPS for sure.
Of course if the speakers had been very demanding and the 250 had struggled to drive them that could tip the balance more in favour of the 300.

…the XPS as well would have lifted things for sure - but there is always a point on when to stop and declare victory… :bear:

DB.

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Many people use a 272 and 300 and there are many posts praising the combo, but it’s typically with an XPS or 555 on the 272. E.g.:

This is such an interesting question because it raises somewhat of a paradox. It is true that even Naim were known to demo a 272/300 combo at times.

However, if you consider that as a streamer and preamp, an NDX/202/HC was considered by most people (definitely including Naim) to be a much more superior source and pre, and then consider that if anyone posted a system like a NDX/202/HC/300, there would always be a flood of consensus telling that person “Your source and preamp are not up the standard required by your power amp.

I’ve always found this odd. That people consider a 300 with a 272 a perfectly viable option but a 300 with other components that are better than a 272 to be very unbalanced.

To me, there is only one logical conclusion: one of those viewpoints must be wrong. I’m not sure which one though. In the Naim world, the preamp is everything so I would tend to side with the premise that if a 300 needs better than an NDX/202/HC, then it definitely needs better than a 272. But I don’t know. Food for thought.

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I use a 272 with a 300DR supported by a 555PSDR (and LP12). To my ears and in my system this creates magic.

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The 272 has two amp outputs and the manual states connection to a NAP300.

The 272/555DR is more than capable with the 300 attached.

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Time for @hungryhalibut to chime in, if I am not mistaken, he used to own a 272 / 300 combo, although I can’t recall the power supply used …

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If I’m not mistaken, it was a 272/555DR/300DR, same as me.

I’ve been running this combo since 2017 and it was the end of a journey for me. I see no reason to change anything at all as it’s a delightful setup.

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When the 272 was first launched I attended a launch event and it was demo’d with both 250 and 300 with and without a 555 PSU. Whilst I personally preferred a NDX/SN it sounded great an excellent solution.

Well it looks like might need to eat my words. Turns out my friend had cunningly hidden a Teddy XPS PSU out of shot that was powering his 272. His 300 DR is powering a pair of Tannoy Legacy Cheriots (91db with 12 inch bass drivers).

Good to hear praise for the fundamental combination too.

As a 200 owner, I may now be faced with an imminent ‘crisis’ of trying to resist a power amp upgrade!!

I too always thought Naim’s recommendation of 272/300 was a bit strange, but I do reckon the PS changes things, particularly a 555PS. I always used my 272 with XPSDR, but stopped at a 250DR as my power amp. This seemed like a “natural” combination and my speakers were not difficult to drive.

Roger

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FZ, I don’t think either of those viewpoint has to be wrong: it depends on circumstance, particularly the speakers in use.

With some speakers the 250 just doesn’t ‘gel’, with other speakers it’s the 300 that doesn’t ‘gel’ (but fewer specific models in this case). The other difference is that the 300 is much better with very low volume listening (or very high efficiency speakers).

In these circumstances when using a 272 or better source, the 300DR can be a better choice than a 250DR; add an XPSDR or, particularly the 555DR and the 272 is lifted to the point where it justifies the 300 over the 250. So the 272/300 becomes a perfectly valid step on the upgrade path the a 272/555/300 (this is what I did while I waited for a s/h 555DR to become available).

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Beauty is in the ears of the beholder. Personally I think the 300 is a beautifully balanced and poised amp, an iron fist in a velvet glove type deal. At it’s price point it is peerless.
The 250 is another kettle of fish altogether. It’s got something approaching a cult following. I don’t like it at all. There are better sounding power amps for less money.

I’ve never heard a 272. The anecdotal feedback is that it performs well above its price point and is exceptionally good value for money. The LP12 would probably benefit from a 252 and the system in its current configuration is well positioned for the insertion of a top pre amp, should your friend wish to upgrade in this direction. A 552 would also slot in there very nicely and work a treat with the 300.

Of course, if your friend is into streaming, pay to play, and all that stuff, the 272 is the best Naim pre/streamer he can currently have. Going for a separate streamer would add more boxes. Does he want more boxes? Can the accommodate more boxes?

The last thing to take into consideration is how it sounds. What your friend has is less important than how it sounds. If it all clicks together and they like how it communicates with them, that’s all that matters.

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When I had a 272/XPSDR and 250DR, I upgraded to a 555DR before getting a 300DR, which seemed to me the right way to do it. The 272 with 555 is a brilliant streaming preamp and perfectly at home with the illustrious 300.

Regarding comments, ‘looks great’ always works well, possibly followed by ‘why not get a proper Naim power supply if you want it to sound as Naim intended?’

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I hadn’t factored in the possibility of using the 272 with a PS. A big upgrade.

There have been numerous threads on here about the difference between a 250 and a 300, and the 300 generally comes out on top. Maybe his 300 came up as a good offer, or it’s part of the longer term plan.

Or maybe this guy likes the convenience of the 272 with his 300. Or 3 boxes is quite enough thanks.

There are literally dozens of reasons why this is the right system for one individual.

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272/555PSDR/300DR here too. This is also the end of the road for me (which started with an ND5XS and a Nait 5si). It’s magical, and the box count is the most I’m happy with. Now, of course, if there was a 372….

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I am not sure the 300 dr will be the best to drive the Tannoy. For Naim, Focal, Dynaudio, BW…the 300 will work better than the 250.
I have Apertura speakers, 92 db in 8 ohm, and found the 250 dr more musical vs the 300 dr in my system.
A test at home is mandatory.

You would have Naim SL2, Ovator…the 300 dr could be bought blindly. ( IMO of course)

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