272 using the digital out into another dac

Anyone doing this, excluding Naim dac?

The issue with this is that you would also need a different preamp and so it rather begs the question… why would you do it?

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Why is there a digital out if not to improve on the internal dac?
At the moment my Innuos server connects to the 272 over the network and wonder if it would be best served direct into a dac via usb, so Innuos to dac, analog out to 272.
Hope this makes sense.

I’ll be getting a DAC/ Preamp and Power Amp (non Naim) for a home trial and one of the things I will be doing is taking the analogue out from the non-Naim DAC and using it as an analogue input to my 272 (thereby using the 272 and my 250 as amplification). As far as I am aware that will work.

However that is not how you phrased your original question which is probably why Richard commented as he did.

Yes probably lost in translation. What you want to do is same as me.

So how about digital out of 272 into external dac then dac analogue out back in to 272 analogue input? Benefit from external dac (which could be digital hub for other digital sources) whilst using 272 as streamer trans and preamp… but why not n-dac?

You can’t do that (take a digital out from the 272 snd then loop back into it again).

Why if it’s going back to the 272 as anolog?

You’ll have a digital source selected (Eg UPnP, Tidal etc) to produce the digital output from the 272 to feed the DAC. You can’t then have an analogue source selected at the same time on the 272 to listen to the output of the external DAC.

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In the Naim world, if you want separates, you need to buy separates. The all-in-one devices were developed for people who want fewer boxes.
If you think about it, in the Naim app you select an input. You can’t select two at the same time, which is what you would need to do if you were to use the streamer and then attach a separate DAC to the analogue input.

I ran the digital out of my old 272 into active Dynaudio XD 600’s I used to own. That worked very well, also had an XPSDR on the 272 at that time.
I also tried the digital out into a Chord Dac, I think I tried it with a Hugo 2 I had borrowed.
I then ran the analog outs of the Hugo into my old Cary Audio Cinema 12 pre/processor, which I had connected to my Anthem amp.
The sound was very good, but it was more of an experiment than anything… just too many boxes.

When the 272 analog input is the Source, the various digital inputs, one of which is the onboard streamer, are NOT the Source, so the digital output goes dead.

The digital output allows you to repurpose the 272 as a streamer into a different system, without using the preamp, if you like.


Ok I get it, so my option is Innuos via a dac, analog out to 272, then I can listen to my ripped CD’s and Tidal via from the Innuos, Qobuz etc as I will only be selecting one analog input on the 272.


Exactly. Interested to hear your impressions when you compare running your Innous through your DAC versus direct to the DAC built into the 272.

Personally, I would miss being able to switch sources using the Naim app, but maybe your Innous + DAC has a remote function, or remote control is not your requirement.



Not really as a streamer, just a renderer. (The term ‘streamer’ usually means renderer plus DAC giving analog output.)

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Better I should have said “digital source”.

Thank you for the correction.


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For what its worth, I have been doing something similar to what I think the OP wants to do. I have a Raspberry pi 4 running RopieeeXL with an Allo Digione sig on top feeding the SPDIF input of a Chord Qutest whose output is then connected to an analogue input of my 272. For a bit of fun I also connected the second SPDIF digone output direct to the 272 digital input so I could directly compare the Qutest and 272 dacs using the same transport - you can just switch source on the 272 and get instant comparison.

I reckon Qutest is a bit more forward and the 272 is darker & warmer. Qutest is more detailed but 272 was certainly clear enough and I think a bit more relaxing to listen to. Imaging good on both. As far as I am concerned, both dacs are clearly good and I would not say one is a clear winner – its more like what you fancy at the time. Sometimes I leave it on one for a while then its nice to have a change.

Recently I got a SRC-DX so I can go to 705/768khz using HQPlayer into the Qutest but this is another story.


I now have a Qutest from my Innuos through the 272, wow this is a revelation and I now consider the internal dac of the 272 to be the weakest part of the design.

Dynamics, detail, imaging, timbre is superb with the Chord, sorry Naim but I’d say it’s better than the Naim dac I have a few years back.

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I can’t say I’m surprised you prefer the Qutest. Personal preferences come into play of course, but a separate DAC isn’t compromised by being squeezed into the same box as a preamp, streamer, screen, DAB/FM radio, WiFi and Bluetooth modules etc. so it has a better chance of performing well.

As for it being better than your NDAC, the Hugo from which the Qutest evolved was popular back in the day, and a few people even sold their NDAC/555PS because they preferred it. Personally I didn’t but there are many variables here.


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