282 / 250dr v Nova

So… I am selling my 272 and considering a 282 to go with my 250dr, or selling the 250dr and swap the whole lot for a nova.

The 250-dr , plus nac 282, plus napsc, plus Hicap? = 4 boxes and nova = 1. Also will need maybe a chord dac with the 282.

I will use it with:-
Roon for tidal and local music
Project Xperience with ortofon quintet blue cartridge
Arcam rPhono
PMC 23s
Also used as front end for surround sound system for movies.

Thoughts at this sort of cost level will I really notice the 282 over the nova, sigh… difficult, I know I can go demo, but others thoughts are appreciated.

Main listening room is around 4x4m

When the 272 goes will use my unitiqute as the front end, tried it before and it’s actually rather good as a pre.

I have the Nova and really love it, it’s a fine 1 box system. I have heard the 282/250 with an NDX2, it’s a step up, as you would expect at 3 times the cost, but I thought the Nova was not far off and better value for me.

Like you, 4 boxes is not appealing. I’d consider an NDX2/SN2, but would want to run it against the Nova as a comparison, again, is the significant extra cost value for money for your circumstances.

The N272 is highly rated, but some reviews suggest the Nova is close to a N272/250. Why are you passing it on?


I tried writing a sesible answer, in all honesty, not sure, itchy feet, i’m Using it as an analogue pre more than half the time the rest as a dac, and not sure if I want to play with a chord or diy dac, if so then i’ll end up just using it as analogue.

my qute as a short term front end after I sell it will give me time to think and maybe compare nova to 282/250.

As I already have the 250 I can get a new 282 for a good price, and of course better if I go secondhand. Just the box count is a real space issue.

My 272 was serviced last year whilst it was away my 250-dr was plugged into my qute, and really there wasn’t much noticeable difference when I swapped the 272 back.

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I think the problem is all Hifi equipment is so good these days it costs a ridiculous amount to eek out that bit more.


Nova and live gigs.

I’ve been up to NDX/XPS-DR/282/250DR level. It’s nice but a lifestyle change and move abroad forced me to sell it all. Am just using a Muso at the moment and even though it’s clearly not as ‘good’ I’m frankly enjoying my music just as much as before and find it actually less stressful. I will probably get a Nova and modest speakers at some point when I’m more settled but I’m never going up to those heights again.

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Yes I too miss the simple MuSo days!! There’s a lot to be said…loved the styling too

It can sound very good. Paying attention to siting definitely helps a lot. I’m in furnished rented accommodation at the moment so my options were limited. I only had a choice of two pieces of furniture to put it. At first it sounded a bit all over the place. But swapping the TV to the lower table and giving it a bit of height helped. Making sure the lower shelf of the unit was filled with books and not left empty dampened and tidied up the bass and putting a cheap rug on the floor was the final touch. Sounds great now.

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I don’t really understand why you want a better pre amp and not improving your source to be honest

I would wait and try a psu on the 272 to see if you get more music, 282 will need more source don’t really see the point of swapping out for 272 for 282

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A couple of years ago, I set out to upgrade my system, thinking that I was probably aimimg for 272/250DR, then adding an XPSDR to make a neat 3-box system. My self-imposed limit was that it had to fit on a 3-shelf rack. If I hadn’t listened to any alternative Naim systems, I would have been very happy with 272/XPS/250. But I also listened to some NDX based systems, and to my ears, they just sounded more musically enjojable. I ended up with NDX/282/200DR. I preferred this to the 272 based systems, despite the compromise of ‘only’ having a 200 instead of a 250, because this could power the preamp without the need for a Hicap, and therefore another shelf.
My starting point was a Superuniti (predecessor to the Nova) and if there was any single aspect of this upgrade that stands out, it was that the 282 was a very, very big improvement indeed on the preamp in the Superuniti, as it should be for the price, and I am quite sure that you would find the same improvement oner the Nova too, good though it is. Make of that what you will…

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The test will be in several years when you look at the music you bought after downgrading versus the music you bought before.

I find that you can enjoy an existing familiar music collection on lesser components but that music discovery suffers long term. I did a 13 year hifi wilderness tour where I got rid of my source to speakers Linn system in favour of a 2 box Onkyo setup. I thought I enjoyed my music greatly. But my music buying frequency fell off the cliff and what I did buy was not always great.

Even now, with multi-box Naim in one room and a single UQ2 in another, I find I need the big system to discover and “get” some challenging pieces of music. After which I can enjoy them on the lesser system. If I only had the lesser, I’d not have bought much.

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Ah, I’d forgotten that the 200 will power a preamp, that creates more low box count options.

I think it depends whether you wish for the nth degree of sound quality or a good level of sound quality at a third of the cost.
The Nova is unusual as it is possibly the best sound per pound in the Naim lineup.
I own a Nova and am very satisfied with its performance and convenience. I’m quite happy to avoid two racks of equipment which was the case with my old system.
I genuinely believe that to improve the sound quality significantly I’d have to spend in excess of £20,000 and I can find better alternatives for the money. Digital systems have reduced the need for this level of expenditure in order to achieve an exceptable sound system.


FWIW, I went from a 272 to a naim dac (not the dac v1) into a nac72/hicapdr. Happier - mostly since the source is now way better. I also do like the olive nac72.

That’s a good point and I have had that experience of suddenly getting an album or appreciating more on a better system although not that often and I wouldn’t say those albums have become favourites.

I would still say, for whatever reason, I do feel somehow more relaxed listening to my Muso at the moment. There could be many reasons for this if course. And I have seen studies which suggest the human brain is able to absorb and retain more information when you are relaxed than if you are stressed.

Also, I feel that there is so much music out there (not to mention films and books) to absorb that maybe It is good to have some natural selection going on to filter some things out that don’t give you that true feeling of emotion? Maybe?

The buying test in 12 years’ time though I don’t think would work for me as I’m listening to about 95% of new, to me, music on Tidal. There is of course always some music that has to be bought in some form.

Still, I do accept your point.

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As a slight aside and as an example of the incredible resolving abilities of the more expensive Naim equipment, I remember Peter Swain demonstrating the difference between the two sides of the LP12 felt mat in my system at the time of 202/200/PMC DB1. I have to confess, although I’m not sure I did at the time :slight_smile: , that I struggled to hear a difference. However, some years later, the same test was done through a 552 in the dem room (not sure now what the rest of the system was but I’m sure it was of matching ability) and the difference was night and day.

Thanks for the responses.

FWIW… I think that in isolation these things are hard to differentiate. I went from a Supernait 2, nDac, HiCap Dr, Uniti Core with Digital Cable, XP5XS, Qute 2 (for checking new music via tidal/spotify) to a 250DR, 272, XPS (non-dr), Unifi Core and have been very happy and completely engaged… more so than my first configuration. It’s possible my speakers just pair better with the newer config.

Well i’ll See when it all arrives. 282/250dr and a 2qute for the dac.

Ok, well I had purchased a sub to go with the 272/250dr as it was so lacking in low end grunt, have never got around to plugging it in yet and now I have the 282 to replace the 272 I have switched it on, everything stone cold, and my jaw dropped I have the low end back.


The same piece of felt … turned over and the difference in sound is “night and day” ?

I don’t disbelieve what you say, but in what way was the sound so obviously different?

Will that apply to my Rega RP10 white felt mat too …