72 to 202

A question to members who went from a 72 pre to 202 pre. Wouid like to get your impressions on SQ and sound character differences between the two.System is 72/250dr/hcdr/cdx2.2(bare).Since with the bare cdx2 the sound tends at certain recordind to be a little bit to bright i dont want this trait to be more emphasized.And is it going to be a step forward in SQ paired with a 250dr.By the way not going to use napsc and not going to add xps.The addition of a remote and the visual improvment are tempting but SQ is more importent of course.

The 72 was Naim’s top preamp before the 52 came along. I don’t think replacing a 72 with a 202 will be an upgrade, especially without an NAPSC. A power supply on the CDX2 would be a better step. When was the 72 last serviced ?


I’d add an XPS to the CDX2 before doing anything else. The 202 is not really good enough for your 250DR.

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That’s good. I’d not swap the 72 for the 202. 282 as a minimum but I’d still look at the CDX2 power supply options first.

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To many boxes already.

I found a 202 to be a distinct improvement over the 72 - albeit that I used it with a NAPSC. Not sure why you would choose not to do so…

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Only thing I can add is I ran my 202 without napsc into both a 200 and later a 250dr. I never did a comparison, but my dealer was not big on adding one and it always sounded good to me. The 282 requires napsc, and that is my current system. The napsc is small enough that I can place it behind other equipment on the rack so it doesn’t effect the box count. Fwiw, the outlet situation is the real problem.

Hi Leni,
I have never heard a 202/250 to be a happy combination, though I have heard it to be an unhappy pairing many times.

You may be more fortunate.

However, I very much doubt that a 72 will be the cause of any brightness or harshness in your system

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Contrary to conventional wisdom, I found 202 to work reasonably well with 250DR although it may not be a long term solution. 202/250DR has better bass performance than 202/200 but 282/250DR is where you want to go.

I went from a 72 to a 102, the predecessor of the 202. The 102 was more sophisticated and “grown up” sounding, but maybe less exciting and engaging. It also had the benefit of a remote.

In hindsight, it was at best a sideways move for me. I was reminded of this recently when I borrowed an elderly unserviced 72 to tide me over while my 552 was away being serviced. I was apprehensive about installing the 72, fearing a “cold bath” effect, but it was the opposite, so much so that I bought it.

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I dont mind a sideway move as long it is not a backward move and as long it is not brighter sounding this considering i get a remote control and a younger and more modern looking kit.

With the 250, you want a 282 for a good match.


I went from a 282/HiCap to a 72/HiCap and didn’t think I lost anything in the process.

It eventually led me to upgrade within the Olive range.


thank you all.I want to point that my goal is not to change or improve the sound i get .I am quite content with what i get and i am aware what kind of investment i need to improve (252/sc) which is way out of my budget.So i am not interested in a 282 (to expensive,to forward and bright for my taste.and not xps which is also to expensive and adds an extra box.So back to my original question,Will a move from 72 to a 202 will create a brighter sound or it will not.Second question, in general is the SQ created by the 202 is inferior to the 72 SQ.

I don’t think it’s about brightness, the 202 is far more detailed with a more open window of frequency range. It’s a clinical upgrade in hi-fidelity but it won’t get you any closer to the music, not like a 72.

Stick with the 72 until you have funds for something much higher up the tree is my advice.


Thanks debs.

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I seem to remember that @Simon-in-suffolk considers the CDX2 a very good cd player - up to 552 level - but that it is very sensitive of positioning and therefore a good rack.

Personally, I would either replace the hicap dr / nap 250dr by an olive hicap / nap 140 or get the xps on the cd player.

Interestingly I tried my NAC 72 instead of the NAC 282/olive HICAP a while back and almost convinced myself I preferred it until one channel dropped out. It’s one of several items I need to get serviced, when funds allow.

The 72/HICAP/250 were such a fine musical combination when I originally got them in the 90’s.

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Whatever you do…

…don’t get rid of the 72. You will regret it :face_with_raised_eyebrow: