Your second choice is not a final upgrade. It is the beginning of what may become a slippery road into the unknown
Personally i would avoid adding a power amplifier to a unit with a build-in power amplifier, which is already very good and for which you paid for. You may want to try a Powerline if you want to get the most out of your Nova, some have had good results with it.
Unless you plan to replace the Nova at some point with an imaginary post 272 model, i think that for 10K you may get a better system, SN3 / NDX2 beeing the obvious choice around the same price (and probably sensibly better) as Nova/NAP250
type ‘add 250DR to NOVA’ into the search feature and 20 threads are available to read through. If may be able to read, take notes and then ask specific questions to contributors or members with experience in making a change.
Lots of good information and history here and the older archived forum…
I have searched and read the many Nova + 250 threads but they never seemed to quite answer my question, which I guess is ultimately…which offers better SQ…the Nova+NAP250DR or the ND5XS2+SN3.
I don’t want to upgrade in the future and I don’t mind having a redundant poweramp in the Nova.
I can’t stretch to the NDX2 so that’s out too I’m afraid.
I will search and re-read the relevant threads again though just to make sure I’ve not been a complete dope !!
I have a nova with nap250dr. I don’t know whether sn3 and nd5xs2 are better, I couldn’t compare it. most dealers told me that if you should take the ndx2 to be better than the nova. here in germany there are almost no used sn3s and no used streamers either. but there is a good market for used nap250dr. so I could realize a new nova and a used nap250dr for 7k €. sn3 and ndx2 I would not have got for the money.
…and that questions is so subjective to the individual. The phrase that I picked up from reading this forum and use is ‘My System, My Room, My Ears’. There is outliers in all scenarios and some folks may hear differently or just have a different experience. The only true way to say what offers the better SQ is for you to demo. Hopefully with the help of dealer at his shop and then if you think it is worthwhile to demo at home. If you can’t do that that taking the opinions of others regarding SQ can work out or it is just may not be correct for you.
I am lucky that I have a dealer who has worked with me and I have spent hours in his demo room and have equipment at the house to demo.
Wishing you the best of luck and hope you find the answer and the system that works best for you. It is a fun journey…
Seeing as you have budget constrainsts, you may be able to swing an NDX2 if you get an SN2 instead if an SN3. The SN2 is an excellent amp (search it on here), and partners with the NDX2 very nicely. The SN2 would be great with an ND5 XS2 as well, and that would leave you some spare change for music or cables etc.
I bought a pre-loved NDX 2 from a dealer in Germany for EUR 3850 in March. Like used SN3s, they do not appear often and sell quickly, but a bit of patience and phone calls to dealers, who also sell on that big auction site, will help you to find what you want for 7K or less.