Adding NDX2 to 272/250

Just asking if adding an NDX2 to a 272 has made a worthwhile improvement for anyone. Currently debating with myself whether it is better to improve source, so in my case, it would be NDX2 powered by 555Dr with bare 272/250dr, or else to go the HH route and have the 272/555dr with the 300Dr amplifier. I must say the 272 sounds mighty fine with the 555Dr up it, so I am leaning to the 300Dr. Any thoughts appreciated, and yes I’ll audition.

I’d hang on and see what comes out of Munich…

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I added NDX2 with a Hiline around January 2019 to a 272 / 250DR alas no 555PS. Took around 2 months to come on song. It is streets ahead of just 272 / 250DR. I did A /B comparisons with my playlists of NDX2 as streamer and 272 as streamer. NDX2 would I suggest be the way to go first especially with the 555PS

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It would only make sense to me to get the NDX2 if it was part of a bigger plan to swap the 272 for a 282 or 252. How many boxes and mains plugs do you want? You don’t say what speakers you have - I found the 300 DR to be vastly better than the 250DR: the speakers seeming to become two feet taller and the whole sound becoming more relaxed and natural.

There is no right or wrong, or better or worse here, it’s rather which feels right to you. When I upgraded my XPS DR and 250 DR to 555 DR and 300 DR I didn’t bother to listen first; I just bought them because it felt right. I’d owned a 300 and 555 non DR back in the day so sort of knew what I’d be getting, but the DR units are so much better. I just didn’t want a separate source and preamp and more mains leads, not to mention buying an SL interconnect to maintain the full SL loom.

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Ovator 400s, according to OP’s profile.

I think you need to decide whether you want to go down the 282 or 252 route as HH says. I think source first is always good and the NDX2 has wonderful extraction of detail. I’d throw another option into the mix though - compare the 555/272/250 against a 555/NDX 2/SN2 as that could be a pretty good source first/low box solution too.

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Hi Mike

I definitely want to have as few boxes as possible for the best possible sound. I certainly do want to go down the 282/252 route as I want a maximum of 4 boxes. We may be downsizing house in a few years and the last thing I want is for the hifi to dominate the room more than it does already. I think your suggestion is very sensible, but I am quite addicted to the qualities of the 272/250dr combination and just want to make the most of that, excellent though the Supernait 2 is.

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Hi Tony, that is encouraging to hear. I do not want to go down the 282/252 route so even though the streamer (and power transformer) of the 272 would be redundant that is good to know.

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Another consideration is whether you use headphones. If so, the 282/252 will require more boxes for a headphone stage.

Yes, the last thing I want is a 282/252.

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Yes, that would be expensive.

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It’s good that you are clear on that. In which case I’d say get the 300. A 272 replacement may appear at some point, which you could get if you wish. The 272’s great strength is how it works together as streamer and preamp, and I certainly wouldn’t want to use it as just a preamp.

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I have arranged to borrow a NDX2 and a Hugo TT2 as a DAC pre to test with my nap300dr.

Yes it is a weird combination, but like a few others here I can’t afford or face the real estate taken up by a 282 or 252 pre so I am testing the Hugo TT2 as a pre as much as any thing else.

I am real interested in your thoughts on the TT2 into the 300 DR. It seems like most who try it,do not like the outcome with Naim amps.I home demoed the Hugo 2 last year,and used it as a pre,directly into my Anthem amp,the results were awesome.I am currently saving my pennies for a TT2. Try a non Naim amp before you dismiss it.

I would be happy to share my findings next week. I have an open mind so we shall see. I asked what they could recommend as an alternative to a naim pre and their suggestion without hesitation was Hugo tt2.

At the end of the day, the Hugo is a Dac with a pre amp output, it may be voiced differently to naim, again I shall see. If I could find a mid range naim pre at a sensible price which doesn’t take up half of my rack I would gleefully consider it.

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I am currently running a Hugo2 as a dac/pre into my 300DR … for the same reasons. I love it, but do not have a naim dac/pre as a frame of reference. I too am waiting for an appropriately priced naim option. Perhaps on May 8…

This is good to hear, I would like to compare the TT2 to a naim pre such as a 282, but I’m going to have to take it one step at a time

I did try a TT into my 250 bypassing the NAC… and the results were truly disappointing … certainly compared to using the 252 or 552 to correctly drive the NAP… as said elsewhere, Naim NAPs really need Naim NACs to work optimally and sound their best… Naim amps are the combination of the NAC and NAP.

Simon, you are one of the people I was referring to above, that did not like the results.I believe GRAEMH used this combo for a while, and moved on, another that comes to mind is Analogmusic, I think he tried his Dave into his 250 DR, and did not like it.When I had the Hugo 2 demo,I did not have the proper cable to connect my 250DR, but was able to connect my Home theatre amp (Anthem) with RCA cables, and it was stunningly good,Full meaty sound, with bags of detail. Thus my conclusion that non Naim amps work better when fed directly off Chord Dac’s. Rob Watts drives his B&W 803 D3 speakers directly off the Hugo TT2, and I plan to drive my Sopra 1’s directly off a TT2, so no external amp at all. I have not heard this of coarse, so if i don’t like the results, I will use my Cary audio Preamp again, using the TT2 as a DAC/headphone amp.

IIRC there was a user on the old forum (Elevensheep?) who did a fair bit of testing and ended up preferring and buying a TT-direct-to-250 system.

I haven’t tried it myself, and intuitively I’d expect to agree that it’d sound better with a proper preamp. But it just shows that there’s no substitute for listening for oneself.