Completely new to "digital" music

Hello everybody,
I used to write on this forum few (about 10) years ago, when i was completing my first Naim set.
I found this community very helpful.
Now i moved to much smaller house and i have to revise and downgrade or upgrade my system.
I have Nac152xs/Nap155xs/cd5xs/flatcapxs/hiline/Spendor A6 and really good phono pre Sensor 2 with turntable.
I’d rather go to stream + vinyl listening, but there are too many variations in Naim equipment to make the choice easy and clear.
I’ve tried to learn something about streaming and new Naim’s products and have some ideas, but really need help in some points.
First - i don’t want to pay milion dollar, so i’d rather buy pre-owned things.
Second - trying to make it upgrade or to stay at least on the same quality level.
i can see these possibilties for me, and i really don’t know what to choose - also in case of easy of use and connection.

NAC-N 172 XS/155xs
Nac 272/155xs

bolded are my “first” choices.
well, it’s really too many variations. Also i can see a lot of Star and Nova on ebay and i don’t know what it means - they are not as good as the separate ones?
The new set will drive PMC twenty22 or 21.
I’d be very glad to receive any help and suggestions.

Well, to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with any of the above. They are all superb products in their own right. If you are moving to a smaller house, I would recommend something from the Uniti range (Atom/Star/Nova). I also recommend Tidal as your streaming service, as it’s simply excellent. Hope this helps.

I agree with DaveS about TIDAL. I made a transition about 2 years ago and decided to go with streaming and a Unity Core to rip my CD’s. I did not have a big vinyl collection and only about 100+ cd’s, so was not leaving a big investment behind. I use a Nucleus+ and Roon. It works very nicely and the SQ is top notch. Their MQA collection is growing every week. I am running a Krell KSA-80B and Legendary Apogee Scintilla Ribbons–one ohm.

I would skip the NAC N-172 as it punches well below its weight (although there are people here who may disagree with that sentiment). The SuperUniti is very good value currently and it has a much better DAC than the 172.

If you can afford it then the Nova has the new streaming platform. The Star is less competent than the Nova but it has a CD drive.



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Most important for me is sound quality and, if possible of course, also easy to use equipment.
I think about Star, but it can’t be upgraded in anyway. Nac172/nap155xs can be upgraded, but it’s not so “comfortable”.
streaming is not so important for me - i will be probably downloading hi-res albums.
I also have 1500+ cds to rip and 1000+ vinyls to listen.

I would be looking at the 272 option, as long as you don’t mind being on the older platform.

The pre-amp part should outperform what you currently have, giving an improvement with vinyl too. The 272 pre-amp is at 202 level or above, depending on how you power it and the streamer section will outperform all your options except for the NDX.

You will have a lot of stuff to sell, in fact most of it so you may even find you have funds for a NAP200 which your Spendors would greatly appreciate.

If you want the new platform I’d look at an ND5XS2, but you will probably need to purchase new.

Nd5xs2 / SN3. Or choice 4.

Tkanka for all advices.
I’m still in the forest.
Athough my first choice was Star/Nova, i can see a lot of used Ones on ebay, as well i read many posts about problemy with ssoftware.
I’m going closer to nd5xs, nac172 or nac272 - but i’m afraid they have same problemy with software.
Why is this happening - audio company with small experience in software?
Maybe the better idea would be to stay with Naim’s Nac and Nap and get some good streammer???

Here’s a slightly left field suggestion for you. Get a used NDAC, which was, in it’s day, Naim’s recommended upgrade to an NDX, so is arguably a step up in sound quality from any of the boxes on your shortlist.
You will, of course, still need a digital transport to feed it. My choice here would be an Innuos Zen Mini. The new Mk3 version has a coaxial SPDIF output that would be a good way to connect to the NDAC. It will rip your CDs for you, download direct to its internal hard drive, as well as supporting Tidal and other streaming services should you decide to give them a try.
You already have a nice amp that would work fine with whatever source you choose, although if you want fewer boxes, a Supernait, or even a NaitXS, would work.

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I’ve just read that all Uniti converts analogue to digital. If it’s true - it’s absolutely not for me, as my FIRST choice is always turntable.
So, my options now are much more simple:
Nac 272/nap155xs
with Nac272 i have an input for headphones, which is important for me these days.
and, what is also important - all of this can be upgraded :slight_smile:

I can understand why you and others might feel that digitising an analogue source signal is undesirable, but I would suggest that this is not such a difficult thing to implement well, given that the ADC and DAC are in the same box, and are therefore optimised to work well together. Better to judge with your ears, I think, than by applying purist principles.
Having said that, in my experience, separates always beat all-in-one devices, and given that you already have a separates system, I do think that your best option would be to add a digital source to your 152/155. Given the lower prices of discontinued models, I would look for a used NDX if you can find one within your budget. A 272 is also a good option to consider, as it means fewer boxes, and has a headphone amp.

New Uniti converts analogue to digital, but the older Unitis (like Uniti 2 and SuperUniti for example) and streamers like NAC N 272 don’t.

Also there are now no significant software issues with the old Unitis or the legacy streamers (like 272, ND5 XS, NDX, NDS).



I’m almost sure to go for 272 - it has good opinion as a preamp, can be easily upgraded with better power amp and PS and also has headphones input. I don’t need any other new functions, i will listen only cd ripppedfiles, and downloaded hi-res. Rather no streaming.
The last point are the speakers. I have Spendor A6 - and I want to replace them (i have smaller room now, and also looking for more open and brighter sound) - my favourites are PMC twenty 21 or 22. Is there very big difference in bass reproduction between them?

If you are not interested in streaming and only playing your ripped CD’s maybe a used HDX. Old platform but still works well and has internal storage.

Merry Christmas to all of you.
and thanks for all advices.
probably nac 272 is the choice - except all pros, probably best price to quality Naim’s product ever.

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