Logical Step Forward

In need of advices to streamline/upgrade my setup which is all over the place. My equipment as follows:

Naim NAC-N272
Naim NAP 250DR
Oppo UDP-205
Chord Qutest
SoTM sMS-200 Ultra Neo
Teddy Prado XPS
Cisco 2960 Switch
MS HD Power Connector/Strip
Focal Kanta No.2 Speakers

Three DACs in the above setup!! In the existing setup, my personal sound preference: (1) Naim (2) Oppo and (3) Qutest. Maybe the order of preference will change once I receive the linear power supply (order via Aliexpress) intended for both the SoTM and Qutest.

Without the possibility of demo, possible options (within budget constraints):

  1. Remove Qutest, SoTM and TPXPS, add Naim XPS DR or 555 DR (used)
  2. Remove Qutest, SoTM, TPXPS and 272, add ND5XS2 + 282 + HiCap DR
  3. Remove Qutest, SoTM, TPXPS and 272, add NDX 2 + 282 + HiCap DR
  4. Remove 272 and TPXPS, add 282 + HiCap DR

My preference is going with the first option with 555DR used. Option 3 will be ideal but a stretch on budget. I am using Roon and Tidal. Any advices are much appreciated. Thanks.

3 has to be done.

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With Tidal and Roon, you will get a simpler setup with one of the new streamers, and you simplify things by getting rid of the SOTM and its power supply. I’d go for NDX2/282 if your budget will stretch to it.


272/555ps is and end point, beyond that you will have to go for separate pre and streamer, however it does get you a 555ps ready for a future streamer if you’re aiming high in the long term. Option 3 looks the most potential with a possible ps added to the NDX2 in the future if temptation strikes.
Personally I find the Chord DACs too sterile, though outstanding in a lot of ways so I think ditching the Qutest a good move.
You appear to have a filtered mains block, which are generally reckoned to hold back Naim systems but it could be useful if you only use it for the items with a SMPS and plug the Naim into an unfiltered supply, experiment with the plug order if you do that.

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FWIW… I would do with option 3, The NAS, Roon & Tidal into the NDX 2 works well and the 282 is such a great fit with the 250DR. I would go for the ‘ideal’ and work on the long stretch to make it a reality.

That would be my logical step forward… of course YMMV.


Thanks for all the replies @Mike_S @ChrisSU @Yeti @seakayaker. Much appreciated. Option 3 it is.

@Yeti That is indeed a filtered mains block. The 272 and 250DR are plugged directly to the wall.

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Good luck with your decision. I would suggest the best thing you can do is find a helpful dealer, take your time listening to different options, and enjoy the process.

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As you say prefer the sound of the 272 I would max that out with a 555. 272/555/250DR for Tidal etc would come very, very close to option 3 and could probably better it, if you had another source vinyl or CD then I’d go for 282/HCDR/250DR.

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I am not sure whether the NDX 2 is necessarily better than the Qutest with SoTM kit maxed out. If you like what the Qutest does (you must have bought it for a reason), you could also upgrade the SoTM 200 with an external power supply and master clock from SoTM…

I have no first-hand experience with SoTM kit, but I know it is incredibly well reviewed, including from those who frequently visit the Naim Forum… I guess I am saying that I would be cautious with forking out £5K for an NDX2. And if you are keen to spend more money, a 282 plus SuperCap DR might provide a greater improvement in sound quality; and it opens up another upgrade path – a 252 in the future?

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Yes, I do have the Oppo 205 (mod with a LPS and SR Blue fuse) for SACD/CD. The 555 is definitely up a notch and it would be interesting if the SQ will be on par with NDX2/282. Unfortunately, there is no possibility of demo. As a matter of fact, I bought all the equipment without any demo whatsoever and hence, landed myself in the present dilemma…hahaha. There is another thread re 272/555 which have very favourable comments of such combinations.

Both SoTM and Qutest have extremely favourable comments from users. To max out the SoTM would require in excess of USD5000. I hope with the LPS (on its way - not SoTM though), the SQ will improve.

If I go with the 555 DR, the 272 can probably “last” a few more years until a new 372? :wink: There are favourable comments on this combination in another thread.

Sorry – didn’t mean “super max out”, but the “trifecta”, which would be a lot less than $5,000. SoTM’s power supply can be used for two SoTM devices, making it quite cost effective.

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Is it really not possible to get a demo? That’s a lot if money to spend on gear you are just guessing will sound better.

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Silly question, but why not go about a methodical evaluation? For a start, A comparison of the sound of the three DACs, as the DAC is the key component in any digital system. If your expressed preference is indeed a comparison of the DACs, other components the same in the comparison, then that should lead the way…

Of course, given how haphazard it all seems to be, maybe bin it all and start again! (:grinning:)
On a more serious note, it seems you have amassed a lot and not reached satusfaction. Are the speakers right for you?

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Without the clock, it will be quite cost effective, the “trifecta” setup. Will see what happens when I receive the LPS from China…What I have not tried is feeding the SoTM to Oppo. Will try over the weekend. Thanks.

Not a home demo that is. I can probably ask dealer to set up the NDX2 and 282 which I am sure will be great. Anyway, will go and see (hear) what i am missing…:sweat_smile: Thanks.

Make that dealer earn his money! Naim have always said that their dealers are there to ensure that you get a system that works for you, is properly installed by them, and that you understand how it works.

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Yes, I did a comparison of 3 DACs and preferred the 272 but the Oppo came very close. Oppo will stay as I use it for SACD/CD and blueray. Come to think of it, I have not tried the Qutest at 1V and 3V. Will do so over the weekend to see if this have any effect on the SQ.

SoTM feeding the Qutest sounds good - I just want to streamline as there is no need for 3 DACs. Why did I bought them in the first place? Good question…hahaha. I was “hoping” the SQ will be much better.

Speakers…I am happy with the Kanta for the moment.

Maybe I will bin it all and go for a Nova…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I started my journey with a Unitilite…

Another possibility would be to try a Hugo M Scaler with the Qutest.


With the exception of speakers, home demo is not necessarily needed to make informed decisions. I bought my XS2/ND5XS combo without home demo – listening to it in the store, I knew this was the way to go (slightly above budget at that time but my wife’s ears agreed…). Because of budget limitations, there was no case for listening to the SN2, but that is where I might go next – together with my recently purchased Hugo 2… :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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