NAC 202 - Upgrade or Sidegrade?

Hi to all, im appealing to your advice in this case…

I already own a NAP 250DR + Uniti Atom (used like streamer / Preamp)

I have the option to buy an NAC 202 to use as pre… and later i am planning to buy a streamer (NDX2 or ND5 XS depends on the budget).

So I have read in other threads but can´t get to any clearly result.
Is this change, adding the NAC 202 an Upgrade o compared to the Atom is something like sidegrade?

I Know that the optimal pre is at least de NAC 282 for the 205DR, but for now I can´t afford thtt pre and also add later the streamer.

Thanks for your opinions

Remember you’ll need to factor in the cost of a power supply (eg Hicap) for the preamp too. The 250 doesn’t have a pre-amp supply built in.

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Yeah i know… that´s the thing… keeping all things toghether… it would be better stay as now (Atom + 250) or go for more boxes (NDX2 or ND5 XS2 + NAC 202 + HICAP + 250DR)?

Worth it the effort or not? and so for now better stay with two boxes? taking about SQ?

Well the 250 really needs a 282 and that deserves an NDX2…

Worth going to listen to a few combinations to see what you think and determine the best way forward.

The common view is that a 202/250 is not a good combination. The pre-amp should be at the same level as he power-amp or above. In this case the 202 is normally used with a 200 and a 282 is normally used with a 250.

The trouble is that if you get a 282 you really need an NDX2 so things get expensive. I’d seriously recommend that you consider where you want to end up first and plan around that rather than just jumping on a ‘bargain’.


Some would say the obvious budget step up would be a used 272. The downside is that the streamer is the previous generation so you would lose some functionality that you have with the Atom. A plus is that the 272 can be used without a separate power supply, if when funds allow you can then add a power supply which will have a very positive impact on the sound quality and could be used in a 282/NDX2 set up. But as @trickydickie said, I would think carefully about where you want to end up before spending money, it could get expensive.

I haven’t heard a 202 but I didn’t get on with a 102 years ago coming from a Nait. I doubt a 102/250 would be a pleasant combo. +1 on the 272. Just a marvelous amp. I loved the 72 when it was in the line up as well. Much better than a 102. And you can move on to a 282 or even better a 252 when the time is right.

Yes you might be right… maybe i have to stay in my budget, also i have to think better if i want to end in a 4 box solution.


I’ll look towards a 272… I will loose the screen… but do you think its a big jump in sound quality ?

I only listen to Tidal - Spotify and internet radio, no NAS or storaged music…

Thanks for the advice @ElMarko

In that case I wouldn’t say that the 272, excellent though it is would be a good choice here.

Tidal on the legacy streamers is a weak point unless you use workarounds to use BubbleUPNP server or Roon. It doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as local streaming which is something the newer models, Atom included address.

I would also be concerned that if Tidal change the way they deliver their service which they are in a habit of doing you could end up with a non working device. The newer generation would more likely continue to be supported and you could use an alternative means to work round any issue.

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I would agree with this. Also no lossless FLAC iRadio, which is a real step up from regular AAC and MP3 in my books.

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Yes… good advice…. It seems like im keeping my system for now… and wait for a newer 272…. (Maybe a couple of years) lol

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