Nac n-272/nap 250dr vs ndx2/sn3

Hi, I am after testing those two following set ups: nac n-272/nap 250dr vs ndx2/sn3 with harbeth shl5 plus and still don’t know which one could be better. In near future I would like to connect Uniti Core as a additional source of music. My room is 25 square meters. Any suggestion advices please…

In my experience the SHL5s can be slightly underwhelming at lower volumes with the SN so I would say at least 250DR to match better your speakers if you’ve made up your mind on them.

How desperate are you to move right now? There seems every indication a 272 successor will be along fairly soon. Patience being a virtue, perhaps waiting a little would be the wisest course, not least to reduce the chance of buyers’ remorse.


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When the 272 was current I compared a 272/250DR with the then current NDX/Supernait2 and preferred the latter. I imagine the gap would be widened a fair bit with the NDX2/SN3. You also avoid the dated technology in the 272 which was developed well over a decade ago and was never intended to support online streaming services.

On the other hand the 250DR is a considerably more capable power amp than the one in the Supernait, and especially with more demanding speakers, this may influence your decision.

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Thank You for Your concerns and suggestions. Yes I can wait longer, especially when nap 250dr will “feed” speakers better… But in other hand NDX2 has DAC build inside which is apart other superior streaming technology more advantage against n-272 (not sure if has it) to connect Uniti core directly to. One more thing - during test I haven’t use any power supply kits. Would like to “keep” limited Naim boxes, maybe HiCapDR will be added. Any way thank You Gentlemen again.

How do You know if a replacement of n-272 will be produced soon. That’s will be the best option for me.

I would not bet on this, no certitude at all.

He doesn’t know that, we only know it’s going to be produced. When that is remains to be seen. As someone who is keen to keep a minimum number of boxes I demoed at the dealer a NDX2/SN2 and prefer the 272/250DR combo. For Naim kit I’ve always preferred a 250 over the SNs for amplification but maybe the SN3 is good enough now. Or maybe the addition of a 555PS would make it good enough.

I’d add another voice in favour of the current streaming platform, and in particular the NDX2 - it’s great now and can easily be upgraded if you ever want more.

However, I also understand what a 250 would do for you - it’s what i still use myself.

I think a Supernait 3 costs £3,800 or around £2,500 on eBay. An NDX2 is £5,500 new but nearly £5,000 on eBay.

eBay sometimes has 282 pre-amps for under £3,000, and late-model 250 power amps for £1,500, but you’d want a Hicap power supply too.

If you can live with the older design, an olive 82/ Hicap/ 250 combination costs about £2,500.

Either of those separates options would really get the most out of the better streamer and fill your room, and I would expect it to be more open and more muscular than even a new Supernait 3.

Perhaps a combination of patience and buying second-hand will deliver something really satisfying?

Good luck!

There never is, pre launch, which is why I used the phrase “every indication”. Naim’s Clare Newsome did, at least in my reading, make it clear that development in the streaming/amp area was not finished with the Atom HE. Whether that means an exact 272 replacement, who knows? But I’d pause for some time before buying a 272 at present, unless I could get one at a price that I could confidently sell on with little loss if a replacement did appear.

If it were not for the tricky-to-drive Harbeths, I’d opt for the NDX2/SN3 combo.



Hmm, better to wait a few more months and we will see what happens with a new “preamp-stremer” - successor of n-272 I hope. I am currently using nap 100 with Harbeth and PMC. I bought DAC V1 / Uniti Quite 2 / NAP 100 and PMC 20.21 about 4 years ago and would like to keep it as a second system in my bedroom. Strange but for me bookshelf speakers, two different ones, which are matching my personal expectations, music “taste” are PMC 20 series and Harbeth shl5 series. Any way thank You Gentlemen for Your time and all concerns again. Jeremi

I would opt for Ndx2 / SN2, then later add a 282, then 250, then Xpsdr to Ndx2.


Having heard the 272/250DR combo vs the NDX2/SN2 combo, I preferred the first pairing. The ONLY way to find out which YOU prefer is to listen.

It is highly likely that a updated successor to the 272 will show up at some time, but how far into the future, what other improvements there will be beyond the updated streaming platform, and how much the SQ will be improved is anyone’s guess.

It should also be pointed out that for local streaming from a NAS or a Core, the new streaming platform itself offers comparatively little advantage, the old platform actually works fine. The new platform does offer connectivity advantages such as chromecast and access to a wider range of internet streaming services integrated into it.

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The 272 has that facility as well: it has 6 digital inputs that connect to the DAC (and both the 272 and NDX2 use the same DAC chip).

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Do you already have the Harbeths? If you do and you want to keep them, you really want the 250DR. It is then a choice between 272 or NDX2 and a preamp. With the 272 and a 250 and the Harbeths you really want an XPSDR. You really don’t need a Core; you can put the music on a good nas and stream over the network. That would save you £2,000 with no loss in quality.

The NDX2 with olive 82, Hicap and 250 is a great suggestion too.


Yes, I do have Harbeth shl5 plus already and love the sounds - paired with Naim NAP 100 for now. You mentioned XPSDR instead of HiCapDR, so I assumed that XPSDR is superior but those two can “feed” preamp-stremer or amp?

272 or NDX2 can only be powered directly by their internal power supply or by an XPSDR (or better still a 555DR).

The analogue preamplifiers (such as the 282) can only be powered by a HiCapDR or SuperCapDR when used with a NAP250 (they don’t have internal power supplies).

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I’ve had SHL5 Plus and SN2 and later 272/250DR. The Harbeths love power and I strongly recommend 250DR with those. FYI they will shine even more with more power and control.

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Once again thank You Gentlemen!!!

Hi Slamdam, when You had a combo of 272/250DR have You used an additional power supply?