NAC N172XS Pre Amp / Streamer

New to the forum so please be gentle…

I’m looking at a new Naim pre amp to go with my DIY Mono Blocks.

Ideally I’d like to have a streamer / preamp all in one but being honest, can’t stretch to a N272 budget wise.

The N172Xs is attainable for my budget but I’m a little unsure of its streaming capabilities so was hoping someone here may be able to enlighten me.

My streaming is done via Qobuz and Tidal currently via the Bluesound app (use a Node 2i). both streaming services (as well as radio Paradise etc.) is native within the Bluesound app so would this be the same using the N172XS via the Naim app or do I need to use 3rd party UpNP software etc?

Thanks in advance.

Hi, the streaming tech on the 172 and 272 is quite old, and has native support for Spotify Connect and Tidal, but not for Qobuz or other streaming services, neither does it support AirPlay or Chromecast. So you would need to get stuck into some workarounds such as running a proxy server if you want to use Qobuz etc.

Hi @Weeman1973 and welcome on board.

I have had the NAC-N 172XS and I assume you have found a pre-loved good deal. It is a good pre-streamer, not as good as the NAC-N 272, but better respect to the old Unitis.

If you can find a pre-loved 272 it is of course better.

About streaming capabilities with the 172XS, you will have Tidal and Spotify, Internet Radios but not Qobuz. For Qobuz you will be able to stream by UPnP, from your PC/Mac or through MConnect, Linn Kazoo or other mobile apps using a UPnP Server like BubbleUPnP, to create a Media Render for the 172XS.

If I were you, I would take the digital out from the Node and use it into the 172 (as a DAC). Keep the Bluesound app as your streaming service.

You would lose full integration/automation via the Naim app but likely to work well sound wise.

FWIW, I use a Primare NP5 into my NDX; gives me Qobuz into the NDX and sounds awesome.

Thanks all for the replies.

The main aim of moving to a Streamer / Preamp all in one is to reduce box count so if really the only way of doing it is to keep the Node in the system then use the pre amp as DAC only, it sort of defeats the object.

If you don’t have other sources, can you dispense with a preamp and feed your monoblocks direct from the Bluesound, perhaps using the headphone output?

To an extent - but I’d guess the 172 would make the Node sound better; and you can probably hide it away behind the pre?

Naim preamps work best with naim power amps. They can obviously be used with any power amp, but the synergy can be lacking.
Whats the rest of the system?
A 202 would be better but you’d need an extra box to power it.

Thanks - I have tried that previously but over keen on the internal DAC of the Node.

I have also used it with a Chord Mojo as DAC and used the volume control as the Pre amp however I do also have a turntable which obviously I can’t use with that.

Thanks but was hoping to do away with the Node altogether in favour of an all-in-one Streamer / DAC / Pre but guess I’d have to spend more than originally planned on the used N172XS to gain what I’m after

I use some DIY mono blocks using boards from a company who prefer not to be naim-ed (see what I did there…) on this forum.

Speakers are Naim IBL with NAC A4 cables so ideally would like to add the Naim Pre / Streamer combo.

Do you already have a decent NAS on which to store your music? If you had a Qnap, and others can do this as well, you can load Bubble upnp on the NAS and use the Linn Kazoo app to control it. That would allow you to play Qobuz through the 172 without the need for the Node.

I don’t to be honest. I only have a small collection of stored music which I keep on an external HDD.

River in Bristol, one of the chipmunks?
Personally id avoid the 172 streamer; you should be able to find a 202 for £800 to £1000 and use your node.

Plus the cost of a Hicap of course.

Yes indeed.

Am I right in thinking the N202 needs an external power supply such as FlatCap also? That pushes outlay to more than I can afford at the moment I’m afraid.

Yes the 202 will need a power supply if not being fed from a suitable Naim power amp.

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