Naim NAP 172XS thoughts

I would welcome thoughts on what is looking like my next move (still TBD at this stage). I am considering adding a NAP 172XS (currently available to me at a good price) as a means of adding streaming services to my system, and in doing so, selling my current preamp and marrying the 172 pre-amp section to my NAP 150. I am aware this is an older unit and that there may be better albeit potentially considerably more expensive options available. I’m currently running my LP 12 through the phono stage of my Peachtree novaPre amp, and I am guessing (but am actually unsure) that I may need to source and add an external phono stage such as a Stageline or similar to sit between the NAP 172 and the LP12. I still need clarity on this and this affects budget too. Again, any or all thoughts are valuable and welcome as I plan next steps. Thanks!

Re phono stage, you are correct the 172 doesn’t have an internal stage. As a 272 user I can’t comment on how good the 172 to is but I can say that even the older platform is still extremely good and I remember reading very good things from people with 172/nap300 combos.

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With your LP12 and IBL, I suggest that you need a lot better than a NAC-N172 and a NAP150. I’d be looking at a 72, or 32.5, a Hicap and a 250. Both the 72 and 32.5 can be fitted with a phono stage. Streaming can then be added with a dedicated streamer, from Naim or someone else.

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I would respectfully disagree with HH. If budget and experiencing streamer are main drivers, the ease of use and ability to control the pre with a tablet go some way to mitigate a slight performance drop in my mind.



I could see the N-172 being good for you. You are absolutely right about a separate phono stage. You will need to buy the best you can to match your Linn. Others here will be able to advise which. I would recommend the Naim Stageline that I use but it is a two box phonostage in your proposed set.



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A prefix k would be a reasonable buy and good match to a Trioka, only snag is it will need a Hicap, which second hand would still be about £500-600 at least.

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Thank you all. This is great food for thought and useful advice. I’m inclined to go down the NAC 172 route, and explore quality phono stages, possibly one box solutions, outside of Naim, and against a Stageline/hi-cap. I certainly plan to upgrade the amps when I can and once streaming is sorted as a priority. Possibly pre first, and then a 250 or similar. Beyond that I’ve always harbored interest in running the IBL’s active having heard them sing driven in that way, but that’s a digression and a fair way off at this stage!

Some people swear by the 172, but it has a much less capable DAC than the 272. the ND5 XS or the SuperUniti, all of which are also available for little money these days. Just saying…

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For what it’s worth I thought the NAC-N 172xs hit well above its weight, perhaps its integrated but simplified layout and architecture allowed it to push the performance envelope… I once heard it hooked upto a NAP300DR playing an operatic aria, and it performed incredibly, I was gob smacked. The best entry level digital component I have ever heard from Naim.
If you see one… snap it up… albeit be aware of its limitations from a streaming service integration perspective…
It was a shame it never sold in numbers so I understand, perhaps some were put off by its xs name and association with the ND5XS which was well inferior compared to the 172 (IMO) or lack of upgrade options, although I suspect the latter was part of its strength.
However don’t skimp on the power amp to enjoy the huge potential of the NAC-N 172xs.


Absolutely delighted by my Naim 172 purchased just over a year ago as an upgrade from my Squeezebox Touch. It sounds magnificent so I am very happy to recommend.

I stream FLAC files from my Qnap NAS and play my LP12/Ittock/K9 through a Dynavector phono stage.
I also play Internet Radio and have connected a Logitech Bluetooth adaptor for Alexa and Amazon Fire TV.


I run a 172XS/200/ProAcTablet 10’s in a second system. The system is in a remote location, my only streaming option is Qobuz on my iPhone via the front USB port. It also has the bluetooth option, but this is only good for casual listening. A NAT05/FC2XS is connected for FM duties.

I’ve been very pleased with the sound. Qobuz high-res stream makes the system come alive, moving the Tablet 10s with grace and authority. An under appreciated product for sure and a bargain now that it has been discontinued. I bought mine new-in-box for 1/3 retail. Based on the performance it’s a steal.

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