NDX/nDAC/Hi-Cap DR vs NAC-272/XPS-DR for SN2 system

I want to ask your advice about comparing a NDX/nDAC and Hi-Cap DR with SN2 system (the system I currently have) vs NAC 272 and XPS-DR with SN2 system. Having very limited space in my room I realized I don’t have a proper space to put a PSU for my nDAC. I’m getting annoyed that I use it without a PSU and I think I don’t use its full potential. The only option to add a PSU would be to put nDAC on top of NDX and having below them (on a separate shelf) an external PSU for the nDAC, which I don’t think is a perfect solution. The NDX gets hot and would heat up additionally the nDAC.

What is more, I saw that the prices of NAC 272 on the used market have become very attractive. In addition NAC 272 would make me replace 2 boxes (NDX and nDAC) and save a lot of space. If I sell NDX, nDAC and HiCap DR I could use the money to buy 272 with XPS-DR. I know the NDX is a better streamer than the built-in in the 272 and the nDAC a better DAC than the built-in in 272, however if I add XPS-DR to the 272 the uplift in performance probably would make the EQ on a par or even better than NDX/nDAC. In addition I would also gain a preamp that is better than the build in inside SN2. I know the streamer inside 272 does not have the latest integrations, etc. but for the moment that is not a problem for me.

What do you think would be the most reasonable and rational decision?

Replace the NDX/nDAC with a NDX2. Add the XPS DR later if you have room. Perfect match with a SN2. Otherwise a 272 and SN2 is duplicating similar pre-amps, which doesn’t make any sense.


It is a more expensive move but yes, I have room for NDX2 and XPS-DR. This is a third option actually. I didn’t know 272 and SN2 share similar pre-amps. This would really make 272 better partner for 250DR as many forum members use this combination.

If you were to get a 272, there is no need for the SN2 - you’d be better swapping it for a 250DR. The NDX2, XPS, SN2, Hicap is four boxes compared to the 272, XPS, 250, which is three. The NDX2, SN2, Hicap is also three. All would be good.


How well your SN2 pairs with your speakers may be a consideration, if that’s happy, then work around the SN2 maybe. Otherwise the 272 is certainly good buying at the moment, but then you need a power amp to go with it…

Meaning the power amp section of the SN2 could not power the 272?

272 has internal psu to power its own operations.

But it does not contain a power amp to power your speakers.

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The point is that using only the power amp part of the SN2 means that the preamp is wasted. 272/SN2 is rather pointless. NDX/SN or 272/250 are the logical combinations.


Yes, I see what you mean. I would say, though, that sometimes illogical combinations can hit the sweet spot. I’m not saying that a 272/SN2 would hit said spot, but in fiddling around it’s surprising what can work.

I heard a XS3/200/HCDR which sounded lovely. I’d have said adding a 200 to a XS3 is somewhat illogical before I heard it.

In fact HH, I do remember suggesting surprise that a 300DR was a suitable partnership for a 272 but considered not so for a 282, despite the latter having a superior preamp section. I recall you saying that if it works…

Not really, 272/555 dr is suitable for 300dr , not bare 272.

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