NDX2 Vs 555PSDR on a 272

Another thought: since the NDX2 has a variable output, would it be an option to use it directly into the power amp? I know you’ll loose the analogue inputs in this way but it might have a positive impact on the sound quality. I know a seperate preamp will provide a step up in sound quality however, but this adds more boxes …

I must admit that I have not tried this myself …

Many a dealer says the 202 is superior to the 272 and still superior to a Supernait2 and 3 so just go by your own ears…

I haven’t heard many of the options but I would like to think the dedicated pre amp of a 202 should be superior to a combined pre.

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Indeed! Last time i checked, dealers ears were no better than mine😎

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I would strongly disagree with this based on comparing 272 with 202 and 282. To me, in purely relative terms, the 272 sounded a little recessed and dull compared to the separate preamps fronted by an NDX1. I found an XPSDR on the 272 closed the gap somewhat.
That isn’t to say that the 272 sounded bad for the money, or that my opinion is any more or less valid than yours, but for me the results were clear.

As ever, it’s only the individuals ears that matter. The 202 to me has always grated, never felt relaxed listening to it. The 282 is a good pre, i’ve owned 3 of them, but again never entirely happy until a SC2 was on it. The 252, owned 2 of them, more relaxed if less fun than the 282. The 272 with 250DR, completely at ease with itself, easily bettering a 202 and knocking on the door of the 282 musically speaking, but never sounding on edge like a 282/HC can and tonally more like a 252.

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I’m currently running a 272/555dr but since added Qutest/MScaler, on order is a 282 and I already have the HiCapDR.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I will be able to compare but the main reason for change is Qobuz streaming and the thought of a screen failure on the 272, I also want to return to the traditional Naim pre power setup and also have the option to change the DAC or streamer components.

If I had an NDX2 and a 300DR I probably would always be wanting a better pre than the bare 272. So for me that would only be a temporary measure. However I personally wouldn’t go down that route because I don’t want that many boxes.

If there is no 372 when the upgrade bug bites me then I’ll probably sell my 272 and the power supply and get a separate DAC fed directly from my server. Obviously a new pre would be required.

A Townsend Allegri plus would give some serious difficulties to a 252, 3 times more expensive.
I had the 252 and found it overpriced for what it does. Compared bare 272 vs 202/hicap , and would not say the 272 is on 282 level.
I had the 282 too and think it’s the best Naim pre for the money.

Agree with Gary on this one. Bare 272 as preamp is not too far away from a bare 282. Tried both with 200 and an LP12. In my experience the streamer is the weakest part of the 272,

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Not in terms of sound quality right?

In comparison to the preamp and DAC, yes. The steaming section of the 272 is good but I’d never use it bare as my only source.

You really can’t go wrong with adding either a 555PS or a NDX2. Both will make your system better. The benefit of the 555 is that technology is not changing as fast as with the streamers and you can use it in virtually any system with a digital source.

Based on a number of demos that I had, I dont think the pre in the 272 is that great, definitely not in the league of 282 and questionable whether it is better than the 202. It just sounded too polite and bland.

If funds allow, ad you want a pure Naim system, I’d get the second hand NDX2, and a second hand 282.

This will give you flexibility in the future and likely sound better than the eventual 272 replacement.

However, if you are willing to venture outside of Naim, the Townsend Allegri option suggested above would get you a 282 quality sound with much lower outlay.

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Isn’t a passive pre like the Townshend Allegri+ just a switch and volume potentiometer to lower the output level from say a DAC? If so it is just a control box for the sound coming from say a NDX2 so the sound you hear would be the one NDX2 outputs, no more, no less, so one could also hook the NDX2 directly to a say 300DR and expect at least same performance as the Townshend although less control and options in terms of inputs.

I can’t comment on technical aspects, but know a lot of Naim users enjoying the Allegri ( from here, Hificritic and one friend). It sounds really better than going straight from Ndx2 to 300 dr, for sure.

So one could set the Allegri on say 80% max volume and then control the output volume with the NDX2 volume control?

You can connect the NDX2 directly to a Naim power amp directly, and volume can be controlled digitally. I havet tried it my self, but others on this forum have.

There is an increasing trend for DACs to function also as a pre-AMP, I have had a Chord TT connecting directly to a NAP 250DR before, and thought the marginal improvement in having a pre-amp between the DAC and the power amp wasn’t worth the additional costs.

One could but it would be pointless. The Allegri provides a very effective way of controlling the volume in the analogue domain and is reputedly of very high quality. The variable volume of the NDX2 is there in order to achieve accreditation with Apple or something. It is not intended to be used as a proper volume control.

I love these threads, so many different perspectives, but no one has answered your original question! I think that’s probably because a 272 and NDX2 are aimed at different markets (and were lauched at different times) so I’m not surprised you don’t have a direct answer.

I think the consensus is a bare 272 in the middle of an NDX2 and 300DR would make it the weak link which is hardly surprising really. If you went this route, I’m sure you would be hankering after a 282 soon enough.

If I were you I’d decide what my end game was before spending anything. For example, if you bought a 555 now and a 372 didn’t arrive you would have another expensive decision to make as then your next step would be to buy an NDX2 to use with your 555, and the 272 would be well out of its depth as a preamp, so that would need replacing too.

The non Naim DAC route is worth considering IMO as others have said. I would be surprised if Naim didn’t either replace the 272 or launch a new DAC as both these seem to be the direction of travel.

I think we have - the concensus is that a PS is the better option.

The underlying problem is the reason why the Love the 272 Pls Like thread went on so long; in a nutshell owning a 272 is a cul-de-sac and when the urge to upgrade hits you end up with a mish-mash, unless you do it in one hit.

A 272 + 555PS is great, a superb 3 or 4 box solution (250/300). Adding an NDX2 leads to duplication and the use of an excellent source through an ok preamp, that’s duplicating some of the new box. As a few have pointed out above that’s always going to be a kludge that doesn’t satisfy so for most the 272 will need to be replaced with a better and dedicated preamp sooner not later. It also leads to a few more shelves, if you have a rack and where 3 and 4 levels look great, 6 is a bit cluttered (imo)

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Agree with most of this, but I don’t think anyone has said they have listened to an NDX2 into a bare 272 and also a 272/555 and the latter sounded better.