NDX2 with a built-in pre amplifier a good idea?

If Naim would release a version of the NDX2 with a pre-amplifier, can anybody guess how much more expensive this version would be? And would this combined with a NAP 250DR sound much better than the combination of the NDX2 with the Supernait 3?. I know it is all guessing. But the reason I ask is that I never touch my Supernait anymore since I bought the NDX2.

This sounds like the fabled 272 replacement… A lot of people are waiting on an updated 272 based on the streaming platform from the latest streamers - effectively an NDX2 with a preamp built in.

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As James said the fabled 272 replacement. For what it’s worth, and it’s my opinion, at the time of the introduction of the 272 I heard the NDX/SN in direct comparison with the 272/250 and I preferred the former and most at the demo agreed with me. How future products will be configured?

Who knows? The 272 had its dedicated fan club (I was a member), but I suspect that a replacement would build on the success of the Atom HE rather than the 272. The Atom HE has garnered some outstanding reviews and appears not to disgrace itself when used in conjunction with expensive active speakers. So a Nova HE might be an interesting proposition and perhaps could be priced at the same point as a Nova, but that’s pure speculation.


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I don’t know much about the engineering of the 272 but wonder if the streamer/DAC section would have been more in line with the ND5 XS than the NDX.

That I can answer I’m afraid.

Until Naim release the 272 replacement, this forum will be awash with speculation about it along with a lot of wishing for it to arrive yesterday.

The 272 was about the same price as the NDX when it was released so you could reasonably assume that a 272.2 might cost about the same as an NDX2. Of course we don’t know if Naim will release a direct replacement for the 272 although they have hinted that there will be more streaming preamps coming at some point.

My findings with the original 272 were in line with Lindsay’s comment above: I compared 272/250DR with NDX/Supernait2 in my dealers demo room, and both sounded good, but the NDX/SN2 was better. Of course if the speakers were hard to drive that could tip the balance in favour of the more capable 250, but I believe a more ‘source first’ approach usually wins.

The big “design divide” in my mind is the question of analog (272.2) vs digital (NovaHE) for the preamp in the new product… philosophy rather than practicality, perhaps? But still a significant design decision on the next generation combined streaming preamp, and its marketing posture. I feel like a NovaHE is a big step away from a 272.2: lowering the noise on an all-digital product is a very different challenge than maintaining (improving?) performance in an existing analog box with a new Uniti streaming board (and maybe the nice analog phono pre from the SN3).

Has anyone written about whether the AtomHE outperforms a Nova as a “streaming pre” - apart from the obviously better headphone amp and possible advantages of a fully DR external power amp? Hard to say what contributes what, I guess.

It seems like an open question whether the AtomHE is already at the performance level of a (no other changes than dropping the power amp and adding the new headphone amp) Nova(HE). Meaning that all the digital preamp gains built into the Nova (over the Atom) were a pretty solid knowledge base to work from when building the new no-power-amp box…and that form factor, rather than internal engineering, was responsible for calling it the AtomHE. Pure speculation, but worth considering in the context of “what next” speculation?!?

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