Need Advice on my next Naim Purchase

Hello, looking for some advice on upgrading. Presently, I have a Naim XS and Focal Aria 926s. My dilemma is I have a great option to buy both NAP 200 not a DR and NAC 202 from a local fellow. I have not listened to either or will I have time too. The little I have read trying to familiarise with Naim is people like to pair the above with both Highcap-2 DR and NAPSC. Should I do it or wait to save for 250? A local store is selling a 250-2 for a good price. Or wait even more time to get a 250 DR?

I will be buying a turntable later in the year.

Just trying to make a good choice with no regrets for 10s of years to come.

Thank you in advance.

I like the 202/200, and a Hicap DR would be a great addition to it as well. If you want to upgrade the power amp, I would suggest that you wait until you have a 282 first.

If the seller is a “local fellow”, why is listening to the 202 and 200 not an option? I understand listening is not always an option when buying second hand, but if s/he is around the corner…

202/200 is considerably better than Nait xs

The 200 has a great deal more bass and the 202 more resolution.

202/200 with Hicap can easily be an end game pre-power

The bare 202/200 has better separation and detail than the Nait XS. The overall sound of the 202/200 is leaner than the warmer or thicker sounding Nait XS. Perhaps the warmth is contributed by the lack of separation and detail of the Nait XS as everything is lumped together as a whole.

The Hicap DR upgrade adds more to the 202/200 in terms of focus and control. As Chris mentioned, if you want to consider the 250-2 (non-DR) power amp, the ideal partner is the 282 but the 202/250 combination is rather good. I’ve tried the 202/250DR and the combination sounds better than the 202/200 although I understand the 202/250 may not be a long-term solution for most.

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Hi. You can also start with the 202 only and have the nait xs as an amplifier or/and add hicapDR, napsc. Or if you find a 282 and connect as above. Then save up for a 250 DR. That maybe is a journy for a couple of years.
// Anders

You don’t mention what your source is. Adding a better amp to an inadequate source can make things sound worse. You need to think of the whole system so that money goes to the right place.

Regarding amplifiers, you don’t want a 202 and a 250. A 282 and 200 is a better match. You only need a 200DR if you are powering the 202 from it: if you get a Hicap the DR in the 200 becomes irrelevant. A 200 cannot be upgraded to a 200DR.

It’s also worth considering a Supernait 2.

Thanks Chris.

Without going into all the details. The fellow is sadly disabled so unboxing them and setting them up for me would be an issue but you are right, I will set them up for piece of mind.

Thanks Ryder for that insight.

Thanks Anders. I will look in to that.

@Woody

i started my journey with 202/HCDR/200 very nice combination and nicely balanced and works well, as @hungryhalibut what is your source? i then went 282/HCDR/200 which again is a lovely combination

I would always work on improving the source to AMP first, demo is really needed IMO for the 202/250.2 - i would have no issues with the 250DR - its a journey and plenty on here to help but demo is a must to avoid mistakes as you say - look up one of my recent posts to review my journey - mine is now pretty much at the end - but ENJOY THE MUSIC and the Journey!

Thank Mr Halibut :slight_smile: My source at present is an OPPO-105. Maybe not the ideal source for the Naim community but it works great and sound is quite good for me. Obviously, there is better stuff out there.

Thanks for the suggestions. Looks like I have lots of things to consider and as you said I want to put my money in the right place.

Since the man is selling the 202/200 as a pair for a good price and many ye are saying Hicap-2 DR is a good addition then maybe I will go along with the purchase and as Dragon said, set up amp and pre for listening somehow before taking them.

Thanks to everyone and feel free to throw anything else at me.

Thanks Antz. I will look up your past posts.

The source is an OPPO-105 and a turntable at a later stage.

I ran a 202 200 for many years. The napsc is the first worthwhile upgrade. Keep it as far away ftom the units as the lead allows. I moved to this from the xs2 and the difference is not subtle. Adding a hicap Dr is another huge step forwards.

I am sorry to hear that your friend is disabled! But it’s good that he will let you set up the system for a demo. Even second-hand, a 202/200 combo is no small money – well, at least by the standards of my disposable income… Personally, I haven’t heard the combo. I know the 200DR but not the 202. Certainly, a 282/200 would be better, but also quite a bit more expensive… If the price for the 202 is right, you could sell on the 202 without much loss when you are ready to jump up to a 282…

Hmmm – there might be a case for a source upgrade too… :wink: I am sure you will be getting quite a few suggestions for this – watch this space…

A source upgrade seems a good idea but the opportunity to get the 202/200 is very tempting.

I would be inclined to go for it and maybe look for a used Naim NDAC to pair with the Oppo before sourcing a Hicap

By my standards too :slight_smile: That or a rich lady is going to whisk me off my feet and then maybe I will buy what ever ye suggest :wink:
Good suggestion on selling later if I want to upgrade. Naim products appear to hold good sell on value.

Thanks Brian

In the UK, one can get a used Naim DAC for less than 1K from authorised Naim dealers. That’s certainly very good value for money, though some prefer Chord DACs – including myself… :innocent: