Nova v 272 as a front end to a 250DR

I’ve searched but cannot find this question specifically.
I own a Nova and as an upgrade am thinking of adding a 250 DR.
Has anybody compared the Nova and the 272 as a front end?
I wondered if I’d be better trading the Nova for a 272 but as the Nova has the more up to date technology would this be a backward step.

I suggest that you try it, get a demo at a dealer and try the combinations. Last year I used a Nova as my constant source whilst trying amps and speakers, for fun i tried it as a source into a high end amp (£50k+) and was quite taken aback at how much better it sounded compared coupling to the favourite naim offerings. In my opinion it works rather well as a source.

Thanks Roog. I shall definitely hear the combination at my dealer I just wondered if anybody used the Nova as a front end. You have confirmed that it’s not out of its depth.

Seems like there was a comment on the old forum about Nova being the replacement for 272 when paired with a 250. Difference being no option for PS upgrade. That said I haven’t heard a Nova myself.

There will always be something better, but if you already have the Nova, then why not consider adding the 250.

One of the combinations i tested was a Nova with a 250 feeding ATC SCM 40 speakers, compared to the Nova driving the speakers directly, I found the addition of the 250 improved control, most noticeable in the bass frequencies and sound stage.

I found it a pleasing upgrade and I would have been very happy to use the 250 in my system if I hadent been swayed by a 300 on eBay, but that’s another story.

You would mention the 300, I’ve considered a demo 300DR!

Well I can’t imagine that you will find fault with a 300dr!

My only problem is that I am now struggling to source a suitable pre amp which doesn’t cost twice as much again and take up the same amount of space as the 300.

I suppose I could just be happy with my current mongrel system😃

When I sold my 250DR to Forum member Secrethills, he added it to his Nova as a forerunner to replacing the Nova with the ‘new’ 272. I recall him saying that it made a difference but not really that much. I doubt it’s really worth the cost of adding a 250 unless you plan to move further up the chain. Based on what dealers have said, the 272/250 is better than the Nova/250. However, with the 272 you get the option to add a power supply, which raises it to another level altogether. Lots of people are hoping for a new 272, but it’s certainly not imminent, if indeed it comes at all.


I think it depends on the speakers you have, perhaps a 250 dr might give you that extra control the Nova could lack. In my case it worked fine with PMC25.26, but i was never going to stay with that system, and quickly moved on.

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Yes I think as a half way step to a future upgrade it would make sense but otherwise no

I bought the fish’s 250DR and,as he says, it makes an improvement but not a massive one. I have recently been using the Nova in streamer mode with the addition of an old, but serviced, Nac 82 and a recent Hicap DR. The sound is great and quite a big improvement over the bare Nova and Nova/250DR but box count is more than I want. My conclusions are that the Nova streaming component is very good but where do I go next - NDX2/82/Hicap/250 or ND5XS2/282/Hicap/250 (I cannot afford both an NDX2 and a 282). Perhaps I’ll simplify and go NDX2/Supernait 2? It all seems hard work so maybe I’ll just wait longer for the hoped for 372 or whenever a new Naim streamer/ pre is released

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I have a Nova and contemplated adding a 250 as a part upgrade towards a N272 replacement/250 system, moving the Nova to a second system. Factors were 2 box limit with a headphone stage.

In the end I went with NDX2 and SN2. The NDX2 is a mighty streamer and above the N272 and most likely a 272 replacement to, having the streamer separated from a pre amp. Discussion on the forum also indicates that the SN2 preamp is above the N272. However, the N272 gives more power amp options, so in the mix there somewhere is system balance with the speakers and how much power you need for those.

Good luck and happy listening.

You don’t mention how you use the Nova today. If all you do is use upnp streaming or Tidal, then sell the Nova to fund a 272 and buy a 250DR and you will be super happy. Sound wise it’s a VERY nice system.

If however, you use the new streaming technology built into your Nova - such as Chromecast and Roon end-point, then kick it into touch, use it to fund a Supernait2 and buy either a ND2SX2 or NDX2.

Both options can be upgraded purposefully down the line or used to help purchase the next step.

The Nova is great if you have no interest or intention to ride the upgrade merry-go-round, but otherwise it’s a system dead end (or gateway drug :slight_smile: )


Thanks for your experiences. I’ll listen to a 250DR but not expect a great deal of improvement.
The funny thing is that I’m happy with my Nova, Special 40 and mini Zen system.
It’s that awful curiosity that creeps in after you’ve listened to a system for a while, it’s good but can it get even better, sound v music.
I’m sure I’ll discover that it’ll cost £20,000 for any significant improvement.

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John, it can always get better, but that’s not the same as when you’ve reached the level where you are happy with it. I have not heard a Nova with Dynaudio Special 40s, but I have read that its a unicornly good combination…

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As you are happy with what you have, I’d forget about the 250. There is always something better, but the question is whether it will make you happier.


It’s a case of could I be happier?
I’ll definitely have to stop attending audio shows and demo rooms.

Currently running an identical setup to yours - Nova, Zen Mini, S40’s. Although the 40’s are still running in it’s proving to be a really nice balanced system with great synergy for not huge money comparatively speaking. Time will tell if I’ll stick with it or go back to my Spendor A7’s and upgrade the Nova but this is great as it is and will presumably improve as the 40’s bed in. The reason I bought the 40’s was to get better synergy with the Nova and stop me upgrading- it could just work!


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