NSC 222 vs SN3

I consider purchasing the new NSC222 and connect it to my SN3. I can set the SN3 to be power amplifier only.
What is better PREAMPLIFIER ?
SN3 or NAC222?

Do consider the cost of this special cable - which I believe is significant.

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Indeed Ian - I think it’s around £260. If you’re buying a new NSC222 then i’m sure there are deals to be had if extra cables are needed.


If a deal can be done, that’s good.

Otherwise it could be £260 of dead money… :thinking:

Yep - I suppose you could use RCA out from the NSC222 into the SN3 AV in RCA input sockets and put the SN3 in AV bypass mode, so opening up the choice of RCA cables.

A few options for the OP.

I think the OP knows how both units work together, the question was, how do the respective pre-amp stages compare?


You’re right Mike. I’ve not had enough Coffee yet !


The 222 is a fabulous streamer pre in my opinion. It would have a better pre-amp than the SN3 and you would have a streamer that is at a similar level to the ND5 XS2, Add an NPX300 and you have an instant upgrade but I would consider upgrading the power amp section of the SN3 first.

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Adding a 222 to the SN3 really only makes sense if you plan to get an NC 250. Rather than focusing on which preamp is better - after all they are both just a part of a bigger whole - I’d compare the SN3 and your existing streamer with the 222/250. Another option is to add an NSS333 to your SN3 if you want the new style, or an NDX2 if you don’t.


The 222 preamp was better to my ears than the SN3 one. Complicated a bit and not a 100% direct comparison but I’ve had at home the 222 with SN3 and with a power amp and assuming the 2 power amp sections I used would not have been too far in SQ (which they were not, in my room environment with my speakers), for what it’s worth I preferred the 222 (preamp).

I’m using an NDX2 and XPSDr with my SN3. They replaced an ND5XS2. The change, along with moving to Chord EpicX interconnect and speaker cable has made for a huge improvement in SQ.

I am sorry I missed important piece of information.
My current configuration is SN3 plus HICAP DR.
The question is which preamplifier is better -
SN3 plus HICAP DR or NSC222.?
Should I connect the NSC222 to the SN3 as streamer DAC or as streamer Preamplifier ?

the biggest advantage of the 222 is the loss of the alps pot… its a resistor ladder in the 222 so should offer better clarity

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Is This advantage part of the streamer DAC or part of preamplifier part ?

I suggest you do as I suggested in my post above.

@HungryHalibut makes a very good point. If I were you I’d seriously consider a NDX2, I was hugely impressed in demo to the point that I’m surrendering my CDS3.

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pre amp- new volume control

You would be using the 222 preamp whether you like it or not because it cannot be bypassed. There is no digital or analogue line out, only a pre out.
Of course you can still choose whether to use the Supernait preamp or bypass it, and see which option you prefer. Alternatively just trade in the Supernait and Hicap for a power amp, or, as already discussed, get a separate streamer such as a 333 or NDX2 if you prefer to stick with the amp you’ve got.

Do you mean I cannot connect nsc222 to my SN3 unless I set the SN3 as power amplifier ?

You can still connect to the Supernait pre. It’s just that you will then be using two preamps, and two volume controls. You could at least use the AV Bypass option James mentioned above to eliminate the Supernait volume control.