Hi all; hope all’s well with you & yours.
My dilemma: purchase a hicap dr (preloved) to replace flatcap xs, which will be px’d, or wait longer (saving up) & purchase xps (again: preloved) for the ndx?
202/napsc/200 (Recently serviced) is the rest of the system.
I do not want to go any further up on the pre/amp, or streamer ladder.
Which is likely to give the most ‘uplift’?
Looking forward to your insights
I would do the Hicap DR now. It’s a solid upgrade which you will most likely keep for a long time.
The XPS is a useful upgrade to the NDX, but a 282 is a larger upgrade in my experience having trodden the same path. I wouldn’t add a 282 though until you have a HiCap DR in place.
When the time comes for an XPS do consider a 282 as another option and try to listen to both upgrades. Source first is normally the way to go but the difference between a 202 and a 282 is very significant.
Also, when I visited the factory I discussed upgrades to my then NDX and whether an XPS2 was a good upgrade or whether an NDX2 would be as good as an NDX + XPS2. The consensus was that it would likely be very close so do consider an NDX2 when the time comes too.
I’m a relative newbie who has been obsessively studying the Community’s answers to questions like yours (which I share). The conventional wisdom on such matters seems to be
(1) a HiCap would make a noticeable improvement to your overall sound and, since it is relatively affordable, the improvement would happen soon;
(2) an XPS would make a bigger difference to your overall sound though, because of the extra saving up, you would have to wait a while;
(3) some members of the Community will argue cogently in favour of a HiCap first; others will argue cogently in favour of an XPS;
(4) my perception is that the XPS-first group is larger;
(5) both groups will urge you to save up for the second PSU once you have the first … the resulting NDX/XPS/202/NAPSC/HiCap/200 system will be a fine one which will serve you well for the foreseeable future;
(6) unfortunately the future is not foreseeable, and you are likely to fall victim to the siren call of a 282.
For what it’s worth, I’d get the Hicap first. Or, sell the NDX, 202 and napsc and get a 272 and XPSDR.
There are 2 or3 (or more) logical routes thats the beauty of the naim range. Depends on what you are looking for and what your ultimate ambition is in terms of system To give yourself maximum flexibility and value for money I would in your position go for a pre loved HicapDR. Its a nice upgrade for not a lot of money (in naim terms) and is in my view a no brainer speaking from personal experience. The options then are maybe a 282, or as HH said a 272 especially if space/box count is a concern (available at bargain prices) or even an NDX2. May be a good idea to pay a visit to your local Naim dealer and have a listen to the options. What any of us say here is said without the benefit of your taste and your ears which is what matters the most to you!
Best of luck!!
I think a 282 would be worth considering, especially as, with a Hicap in place, it’s a simple swap for the OPs 202. However, I do think a bare NDX, good though it is, is lacking as a source for the 282, so I would do the XPS first.
Many thanks for your replies.
So from what I gather the hicap will make a BIG difference in comparison to the flatcap xs, as it seems that’s the consensus.
As I’ve said: I do not want to go any higher on the Naim ladder & the cost of a 282 is a bit much.
Love the NDX (ALL local streaming) - I’m at the level I want to be.
Please correct me if I’m wrong; isn’t a 272 a 202 with an NDX in it (2for1)?
It is, more or less. The 272 does have a nice volume control that’s easier to use than the 202, and doesn’t need a NAPSC so the cabling is neater. To my ears 272/XPS DR is at about the same sound quality level as NDX/202/Hicap, so arguably a sideways move. Do try to listen for yourself though.
Depending on what music sources you listen to, I would also consider the new streamers as a potential upgrade. Apart from just sounding a bit better than the models they replace, they give you access to a wider range of services. That includes Qobuz HiRes streaming which sounds better than regular Tidal lossless, and some better quality iRadio streams.
For that level eventually getting an XPS for the NDX and the Hicap on the 202 is going to be nicely balanced and very enjoyable.
And in years to come, if you do ever want to trade up, there is plenty of flexibility for p/e with single boxes.
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