Preamp? NAP250DR


I’m looking for a budget Naim preamp for my new second hand NAP 250DR. I did many reading. 282, 252 are all great beast but still very expensive on the second hand market.
Anyway my main sources are Tidal, Quobuz and my ripped CDs (and some 24-196 high res files). The two last from my Raspberry Pi.
So the N-272 seems to make sense and to be accessible at a cost about 30% of his original price. It seems the 272 have a good reputation. Selling my SU to get a 272 would be easy and very low cost for me. Maybe PS might come later in the game, but I want to keep box’s count low.

The 2 questions:
-Any other idea for budget preamp? Look like 202 is not such a good fit?

-If I get a N-272 and add let say a Bluesound connected to it, will I avoid all the old streamer part problems? Connection drop sometimes, need to slowly click command on the Naim app so the unit don’t get confused and stop, etc. (I’m wired network connected)

Thanks for your help!

Optional information: For budget, space and time considerations, I’m focusing on Naim all in one setup. My main setup is a SuperUniti connected to ProAc D2R with NACA5. Everything is second hand, so I have the chance to taste wonderful sound/music.

With all that in mind for my next upgrade I just bought the obvious… a NAP 250 DR.
Yep, exactly the opposite way. :slight_smile:

After reading hundreds post and different reviews, it was just always coming in my mind, I needed to give a try in my life. A good second hand deal came up and I took a leap of faith. :wink:

Plugged it in my SU and then wow, so much more consistency and overall integration in the music. Sound stage took a good step up even with my imperfect room setup. It’s like if suddenly I have found out that I was looking a puzzle but 30% of the pieces were missing and now it’s there, beautiful. The puzzle I was looking at before was beautiful to but now, it’s just better.

I will have to dig out a setup with very minimum boxes and budget with the 250DR.
If it doesn’t work I will try the Nova or Supernait 3. But I have the feeling I might not coming back to one box….

A 72 with a HiCap.


A popular combination for what you want is to get an Atom HE to use as a streamer preamp with the 250. I have seen a few Atom HE for sale secondhand recently so it might be worth keeping an eye open for one.


I used a 72 with a HiCap with my 250.2 for several years while saving up and waiting for a nice 252/SC to come along. Sold them for what I paid for them, so no pain there


When I added a 250Dr to my Superuniti I was amazed at how much better it was. When I swapped the SU for a 272 it was not much better. It was only when I got an expensive 555Dr power supply that it was unequivocally better, and this upgradability is the advantage of the 272. You may eventually be able to get an inexpensive power supply for it up the line.

Alternatively you could just stay where you are as what you have now is very good. Just get a work around streamer and you are cooking with gas.

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Interesting. I heard one time on another forum, I was not sure.
Does Hicap needs to be DR?
(Assuming some are not…)

It would definitely be a good quick fix.
I was always a little uncomfortable to buy an equipment and skip using a part of it for an external unit.
But I guess it would solve all my challenges quickly.
Thanks for the idea. It will definitely be on my short list.

If you want to keep the cost down, the recommendation of 72 & Hicap may well be dead right imho. However, for not much more you could get 82 & Hicap.

The 82 was the direct ancestor of the 282 and has similar virtues. Either works brilliantly with about any 250, butvtye 82 is better.

The Atom HE is a good modern suggestion too, but the cost might rule it out.

Otoh, I suspect replacing the Pi will be needed too. If you don’t need Qobuz (or are up to managing the popular work-around to get it), then a 272 may well be ideal - it’s a decent (if not current) streamer with a really good preamp that is about as good as 82 or 282. Again, eBay suggests real SQ bargains are available.


Another vote for 72/HC to get you over the hump while you save for a 282. When you finally do find a 282, move the HC to the 282 and then find a second hand 140 for the 72 to build a second system.


The 72 looks really cool. There is one on the market with a phono (but I already have a Moon 110rev2 for my TT) at 800$ can. No PS though.

But that would mean no more volume control other then going to the 72 and spin the wheel, right?


A Bluesound as a streamer would be nowhere near the SQ level of any of the Naim streamers or the other hi-end streamers like Inuous etc. There’s a very good reason that it’s as inexpensive as it is.
But others here have some good suggestions.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.

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I was hoping that a Bluesound (or equivalent) being use with the DAC of the 272 would still provide good sound quality.

Considering it’s by far my primary source (TT is really just for fun, I have no serious collection), I would need to go back to an Atom or ND5 XS2, I guess.

This is usually the time when a wise member mention that it would be a good idea for me to try and hear for myself what I like most. :wink:
I agree and will do all the test I can for sure. :grin:
I could start introducing a Bluesound on my SU.


No, just a HiCap.

DR came along way later, than the 72.

I have an 82 as my Preamp with my 72. powered by standard / non DR Hicaps (I use 2 - but it will work with 1).

An 82 would be another options for you. More money, though.


PS. Both the 72 and 82 have built in phono stages (so long as the boards are installed).

And very good those phono boards are. In modern terms, at least Stageline equivalent.

A further option - which avoids yet-another-box.


Great input for little step that provided the 272.

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The 272 is, in many respects, a Superuniti without the power amp. It shares a large number of components. Yes, it does sound better, but to my ears it really needs a separate power supply upgrade to perform at a significantly higher level.


If you are looking at a preamp, you really need a streamer of equivalent quality. So if you went with a 282, or even a 72, you’d be looking at an NDX2 or maybe a ND5XS2. There is no point putting a preamp between a SU and a 250. The two options already mentioned - 272 and Atom HE - are both excellent choices. The current streaming platform is so much better and the HE is much more future proof, so that’s what I’d very likely pick.

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The ND5 SX2 would provide direct Qobuz streaming which you mentioned you use. But maybe try a pre-owned Bluesound first, then you can move it on easily when an ND5 SX2 is affordable.

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Blimey ! - Not very obvious in my opinion.
Using a mediocre Bluesound streamer there’s no need for such an excellent poweramp to be honest.
I’d just keep the SU and add a Wiim to other streaming services.
Or get a SN2/SN3

The serious source is the turntable, build on that to get best possible sound, a Naim streamer to deliver such quality will make you poor, they are very expensive.

OK, what to do now ?
Skip the SU.
The cheapest powered Naim preamp is DAC-V1, just ad streamer - no analog in.

Most Naim analog preamps need separate PSU, the cheapest is possible a Nac 92 or Nac 112 with Flatcap, again a Nap 250DR doesn’t make sense there.

Notice all those old olive/CB boxes will need a service by now = $$$

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Atom he to go with your power amp would be my choice. As it is a great streamer as well as pre-amp

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