Sn2 with NAC N 172xs

Hi , I have the chance of a NAC N 172XS pre amp streamer , I’ve read a couple of reviews and it seems to be quite a good streamer pre amp . What are your thoughts about pairing with the supernait 2 ? Is it a good or bad move ?

It’s a bit of a waste buying a device that includes another preamp you don’t need, but it’ll work fine through its line out into the SN2. You could also try it via pre out into the SN2 power amp and see which you prefer.
Strictly speaking the SN2 probably deserves a better quality source, but it depends on your budget. Also be aware that the streamer is dated and has its limitations compared to more modern versions.


Ok thankyou , what streaming source would you recommend ?

Do you mean what streamer (hardware), or what streaming subscription service?

Sorry I should have made myself more clear , I mean hardware , what streamer/DAC would make a worthwhile pairing with the sn2 ?

Or it could be a preamp streamer DAC ?

The ideal partner for a Supernait in the current Naim range would be an NDX2, although an ND5XS2 would be OK on a tighter budget.
If you are prepared to accept the limitations of the older models the original NDX would also be worth considering. Just be aware that they were developed before internet streaming services were around, and are primarily intended for streaming from locally stored files, such as CD rips and downloads, although they do support Tidal and Spotify.

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Why buy an all-in-one streamerDAC/preamp, which is going to be a design compromise compared to separates, when you already have a preamp?

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I’m not saying all in one , I’m just asking what would be best , a combined or all separate boxes ?

Separate boxes will give you better performance, and in your case, no redundancy. If you are happy to use old tech I would look out for an NDX which you could probably get for not much more than a 172 and would be a better performer.

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It all depends where you are planning on going longer term. If this is a tempoary system on the way to further upgrades, getting the 172 now, then trading the SN2 for a 250 makes sense. if you plan on keeping the SN, then an ND5XS2 would be more sensible IMO


Actually, I seem to recall it was often regarded as something of a poor relation of the 272. If you really do want a pre/streamer and are happy with the limited functionality I’d suggest looking for a 272 rather than a 172. It shouldn’t be that much more expensive. If you want the new streaming platform, you might want to consider the Atom HE. I’ve not seen a comparison of 172 vs Atom HE, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Atom won easily.

With any of these, I’d consider trading the SN for a power amp such as 200 or 250. Or keep the integrated and go for a pure streamer as suggested above. That’s what I’d do.

Ndx second hand, Ndx2, or eventually Nd5xs2, and add later a dac to it.

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Forgive my bad knowledge of Naim , what is an atom he ? You mean uniti atom?

If you are planning on further upgrades (eg a dac) why not get an original ND5 XS - cheaper than NDX and with the subsequent addition of an NDAC probably better. This also preserves some of your investment if you ultimately move to the new streaming platform. Also, with Bubble UPnP on your NAS the legacy streamers can support Qobuz Hi-def.


Yes, the Uniti Atom comes in two flavours now. The original Atom which is an all-in-one requiring only loudspeakers and the HE version. This has an upgraded preamp and no power amp and is primarily advertised as being for headphone use. But several people on here, including at least one Naim staffer, have used it into a power amp or active speakers. There’s a long thread about it on the forum which might be worth skimming through.


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AHH right that looks like a nice upgrade path and one I could use with the Sn2 ?also I have a teddy pardo se hooked up to the sn2. Would it make this redundant ?

I have a NAC N 172XS, which I bought for my second system from a leading auction house in preference to an ND5 XS (At the time it was a cheaper option).

I can say that it works extremely well as a source with my old ARCAM amps and the sound quality is impressive. I don’t use the pre-amp. It also has the advantage that it runs cool and you can turn the lights off.

Before selling my NAP 250, I connected the NAC N 172XS directly to it, just to try the pre-amp out and found that they were not a great match.

You have an excellent integrated amplifier in your Supernait 2. What you want is a dedicated streamer. The NDX2 is the ideal choice. The ND5XS2 is the next best thing. You don’t want a 172. You don’t want an Atom. You don’t want an Atom HE. Have a good read of the Naim website and it will all be clear.


There’s no point in buying an Atom HE unless you particularly want great performance with headphones. Like the 172, it has a preamp that you don’t need as the Supernait has one, only unlike the 172 it has no line out. For that sort of money you could get an ND5XS2 which is a dedicated streamer that would work well with the Supernait.