System advice - 202/200 and beyond

Hi all, first time poster part-time lurker here. :slight_smile:

My current system is largely down to hand me downs from a dad with good taste :smiley: I’m very happy with it and have a couple upgrades coming which I plan on enjoying before pulling the trigger on more upgrades - but I’d love to get some conversation going around where my system could go next.
My original system was a M-dac, 202 + napsc + hicap2, 200, I’m replacing the M-dac with a Dac-V1, the 202 is in for a service after 12 years duty, and I have traded in my old HiCap2 for a new Hicap2 DR!

Full system post upgrade is on profile, so the question is - where should I be looking next? Some options on my mind;
Trade in 202, power supplies and dac for a used 272-N
Trade in dac for used nDac
Trade in dac and look to a streamer - ND5 XS2?
Replace 202 w/ 282? (getting costly now)

Lots of options, upgrade paths etc. Budget is unknown but not silly :stuck_out_tongue: Likely on the used side of things and trading things up to help fund. Look forward to your thoughts!

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I wouldn’t take the hit on the new HiCap for a 272, especially when a newer version seems imminent

The B& W speakers are well regarded - though the entire B & W Naim synergy is an area for a huge column. I always think of that speaker as an 805 that shrunk a bit .

For what it’s worth my advice is to hold on, or if you feel like looking at speakers there are some new B&W “specials” out at £2,700 .

Your Dad certainly gave you a system that many would envy and glad you are having it serviced


Hi @smilen Your Dad must be proud of you.

From the above the 272 would be my choice, especially at the moment as its just been discontinued so there are a plenty of pre-owned around at good prices.

But do you have an “end game” system you are aiming for? Over the years you can either work towards this in as few steps as possible and keep the long term cost down or take it on as a hobby to enjoy regular upgrades whenever you have some spare cash.

For benefit of other replies try and demo once you have a short list but this is’nt always possible if you are buying second hand.

As @Ian2001 suggests, the speakers can be upgraded in time and you can also check back on the forum for 101 non B&W suggestions.


Or even new 272 are available at around 2k


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If you’re happy with your streaming front end, swapping your current DAC for an nDAC is well worth considering. It’s very good on its own, but add a suitable power supply and it wouldn’t disgrace a 282/250 level amplifier.


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@smilen hi and welcome. There’s much debate on this Forum about the best way to upgrade and why not that’s the whole idea.

If it were me I’d consider 2 steps. If you’re content with your digital source then a 2nd hand nDac would be a good purchase, no redundant technology etc and will take a digital feed from whatever you decide to throw at it. With the 272 it’s a very fine sounding box but is of course built around the previous platform so there is some obsolescence already but they are available at a bargain price and it does reduce the box count. Many are waiting with baited breath to see if there’s to be a replacement? In addition I doubt the pre-amp part is going to deliver you anything much better than your 202/HC. So that takes us to the 282. I make no secret of being a champion for this item. In my opinion it’s a true paradigm shift over the 202 - somebody described it as opening the door on the music and that’s how I see it - in all likelihood it’ll be the last amp I ever buy and I’ve already had it 12 years.

However, what you really need to do is get some demos. Your ears and your money.

Good luck.


PS: Speakers all down to your room.


Would love to hear your opinion on the 202 after it’s been serviced - considering having mine done :grimacing::blush:

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…go for the 282, then a ND5 XS 2 or NDX 2, then the 250 DR, then new speakers. That will keep you busy for awhile and what I would be doing with that configuration, at least on this particular day…


Hello & welcome,

I think you really need to listen to your system once you have the HiCapDR run in for a month or so and likewise, your serviced NAC202 may take a little while to settle down.

Then you should be able to decide what is lacking that a replacement DAC might change for you. The 202/HiCapDR/200 combo is very competent, so it seems a lot of expense to change to a 272, without some listening time and perhaps a 282 would present a better upgrade. Edit: I will be having my NAP200 serviced soon and does make a difference and you have a very kind father.


HC DR creates a different presentation to a HC so you’ll need to get used to that. My 202 was serviced earlier this year, also at the 12 year point. Frankly it didn’t take long to hear the difference. Maybe a week at most. However, the difference has been sensational.

If I were in your shoes I would let both style and then ask yourself what specifically it is you think you’re missing.


from my point of view having been where you are currently with your system and choices, I would look at the NDX5 XS2 to use with your 202/HCDr?NAPSCC/200 as first move - I dont think 272 will add more than 202 on the Pre - lot’s of friends on here for 272, but and it’s a big one 272/555 is by a long way the best config to max out 272 so more £££

282 - it a lovely Pre as @LindsayM says, and overs a lot more focus and music over the 202, but you need to choose to stay with classic - pre/amp or 272 first

speakers? for me would be last, improve your electronics and your speakers will be upgraded as well, a consideration for the future

ideally find a dealer who can Demo both 272 & NDX5 XS2 to get the source and balance in the system


Lots of great advice so far (as you would expect) - my journey since '05 was starting at 202/NAPSC/200 with single source CDX2 driving B&W N805S’s all on Q4 shelves, all new from local friendly dealer after lots of demo’ing.
Over the next 10 years we added 2nd hand XPS2. Then a QUTE ex dem and then a new HICAPDR.
HICAPDR gave most wow factor upgrade across both sources, lowered noise floor greatly.

Took the expensive jump last year (thanks mainly to work bonus) to 282/250DR, serviced XPS2 to DR and B&W 804D3’s.
End game for me apart from streaming/cd conundrum but that’s another thread entirely!

Seakayaker probably laid out the most logical path for you…but having had the 805 speakers for years, if you have the opportunity to listen to any of them in your current system i guarantee you will be impressed…and maybe want to stop there…

Yes, 282 is complete game changer, opens the music up wider than my room should allow…to an almost 3D sound…the 804’s are a larger enclosure (but same physical “footprint” as 805s on stands, which was part of the appeal) so more bass and 250DR does a grand job at driving them, that diamond tweeter and new mid driver complete the upgrades to another level sound that will thrill me for years to come!

As with most things it depends how much you want to spend…all the best and enjoy your journey!


Hi and welcome - well not really since I’m the dad!

Amazing to see the next generation going through the same upgraditis that I have gone through, although a lot braver since second-hand was never an option for me unless it was via a dealer - I was too scared.

Just for reference, the 202/200 combo was replaced with a 252/250DR and the speakers with B&W 803D3 - now at my end-game and this is what he hears when he gets home (although C19 means he hasn’t heard it since Xmas).

MY old Unitiserv went to the hifi dealer in the sky and I’m now going (I think) to an XN5XS2), I did consider the bespoke Raspberry Pi route which would have been made up by Stuart but online maintenance and the total inaccessibility of Roon for screen-readers has moved me to the commercial rout (with lots more £’s) and although I’ve been home-demoing an NDX2 and I love it, the £’s seem to be overkill.

I loved the sound of the 202/200 but what else is there to spend your money on :smiley:

I concur with previous posters; let it run in and enjoy for many months before even considering the next step (if any).



The 202hcdr/200 is an endgame amplifier

At this point I might change the source to a NDX2

But the DACV1 is highly musical…

Hi everyone,
l too had a 200/202, napsc, Hicap2, cd5x, flatcap2, Linn axis, Neat se2’s system but wanted to stream iradio stations etc and reduce the box count.
l bought an ex-demo N-272 to replace the 202 and have been very pleased with it apart from the fact that the speakers now seem very boomy in the bass. Tried moving them away from the walls to no avail. The speakers replaced some Spendor se5’s acouple of years ago. Anyone have any suggestions as to compatible speakers for my set up please?

Strange. I would not have associated either the 272 or Neats with boomy bass. Is it with all source material. If it’s just with streaming then that’s the issue but if it’s with the Axis or CD5 then it’s the pre-amp stage of the 272.

It is the same wlth all sources. I never noticed it with the 200/202 set up. Could be the 272 preamp section then. Maybe a xps would help?

Well my experience of adding the XPS to my then CDX2 was to deepen and better define the bass. Can you get one for home demo before spending £s?

l will try to audition an xps and different speakers from my local dealer and see what results. Thanks.

If the speakers didn’t boom with the 202 there’s no logical reason why a 272 should then make them boomy. I’ve never read of boomy bass being a characteristic and mine certainly doesn’t boom. Is it possible to try tweaking the speaker positioning before thinking of spending more money?

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