Thunderdome: Supernait3 v 200DR/202

Two options enter…one leaves…

Musically, with no additional power upgrades, and no consideration for headphone or phono…Which option is better?

The one you think sounds better !

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James is of course correct. However, provided the source was up to it, I’d probably be looking to put my money on the NAC202/NAP200DR.

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I had a 202/200 (Non DR) set up for a while and it was excellent. The DR module in the 200 will improve the pre amp from what I had. No comparison to the SN3 and finding people that have done the direct comparison will probably not be as easy as people who have done 202/200 vs SN2. The big factor here is your speakers as that will make more of a difference to the comparison than anything. This makes other peoples views, my own included not so helpful. If you are buying secondhand then maybe wait for a good price and just buy the one that comes up at the right time. A dealer will let you home demo the combos which will answer your question.

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I am assuming you are changing the speakers btw as a £4k+ amp is probably best with slightly better speakers than what you have.

There is really no answer to that question. All I’d say is that if you get the 202/200, do get a Napsc to power the pre’s digital bits. It makes the 202 sound considerably more natural. Bear in mind also that the pre/power needs an additional shelf.

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when I did a demo it was the sn3 all the way so that’s my choice but I think there are a lot of factors involved so you should always listen and decide for yourself.

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If separates a rack gets also more important.

With the caveat that you need an extra shelf the 202/200(DR). But @hungryhalibut makes a very valid point reference the NAPSC.

Xref here
OP is considering:

“does it just make sense to start out with a 200/202 and and ND5XS2? Speaker-wise, I’m going with either KEF LS50s or Focal Arias”

In that context, I’d look at the xs3.

Another thing to consider is that when there is no clear consensus it is likely that neither is better per se and that’s it’s more a matter of personal preference. Both are good and once out of the dem room and relaxing at home it really doesn’t matter which you pick.

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Funny how this comes up from time to time. Back in the days of the old forum one thread, comparing the SN1 vs 202/200, got extremely heated, with angry posts insisting that a pre/power obviously had to be better than an integrated, simple because it was two (or more) boxes. But from those who’d actually done the comparison opinions were, IIRC, divided. As HH says, it’s really about personal opinion.

If buying new today, SN3 has the merit over 200/202 that it is at least currently being produced.

Roger

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Having recently been through this at my local dealer, tried the XS3 first, very nice amp but I wanted a little bit more, tried the SN3 which was an improvement all round which you would expect for the price difference, lastly tried the 202/200DR,settled on the later which I acquired ex-demo then added a new Napsc.

The difference between the SN3-202/200DR to mine and the dealers ears was indeed subtle, the later just edging it for us both but
I could of lived with either. At some point I will add a Hicapdr ,box count for me was not a major concern but I totally understand the appeal of an integrated.

If you are intending to upgrade again in the near future it can be more cost effective to jump straight to the next step straight away as long as funds allow, buying new then moving it on pretty quickly for the next upgrade can get expensive, just my thoughts, happy journey,

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Is there a reason that two boxes are not permitted for each (SN3 + HCDR and 200DR/202)? Is that just what local options you have?

No, it’s not that ‘two boxes are not permitted.’ It’s that each option costs roughly the same and delivers a similar amount of power. So without complicating it further with additions, power, you need a bigger rack, etc., the simple question is - does one sound better?

If the answer is ‘they’re both pretty much the same, but one gives you more options in the future and the other is more simple/straightforward’ that’s ok too.

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You’ll never get a conclusive answer. Just pick the option that feels right in your guts.

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Thanks. I had a feeling that was going to be the answer…

Logic / gut tells me that at the same price point, 2 boxes with less features must outperform 1 box with more features.

Unless Naim’s margins are wildly different between the two, which I doubt.

200/202, here I come.

Don’t forget to throw a NAPSC into the shopping basket

Yes - as far as I can remember, the general consensus is that the napsc is the best value for money Naim product. Back in 1999 when I was choosing a 102/180 (my first Naim), I told the dealer I had the exclude the napsc as I had to draw the line somewhere. He said nothing, but picked a bit of tricky music and played with and without a napsc. I immediately relented and added a napsc to the order. Never regretted it

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don’t everyone eyeroll at once…but - what’s the difference between a NAPSC powering the 202 vs the 200 powering the 202??