Upgrade dilema continues - does the source first still hold?

Sorry I can’t help much but I do know that the 250.2 didn’t get the best of praise I believe. The 250DR is the one to got for if you do go down that route. Not for £1000 tho unfortunately.

Vs the choices you cited, I would go for the 272: better pre than the Dac VI, and better source too, however with a power supply.
Only problem:; you will be often pushed to try the 555 dr.

If you go for a 272, how do you plan on running Roon? Will need to use something like the SonicOrbiter Bridge, or LMS-UPNP trick running on a separate computer as the 272 isn’t Roon ready.

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  1. Why do you think a preloved 272 will be better than SoTM200+DAC-V1?

  2. Won’t you require a Roon Bridge for the 272?

  3. I can’t speak for the NAP180 but a NAP200 is a nice power amp upgrade for the DAC-V1.


What kind of power supply are you using on the SMS-200? Speaking of source first, the quality of power supply (and dc cable) on the streamer can make a big difference.

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There is another current thread running on this subject! I suggest it is worth reading through that, which between different people’s experiences and thoughts gives a good assessment of Source First. Once digested you may be able to determine the answers, or focus them in the light of others’ views:


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Thanks Innocent for pointing this out. I’ve just finished reading it and its been very interesting!

Because the pre is much better, and the streamer/ dac equivalent.

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“272 is better than SoTM SMS200 + DAC-V1”

You know this for a fact?


Thanks all for your input. The first flaw to my 272 route: it’s not roon ready which I thought it was! well that’s out then as a making my streaming setup better.

I should perhaps state that I’m looking to make some rather humble increments over the next few years, maintaining balance and also wont have a big end came in sight for 15 years or so. One of my motivations for the separate network player+Dac was that things are moving relatively quickly here. Is is still best while on a limited budget to keep the player and DAC separate in my situation (I have the RoonRock on a decent Intel NUC with a dedicated gigabit switch) or do I jump in and get an ND5 XS2?

Maintaining balance and being aware of the weakest link in the chain:
so possibly my upgrade path (if I am to stick with Roon, is this what is hampering my choices?)

  1. sms200->dac-v1->nap250.2
  2. DR upgrade to 250.2
  3. preloved 202 (but wont give me anything until 4)
  4. nd5 XS2 (probably do this in 1 jump?)

Your thoughts much appreciated!

Hi Charles, I’m using the standard one that came in the box. I’m a bit sceptical of fancy power supplies for digital boxes but do put me straight!


Always healthy to be sceptical, just trust your ears!



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Thanks for your reply jazzman. Opinions seem to differ wildly abiut the quality of the preamp in the v1, are you familiar with the sotm or this combination?

Im wondering if my next step should be to improve the PSU to the sotm before anything else? Im aware the sms200 is pretty budget, again is that the weak link, should i service the 180 and tackle the network player first?

Ive got the feeling while reading lots here, especially regarding the es14s that the 180 is in some ways the weakest link?

Weigh in all!!!

What PSU are you using for the SoTM 200?


Have you considered the Chord DACs, Qutest/Hugo/TT/Dave? Many people prefer their sound to the Naim DACs , though by no means everyone. (To me, Hugo in place of ND5XS was more natural sounding.) Noting your desire for Roon, a Roon ready renderer of some sort (sorry, not being into Roon I can’t suggest), feeding the DAC that best fits your price range. If no analogue sources, some people use Hugo, TT or Dave directly feeding power amp, cutting out the additional electronics to good effect (and releasing funds, Though others prefer the sound through s preamp.

Hi Dave, a rather nasty 20 quid one!

I know the SoTM sMS200 is very highly regarded and I would have thought it was ideally suited for use with the DAC-V1 USB input.

Personally, if the current rating is sufficent, I wouldn’t use anything more expensive that an ifi iPower or the new iPower X.


I should have said IMHO. Sorry. It’s not a fact.
The Dac VI is relatively on the same level as the Dac inside the 272.
The Sotm sms 200 is an entry level for Sotm. Costs around 500 euros. Why it should be so better vs the streamer of the 272?

The big difference is the pre. 272 pre is much better than the pre inside the Dac VI, and sorry, here it’s a fact.
So globally, yes, I feel that 272 /180 should be better vs Sotm 200/ Dac VI.


Read quite a bit on the hugo, didnt audition anything though, just went for the v1 trusting its pairability with naim so perhaps was rash. I do like how the system sounds however complex tracks get a bit messy if that makes sence. Bit of a newbie in terms of explaining how things sound too!