Upgrade dilema continues - does the source first still hold?

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!

As the OP currently owns SoTM sMS200 and DAC-V1 throwing the baby (babies) out with the bath water comes to mind. :grinning:


Yes, you are right. However I just responded to the option 2 the OP himself raised.
But now we know he needs Roon must of all.
Or perhaps Sotm/ Naim Dac / 202 could be an option?

FR, thats an interesting option! trade my dac-v1 and 102 in against an nDAC and 202, hang on to the 180 for a while longer?

1 Like

yes that’s a good upgrade the DAC v1

Thanks for peoples suggestions, I feel I’m getting somewhere!

Any thoughts on how the 202 and 180 will get on together? Will my original napsc for the 102 be OK although I do hear that the new one is quite a bit better?

Actually reading about the DAC, I’ll need a different transport/steamer/renderer part as the sotm just outputs an asynchrous USB ?

Any suggestions for a cost effective roon ready renderer to partner with the DAC?

A couple of points here: the 202 isn’t appreciably better than the 102, and neither the 102 or 202 are a good match with a 250. If you want a 250 ultimately then it’s an 82 or 282 you should be looking at.

I strongly suspect that a revised 272 will be along at some point, but as it will be new it will be expensive. If you are happy to mix olive and black then a nDac and an 82 would not be too crazily pricey, and you’d have flexibility to upgrade the streamer later. Or - sell the whole caboodle and get a Nova?

Thanks Mr Halibut,
I’m being ‘pulled’ to the 250 by my epos ES14s so that is probably my destination. my path is looking like:

  1. replace sms200 and V1 with DAC + streamer (dont know what?)
  2. get 102 refurbished now
  3. next replace with used 282 when can afford, might be a year of so)
  4. upgrade 180 to 250


As HH pointed, if your goal ultimately is a 250, better not go for a 202. If not, 202/180 is a good match ( I had it once, waiting for the return of my 200).
So perhaps first Ndac ( around 750 pounds ) . You will need just an usb to spdif cable.
And after a 282.

That sounds ok. If you are happy with olive equipment, the 82 and 250 would be great, and so much cheaper. The ES14 was designed with the 250, as I’m sure you know. I would avoid the 250.2 - it’s quite different to the agile 250. The 250DR on the other hand is excellent. Don’t forget that with any 250 you’ll need a Hicap to power your chosen preamp.

1 Like

Personally I would keep the 102/180 in tact because it is a classic combo and upgrade the V1 to a Qutest. If you do anything with the amps add an olive hicap.

Totally agree. I heard a 250.2 once in my own system vs an olive 250 and was disappointed. It was heavy and ponderous by comparison.

1 Like

Just like the Naim supplies, it won’t entirely transform the box it’s powering, but will be the icing on the cake. I would go for this first, honestly. I’ve gone with my microRendu (about the same as the SMS-200 though mine has the 1.4 board/clock upgrade) from the wall wart, to an iFi, to an HDPLEX 100, to an LPS-1, finally to the Sonore Power Supply and they’ve all made a difference, the sound getting better and better. The V1 can actually take a lot - the better the source, the better it gets. That said, now that I’ve currently upgraded my amp to a BD 160, I can see how the pre might be a weak point. But I love the form/function of the V1 so much it’s going to tough to move on.

The SMS-200 should really be quite good. I have a slightly more expensive but similar Sonore equivalent (the same one as charlesphoto ) on one of my systems and it performs very well indeed. Like charlesphoto, I found that a decent linear power supply improved the sound (I have a 7v Teddy Pardo power supply for my microRendu), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you would notice a similar benefit.

If I were you, I’d be tempted to try a Chord Qutest with your SMS-200 if you can arrange a home demo and compare it with your DAC-V1. It should be very good indeed, and much cheaper than a Hugo.

One difference of which to be aware is that whilst Qutest can’t, Hugo can feed a power amp direct, obviating a need for a separate preamp if you don’t have analogue sources (subject to whether you prefer the direct sound or through familiar electronics).

@Innocent_Bystander, re the Hugo, thats a very interesting idea, i wonder how a nap250 would pair with one!

There are a number of people who feed a Naim power amp direct with a Chord DAC (one I recall is @ChrisSU), though I’m not sure how many with Hugo. I used Hugo direct into a power amp, but not Naim, and felt it was better than through the pre (also not Naim). I have since upgraded to Dave, used likewise.

If you are interested this thread may be worth a read: https://community.naimaudio.com/t/is-a-preamplifier-really-necessary-with-a-streamer/7674

Indeed, I sold my 282 after getting a Chord Dave, as I felt that the 282 didn’t improve the sound compared to using the Dave as a preamp. To my ears it sounded neither better nor worse, just a little different, so I was happy to lose my 3-box Naim preamp. I’m still using Dave direct into a 250DR.

On the pre.

I wouldn’t go for the 202. Others have suggested the 82 (or 282).

You could also look at the older shoebox amps- the 72 (or even 62).