Upgrade, Pre-amp or Source

Hi everyone, this is my first significant posting so I’m no longer a forum virgin!! I am interested to get some views on the way forward.

First thing first. My current system is as follows: NAC202/200DR/HIcapDR/Valhalla LP12/Lehmann Black Box/HDX/XPSDR/B&W805D3s/REL Strata 3 Sub.

I have read in a number of places on the forum that the NAC282 is a considerable upgrade from the 202. Going that route would have the advantage of improving the sound from my LP12 and the HDX. On the other hand my main source is my HDX (upgraded to 2TB) these days for convenience, and although it is not that popular now, it sounds really good in my set up and a big improvement on the CD5 I used to own. Do members feel that the NDX2 would result in a further significant improvement especially bearing in mind I had the foresight to acquire the XPSDR last year.

At the moment I feel it is more likely to be an either or, and will probably go for preloved/ex demo. I have not had the opportunity as yet to listen to either and options are clearly more limited in that regard with lockdown still in place. Having said that both options hold their value well and if the change was not to my taste selling on would be fairly easy.

I would be much obliged for your observations guys!

With that system I’d go for a 282 and 250DR.

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Useful feedback, so you feel that going the amp route would be more advantageous than the NDX2. That is in fact another option I wondered about. Thanks for that

If you are only looking at one change the 282 should improve SQ across the system.

But if you are going to make several upgrades in the foreseeable future then have a think about what you want to enjoy next. The NDX2 would add another dimension but is limited on its own.

Also get a demo on each and see what grabs you.

Agreed, source first always works well but your speakers would certainly benefit from more than the 200 I would imagine.

Thanks, that seems to be another vote for the amplifier route!

The speakers were certainly a very significant upgrade from my sonus faber minima amators. Within a couple of minutes I knew I had to have them!

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I assume you mean the NDX2 is limited without upgrading the pre am?

Just that the 282 is going to improve everything IMO. The NDX2 would be good now but also better with a 282.

But both options are good and so is a 250 some time.

It’s your ride so think about what route you want to take. Or if you are happy with overall SQ go for the NDX2 and forget the system. Just keep listening to the music.

Sort out a demo when you can as this will help. If you are keen to change now without a demo be prepared for the urge to go with the second choice before too long.

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Thanks, your thinking more or less coincides with mine. Overwhelming opinion is the 282 is quite a step up from 202. Might be able to stretch to an NDX2 as well and leave the 250 for a while. As you say the most important thing is to enjoy the music.

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I agree that an amp upgrade would be the best step to take. I think your sources are good enough to justify it, and 282/250 would be a good step up.
That assumes you have everything well set up on a decent rack with good mains supply, cables etc.
Having said that, I do think that an NDX2 would be a nice upgrade too, especially as it opens the door to a whole world of streaming that makes music so much more accessible. You could continue to use the HDX as a CD ripper/store/server for the NDX2. In this case, put the XPS on the NDX2.

You are following my thinking. Rack is a target one and will need improving. A dedicated mains supply is also something to consider when lockdown is over. Cables are reasonable being Naim or Chord. With the arrival of an NDX2 in the future, as you say the HDX can continue to be used with the XPSDR on the NDX2. I am becoming more and more convinced that for the moment 282/250 is the way to go, NDX2 will have to wait a while. Thanks for your input!

I agree; the pre is what I would do first.

In the last recession, I was in an analogous position, enjoying a 112/150/FC2X system. I demoed a 202/NAPSC and found it compelling, but passed on purchasing it, thinking the 282 would be smarter. After a few months, a private seller offered a 552 non-DR at a price that tempted me to skip over all the upgrades in between. (Eventually, I did trade my 552 for a newer 552-DR floor model at my local dealer, but that is another story.)

If you are not set on buying new, it is possible you might find a current 552-owner to “help out” in the near future, if you can be patient.

Best of luck.


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Another good thought, thanks!

Since you have the XPSDR I would go with

1.) NDX 2
2.) 282
3.) 250 DR

Then again if you are buying second hand it may be what becomes available on the market. With patience you could end up in the same place at a lower cost.

Good luck with your decisions and enjoy the journey!

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I’ve found all 3 available second hand/demo unfortunately I cant stretch to all 3 - curses!!

You have a nice system already - I would make the upgrades one at a time. Apart from spreading the cost, it enables you to really appreciate what each box contributes to your system.

The 282 + 200 is a seriously good combo if you just wanted to make one change.

Thanks, I am aware how well regarded it is. I have more or less made up my mind on the 282. I am also seriously considering an NDX2

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Any issues powering the 805D3’s with the NAP200DR? They seem to love power. Heard them with a SN2 and loved them. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the NDX2. I enjoy the hell out of my ND5XS2 but if I had a XPSDR the NDX2 would be a no brainer.
I’m just curious if a NAC282 would totally outclass a ND5XS2 or just bring out every last ounce of goodness in a ND5XS2