What would give me a better front end. An NDX (screen version) plus 202 or a NAC N272.
What else is in the system, either already, or planned for?
I’ll hazard a guess that it’s a replacement preamp/streamer for your qute and you’d be reusing your NAP200?
Also, what country are you based in and what’s your target budget.
Ndx/ 202/ 200 > 272/ 200 but probably 272/555dr/200 > Ndx/202/200.
I spent a lot of time at my dealers, listening to NDX and 272 based systems, and without any doubt, I found that NDX/202 sounded significantly better than a 272. Add an XPS DR power supply to the 272, and it’s a closer match, but even then, I would have chosen NDX/202.
I was listening to systems in which the 202 was powered by a 200DR, but the 202 of course gets a further lift in sound quality if you add a Hicap.
Correct Mr.M I’m looking to replace the Qute2 with either a dedicated streamer NDX? through the 202 or a single box streamer/preamp 272. At the moment the Qute 2 is acting as the source and the preamp output is going to the preamp 202 which is obviously not ideal but I need the 202 hooked up so I can play CD’s through it and bypass the Qute2. I should probably update my list of equipment because I’ve a lot more Naim stuff nowadays. I have a 172 and a 200DR upstairs. I also have a NAPSC and a HiCap which I should be using but I’m not at the moment. I’m going to use the NAPSC to power my Headline. I bougt it to power the 200 but seems a bit pointless in the current set up so it’s just powered by my second 200(non DR) at the moment. Not sure what to do with the HiCap at the moment. Not really thought about my budget too much.
Chris. Thanks for that. I’m thinking I should probably bin the idea of a 272 and go for NDX/202+HiCap/200DR. That just requires me to buy and NDX as I have the other bits plus a NAPSC which I could also use but is earmarked to power my headline at the moment. I do have other and better headphone amps though so I should maybe sell the headline.
If you already have a 202/200 pre/power and that will be the basis of the system, then adding in an integrated streamer is the simplest solution. Not sure what CD player you have but I ran my CD5 XS digital out (BNC to BNC) in to my then ND5 XS2 and used the CD player as a transport only.
I asked about budget because you have referred to mostly legacy Naim hardware. There are a number of significant differences between the first generation and second generation ND range. I’d personally be inclined to focus on the current generation namely the ND5 XS2 or NDX2 given what you’ve outlined so far.
What is the right product for you will be a balance between a number of criteria, the current streamers support a wide variety of sources and connection methods including native support for Internet Radio, Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify as well as local control and playback using Apple Airplay and Google Chromecast. You also have support for local playback from a NAS or music server using UPnP.
The first generation ND products were developed at a time when the main focus was to give a digital transport that enabled owners of significant CD libraries to digitise them and play them back locally. Yes a used NDX or NDS will sound pretty decent but it will lack functionality and to enable a lot of the features that are supported natively in the current generation ND products you need to add in extra hardware and “bridge” those world together, all doable but a bit of a faff really (my view, take it as it is)
The 272 is a great product and combined with a NAP200 was a go to 2 box setup for many years, a lot of happy owners remain, however it’s very much at the end of its lifecycle and at some point (who knows when) Naim may well develop a new version of it which utilises features and sub systems from the current ND and Uniti range.
Given that you already have a NAC202 preamp you may as well focus on making the most of that and adding in an ND, either an ND5 XS2 or if funds allow an NDX2 will give you all you need and probably more.
For reference, I currently run a Supernait 3 and NDX2, I’ve owned a 202/200 in the past and also owned both the ND5 XS and ND5 XS2. Also of note, as I’m UK based and actually within 1 hour drive of Naim HQ, it tends to be easy to source demo kit and to find used hardware as well. So my question about your location was in relation to ease of sourcing demo and used kit as it can be harder to do that depending on your location.
Hope that helps, ping back more questions as needed.
It’s obviously better if you can listen to these systems and decide for yourself, but yes, that’s what I’d do. That’s not to say that I thought the 272 sounded bad, and there is still a place for it, expecially if you want to keep the box count low.
If you don’t need it for the Headline, I would definitely keep the NAPSC and use it on the 202.
Thanks for the comprehensive answers. I’m based in the NW so I guess the nearest Naim dealer will be in Manchester. I think I need to get a later spec’d streamer too from the sound of it as it seems to better suit the functionality I need; namely native support for DAB, and Tidal. I forgot to mention I also have a Unitiserve with a Teddy Pardo PSU.
UK based you should be fine either getting demo kit or used. Your Unitiserve can come along for the ride and act as a local UPnP server. The ND products do not have a DAB radio but do support Internet radio streams.
Do bare in mind that Naim streamers do not support MQA which may mean you look at Qobuz instead of Tidal which is also providing higher resolution material but in FLAC format.
All useful stuff. Just need to get the right streamer sorted then. I have all the other bits required. 202/200DR/NAPSC/HiCAP/UnitiServe+TP. Once I get the streamer sorted I can get rid of the Qute2 and the NAP100 I have lying around doing nothing. I’ll use the NAC 172 and 200 as my second system. Not sure if I want to keep the headline or not. I’ll need another NAPSC if I keep it.
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