Upgrade: 150x to 200

Hello all

My system is described in my signature below. 

Would a 200 be a suitable upgrade for my system? And if so, would it be a straight swap for the 150x (ie same connections, same cables etc)?

Thanks!

Matt

 

CD5x • 202 with NAPSC • 200DR • Flatcap 2x • NACA5 • Linn Katan speakers • Headline 2 • Sennheiser HD650

Original Post

I haven't used the forum for a while - and it seems that there are no longer any signatures showing system details. 

So my details are:

  • CD5x
  • 202 with NAPSC
  • 150x
  • Flatcap 2x
  • NAC A5
  • Linn Katan speakers

 

The 202 was a relatively recent upgrade from a 112x - an amazing improvement!

Matt

Hi Matt, yes, it's a straight swap. And yes, it's definitely worth while. I had the pre DR 200 and thought it was a big step up from the 150 I had before (Not an X variant mind you) I've not heard a 200DR but suspect that 202/200DR would outperform 202/FC2x/200. I had a FCXS on my 202/200 and didn't feel that it brought much in the way of improvement. Experience of DR components in my current system however has always been favourable.

I know this is an odd suggestion, but if you are looking for a quick exit point I would swap the 202 for a 122 (which was much more impressive than the 112).  The mantra on this forum is always more, more, more.  And if you are keen to follow this route the 200 is waiting for you on that path.  And then something better than the cd5x.  And then a hicap.  Then NAPSC.  Plenty to keep you busy and broke.  But really, the 122 is all you need to end up at a fantastic place.  Something to ponder.

hastings posted:

I know this is an odd suggestion, but if you are looking for a quick exit point I would swap the 202 for a 122 (which was much more impressive than the 112).  The mantra on this forum is always more, more, more.  And if you are keen to follow this route the 200 is waiting for you on that path.  And then something better than the cd5x.  And then a hicap.  Then NAPSC.  Plenty to keep you busy and broke.  But really, the 122 is all you need to end up at a fantastic place.  Something to ponder.

Really?

Antonio1 posted:

202 to 122? 

Is that a joke?

Joke or not, that is not something I am planning!

Based on the other answers above, and other research on this forum, I am fairly sure I will be swapping the 150x for a 200.

What is the relevance of the "DR" suffix I keep seeing? Is that something new? I assume a (suitably sourced second-hand) non-DR 200 would still be a great upgrade.

If it was me I'd get a Hicap DR as the first step. It's what the 202 needs - the flatcap is far from ideal. But that does make a four box amp and two box CD player. The alternative of a 200DR and no Hicap could be an option, though a 202/Hicap DR/200 would be better than a 202/200 DR. 

The 150x is plenty enough for the Katans if room is not a hall you are barking up the wrong end

Upgrade on the frontend 

The preamp need a hicap

Put the FC on the cd or sell it on

Make sure to have F connections or no biwire crap links involved in cable chain

Get a god rack and mains

The Strat (Fender) posted:
hastings posted:

I know this is an odd suggestion, but if you are looking for a quick exit point I would swap the 202 for a 122 (which was much more impressive than the 112).  The mantra on this forum is always more, more, more.  And if you are keen to follow this route the 200 is waiting for you on that path.  And then something better than the cd5x.  And then a hicap.  Then NAPSC.  Plenty to keep you busy and broke.  But really, the 122 is all you need to end up at a fantastic place.  Something to ponder.

Really?

Yes, synergy is always the #1 upgrade.  But if the op is content to keep the upgrade cycle going he can eventually come into another sweet spot.  But a switch to the 200 isn't the end of it by any means.    

Maughan posted:

I haven't used the forum for a while - and it seems that there are no longer any signatures showing system details. 

So my details are:

  • CD5x
  • 202 with NAPSC
  • 150x
  • Flatcap 2x
  • NAC A5
  • Linn Katan speakers

 

The 202 was a relatively recent upgrade from a 112x - an amazing improvement!

Matt

I'd echo most of the sentiments except the one which recommended the 122 preamp. The NAC 202 is a great sounding unit in the right system (and at its price point) as you have figured out yourself. The NAP 200 is a logical choice for sure. I would imagine the NAP 200 to bring more clarity, focus and slam to the music. In other words, better control with the higher range amplifiers.

I went from 150x to 200 (with a 202 and PSU) .  For me, it added improvement in all areas.  Bass control, faster transients etc.  I am glad that I made the upgrade as I felt that it really delivered.   Of course, the other aspect is the sound signature and the 200 is to my taste.  I have considered going forward to a 250 etc, but actually prefer the 200.  I also, a contentious position, think that the 202 is pretty decent.  The 202/200 combination really works for me.

I was on a similar path as the OP, & IMO swapping the 150X for a 200 is a great move.  Since your already feeding your 202 with a NAPSC & a Flatcap, the 150X is likely holding you back.  I swapped from a 150X to a 200 & was a little surprised at the difference.  Much more refined sounding amp with added resolution & bass depth/control, etc.  Its also the natural partner for the 202, which makes a great little combo.

I have not heard a Flatcap but I'm assuming a HiCAP & source upgrade should likely be next on your list.

 

Thank you for all the further replies and comments. 

I have decided to get a 200.  In terms of the next upgrade for my system, it sounds like the obvious choice.  (I realise there are other alternative options, but the 150x/200 swap seems the neatest, most cost-effective step and the most likely to make a discernible difference.)  This decision is despite the fact that my system is currently sounding better than it has ever sounded before and I love listening to it whenever I can - but the lure of "just a little bit better" is ever-present and so I am hoping (expecting?) to love it even more after the upgrade! 

The only remaining issue is to decide between a DR version or a non-DR version.  Have I understood correctly that I do not need a DR version if the 202 is already being powered by my FC2x?  Or... Would a DR version be a better way of powering the 202, also leaving me able to power my Headline with the FC (instead of my current iSupply)?

Thank you once again (in advance)!

I think the suggestion to upgrade your source is a good one - but as regards the amp, that depends on your priorities. If you buy a 200DR it is likely to be from a dealer, so you can audition it, and you might decide that it's DR preamp power supply means that you no longer need the Flatcap. Better sound from fewer boxes.

On the other hand, if you still like what the Flatcap does, or if you intend to replace it with a Hicap in future, a good used non-DR 200 for half the price of a 200DR is a good bet. There are some minor differences to the internals of a 200DR in addition to it's preamp PSU, but I doubt these are worth the extra £1000 it would cost you. 

I can't help with how using the 202 with the 200DR vs 200/flatcap would compare (best if you could find a dealer to listen), but if you ever plan to swap the Flatcap for a HiCAP DR, personally I'd skip the 200DR & just go for the 200.  Unlike the higher up models, the 200DR was said to only get preamp power supply upgrades, so its not as big of an update vs the higher up models & the 200/HiCAP DR was said to be the better sounding/performing combo vs just the 200DR w/o external supply.

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