Upgrade path..

Looking for opinions here.

 

My current setup: Squeezebox Touch + XPS/nDAC + Supernait 1 / HicapDR + Spendor+REL speakers

 

I enjoy my system, no complains. But with the new products that Naim have introduced recently, I feel that perhaps I should consider an upgrade. But I have dilemmas.

 

I'm happy with my source, particularly the nDAC, and I am looking forward to the new firmware update.

I require the remote and the multiple input, so I have no intention to change it. (no Hugo please)

 

To get a significant upgrade, I would not consider the Supernait 2 or a NAC202/200DR. If someone disagrees, please let me know. I would like to be proven wrong.

 

My interests lie in the new NAC272/282 and the NAP250DR.

Here are the dilemmas.

 

I think the NAC272 is a nice modern Naim preamp/streamer and DAC. It can replace my nDAC and my supernait. My problem is that I need that "balance knob". Before I upgraded to the supernait, I've always had balance issues(could be my ears or the room). It bugged me and I am sure I will not be happy without one.

 

Next up is the NAC282. I could go that path. I just hope Naim don't surprise me (again) with a 282 refresh, just like it did with the Supernait.

 

My eyes are set on the NAP250DR. I'm happy with my Supernait. So I'm thinking if I should go "biamp" and not waste the power amp section of my Supernait. Naim provided this feature on both SN1 and SN2. I suppose they tested it enough to say that it will work great...

 

What do you guys think?

 

 

Original Post

Given what you already have, I would add an NDX rather than a 272. Put your XPS on it, keep the NDAC, and you'll have a very nice source. Then, add a 282 (you already have the Hicap). Run this into the Supernait if your bank account needs time to recover. Finally, add the 250. If that sounds like too many boxes, there are other ways to go, of course, but the need for a balance control limits your options a bit.

 

The alternative, of course, which is what I would do, and in fact is what I have, is to keep the XPS, ditch the rest and get a 272/250DR. It's a wonderful system with only three boxes, rather than NDX, DAC, XPS, 282, napsc, Hicap, 250DR.

 

What's that you say, no balance control.... wrong!!

HH, 

 

Indeed, I prefer less boxes and the 272/250dr seems like the best path.

but before I had a balance knob, it really bothered me a lot in the past.

 

We're talking about ditching everything I have now. So it's a big leap. Perhaps a demo at home will make the decision clearer.

I recently compared the SN1/HCDR to 282/HCDR/200

 

Remember those days when it was said that SN1 had the preamp circuit of a 282? 

 

It turned out in my test the 282/200 showed a clean pair of heels to the Sn1, with the same HCDR, same source and same speakers.

 

Hence my vote is for 282. You can even keep your SN1 as a power amp, and not have to sell anything at a loss.

 

Or sell SN1 and just get a 282/250 DR since you have the HCDR already.

 

Originally Posted by kmchow98:

HH, 

 

Indeed, I prefer less boxes and the 272/250dr seems like the best path.

but before I had a balance knob, it really bothered me a lot in the past.

 

We're talking about ditching everything I have now. So it's a big leap. Perhaps a demo at home will make the decision clearer.

That's always a good idea! And just to confirm, the 272 DOES HAVE a balance control, via the app. As Chris says below, it's all about how far you want to go, and how much cash you have to spare. 

Originally Posted by analogmusic:

I recently compared the SN1/HCDR to 282/HCDR/200

 

Remember those days when it was said that SN1 had the preamp circuit of a 282? 

 

It turned out in my test the 282/200 showed a clean pair of heels to the Sn1, with the same HCDR, same source and same speakers.

 

Hence my vote is for 282. You can even keep your SN1 as a power amp, and not have to sell anything at a loss.

 

Or sell SN1 and just get a 282/250 DR since you have the HCDR already.

 

You love your nDAC...you want the 250DR...seems most logical to give up the SN1 and go 282/250DR and keep the nDAC.  Also you'd have no redundancy here.

 

If you don't like the 282...you could still go 272 and give up the nDAC.

 

NDX still puts you needing a pre/power, unless you keep the SN1, and you'll have 3 DACs at that point!

 

My end game is nDAC and 282, as I don't want to put everything in a single box with the 272.

 

Lastly, don't worry about a surprise update from Naim...it won't make the 282/250DR combo start to suck any more than before.  Remember you like the system you have now and they updated it, yet you still like it.

Originally Posted by kmchow98:
How did I missed that balance control on the app!!!

Easy decision then.

The 282/250dr is good too, but really all those analog inputs are going to waste.

Now I just need to demo.

The 282 does have a lot of redundant stuff on it, but I still wouldn't rule it out. With a strict 3-box limit, I preferred NDX/282/200 to 272/XPS/250, for the same price. Demo time!

Just came back from demoing in the showroom.
NDX/282/hicapDR/250DR
272/250DR

I believe this wasn't the first time I listened to the 282.
In the end, I prefer the 272.
I can't say much about the 250DR too. They were driving a pair of rather large focal speakers. I need to check what the model was. Because the demo was in the showroom, it was difficult to tell if it was doing anything magical.
The naim signature sound was all there. No surprises there.

A home demo will have to be done next to determine if it is worth ditching my current setup for the 272/250.

So I take it that no XPS was used in either system? As you have the XPS and would be using it with the 272, you owe it to yourself to try the NDX/282 setup with an XPS as well. The XPS makes a very significant difference to the 272 and I'd expect it to do the same for the NDX, though it's not something I've ever heard. It's interesting that the two systems were so close, given the significantly higher cost of the NDX/282/250 setup. 

I don't understand why dealers are increasingly using these massive Focals for demos, given that they're such an unlikely purchase combo (well I partly understand, ie the "Group" thing, but it seems daft anyway).

 

I recently had a SU demo in Singapore, where it was hooked up to some £11k (so they told me) behemoths each the size of a fridge.  Pointless really.

Originally Posted by Hungryhalibut:

So I take it that no XPS was used in either system? As you have the XPS and would be using it with the 272, you owe it to yourself to try the NDX/282 setup with an XPS as well. The XPS makes a very significant difference to the 272 and I'd expect it to do the same for the NDX, though it's not something I've ever heard. It's interesting that the two systems were so close, given the significantly higher cost of the NDX/282/250 setup. 

I agree, the extra refinement an XPS brings to the 272 is considerable. In fact, I'm struggling to understand how a bare 272 could sound better than an NDX/282/Hicap, as I reached the opposite conclusion in a couple of recent demo's.

Yes the 272 on demo did not have the XPS connected. 

l'm not saying that the NDX/282/hicap lost out to the 272/250 combo. It's just that I found the sound of the 272 fuller, and I prefer that. I thought i heard a little more details from the 272 and it seemed a like more airy. 

the simplicity of the 272/250 and the potential driving capability is what attracts me.

 

That said, i am now listening to my nDac/SN1/Hicapdr and it is no slouch.

So will you upgrade then? This is a tricky one because the NDAC is better than the NDX and the 272 as a source.
 
Originally Posted by kmchow98:

 

That said, i am now listening to my nDac/SN1/Hicapdr and it is no slouch.

 

Originally Posted by analogmusic:
So will you upgrade then? This is a tricky one because the NDAC is better than the NDX and the 272 as a source.
 
Originally Posted by kmchow98:

 

That said, i am now listening to my nDac/SN1/Hicapdr and it is no slouch.

 

I can sit happy with my current setup. The only way to determine if I will upgrade is a home demo.

I wish I know more about the upcoming nDAC firmware update...

 

I wouldn't mind an incremental upgrade to the SN2 plus the new nDAC firmware! The financial loss is much less..

kmchow98,

 

I recently tested SN1/HCDR against my 282/HCDR/200

 

source hugo

speakers Dynaudio

 

And despite HCDR it reminded why I never bought a SN1, nor believed the marketing (SN1 has preamp of a 282)

 

The issue was some kind of haze over all the notes, which made it sound quite relentless and impacted on the flow of the notes into each other. This issue which the 202/200 and 282/200 do not have.

 

yes you could say it is faster or more entertaining, but my interpretation is that it sounds more stressed.

 

So I would not keep the SN1.

 

Even though Naim said at that time SN1 has the preamp of 282, it was an SMT version of that preamp, not through hole component version which is used in their other preamps like 202,282,252 and I think 552. The difference was always audible to my ears (between 202/200 and SN1) and despite lower price, I never was convinced by SN1.

 

I think you will find the 282 to be a big step up on the SN1 (at least I did) or maybe even 272.

 

 

Hi analogmusic,

 

From an engineering standpoint, Naim have much more powerful tools available to them to develop the newer preamps. The current standalone preamps introduced in 2002 can benefit much from a circuit redesign with a mix of SMT and through hole components.

The 272 is an example of how they are now able to deliver a new design that sound just as good as the older preamps.

My point is that SMT is not a con. The SN1 is one of their first try into them and they are getting better at it.

 

That said, if SN1 is as inferior as you suggest. I'm in a good place. I like it. My next upgrade is just going to be better.

 

As I ponder more on this, I think going 272/250 is a better long term plan for me.

An all digital and streaming front end, a powerful and modern power amp, less cables, less boxes.

Originally Posted by kmchow98:

As I ponder more on this, I think going 272/250 is a better long term plan for me.

An all digital and streaming front end, a powerful and modern power amp, less cables, less boxes.

And fewer shelves.  Do you have Fraim?  Do not discount the important role (and cost) of proper support shelving.

I'm a very happy user of the nap200 (non DR) and the 282 (No hicap yet).

i ordered  the 200 just a month before they announced the 200DR. Sure I was pissed off but after few month Im so happy I'm afraid even to add hicap because I want it to stay the way it is and doesn't want the sound to change. It's so sweet, hot, accurate and catch the tune and the heart of the music.

it feeds B&W 804D in a very large room and the source is vinyl rega p9) and naim CDi

 

Originally Posted by shahar:

I'm a very happy user of the nap200 (non DR) and the 282 (No hicap yet).

i ordered  the 200 just a month before they announced the 200DR. Sure I was pissed off but after few month Im so happy I'm afraid even to add hicap because I want it to stay the way it is and doesn't want the sound to change. It's so sweet, hot, accurate and catch the tune and the heart of the music.

it feeds B&W 804D in a very large room and the source is vinyl rega p9) and naim CDi

 

If you ever decide to add a Hicap, it might be worth considering a DR upgrade to your 200 instead. Amongst other things, this would upgrade the part of your 200 that powers a preamp, using a power supply similar to a Hicap DR, without the need for an extra box......or, of course, you could just continue to enjoy what you've already got.

Hi all,

 

I thought I should update everyone on what I finally end up with.

The answer is that eventually traded my Supernait1 for a used Supernait2, without demo.

 

The 272/250dr remain a very attractive low box count combo, but being completely new... the upfront cost was a little to high for me. I could afford it, but I wasn't sure I was getting the best bang for the bucks.

My spendors speakers are easy to drive, my REL is self powered, so it is hard to tell if the 250dr was going to make a huge difference for me.

 

Anyway, after 3 weeks of using the supernait2, I can say that it is indeed a very nice upgrade. I wasn't quite sure about it when I first installed it in my system. I noticed that it had a very much lower noise low, and bass was a little lighter. The SN1 had thicker and bouncier bass. I thought the SN2 sounded slower.

 

Well, after letting it settle down for 2-3 weeks. I can say that it is a good upgrade for me. More detailed, fast, clean bass. And with the lower noise floor, the sound is a little more 3 dimensional.

 

Perhaps the 272/250dr will sound better. But I don't think I care anymore. SN2/hicapDR + nDac/XPS is no slouch either.

 

Thanks all

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