Reply to "Three improvements"

stuart posted:

Thought I would post an update which hopefully some will find interesting. Firstly I added 202, napsc and 200dr. Obvious improvements in all areas. The main difference I found was much greater body to the sound. I really enjoyed the bass texture and extension and much better separation of instruments etc. 

Upper frequencies also improved but still a bit harsh for my liking. I therefore Loaned a pair on neat motive sx1's. These were brand new and have now had about 100 hours so half way through run in. These matched much better. Upper frequencies much more refined and great mid range and bass. A combination I could happily live with. 

One thing to note is that I have read many posts regarding the 202/200 and many say it is overly bright and 'glassy' was one description. I can't quite fathom these descriptions. I found the upper frequencies rather polite and less forward than my xs separates. Much more body and less forward presentation. I found some lower quality recordings more listenable. 

I also found the presentation a bit more laid back and less dynamic which makes listening less fatiguing but a little less exciting. Also slightly reduced fine detail. I now have a supernait 2 on loan as a comparison with the sx1's. The sound is now more dynamic with faster less extended bass. Maybe less texture in the bass. More detail and atmosphere and more forward treble which is about borderline for my ears. 

I could live with both set ups with these speakers and with more run in time they should improve further. The dilemma now is which to choose. The SN2 seems a similar presentation to my xs separates but a step up in quality. The 202/200dr certainly has a different character and both have strengths in different areas. 

I used to be indecisive but...... 

PS anyone tried SN2 with a 200? I know a few have added a 250dr 

It's good to have an honest evaluation, to know that you could live with either the Supernait 2 or the NAC 202 / NAP 200 DR. It is useful to note that most people hear differently, hence it is not a surprise that some might find the 202/200 to be bright or glassy (one even thought that the 202/200 are the worst sounding amps Naim have ever made). There might be some level of exaggeration too as in reality the differences between amplifiers can be quite small, certainly not a case of one amp rendering another amp to sound broken, no matter how poor that amp can be.

I know this would add to the cost but I would suggest trying the Hicap DR with the NAC 202 (or the Supernait 2) before throwing in the towel on the 202/200.