Combining a classic analogue Naim preamplifier with digital network audio player in one single framework has stretched the talents of this Salisbury-based design team. Conceived to create clients into the Naim fold, the £3300 NAC-N 272 is also the ﬁrst of its DACs to recognize DSD files, either via USB or streamed over a home network. The roster of supported music sources includes UPnP hi-res streaming, Bluetooth (aptX), Spotify Connect, internet radio and DAB+/FM (a £295 option). Help for DSD ﬁ les expands across Ethernet, USB and coaxial S/PDIF inputs – all digital media being buffered and processed via Naim’s 40-bit up sampling/filtering software operating on a SHARC DSP.
In addition to the wired and wireless Ethernet and front mounted USB-A ports, other sources are provided across six S/PDIF digital connections (three coaxial, three optical) and three ‘legacy’ analogue inputs (one DIN, two on stereo RCAs). The same combination of fixed and variable analogue preamp outputs is also offered, the digitally-governed (opto- isolated) volume control taking its cues through the flagship Statement NAC S1 preamp. Likewise, the last analogue stage/Class A headphone amp is based around Naim’s discrete five-pole Sallen-Key filter. Finally, and despite featuring a large toroidal-based PSU with numerous windings and regulation, the NAC-N 272 may be further upgraded with Naim’s XP5 XS, XPS and 555PS outboard power materials.