NAD C372 versatility?

I'm thinking it's time to add a preamp to my setup. I currently have a NAD 372 integrated. Would I gain more adding a 162 preamp and using the 372 as the power or using my 372 as the pre and getting a 272 power amp? Any other suggestions for gear? My sources are a NAD 542 CD player, Pro-Ject Debut III/Ortofon Blue table, and an older NAD tuner. Thanks.
I had the predecessor model NAD C370 in a prior B system and I am very familiar with its strengths and warts.

In short:

Don't waste your time or your money with your proposed plan. It wont help.

It's a good piece ..... AT ITS price-point, but IMO strong opinion, your proposed plan won't help in solving whatever you think is lacking any case and may actually set you back if you revert to cheap build ICs to marry them up.

The only improvements that I made that actually mattered and actually worked, was to replace:

(a) the standard NAD very cheap POS pre-to-power jumpers on the back panel with formal quality short length RCA Interconnects.

(b)the internal hardwired cheap quality power cord. I took the integrated amp to a professional tech who dremmelled out the back plate to size, cut out the hardwired POS quality power cord, then soldered in a quality female IEC to formally accept an external power cord; and I now attached quality $150 range external power cable.
Agree With Akg ca. Your 372 is a great amp and the two things suggested by Akg ca may give you a performance upgrade your looking for at a reasonable cost.

If that didn't give you what your looking for I would then suggest checking out new integrateds or amp/pre combos.
I had a 372 as well, though I didn't get around to experimenting with the Pre/amp connection. New they went for under $1000, and I'd say it was decent mid-fi. If you want an improvement, I'd look for a used 375. If you really want to go for separates, Parasound makes some very nice sounding stuff, check out their 2100 or P3 pre amps. Or you could stay in the NAD family with the 165 pre, and an amp from either company would be fine.

These items come up for sale on the used market, but you have to be patient.
I echo the remarks of Akg-ca. In the past, I owned the 162/272 combo; now I own the 375.

Turn the soft clipping switch to off. Turn the tone controls off. Replace the pre-to-power jumpers with ICs. Replace the stock PC. This will take your 372 to its peak performance.

Two areas I'd encourage you to consider before changing anything with your 372 are: (1) clean power, and (2) room acoustics. I've read countless times on this forum that we listen to the power and the room.

With respect to digital, you might want to insert a DAC between the CD and the 372.

NAD seems to bring out polarizing opinions on these forums; people usually either love 'em or hate 'em. IMO, you need to spend somewhere in the $1500-$2000 (used) range on separates to measurably improve on the 372. If you spend less than $1200, you are just trading one flavor for another. For $1000-$1200, you can make several purchases in cables, power, and room acoustics that will have an improvement on the sound and not just a flavor.
I should add that I acquired a brand new C326BEE while I owned the C372. With the C326 I could hear a difference in the approach NAD took when they upgraded from the "2" series, and it was an improvement. Clearer more open sounding than the C372, which sounded a little 2 dimensional and laid back by comparison.

So it would depend on the speakers used, but I preferred the newer NAD line up. The C375BEE would be a solid improvement, they've moved it up market where it now sits at $1499 new vs what the 372 was at, $899. I found an old used ad for a 375 at 950, so not exactly cheap, but I think you'd have to spend considerably more with separates to get beyond the bang for buck level of the current NAD integrateds. YMMV.
From my understanding, the 372 is virtually the 162/272 rolled into one chassis. So adding the 162 would seem redundant. As mentioned, "upgrading" the jumpers should offer a bit more performance.

Also, that NAD C542 CD player is one fine sounding player. Best $180.00(used) I have ever spent on a player. Definitely one of my better "bang for the buck" audio purchases.
If you want to retain your resale value, replacing jumpers and installing a IEC plug are reasonable options which will bring a slight improvement. The real drawback to this and other int. amps which have an A/B speaker selector switch and headphone jack, IMO. The reasons are two fold, one the signal has to go through more circuit boards and switches. (The less the signal is altered/routed the better.) The second reason which may apply to this amp (and others) is that the power lines and speaker lead wires are oftened tie wrapped together! Just seperating these wires lead to a hugh improvement in sound. I did this to my little Nad 302. Internally jumped the pre-in/pre-out w/ultra pure wire, replaced the stock power cord w/a fixed SJOOW 16 ga. Carol Cable. Lastly, I completely bypassed the phono jack and rerouted the spk. wires to the spk. binding posts using Kester solder. The sound improvement was dramatically better. Now, I bought my little NAD for a song and never plan to sell. Pure musical enjoyment. Perfect w/the PSB 300i's and a little Def. Tech sub. Not sure how far you're willing to go w/your NAD, but you may never know the potential of the amp. Just my 2 cents. Bill
Thanks for the responses. I'll hold what I got.