252 or NDX2

I have a 282 with a Hicap Dr and a ND5XS with a XPS power supply. I’m thinking of upgrading to a 252 with a non-0Naim PSU or an NDX2 that I can continue to use the XPS power supply with. The 252 and Supercap together are a lot more money, but putting that aside, what would give me the most SQ improvement? Thanks for your feedback.

NDX2 without a doubt.

The ND5XS is already out of its depth in your system.


At the same time I’d get hold of a proper Naim power supply. The NDX2 with either an XPSDR or 555PSDR is a formidable source.


I won’t disagree with you, of course, TrickyDickie, because I’m asking people’s advice. But in what way is it “out of its depth.” Have the new streamers really left the 5XS that far behind?

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You’re not a big fan of 3rd party power supplies, HungryH?

If I were you I would go for the NDX2 in the first instance. When I was auditioning streamers I thought it was a considerable step up from the ND5 XS2. As you say, you could try the TP XPS with it. I am considering adding a power supply (XPS DR or 555 DR) and that will probably be the way I will go before contemplating the 252.

Not really. If you are thinking of spending over £5,000 on a streamer it seems strange to want to power it with something made by a third party. The Naim streamers and power supplies are literally made to go together.


Whilst the new streamers are much better a 282/250 should be being used with a source of the capability of the NDX (old or new version) ideally with a power supply.

The ND5XS whilst being excellent at its price point is more suitable for matching with the XS series of components, i.e. not the classic series.

Any upgrade to the amp will expose this limitation.

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If I go with the streamer, I would upgrade to Naim’s PS eventually. Good feedback. Thanks.


I’ve found that the source-first principle is often the best way to go, although not always. In this case, though, given the NDX2’s improvements, source first makes sense. I remember when the ND5XS came out, reviews acknowledged that the NDX was better, but many questioned if the somewhat marginal improvements it brought were worth the extra cost.

Ndx2 first.

Good to hear this from someone who has a system somewhat similar to mine.

I had a similar system, original NDX with 282/HiCap DR/250DR Kudos S20’s.

My upgrade sequence was XPS DR, NDS, 555 DR, NAP300 DR, Supercap DR, 252.

You will see that I almost maxed out the source before upgrading the amplifier. All the source improvements were most apparent, especially the 555DR. The 282/250 is more than capable of revealing these differences.

I would do the same again.

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It’s good to hear your experience in this respect.

Did you get the Supercap and 252 at the same time? Some on the forum suggest the Supercap doesn’t make enough of an improvement with a 282 unless one is biding time to buy a 252.

Some will say I should just audition the various upgrades to make my decision. Which I will, but it’s hard to get to my dealer.

It’s a no brainier imho. NDX2 with an XPS if possible. The 282 is a great pre and will benefit from a source upgrade. A 252 with the basic streamer makes no sense to me. YMMV.

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It’s pretty much unanimous.

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Another vote for the NDX2 here. To my ears the original ND5XS was not a great performer compared to the NDX, and given that you already have an XPS you will end up with a nicely balanced system.
That is not to say that a 252 wouldn’t be a good upgrade, but it would lead to an even greater unbalance if you were to use it with your ND5XS. On the other hand, if you have other sources such as a turntable that will benefit from the preamp upgrade too, which might change your priorities.

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NDX2. Easily the proper move here.

No, I have a CDX2 that I never listen to now. I should probably sell it, but I get nostalgic thinking about letting it go.

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NDX2, then a Naim PS - both will bring big improvements for the 282. Then the 252 for even more good delights.