272+555PSDR vs 252/NDX2

Where’s the biggest jump in sound quality looking at next move. Adding a 252 SCDR using the DAC and 555PSDR on the 272 or adding NDX2 using the pre and 555 on the 272?

I’m targeting ending up with 252 SCDR, NDX2 and 300DR maybe keeping my 555 on NDX2 as a potential end game.

We investigated this recently, although funds eventually allowed the jump to NDX2 and 252 at the same time for us.

General consensus I think is that the pre in the 272 is quite weak, so a 252 is a huge jump. Using the 272/555PS as a streaming source uses 2/3 of the device [streamer/DAC] whereas adding the NDX2 first would leave the 272 as 1/3 used [pre-amp].

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Thank :+1: I’m using a Lumin U1 Mini with external power which was a good jump in sq over the inbuilt streamer in 272 so I would in such a case mainly use the DAC with the 555 in that period of transition. So mainly this goes down to what is the weakest part of 272 in its DAC vs Pre with a 555 on it :blush:

Well notwithstanding that what you have is already very good indeed and I suspect I might upset a few on here by saying this, however the pre amp on the 272 is outclassed by the 282 and in a demo I thought the NDX2/XPS/SN2 was a far more involving listen than 272/XPS/250. One dealer who I have always found to be spot on in his judgement said he believed the 202 outperforms the 272 (caveat haven’t done that one for myself) but all this leads me to say 252/SC which is of course the logical partner for the 300.

Regards,

Lindsay

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My gut feel would be the DAC stays in preference to the pre too.

We tried our bare nDAC and it improved on the 272 DAC, but we expect the 252/SCDR to absolutely muller the 272 as a pre. Our dealer told us same sort of story - 272 sits somewhere between 202 and 282, 202+HCDR+NAPSC betters 272 as a pre. We never actually tried/demoed a 202 since we were headed for 250DR so it made no sense.

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Having heard my system with the 272 naked, with XPSDR and today 555PSDR I must say it’s a completely different animal between naked and 555 hooked onto it so understand it might be challenging comparing systems here although very interesting :blush:

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Lindsay’s comments are very much in line with my findings when I listened to various combinations of NDX, Supernait, 202, 282, 272, xps etc. Having said that, given that you sensibly have a clear endgame in mind you may find that the best upgrade to do first is simply the one where the boxes are actually available, or can be found at an attractive price. Either way, you’ll get there in the end.

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We seem to be going in opposite directions from a similar starting point! I want to reduce box count/ amount of space my hi-fi occupies, whilst still enjoying good quality sound but without emptying my wallet.

Tomorrow I’m getting the latest Topping DAC, analogue preamp and integrated/ power amp for an extended home trial. I’ve been waiting impatiently for this wondering how it will compare. I actually have quite high hopes, but will soon find out.

Back to your case, you could of course buy a standalone DAC (needn’t be expensive) for your Lumin and move your 272 on and get your 252. I’d be surprised if your Lumin and a more recent DAC didn’t outperform your 272 as an interim solution until funds allowed you to get your NDX2. You may even find that your Lumin and alternative DAC is as good as an NDX2, but if not you could always trade it or use it as a desktop/ second system.

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I hope Naim comes out with a successor to the 272. I have no interest in going back to the 252 and more boxes. The 272/555 is pretty special. A 572 would be very appealing. And lol the comments about the 202.

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Supernait 2 & 3 are exceptional amplifiers and a bare NDX2 to either and you’ll be a very happy person indeed.

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I’ve had the SN3 and never got hocked emotionally by it. Sounded bit flat to my ears. Even a naked 272 and 250DR outperformed it IMO (the DAC streamer was different so I’m aware if it’s not a correct AB but the power and added headroom from 250DR was true)

I would also prefer a next generation 272 but when and where will the stars align for that to happen :man_shrugging::rainbow:

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Speakers, room and source play a huge role in how an amp sounds what is a fit in one home is a miss in another.

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Absolutely :+1:

Thinking out loud. Sell my 555PSDR that feeds my 272. Sell my 272. Get a 252/SC supported by my Lumin U1 Mini with a DAC of some kind until an NDX2 pops up. Further down the road add an XPSDR to the NDX2. Sounds like plan from my current 272/555 into a 300DR? :sunglasses:

Any proposals on a DAC at 1-2000 GBP that could assist in the meantime?

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I’ve had a SN1 and didn’t get on with it, probably the worst Naim kit I’ve owned for SQ but I was coming from a 72/HC/250 so that’s to be expected. When you cram all the goods in one box there are going to be compromises in SQ. Some say the 272 suffers b/c the dac is crammed in there with the preamp but I suspect the bigger compromise is with the pre and amp together in one box. The 272/555PS/250DR is a pretty special combo for three boxes. And I get more enjoyment out of this line up than I did with full separates CDS3/XPS/252/SC2/250.2. Though that wasn’t a side by side comparison. And I suspect the DR and powerlines are a big contributor as well. I’m in a holding pattern until I see where Naim goes with the 272. Hopefully they improve upon the platform. If I did go back to separates it’d likely be 552/300 or even 500 at some point. If I’m going to get back into accumulating boxes it might as well be the 500 series.

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I had the Topping stuff I mentioned in my earlier post delivered today. The D90SE (MQA compatible) or the D90LE (non MQA) cost £900 and £800 respectively and you can get them on home demo (I’ve got the LE and other stuff in the photo).

There are other DACs of course like the Qutest.

I’ve spent some time today getting it all wired up and working, and by using Roon and taking advantage of the Toppings ability to output to both RCA and XLR simultaneously, and with a collection of cables (including RCA to XLR to connect Topping preamp to 250.2) I can test just about any combination of DAC/preamp and power amp.

I’ve got a free afternoon and empty house tomorrow afternoon, so will do some listening then.

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If you are aiming for a 252 and NDX2, don’t sell your 555 PS. At some point you need to either split the functionality of the 272, or grab the NDX2 and 252 at the same time. I had a similar dilemma moving from a SN2, though I had the NDX2 - I went 252 first into the SN2 as a power amp. You might be best to grab the NDX2 first and use the 272 as a pre until a 252 arrives. But, I think at that level you would regret selling the 555 PS.

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I have an nDAC that I just moved out of from an NDX2 + (nDAC & 555PSDR) to an ND555&555PSDR. It is set to 110v right now as I am in the US. You also should be able to find one nearer to you.

Also do not sell the 555PSDR. You will only eventually buy it again. I also have the S-XPS cable if you get an nDAC and want to use the 555PSDR to power it.

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@Slamdam what @Ron_H saya makes sense. The 555PSU gives my CDS3 incredible depth and involvement.

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