500 Series order effect?

If you own ND555, NAC552 and NAP500:

  1. What order did you buy them in?
  2. What did they replace?
  3. Which gave the best sound quality uplift?

552 (252 DR), 555 (NDS/XPS DR) and 500 (300 DR) last. Then DRed 552/500 a few years later. ND555 was DR from the start.

I think 552 gave the largest sq uplift. Then 555, and finally 500.

Having the 552 and 500 DRed gave very significant sq uplifts. More than I expected.
I listen to music using headphones a lot, so perhaps that’s why the 500 has had less impact in my situation.


552DR (252/SCDR), ND555 (NDS/555DR), 500DR (300DR)

Hard to say which have the single biggest uplift. Once the 500DR was in the system and run in it was better as a single entity and therefore the full effect of the previous two upgrades was finally heard.


135’s to 500 (non DR) was the biggest SQ jump in the moves I’ve made so to date. Next was 52, to 552. A noticeable uplift but not as massive as I had been expecting. CDX2/Ndac/555 to CDP555 was pretty big, as was going from non DR to DR. Still assessing the jump to ND555, so far I’m impressed!


For me the ND555 had the biggest effect, then 552…then 500. A second 555drps also had a prefound effect… however, I have to say both 552 and 500 are not insubstantial in their effect. My view is the the 552/500 should be seen as whole…


I remember, Jim, that your room is not that big. You really need a 500 dr?
Why not Nd555/ 333/ 300/250 .3 ?

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I have found the SL2 need a 500 to get what they are all about. It is a complete jaw dropping experience to go from a set of 135 to 500. The 135 do ok but they just don’t have the grip speed and dampening factor of a 500 (not even close) The 500 grabs the sl2 by the never never’s and just smash them out of the park! Seriously Jim we have almost the same system and i can honestly tell you, you really haven’t herd how good your 52 is into the SL2 speakers until you partner it with a 500, obviously the 52 doesn’t have the noise floor of a 552 but does have all the fun excitement and enjoyment one could ever want or need.

So Jim if you are thinking of an upgrade your next step imo 500. Before i get flamed i say none DR its simply to keep the synergy with the 52. I found mixing certain DR box’s with none DR to be a bit miss mosh.

Room size is not an issue as the 500 into sl2 is fabulous at any volume like i said jaw dropping good. With the suggested combination lower volume bottom end rolls out like thunder mids are more real and balanced, top end is so silky smooth it’s almost like a wet fish slap in the face compared to the 135’s. Big room small room doesn’t matter.

I found the 500 has a very similar sound to 135 just the 500 has soooo much more than 135’s can give into SL2 like 10 fold more. Be sure to give the 500 a few days to warm up then grad a cold one sit back and be amazed.

You have no idea how good those Sl2 speakers are until you stick a 500 up there Jaxie, period.

I wish i had done it years ago. No, I really really really wish i had done it years ago.


A more expensive amp is not only about power. Everything gets better moving from 300 to 500 even though power and control indeed is one of the benefits. Same as with a better pre-amp or DAC. I never seen any logic in my amp journey in that a bigger amp would push it in the wrong direction. No matter size of room or speakers the 500 is better than 300 IMO :slightly_smiling_face:


I purchased the Nac552 first, nap 500 second and then nd555 last. 552 replaced 252, 500 replaced 300 and the 555 replaced an NDS. The biggest uplift for me was the nap500, it was immediate and for low volume listening was night and day difference. The 552 was better but the break in was forever. The 555 went from 1 to 2 power supplies and a long break in period. There was never a “wow” moment in the 552 or 555, just a gradual satisfaction over several months. That satisfaction never came with the 252 or 300. All of the above are DR.


ND555, then 552, then 2nd 555PS. I wouldn’t put each component in competition for the best upgrade. I’d compare this front end to the NDX2 252 I had on the way and the former wins by a considerable margin.


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I’ve always preferred the SL2s with a 300 rather than 500.

Can you say what you preferred about SL2s with the 300?

That’s a great description, Rooster.

I found the 300 more engaging. The 500 sounded bigger but somehow more lifeless.

252 / Supercap DR to 552 DR … … … yup, I’m getting that … … … :white_check_mark:

NDS / 2 X 555 PS to ND555 / 2 X 555 PS … … … a real game changer … … … :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:

300 DR to 500 DR … … … bloooooody Hell, was not anticipating that … … … :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:

The final upgrade was a bake off between ATC active speakers, or the 500 DR to drive my Neat MF9s.

I ended up rejecting the ATCs as being way too clinical to my ears, so it was really just another home demo to hear what the 500DR had to offer over my existing 300 DR.

I had much assistance and advice from my regular dealer, those fine folks at Acoustica, whilst a certain @Polarbear, of this parish, had money on the eventual outcome of the active v 500, and it turned out to be no contest.


And on a warm, still night we can hear them down south😂


Did you get the 500 in the end @Rooster?

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Hi Gazza,
I saw today that Signals will demonstrate Statements with all the Vertere turntables range.
Will you go ? Would be curious how do you compare Nd555/2X555 dr with the top Vertere.


No. :joy:


Sorry i missed this event, though friends said it sounded really very good.