500dr or ND555

I was told by my dealer that 500dr get the punch n drive of the 250dr and the refinement of the 300dr.

It would be quite awhile if i either buy option 1 or 2 before the nxt upgrade. So thinking of choosing wisely as i also dont wanna waste money to trade my 300dr in future for the 500dr.

I think you’ll like better the ND555/300DR immediately.

But if you see yourself getting a 500DR, you need to do that when one at the right price arrives. You can always buy an ND555 new; finding a really good price on a 500DR happens much less often.

Option 1 would be my pick without hesitation.

I recently went from 282/250 to 252/250 to 252/300, all DR. The 300DR brought so much weight and finesse to the table. It’s in a difference league to the 250DR, as fine as that amp already is.

In my experience, the dealer is correct but as it seems you are buying new(?), pushing all funds in to an amplifier and not upgrading the source signal, is not the way to go. A 500DR will only work with what you give it. More gains are to be had at the source and (eventually) pre-amp stages.

Option 1 all day.

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Dealer is your friend, but he is also interested in making money.

Many years ago, I had $25,000 to spend, and I had 82+135s, my dealer recommended me to get a NAP500 to replace my 135s and I listened to him !!!

Thinking back, it was one of my most ever stupid decisions, pairing a 82 with a NAP 500??? ouch!!! the system was vastly imbalanced :frowning:

Me too.

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Source-wise, the DAC + 555PSDR is right up there. Only question is what its feeding the DAC? It could just be that an ND555 is a logical progression.

However, before considering a NAP500 I’d be more tempted by a NAC 552.

(Oops, sorry I guess that must be the option 3 you don’t want…)

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Option 1. Apart if the 500 dr price is particularly low.

I would considered quite a good price given to me by my dealer.

However, as what most commented here abt balance, would that mean that if i get ND555, and still NOT getting at 552, my system is off balance too (given that ND555 is also a 500 series and that 252 will not get best out of it)?

As I mentioned above, the 252 is perfectly balanced with the 300. That was a staging point in time for me. I have since moved to a 552 and 500. Depending on room size/ volume and speakers/ loading, the benefits of a 500 could be of differing significance. The benefit of a 552 will be significant whatever the room or speakers. If you believe that you will ultimately end up with a 552/500 combo (and there is nothing wrong with that!); and if the timescale for such a move precludes an interim solution of 300 power amp; my suggestion to you would be to audition the nd555 on its own. I suspect you will find yourself with a fantastic upgrade and you will be able to locate a 552 in the next few months which I think would provide you with a superior interim position than a 500. In hindsight (wonderful thing, I know!) you may be very surprised with the performance on offer from a 300.

If possible, ideally, audition the nd555 at home for a week. If still available, try the 300 with your system and decide if it offers a significant improvement. The 300 IMO is well up for pairing with a 552 if you later upgrade the 252. It would just be as happy staying paired with the 252! The 500, to me, unless you have a particularly challenging home, would be the last piece in the puzzle.

Have fun deciding and take your time, these are significant decisions!


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Option 1, no brainer.

I quite agree.

@cavemanz, I tried the 552DR briefly but it was the 552/500 albeit serviced but unDRed that has given me what I was looking for once the rmains and racking were sorted. After the 552DR demo I settled on a 252. I have wondered whether I could have got the 252/300 DR working better but it’s water under the bridge. Preloved 552/500 from a reputable source with your nDAC is great and in my case cost nothing more than a 552DR even at a great price.


No not out of balance. Great Naim systems sound better with better sources.

Your life, your money, your system.

Me? I’d take the ND555 in a heartbeat. But this is based on my own experience - my ears, my system my room.

The 500 is a remarkable power amp. This does not make the 300 any less of a superb amp in its own right. I ran NDS/555PS with a 552/300 and the 300 took it all in stride. Of course the 500, when it arrived, took it to another level. But the source was more inmportant.

You are probably going to end up with a 500 at some point, from the sound of it. I would make that the last step after source and pre. Or possibly last but one step, because you might want to look at speakers last of all.

I must say, it’s been great fun spending your money!


Option 1

May i also ask if anyone aware if 300dr is also hv the negative line of spkr control as the 500dr?

Pretty sure that is unique to the 500 amp, perhaps others can confirm.

Both of them

Hi Meni, just for curiosity, had you the time to test the swapping of power cords ( powerline to the wall) ?

I think you’re right Gaz, down to the bridged design of the NAP500.