At a crossroad

I’m at a crossroad. My current gear consists of a Naim n272 plus a Naim 300dr fed into Sonus Faber Olympica. I love my music but I’m probably at the stage in life where I don’t want to go up the escalator to finer HiFi. However, I do have the itch for something that can create great sound, perhaps with more balance than today. The obvious thing maybe to add a power supply to the 272 but that would probably mean c.£5k plus and then I’m probably faced with replacing the 272 at some point with the newer version or moving to an NDX2, preamp and power supply etc etc. And whilst that would all be lovely, I have competing interests and priorities. So, do I cut and run? Perhaps selling the 272 and 300dr and reducing box count to a Nova (would that be a significant compromise) ? Or is there a more creative option that others might think of, that preserves the 300dr as the power amp bit doesn’t send me down a very slippery slope. First world problems and all that, I know!..

If you really want to keep the Nap 300dr, GBP 5K would give you an Nac 72, Hicap and an NDX2. No remote control anymore I’m afraid. Otherwise the trade-in of the Nap 300 would cover a significant part of the purchase of a SN3 / NDX2 which is one box less than your current setup. Probably better sound too.

There are much better advisors on this forum than myself, lets see what they come up with!

Grrrr the answer is a 372… its just not here yet.

The problem with your current setup is that the bare 272 is out of its depth. With the 300 and Olympicas you need a 555PS to give a balanced setup. The 555 will raise the 272 to new heights of musicality and enjoyment. It should give you what you seek. I use my 272/555/300 with very good speakers and it seems very well balanced.

Of course, that would need about £5,000. The other option you suggest is the Nova. I’ve owned a SuperUniti in the past and while the Nova is better a 272/555/300 it ain’t. If you went that way you’d be selling your speakers and getting something more appropriate to the Nova.

A third way could be to ditch the system and get a simple but good setup of Auralic Vega or Linn streaming preamps and some active ATCs, the 19A or 40A. Some on here have gone that way and been very pleased.

Your crossroads is caused by he fact that your system is unbalanced. To get that balance and the musical satisfaction you crave you need to go up or down. Or perhaps sideways. But which ever way you go you need to find balance.

This all assumes that you have good system supports and well sorted mains.


THIS. :wink:

Indeed a impressive piece of kit. I eard a comparison between Atom and M10 and although the Nad seems more flashy to the eye ( and some more features) , the sound ( for me the greatest importance ) is better on Naim. When I say better, I say better to me. More warm/ organic. I would expect the same in the upper class

I agree, you are definitely way out of balance if you are running the 272 bare.
With the 300 in the mix you are at a level that you really demand a good stand like a Fraim and also a dedicated electrical supply going forward.

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Given the money the OP has already spent, its hard to believe his system is out of balance. That’s a shame. I understand the hierarchy, and upgrade path, but can his system sound that bad? Or is this just an itch?

He needs to drive olympicas no matter what the change, but to spend that much MORE money for diminishing returns, seems crazy.


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I did this exact thing over 2 years ago.I went from 252/SCDR/300DR/NDX, to Auralic Vega G2 streaming pre amp, direct to active ATC 40, as several others have I think.Primarily to reduce box count and power supply wires etc.I have never looked back, the sound is superb, fell in love with it at a demo and still am.
I did have a demo initially with a 272/XPS, but didn’t cut it cf the Auralic.
I have now finished the job and got a Melco n100, and d100, for my rips,digital storage, etc.
Currently happy.


Understood. However, I expect the same diference ( nova/m33) , because each brand normally have their own signature sound , and I don’t see myself been caught by surprised.

It’s the one with twin headphones plug, correct? Love that. A couple in love could share the same music. And have another quirk S that I like, like if you Press the individual corners of the G2, the feet sink in with resistance. For optimum Vibration isolation .

I could design a system where one would spend 3 times what he spent, and it would be even MORE out of balance. Easy.

If I were the OP and generally liked what I owned, I’d buy a 555PS used and be done with it. By the time he trades out…then decides his current speakers aren’t a good match for an amp that’s much less an amp than the 300…and starts shopping speakers…he could be enjoying the 272/555/300 system.


Not a left or right crossroads either is it…
A 555PS will elevate the system you have to a more appropriate performance level, down the road you could always use it on an NDX2 or an ND555 of course.
Another wildcard option could be something like a Linn Selekt DSM. That would effectively replace the 272 as a streaming preamp with options to evolve it over time in multiple directions, new DAC, replacing pre outs to the NAP 300 to becoming an integrated, even adding in HDMI switching and surround if you wanted that from it.
It’s been mentioned further up the thread but moving to something more consolidated like a Uniti Nova will be a compromise in terms of performance. I think to get the most from your NAP 300 and speakers and keeping in the Naim ecosystem a move to a dedicated preamp like the NAC 282 (needs a HiCap of course) with a digital source or DAC is a viable move.
I think you need to establish if you have/want to keep the NAP 300 and speakers to ensure you end up with a balance with appropriate synergy otherwise you’ll always be left feeling it’s not performing at its best.

It’s not crazy, because in a Naim system, the preamp has to not be the weak link.
Generally 300 dr needs 252, or at minimum 282 preamp.
272 bare is more 202 pre . With a 555 ps, it approaches 282/ hicap.
So 202/ 300 is unbalanced, as 282/ 500.

Understood, but what is the weakest link next? The speakers? Cables, speaker wire, interconnects. With the 555PS, he has a $30k front end at least. It seems that no matter what, he should still have a nice sound.

I hate seeing hifi owners being told to spend MORE money. I have a 282/250, with just a hicap. I am sure I could spend another $10k on a supercap, hiline, etc. For how much return on sound? I will probably never know…

But, I suppose I am also not reaching to members asking for feedback either. To each his own.



Yes that’s correct, but never used them .Its a chunky piece of kit so the feet work well.

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Thank you everyone for your creative and different solutions…the wonderful world of HiFi! If anyone has the energy, I’d love to hear some more…but the more I think it all through, the more I come back to the conclusion that maybe it’s time to dig deep for the 555ps. I guess I’ve reached the dizzy heights of the 300dr and some gorgeous speakers and I now need to get the best out of it. But then again…:flushed:

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It’s the 300DR (a fabulous amp) and speakers you really seem to love that lead me to think you should get a used 555PS. It’ll make your 272 all that more compatible with the amp and speakers, and not open you up to figuring out whether what you buy next is a match for speakers you love. You could end up unhappy for a long time w/ the wrong speakers.

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I can assure you that you haven’t heard anything like what the 272 can do until you add a 555. My 272 has a 555DR, 300DR, Fraim, Super Lumina cables, dedicated mains, Powerlines, MusicWorks Reflex G3 ultra - in other words everything to get the best from it - and it’s very good indeed. Natural, engaging and thoroughly musical.

If you want to get the best from what you have, the 555 is the box to get. Alternatively sell the lot and start again with an all in one and much more modest speakers. It won’t be as good but you might be totally happy with it.

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There is no reason to ponder this question, unless one wants to continue spending money. If he adds a 555PS, and then identifies some issue with what he hears, there will be 4,327 ideas from forum mates as to what he could throw money at next. Unless that happens, I think it’s a non-issue.

But what’s fairly objectively not a non-issue is that a ‘bare’ 272 into a 300DR provides an unbalanced system.