Flatcap upgrade for 272/150X

I’d be looking at a Flatcap 2x or XS. Seems a logical step to complete things before I move onto speakers, and I have a few questions:

  • Would it make sense to power the 272 and 150X or just the 150X?
  • Do units powered by the Flatcap still need to be plugged into the mains themselves or is the mains cable dispensed with? Sorry if this is a daft question!
  • Are power supplies subject to the usual 10 years service recommendation?
  • Thoughts on whether this will make a noticeable upgrade? Not an expensive upgrade in the scheme of things.

Many thanks

You can’t power either of those with a Flatcap, in fact you can’t add a power supply to the 150 at all. For the 272 you should be looking at an XPSDR. I’d suggest looking at the Naim website and working out what powers what.

Ah right didn’t realise it was shown on the website I’ll have a look thanks.

Surprisingly perhaps, the Naim website includes lots of details about their products. With a 272 and 150 I’d suggest the first upgrade step is a 250DR, followed by an XPSDR. Of course, you could just stick where you are, which after seeing the prices of those two boxes might be your chosen option.

If you blanch at the cost of the XPSDR then a used (now discontinued) XP5XS might do much of the job for less.

I was close to going straight to an end game (for me) system but the upgrade game is a lot of fun in itself and not too costly when buying s/h. Will certainly look at the XP5XS

I would be very cautious with the XP5XS. It’s designed to match the ND5XS. The natural partner for the 272 is the XPSDR. You really should compare both. It’s better to wait and buy what you really want then to get something just because it’s cheap.


Thanks Stu. If you have the slightest doubt about the suitability of the XP5XS with your N-272, then I would email Naim about it.

I wouldn’t expect Naim to particularly recommend it because they would rather you bought an XPSDR but I would expect them to agree the XP5XS is a viable option. It might be acceptable for you given the trade off between performance and price, and only you can decide where that balance lies.

I’ve answered your thread because I was very pleasantly surprised at how good the XP5XS was on the CDX2 that I once owned. I was a bit strapped. But all this was long before the streaming preamp boxes were released.

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Although I don’t have any personal experience of the XP5XS my instinct is that it’s likely similar to a Flatcap in that it’s an improvement over the in-built power supply of the ‘starter range’ but not a match for items further up the Naim ladder. I wouldn’t think that it was a substantial or worthwhile improvement over the 272s own power supply never mind the XPSDR…

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Hi Stu; I don’t want to steal the thread or appear too blunt, but the first most logical upgrade you might want to consider is 250DR. In any case, 150x and XP5 are already behind you.

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Thanks all, all input greatly appreciated.

I’ve started from a very low base in terms of SQ. Adding the 272 to my old Technics amp was a great improvement, then adding the 150x took things to a completely new level. I’m really enjoying these upgrades and whilst I agree the 250DR is the best long term upgrade if there’s a worthwhile mid point between the 150x and the 272 then I’d be interested before moving to the 250DR at some point in the future. Like the 150x I’d go s/h on interim upgrades so financial loss in minimal.

You could go 200DR, but FWIW I would always skip one step every step a ladder. Incremental SQ is not really worth the loss in trade.

The 200 DR is the current interim power amp but the DR part is wasted if used on a 272 as it’s only relevant to the 200 acting as a power supply for a pre-amp - and the 272 has it’s own.

A s/h 200 non-DR would be highly cost effective and fits the ‘mid-point’ brief…

I’d still suggest a 250 or 250DR though - s/h if finances dictate

The 250 is a great amp, and may well be your endgame. However, as you’re enjoying your 272/150 I presume the power amp is capable of driving your speakers (what are they?) and I would stick with it for now.
To my ears the 272 just sounds so much better with an XPS, and that would be my next move. (Or maybe an XP5 but I wouldn’t know.)
I realise others have suggested getting a 250 first, and that may work in some situations, but when building a system I would always start with the front end, then when you do upgrade the power amp and speakers they will really shine.

The 200DR still has a better sound presentation and a greater resale value.

As much as I have loved my 122x/FC2x/150x combo, I must be recognized that the 150x is not as tight as one can hope for at 272 level.

Thanks all some interesting ideas. Speakers are the weak link; an old pair of Monitor Audio BR2 salvaged from the garage. The system is in a bedroom for a few months or so before moving into the living room. I’ll upgrade the speakers after the move, by which time I can hopefully demo a few. I’m inclined to go XPS and poss DR for the next Naim box.

Need a proper rack first so that’s my next port of call. Can’t justify a Fraim right now so looking at a Solid Sounds rack with isolation plates.

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