N272+150X - next upgrade

I’ve been really enjoying the sound of this combo through my old Monitor Audio bookshelf speakers. Eventually the system will be moved to a larger room when I’ll upgrade the speakers. Before then I want to get the box side of the equation right so I know exactly what I’m going to be matching with.

So I have limited funds to upgrade the boxes, and these are the options I’m considering (I can only do one of them at this time):

  1. XPS DR & 250 DR
  2. 555 DR PS only
  3. 300 DR only

Options 2 and 3 are likely endgame, so that’s a strong point for both. But option 1 upgrades streamer, pre amp and power amp. Whichever way I go that will be it for at least twelve months and possibly a fair bit longer so getting the best improvement in SQ is very important, particularly when better speakers come along. Budget for speakers will be around £2.5k when the time comes.

Any pointers on the best way to go, or any other options for similar budget? TIA

Until last December I was a very contented owner of a 272/555DR and 300DR. It’s a fantastic combination. For various reasons I swapped to an NDX2/555 and Supernait 3. While the SN clearly doesn’t possess the qualities of the 300, the overall system is more engaging and gets much more to the emotion of the music. I put that down to the NDX2/555 being a better source than the 272/555.

Before building a system around the old platform 272 I’d seriously consider whether an alternative might be a better way to go. It seems highly likely that a new platform streaming preamp will appear at some point - I thought about waiting for that but don’t have the funds. If you were to get a 555 and a 250 or 300, and then a ‘new’ 272, it’s a lot of money.

Back to your question: if you are limiting your speakers to £2,500 models you probably don’t really need a 300. Be aware that the improvement from XPS to 555 on a 272 is much greater than that from bare to XPS. A 272/555DR and 250DR would be brilliant. But I suspect you’d find the NDX2/555DR and SN3 more enjoyable, so long as whatever speakers you finally get are happy with a Supernait.


Thanks HH, interesting point on the Supernait which I hadn’t considered. I’ve only just bought the 272 new, albeit for less than half of RRP, so I’m kinda attached to it for the time being. However reading between the lines your reply is edging me towards the 555…

Love my NAC-N 272 / NAP 250 DR :slight_smile:

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I have a 272/555 and 250.2.

The risk of adding a 555 to your set up is that a 272 replacement may never arrive. Then when you want to upgrade (assuming you might want to do in the future) you have some tricky and costly decisions to make.

As you will see from this forum, there are lots of people waiting for news of a 272 replacement and in your case that would solve your problem as you could buy a 555 safe in the knowledge that you have an upgrade path (assuming of course that the replacement works with a 555 which is highly likely).

Ah well, as you’ve only just got it that’s a different thing altogether. If you see yourself keeping it long term I’d be inclined to get a 250 and then see how you feel about power supplies. Or if a good priced PS pops up, get that first and worry about power amps later.

Yes, it’s a costly decision if you want to go to a separate streamer and retain a power amp.

I’m only really thinking 1-2 years ahead, and Naim having such a strong second hand market is a good insurance policy.

The Fish is right the NDX2 is surely a better streamer than the 272 and although less certain I would expect the SN3 pre stage to be an improvement to. But I think you need to take both a holistic and long term view. I don’t know your speakers but seemingly the area most in need of improvement is the power amp. But it isn’t that straight forward, what is your end game? If in the long term you think you’ll be content with a 3 box solution then either 282/XPS or 555/200 or 250, or NDX2/XPS or 555/SN3 will all make great music and could be paired with any number of great speakers. If on the other hand you think you’d like a full blown pre-power solution with flexibility for future upgrades then another option is a NDX2/XPS or 555/282 with your 150x. I know from experience (I had it on home demo) that 282/150 pairing works surprisingly well if your speakers are not too demanding.

Sorry for confusing the plot even further, just options!



Thanks all.

An end game system right now would be:


I want to stay with just three boxes so as HH suggests another route would be:


So I guess the 555DR is possibly my safest bet right now in terms of future proofing, although that does beg the question whether the 150X will hold it back too far

My head hurts!

Ive just realised the 300DR is two boxes so that’s off the table. 250DR is as far as I’ll go on a separate power amp.

The 150 is a good amplifier and will show the benefits of the 555 quite readily. If you were to get that, you could sit tight and see if the new 272 appears - and assuming it sounds better and you want the facilities. You could then make a decision at a later point whether to swap the 150 for a 250 or to go the NDX2/SN route. Bear in mind also that you need a decent stand to put it all on.


Okay, I would wait until after Lockdown and in the first instance demo the options. But either of your chosen routes will make great music.

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Stand being built now. Not a Fraim but purpose built with glass isolation platforms from Solid Sounds. I’ve ordered 4 shelves, just in case…


I’ve a 4 shelf equipment rack and that’s my limit too.

Here’s an option, you could kill two birds with one stone and look at active speakers. I believe there are some excellent ones out there and several forum members use them. Just a thought.

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