N272 Power Supply Upgrade - XPS DR v 555 DR

Interested in people’s thoughts on this as I keep wrestling over it. The XPS feels the more logical partner and of course it costs substantially less. That said people do rave about the 272/555.

I do worry that the 555 will leave me tempted to upgrade the streamer when I’d like to hang on to it for a few years at least as part of a ‘balanced’ system with no major shortcomings.

Currently using a 150X amp but plan to upgrade to a 250 DR in the near future.

Is the XPS a significant and satisfying upgrade? Does it give 50-60% of what a 555 does, given the price differential?

Will demo when the opportunity arises if I can hold off pulling the trigger for long enough!


The 555 makes a very much greater improvement than the XPS. If you can afford the 555 it’s the one to get. There are hundreds of posts about it on the Forum, which the search facility will find for you.


I wrestled with the same dilemma a few years ago, but went with an XPS DR (+250 DR).

Ultimately my issue was more philosophical than budgetary: should a power supply cost twice as much than the unit it’s powering?

Satisfying upgrade? Oh yes. 50-60% of a 555? In my opinion, also yes (based on shop demo only; home demo wasn’t available).

I’ve since squeezed a bit more from my 272 by adding a fancy switch (ER) + LPSU. Can’t say whether this lineup gets close to a 272/555, but SQ is certainly way ahead of a bare 272.


What the Fish says 555!


I’m not sure that’s the right way to think about it.

The power supply is more than half of the case when you look at components with it integrated in (ie 95% of other components out there) so all this is about is improving that critical “half” more.

You’re not creating a “mutt” amp by giving it the best power supply you can afford, you’re hearing it at its best. The 272 power supply is super basic - so you’re definitely giving it wings!

I did exactly this same thing - had the 272, and got the 555 - and never regretted it. But yes - I upgraded the Streamer later!

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It’s a tough call, as I guess it should be if Naim have got the price points right! Leaning towards the 555 …

The thing with the 555 is that if you stick with Naim - you’ll never sell it. It’s top of the tree. You’ll go from using it on your 272 and hear huge benefits, to using it on your 555. It’s a lifer.


I kept mine and put it on my SN3.


I see where you’re coming from on the philosophical bit. I suppose one way of looking at it is the 272 is dual purpose, so the PSU upgrade effectively ‘doubles up’. So like putting an XPS on a dedicated streamer and another PSU for the pre amp, the cost of those two units would be similar to a 555.

Annoying you have to buy a burndy tho!

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Going from the XPSDR to the 555PS is a way bigger jump than going from a bare 272 to XPSDR. I bought my 555PS recently and my jaw dropped at the improvement over the XPSDR. I actually wished I’d bought a 555 straight away.

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Or even on your NDX2!


How do you know I don’t have a magic Burndy to Snaic cable, assembled in my garage?

Thanks all I’m wrestling with this no more!

Tempting a further upgrade means that you will upgrade - nothing wrong with that but it is worth thinking about where you want to end up - and how much you want to spend. Assuming you are buying new then the XPS and 250 is circa £8k - so you can have both for pretty much the price of a 555. The 250 might be all the power amp you ever need. The XPS would not be wasted if you went for an NDX2 in the future - but then you need a preamp - so more money. On the other hand when the inevitable replacement for the 272 arrives you are all set up for that upgrade.

An alternative way of looking at it is that for the price of a 555 and 250 you can get an XPS and 300. The 300 is almost certainly going to be all the power amp you ever need.

The issue you have at the moment is the 272. It is not the latest streaming platform and you are likely to want to upgrade to its replacement or perhaps go a different route if there is no replacement.

Clearly you need to demo the options that exist around your 272 - but I would be tempted to go for the 250 first. You can enjoy that while Naim decide where they are going with the 272 - then you can make a better long term decision on the source.

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I certainly wouldn’t choose a 272/XPS/300 over a 272/555/250 - the source and preamp are far more important. But yes, I’d be getting the 250 before the power supply.


I too am wrestling on the same topic, although finances will likely dictate the answer.

However I did have a short dealer dem (with 250DR) of both PSs in the autumn albeit the main purpose of the dem was checking out the new Karosel on the LP12 so it was more focused on the LP12 as a source (but not exclusively).

I thought the XPS was significant leap and added a big dose of finesse to the 272 and it was actually a bit of relief almost in that it made the 272 do what I’ve, perhaps subconsciously, been wishing for. The 555 was different and added things but I didn’t immediately go ‘that’s the one’, it was almost a bit to much. Bottom line, leaving the dem, I didn’t think it must be a 555, I thought the XPS represented the better balance in the dealers set up, from what I’ve read, almost certainly a 300 would swing the balance the other way, but I’ve not heard one and will try to avoid doing so :wink:
Caveats: it was a quick dem not really focussed on the PSs and I didn’t go from 555 back to XPS

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My suggestion would be to avoid pulling the trigger until you have auditioned.

A while back I tried a 555ps and XPS2 on my NDX. I thought it would be a no-brainer but in my system the 555ps was a bit to much and unbalanced it (it sounded bloated). I went for the XPS2.

I would also buy the 250 before getting the power supply.

Thanks all. Interested to know why you’d get the 250 DR before the 555 DR. Is that because the 555 may overwhelm my 150X, or is it simply a better upgrade?

I recently added a XPSDR to my 272/300DR setup. Huge improvement. More clarity, control, separation. Much bigger upgrade than 250 to 300. Have not tried a 555 but never regretted adding the XPS.

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I haven’t heard a 272/555/150X so can’t really confirm whether it would sound unbalanced or not with your speakers (am not sure what they are), but I think it might. A 272/250DR is a fairly standard setup which I have heard many times with various speakers and it does sound nicely balanced.

In all honesty I think your best bet is just to book a demo with a dealer in due course. You can then listen to all of the components discussed and avoid making an expensive mistake.