NAC272 + NAP200 + PMC Twenty 23 what next?

I’m very happy with my recent upgrade to the 272 (thanks to your advice) streaming from a Naim Core & Tidal. My vinyl setup (ancient STD TT + SME III) sounds way better too, unleashed by the better pre-amp in the 272, presumably.

I’m tempted by another upgrade. thinking about adding an XPS DR to power the 272 to bring out more info/transparency. Great reviews. But a power amp upgrade to NAP 250 DR is also widely mooted. I also read that a better interconnect between pre & power would help. Hearing good stuff about the WH Morgana and Vertere, would do that at the same time if worth it. XPS + swap to 250 DR too much wedge at once (before anyone says 555, that IS too much wedge) so it’s XPS or 250 DR for now.

I should add, listening (living) room is 6 x 4 m, 2.5 m ceiling, apart from curtains all wood glass and walls. System as is sounds great, vocals/details so much better with the 272, hear new stuff on LPs been listening for years, critical listening always turns into being drawn in, enjoying the music. So more of that transparency and drawn-inness is what I’m mainly after. Bass is solid and pretty deep considering the 20-23s have teeny 12 cm drivers, and they go properly loud with no distortion, but a bit more bass would be good.

I’m sure you’ve been over all of this before … so fine if you cut to the chase! Appreciate your help. Thanks Alan

PS - my 40 yo STD could do with a new drive belt - know any vendors?

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As I said, wood and glass … hosing it down outside!


The XPSDR is a huge upgrade for a 272, upgrading both streaming source and pre at the same time. That’s where my money would go. I did this upgrade myself a few years back and it stands out amongst all of the excellent upgrades I’ve done.


I’d probably get the 250DR first, which should bring your speakers more alive and give better scale. Ultimately you’ll probably get both, so I’d just grab whichever pops up first as a used bargain. Just make sure that you are completely happy with the functionality of the 272; maybe you’d be better with the future proofing that comes with the NSC222?

I really wouldn’t bother with fancy cables until you have the black boxes in place. If you don’t already have dedicated mains, that will make more difference than fancy cables costing considerably more.


I’d also go 250DR before XPS. Good though the 200 is, the 250DR is in a different league to my ears. With the new boxes appearing, you might be able to get a good deal on an ex-demo box.

When I got my 272, I already had an XPSDR so I used it from the off. But I did have a short period when changing systems when I used it without and was surprised by how well the bare 272 sounded. Some users reckon the 555PS is the real game changer, so I’d be inclined to audition a 555, even a non-DR one, against a XPSDR before committing.

As HH says, though, it’s sensible to be sure the 272 will give you all the functionality you need in the future, before further investment. As a Tidal user, you may know that when Tidal introduces Hi Res FLAC, it’s unlikely the 272 will be able to support it natively.


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Thanks Roger Stu HH

Yes the 272 may be left behind by hi-res streaming, but I’m kind of invested in 1.4 MB/s WAV / FLAC, what with Naim Core & all my ripped CD catalogue. The NAC 222 is £5k, and the 555 is £7k. Sorry, that’s getting out of hand! Happy to go down the 272 path at the moment. If sample hi res down the track and it’s a game changer worth the £££, I’ll swap the lot out later.
HH has a point re fancy cables. Sort boxes first, cables second.

2-1 in favour of N250 first at the moment, though Stu is convincing about the XPS. Ultimately you’re it’s an and equation, XPS DR + bigger power amp.

Other views?

My vote would go for the XPS first. Good though the 250DR is, the 200 is still a very capable amp and as you are happy with the way it drives your speakers I would stick with it for now.


When I upgraded my 272 with an XPSDR it was one of those jawdropping moments.

From memory, I was running a 150X amp and modest speakers.


I felt that the XPSDR made a nice improvement, but it was adding a 555DR that made the magic happen.


I’d go 250DR then 555PSDR when you can. I don’t have experience with the PMCs but the 200 could never satisfy me with floor standing speakers.

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I did later upgrade my 272 with a 555DR and I felt the jump from bare to XPS was bigger than the jump from XPS to 555. But by that time I had upgraded to a 300 amp and better speakers.


I have Morgana cables -an upgrade imho but definitely not the priority here.

I’d agree with HH that you will probably get 250 and XPS sooner or later, given that the cat is out of the bag on how big an impact this sort of upgrade can have, so I suggest you get them in whichever order you find s/h bargains.

I am also a big fan of a serviced ‘olive’ 250 - great sound and a VFM bargain, if you can stand your boxes not matching.

Finally, even if one day you want to move beyond the 272 as a streamer, it is worth remembering that it is a very good preamp with a jolly good DAC. As far as I know, there is (and will be) nothing to stop you plugging a newer and more flexible streamer into the 272 if you ever need to do so.


+1 for xps. It will enhance the pre and streamer side simultaneously.


Thank for the input. Much appreciated. Nicko,

Stu and Chris, we are thinking along similar lines. I’m probably going XPS first. The NAP200 does seem to do a decent job, perhaps the teeny drivers in the PMCs aren’t too demanding. In any case, a bigger power amp will follow in due course, possibly with bigger PMCs (25-26is are highly rated) - I like the brand and the sound.

Back to the belt for my ancient STD - can anyone point me to a supplier?

Thanks, Alan

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Having had a XPSDR and 555DR with a 272.
Imho the 555DR gives a significant uplift.:blush:
The XPSDR, was rather disappointing to me.:frowning:


Maybe Check out the Origin Live website, they have a belt size guide, that lists a STD 305

If the TT is the 350M, there are some for sale cheaply on eBay - those selling them would be a good place to start. Otherwise, you could try calling Origin Live…

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It’s strange; I found the complete opposite. But if the 555 is ruled out it really doesn’t matter either way.

STD 305M. Strathclyde Turntable Developments, Glasgow I think. The tt base is milled 1/4 “ aluminium, nice bit of kit. The belt is 1981 vintage, but somehow it seems fine!

The 555 feels like Porsche territory when I’m looking for a Golf GTi.

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Yes it’s odd and @NoNaim shares your experience.

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