ND555 with 272 as preamp?

Is anyone using a ND555 streamer with a bare 272 as a preamp ?

I’m about to do a home demo (ND555+PS / 272 / 300DR / Sopra2) and wondering how sustainable that set up can be. How good is it and how long can one enjoy it resisting the urge to upgrade the preamp ?

I’ll share my impressions once I have been able to listen to it, and in the mean time interested to hear from you if you’ve had that set up before.

Why wouldn’t you just change the 272 as well now.
I couldn’t live with that combo personally. You know a 552 is going to be on your mind constantly now.


I started my nd555 with a 252/300 system…it would not be light years ahead of your 272 system. Its a great source enjoy and upgrade if you feel its warranted in a few years?

personally with your system and now ND555 i would suggest 282 or more to really show what the ND555 can do

Mostly due to funding constraint, but with the idea to upgrade the preamp at some stage

If i get the ND555 i’d hope to stick to the 272 till i can afford a 552, trying to avoid intermediate steps adding up to more cost

It would probably be more balanced with a 252/300. But if the difference is not too great from where i’d be with a 272/300 then that would encourage me to stick to the 272 till a 552 can be acquired

don’t rule out 282 with SC or 252, accept 552 is the zinth for most but 252/300DR is where I am more than happy to stay for some time

I suspect you’d have a better setup if you got a 552 and a used NDS. It all depends on how long you’d have to wait before getting the 552 if you went for the 555 first. Maybe a revised 272 would be enough? It would certainly be a lot cheaper.


Thats what i would do based on my experience, its more cost efficient.

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Yes we still have the 272 replacement question …

It’s a fair point to suggest to go instead for the 552 first but the 552+used NDS would cost close to twice the ND555 I suppose ? (assuming both 552 and ND555 at new value).

And I’m not too keen on getting the 552 so soon as I can’t help to think that it’s going to be updated or refreshed in some way or another rather sooner than later (pure speculation of course)

A new 552 is only slightly more expensive than an ND555, and a used NDS + PSU would add to that, but it wouldn’t be double the price of an ND555.
The first thing I would do is look for a 555 PS. In the short term, this will be a big upgrade for your 272, then it will be required when you get the ND555 or NDS.

I think the plan is to move the 555PS from the 272 to the ND555, so just pay for the ND555 head end.

Yes that’s right, I already have the 555PS and would just need to purchase the ND555

Ah, I missed that you already had a 555PS. To my ears, a 272 with no PS upgrade doesn’t sound that great, but I guess as a stepping stone to a 552, it would still work.

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IMO it’s now matching the source to rest of your system 272/555/300 has plenty of music, stating the obivous if 300/555 are keepers - sell 272 to fund pre would seem like a logical step??

If final goal ND555 but need funds for Pre , one idea could be to demo an NDX2 to use with your current 555 as step to ND555

I can’t see NAIM replacing the 552 anytime soon, or even 252/282 but as @hungryhalibut could the 272 be replaced??? good luck with that question

I would go first for the 552 second hand, with an Nds. It will sound much better, as HH pointed also, than Nd555/ 555ps/ 272.
Some pointed that even a 552 is a bit of limiting factor to the Nd555.
Don’t know if it’s true, but IMHO 552/Nds/ 555dr will sound much better than Nd555/ bare 272.

@Antz, @frenchrooster, I get your point about upgrading the preamp as a priority. It would probably make sense for me to demo a new preamp with still the 272 as streamer (i would miss the new software platform from the streamer though). As I would not be able to fund both a pre and a used NDS at the same time.

However that would bring me to 6 boxes straight away, which I’m not entirely keen for now. Also, it seems v.hard to find a preloved 552. And if I were to get it new, apart from the risk I perceive of it being refreshed soon, the $ outlay is 50% more than the ND555.

The Nait 2 awaits you

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I would try and get a used 252 DR… the 252DR is not so far behind the 552DR and in someways has some advantages, it can be more forgiving… and having owned a 252DR and currently a 552DR I disagree with the assumed default stepping stone view that some have… the 252 and 552 excel at different things albeit the 552 has a greater overall performance ceiling and will outlive the performance envelope of a ND555 in readiness for the new generation of Naim high end DACs that will next appear as Naim replace the venerable PCM1704K. However to get the 252 to perform at its best, the 252 is more fussy on support than 552… so I guess that should be factored in too.

I really think you will be holding back the ND555 with 272… it’s quite a premium product that will depreciate… so if you can’t enjoy it near it’s potential as it depreciates does it make sense?
The 272 is a great combo… but it’s preamp is necessarily constrained by the integrated nature of that product… Naim can explain far better than I why that is the case.

I would be wary of a used NDS… unless you can get a throw away deal where you can be rest assured you can get your money back when you sell on. As a DAC only they are rather good, although that has also been improved in the later ND555 product too so as to at least match the CD555 performance for 44.1/16/2, but as a streamer front end for local and remote streaming the NDS is very first generation… and finicky to get the best performance… I didn’t keep an NDS for very long (albeit more due to I preferred the NDAC/555PS performance and balance), and the NDS is sensitive to network and streamer server performance etc. Naim were aware of this which is why this area was completely redesigned wth the new streamers to great effect.

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