NDX2/552 vs ND555/252

Current system


I think I have one move left before end game

Should it be to ND555 or 552

Source first I know but the 552 is supposed to be a special thing !

If I’m honest… the 252 may be a little dull for my tastes… in many ways I preferred the 282 sonic signature but certainly appreciate the sound stage and detail brought to the table by the 252.


At that level a home demo is essential. For me streaming tech will be updated more regularly and the 552 is arguably for life!



I had the same amplification as you with an NDS/555DR and made the move to a 552 last year and have never looked back.

I’ve currently got an ND555 on loan whilst I wait for mine to be delivered. I never heard the ND555 with the 252 but I can imagine it would again be a big improvement for you.

Have you got any other sources as the 552 would improve those too ?

I’ve been using the same amplification for several years my only source has been a ND555 for the last couple if years.

Unfortunately my ND555 has had a couple of problems and the dealer has loaned me a NDS and a NDX2 and as good as they both are the system is at a different level with the ND555 installed as one would expect.

Good advice on a home demo if possible different rooms, speakers and ears you might think differently…

Hopefully will be looking at a home demo of a NAC 552 later this year?

Come on! We all know you will do both upgrades sooner or later. 552 first followed by the inevitable. Especially since you already own the required PS.

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I have/had the same system…currently have on demo an NDX2 vs my trusty NDS…
With a 555PS on the NDX2 it’s pretty damn good.
The 552 is excellent…
For me (IMHO) I don’t get the value proposition of the ND555, sure it will sound ‘better’, however given the not unsubstantial additional cost vs NDX2 and the strong/stronger competition, the 552 makes sense to me…enjoy.

@NigelB is your guy here. He compared both, on similar system.
He preferred to buy first the 552.

I have the Nds/555dr. Have heard the Nd555 twice. Better, but similar sound. A lot better, not. I can’t justify selling my Nds for only 2,5 k euros and invest 13 k euros more. So only a good bargain second price one day.


I had the same discussion with my dealer. The 552 and ND555 really go hand in hand, if you have one, you will then want the other, to get the best out of each in a balanced system. So, I think it’s either stay where you are, or aim for both.

When will you receive your toys Mike?

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I’m not sure. The new 250 is on order from Salisbury. The used 252/SC are available when the owners new gear arrives from Salisbury! The new DR amps look to have a 4 month waiting list?

Whouah, a long waiting. Better not think about it . Time will be shorter.

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As FR says, I was faced with the same dilemma as the OP, ND555 or 552. I did eventually end up with both but I will relay that first decision as it may help the OP.

I had NDS/PS555DR/252/SCDR/250DR/MA Gold GX300 speakers. I went to my dealer and compared ND555/PS555DR/252/SCDR/300DR/Kudos 707 with NDS/PS555DR/552 Non DR/300DR/Kudos 707. At the dealer I preferred the latter, so I borrowed the 552 to try at home in my system. Sheer magic, so I bought the pre-loved 552 from the dealer and part-exchanged my 252/SCDR, so the 552 acquisition cost was less painful.

So my advice to the OP, especially if the choice is EITHER the ND555 OR 552, is to demo each option at home if possible, failing that try both options in a similar system to yours at a dealer. I realise it is rare to see a 552 (pre-loved, ex-demo, or new) that can be demoed, but I would put the feelers out to dealers and see if it is possible.

If the OP does intend to end up with both the ND555 and 552, then which comes first is less crucial, probably more driven by which pops up as a good deal first.


I have both. Source first!

If the source is already very good, which is the case with an Ndx2/555dr, I tend to think that the preamp is the heart of the system. I would consider the 552 personally. A preamp is never too good.
However a source can be too good for a weak pre. Like an Nd555 into a NAC 112 for example.

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I can’t argue, the 552 is amazing. I just always upgrade the source first and the last thing I’d give up is the ND555.

ND555 before 552, esp as you already have the 555PS. That’s what I did anyway.

I’m big on source first – I have one of the more extreme monkfish systems in these parts – but, were I in your position, I would go for a 552 without hesitation. The pre really is the beating heart of your system and, because this will be (supposedly!) your last big upgrade, there’s great peace of mind in knowing that you’ve maxed out your pre (I’m assuming the S1 will never be a serious temptation).

Another factor to consider is where you’ll be a few years down the road. Let’s say you go for the 555. There’s a fair chance that it’ll no longer be the top Naim streamer in a few years. So if neither your source nor your pre are maxed out at that point, the upgrade itch may come back to bug you.

One more consideration. It’s certainly true that the 552 deserves the very best source you can afford. But it also has a way of getting the best out of any source without emphasising the deficits. I think of this every time I have my humble Creek tuner on (which is most of the time these days, what with Covid lockdown, etc.), and how delightful and engaging it can sound.

I’m not familiar with high end streaming sources. But because streaming is still relatively new, I suspect that even the highly regarded 555 isn’t the ultimate streaming source. And it may happen that a better source will appear within a few years at a lower price point. To put it another way: I’d be inclined not to worry too much about 555 vs NDX2


My sole source is NDX2 all CD’s now ripped to core, tidal and HD Radio from the Naim app

Thanks Nigel that’s very helpful…

And to everyone thanks for your input so far, while ofcourse the temptation to have both ND555 and 552 would always be there for the foreseeable future it’s definitely one or the other