NDX2 Vs 555PSDR on a 272

Anyone compared the sound improvements on a 272 in adding either a NDX2 or a 555PSDR. They are roughly the same cost on the second handed market. I’ve for long tried to find me a 555PSDR but have heard some say one should go for the NDX2 instead since it adds more to the overall performance. Best of all would have been a “372” but will it ever happen one can wonder…

A 372 would solve many peoples upgrade itches, including mine when the time comes. I’m sure Naim are listening, but they seem reluctant to do anything about it.
I can only say that a 272 with power supply is an excellent performer, not compared it bare with an NDX2 driving it.


I still have a good feeling that Naim will come up with something in 2021, the Covid-19 just messed-up schedule …

A 555PS improves the 272 enormously, that’s well documented here.

I grew tired of the endless will-they-won’t-they games over the 272 replacement and sourced a used ND555 to replace the 272/555PS as streamer, then found that the 272 as a pre-amp is hopelessly outclassed by the ND555.

I don’t know the subjective difference between an NDX2 and ND555 but the NDX2 is supposed to be pretty good, esp with a PS upgrade; I doubt if a bare 272 would be as out of its depth with that as much as it was with the 555, but you’re certainly heading into mismatch territory. I solved mine by finding a used 252 + SCDR fwiw.

A 272 with a PS is great, a 272 without a PS + an NDX2 might be a bit front heavy, and you’d likely soon be looking for a preamp to catch up. In your situation a 555PS would be the better option as you’ll have one at the ready when you do make the next step up, and in the meantime would be getting the most from the 272.

TLDR; the 272 is a good streamer esp with the PS, and an ok preamp. An NDX2 renders its best side unused and relies on its not-so-good functionality as its sole purpose for being in your house. Add a 555PS and start saving… :slight_smile:

I never understood how one part can be to good in a bad way. I understand if I wouldn’t get everything out of the NDX2 with a 272 but still it cannot make a 272 sound bad. A great streamer dac is a great streamer dac no matter what you put it into. The better the source the better the 272 can provide that signal to my 300DR. I’m a bit tired of always getting replies that one need to upgrade everything just because one improve one part in the signal chain. If I buy speakers for 20 000 Euro they will most likely sound better than a pair for 1000 Euro no matter front end. Of course a front end worth 50 000 would perform even better but that is not what I’m looking for. There is always better. I just want to know which solution would bring the most sound improvement out of the 272 not thinking about anything else then performance of those components together :+1:

I never see used 555 here and soon the border to UK shuts down so I’m trying to find alternatives since 372 never arrives, new cost to much and second hand market close with Brexit :sunglasses:

Sorry to disagree but there’s nothing shabby about a 272 pre section. I much preferred a bare 272 into 250DR than a 202/HC2/250DR. Both with CDS3/XPS2 as a source.


Get a PS then, that will definitely bring the best out of the 272 and will be an extremely satisfying combination.

My 272 + PS always sounded really good. Added an ND555 (and redirected the PS into the new box) and it didn’t, despite me expecting what you’ve just said. I’d assume that the 272 preamp & streamer are perfectly matched being in one box and designed to fit arm in arm; the 555 is top of the tree and more likely to be optimised for use with equivalent preamps. I can only report what I heard.

I can only compare swapping a by-now bare 272 with a 252. It made the ND555 a worthwhile buy, previously I’d begun to have doubts.

Having owned a 282/252/552 in the past with my CDS3, i’d put the bare 272 somewhere between 202 & 282 in real terms, however closer the the 252 in its relaxed musical presentation. I would prefer it to a 282 when combined with the 250DR, as the 272/250 combo is a sublime pairing and greater than the sum of its parts.


Slamdam asked

If someone has, great - we’ll hear soon. Meanwhile I can compare a 272 with a PS and then with an ND555. IIRC some NDX2 owners are saying that it’s not too far short of a 555, esp with a PS upgrade. That was my start point, the posts above are my observations.

Always enjoyed that relaxed musical presentation with the 272 so as long as no 372 pops up it stays yet looking into how to improve it even further without destroying the things I like about it.

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There is clearly a demand for a replacement for the 272. I have been wondering if part of the delay in doing so is that Naim is considering whether to replace the 272 with a Uniti range product. From my position of knowing naff all about product design, I think it could be relatively simple to use a Star or Nova box as a case for a preamp streamer with suitably upgraded internals. Maybe release a power amp in the Uniti case as well.

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I did try the XPS2 from my CDS3 on the 272 and listened to some hi res internet stations. I don’t want to say categorically, but my feeling was in the very short trial that some of that relaxed flowing presentation was lost and replaced with a more forward and sharper rendition. Was like going from a CDS3 to a CDX2. I may re visit, suffice to say the 272/250DR combo sounds right to these ears.

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Interesting. That’s not a move I would be happy about. Thanks

Yes, the 272’s preamp is very good indeed. I can easily understand how it would improve on a 202, and it’s very logical to use it with a CDS3 as it adds streaming and internet radio functionality.

Turning to the OP’s question, adding an NDX2 to a 272 is illogical as there is so much duplication. Swapping the 272 for a 282/Hicap would be far more sensible.

I’d bet my bottom dollar on a new platform 272 appearing in the nearish future. If a streaming preamp is the desired system architecture then adding a 555PS now, and waiting for the new 272 makes most sense. The 555 absolutely transforms the 272 and in my view should be done before getting a 300, rather than after.

I used a 272/555/300 for three years and loved it. I expected the move to an NDX2/555/SN3 to be a bit of a drop, but in terms of musicality and engagement it absolutely isn’t. Given the gains in the NDX2 over the NDX, one would expect a similar leap in the new platform 272.

So, in my book it’s 555 now and wait for a new 272, or get the NDX2 and ditch the 272. Of course, with the 300 in tow, a 555 on the NDX2 is probably a very good idea. Not cheap, but that is what happens when your back end is too good for the front.

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That’s as likely as the total eradication of coronavirus by Christmas.

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Why do you see it as duplication? I will assume the streaming part and DAC is much improved over the same on the much older 272. So I see it as replacing the streamer and dac which is what NDX2 is made for and keep the pre amp of the 272 which is also considered to be great and by some close to a 252.

Anyone who thinks it’s close to a 252 is delusional. Better than a 202 yes, but not as good as a 282 is the general view. I certainly would not front a 300 with a bare 272. It’s my view and you can make of it what you will, but I think a NDX2 with 272 as a long term solution is daft.

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I should point out that my XPS2 is non DR, and also that i fully expect more from a 555PSDR. As to going there, i’m not sure, but as i say… never say never. What i don’t want to lose is the perfect presentation i have for the sake of more detail thrown at me.

Agreed. My comment was for sure better than 202/Hicap, but in real terms under a 282/Hicap whilst sounding more like the relaxed 252 presentation.