A second hand ND555 / 555PS DR has been made available to me at a very attractive price. My NDX2 XPS DR combo is just over a year old. Is the presentation or tonality of the two different? My system today - to my ears - is ever so slightly too forward in the midrange. If that forwardness was gone I would call it perfect.
Wondering if the ND555 is more forward sounding? I found the NAP 300 more forward than the NAP 150x it replaced but it is a more superior power amp in every way.
For me the 555 sounds a step ahead of the NDX/XPS in many respects, but I wouldn’t say it had a fundamentally different presentation. At new prices I decided that for me the improvements were not enough to justify the substantial extra cost, but now that used ones have started to appear you may decide that it’s a worthwhile purchase.
I’d say that the presentation isn’t fundamentally different. It’s certainly more refined and detailed and in my experience it has what appears to be a very low noise floor. I’m not great at describing these things but I get the feeling that bass reaches deeper and is more detailed. I wouldn’t say there is more, it just seems to go down further. Overall, as it should be, it’s a step up from the NDX2 / XPS2 but I’d be surprised if you noticed a marked difference in the overall presentation of the system.
You could try a 555 PS on the NDX2 and that might provide a flavour of the upgrade, but I’d look into something which may have a more profound effect on the overall sound. Your speakers are certainly not over exuberant so I’d doubt that they are the root cause in this case, despite the fact that speaker / room interaction is so often one of the most important considerations in terms of the presentation.
The 282 is probably the most forward and “boisterous” of the pre amps. It is a very good pre but have you thought about trying a 252 and Supercap? It is less “in you face” in comparison, but with added refinement and detail without losing impact. Not everyone will agree but I think it is a stunning preamp and might be a better option than a change of source. Your NDX 2 and XPS 2 would be pretty well matched and might be a better option especially if you considered pre owned. Just a thought as the ND555 is a big outlay if you are going to be frustrated by a similar presentation. Apologies if you have already ruled out the 252 as an option.
Maybe try other interconnect / speaker cable options if you can get some loans from a friendly dealer. I found the Hi Line too restrained but that might work for you. Always worth a try.
If you do go for the ND555 it should come with one as part of the package so don’t buy one if you are going for the source upgrade.