Planning upgrade

Later this year I plan to upgrade my current system. 272/250dr, neat motive sx2, witch hat phantom speaker cables. DIY rack.
First thing will be a simrack.
I then have several choices.

  1. used 555dr for 272
  2. used xpsdr and upgrade speakers
  3. much better speakers With current electronics.
    Room is 16 feet X 12 feet with some acoustic treatment. Speakers fire lengthways. Some minor bass issues around 63hz but nothing too irksome as long as volume isn’t ridiculous.
    Thanks for your thoughts.

3 please. Then you can upgrade the electronics in the following years, and feel it.

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Unfortunately this will be a final fling on hifi outlay, a retirement present to myself which will have to last a long time.

As it’s a final fling, you want something that’s nice and balanced. A 555 would be lovely but the speakers very likely wouldn’t let you get the full benefit. If you go large on the speakers, the bare 272 will let the side down. Which leads to the middle way, an XPS and a more modest speaker upgrade.

It’s worth considering whether the 272 will meet your needs long term, as it’s effectively frozen in time. If all you want is local steaming and (non high res) iRadio then you will be fine. There is very likely a 272 replacement in the wings but what it will look like and how much it will cost is anyone’s guess.

In late 2020 I ditched my 272 and went with a NDX2 and Supernait 3. That might be something worth considering if you don’t want to go mad with upgrades but want something future proofed and well matched.

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All the more reason to get speakers as good as you can, and suiting your room. I take it you intend to remain in the same abode, so the room is a ‘keeper’?

If you stream online, then some time in the future the 272 may let you down, so you need to budget/be prepared for that. There are of course other streamer sources that cost less than replacing an all-in-one streamer-amp.

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I hope to be as unfortunate as you are, when I retire.


I’d also say 3, of course assuming that the 272 is a keeper. For me it is, that’s why I took step 1 last year, and I wish I’d taken in first, instead of going via the XPS DR. I believe that with 2 you’d be compromising too much, not taking full advantage of each step in the chain.
So ideally 3 followed by 1, otherwise the previously mentioned suggestions are very valid.

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I would go for option 2. Sure, you might like a 555 better, but your speakers, good though they undoubtedly are for the price, are not in the same league. So if you need to pass on the 555PS in order to free up cash for the speakers, I would go for the XPSDR.
Conversely, if you get much better speakers I think you’ll find that the bare 272 is an underperformer. It’s all about balance.


I am happy to keep the 272 in the long term. I do my casual listening on Spotify then download from qobuz what I like.
I did think the majority would suggest the 555 as being a no brainer but take on board the balanced approach with electronics and speakers.
So it seems a used XPSDR and small floorstanders or bookshelfs to suit my room are the order of the day.
I am a little surprised my speakers aren’t up to the job but I suppose they will be out of proportion with the front end.

You really need to try the various options. Your speakers might be fantastic with a 555PS. See if your can get things used, especially the Naim stuff, then your £s will go a lot further.

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If you really like what you have and want a better version I would endorse the 555 for the 272. With speakers again if you like Neat then set a budget and arrange a home demo.



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I’d go option 2 and look for a pre-loved Fraim.

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If your sticking with the 272 I would opt for the 555DR maybe stretch the budget and find a nice pair of MK2 SBLs.


Thanks everyone.
The room will not change as we are staying put. I can’t stretch to a 555 and speakers the budget is set at 6-7k and I need to factor in a rack and burndy cable as most used PSUs don’t come with one as with new.
Any suggestions for small floorstanders or bookshelfs would be welcome. I guess I should be looking at speakers around the 4k mark new and see what I can get used.

Harbeth HL5 plus and Xpsdr.


Occasionally used 555DR pop up on the usual places for less than 4k leaving 2-3k for speakers, rack.
You only need one burndy for the 272 555 connection these can be bought used for £200

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I can’t comment on the options, but can confirm that the SimRack is an excellent system rack.

For the money, you can’t go wrong with it.

I’ve been very pleased with mine.


I too upgraded from exactly this starting point, again as a ‘last throw of the dice’, choosing that approach rather than an NDX2/SN3 box swap. Didn’t fancy the hit on the 272……

Option 2 is always attractive, spreading the upgrades across the system - particularly with a s/h XPS DR of which there are a few around. I (over?) invested in a pair of eol Kudos Titans, moving on from PMC 20.23’s, a choice I absolutely do not regret, but speakers are definitely a very personal choice and really do require an (extensive) (home) audition.

Option 3 may or may not work out as it might seem to, although you could interpret my Titan’s as an option 3, depending on your view of a significant speaker upgrade or should that be change? Hence the need for a home trial.

I also added an SL loom to existing PowerLine cables.

HH’s reply above makes a lot of sense too.

As always, YGMMV.


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Thanks Dr_J
How did you find the addition of the xpsdr?

You have a pretty well balanced system without an obvious weak link, and whatever you do you don’t want to make the not very irksome 63Hz issue into something more troublesome, so perhaps control over power/ frequency response is the way to go here. Personally that would push me towards front end.

I’ve got your option 1 (with ProAc D20R speakers) and that is damn good. However I too think I have one more upgrade and I am waiting for the 272 replacement :sleeping:…but that’s taking a very long time as that is the only Naim upgrade I would consider (not wanting to add more boxes or start again with a new set of boxes).

Sticking with your listed options, I’d go for 1. If you wanted more streaming functionality at a later date others on here have added a transport at relatively low cost to their 272s to good effect.

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