PS for a Preamp only 272

Good day gents. Would like to upgrade my current setup, keeping the 272 for preamp duties. In this situation, does the 555DR offers any SQ improvements over the XPSDR?

Thank you.

Everyone will confirm that a 555ps will outshine an XPS on a 272.

However, I can’t help questioning the exoenditure if the 272 is used as soley a preamp. You’d be far better served by selling it and replacing it with a 282 with a HiCapDR. That costs the same or less than a 555ps.


The 272 stays, preamp duties only. Source is NDS+555DR.

Is there any difference between XPSDR and 555DR, only powering the preamp section of the 272?

Thank you.

Yes there is Dan. I use LP12 as main front end with 272 and when I went from XPS dr to 555DR there was a massive improvement. The 272 really does shine on all inputs with 555. It is expensive but I agree it makes the 272 a preamp to keep.

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Of course the PS555 would be the best option but as others have said it’s not cheap, I use the XPSDR on my 272 and it’s a huge jump over a bare 272. I guess it all depends on your budget.

Can I ask what your reason is for not wanting to change the 272 if you are going to be using it as a pre amp only?

The volume knob.

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That makes for an expensive knob…


There’s a few of them around. :rofl::rofl::rofl:


With an NDS/555, which is a superb source, it seems strange to want to stick with the 272 as preamp when 2/3 of it would be unused. If there is space for a 272/555 in addition to the NDS/555 it would make far more sense to get a 252/SC. I’m not convinced that a 282/HC would improve on a 272/555, but a 252/SC would be much more likely to give a real improvement.

Out of interest, do you feel that the NDS/555/272 gives a significant improvement over the 272/555? I vaguely toyed with getting an NDS a couple of years ago and the dealer who was selling it was distinctly lukewarm about the benefits.

On a more serious note, if you had the 282 the you can use system automation and leave the knob alone altogether.

I’m not sure I’d like a pre amp setup without a volume knob, guess that just it might be a habit thing.

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Don’t have 2x 555DR to test [272+555DR] vs [272+555DR+NDS+555DR].
But NDS+555PS+bare272 sounds different than 272+555DR. Can’t really tell which one is better.

The volume pot business is a result of the horrid 282/252 volume operation. I go either to loud or to soft on them.

I found that a problem on my old 102, I would thought Naim had fixed that you now especially in the more expensive models.

I haven’t seen my 282 in a few months but pretty sure it had a volume knob :slightly_smiling_face:

If you really can’t tell which one is comprehensively better, I’d sell the NDS and wait for the replacement 272. That will have the advantages of the new streaming platform and hopefully improved sound quality if the changes from NDX to NDX2 are anything to go by.

It doesn’t seem a good use of resources to have NDS/555 and 272/555. The 252/SC would make more sense. That said the 272 is delightfully easy to use. I often use the volume knob to turn it up or down without the need to find the remote or iPhone, and it’s so much nicer than the knobs on the separate preamps. So, sell the NDS, wait for a new 272, keep life simple and just enjoy the music.


So for us non 272 owners does the volume knob have better linear control at the low end?

Having pondered the same change of adding an NDS to a 272/555 and been left wondering where best to use the PS, I dropped the idea for the reasons hh mentions above - it’s the old streaming platform, and implicitly a 272/555 is very good anyway; how much better would a sideways step to NDS actually be?

If a 272 replacement does ever arrive it’ll be a straight swap hopefully. If in a year or so there’s no sign of it, time for a rethink on everything.

Yes, it’s completely different and much easier to control. It seems a shame to allow this to affect the choice of your entire system, but it’s much nicer to use on the 272, or indeed on the Unitis or 172.

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It’s never occurred that there’d be a difference. My 272 goes into a pair of ATC SCM40s and the increase sounds linear to me all the way to ‘too loud’ at a displayed high 60s / low 70s.

To reverse the question, are we saying that a 282 or 252 is hard to set at a nice level?