Suggestions for an upgrade?

Hi all, been a while since I’ve been here. Possibly looking at an upgrade. Don’t think I’m touching the core of the system but speakers or power supplies are up for grabs. Budget of up to £3k. Any thoughts? Speakers need to be front firing because of room!

Current system: NDX2, Synology NAS + EE 8Switch, NAC 282, NAP 250 DR, Hicap DR, Focal Aria 926.

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Looks like a great system, if you want to see if an uplift is worth the outlay you could try to get a demo of a xpsdr for your streamer or see if swapping your hicap for a supercap is worth it though people often say to only bother doing that if planning to upgrade to 252 in the future.

If it were me I’d maybe consider trying a few different brands of speaker just to see the difference in sound out there but if there is nothing obvious you want to change about your sound you may decide to stick with everything as is.


My thoughts pretty much mirror @dmu . You have a very nice system indeed. The XPSDr is a nice nice uplift in sound IMHO. I have a EE8 switch and just ordered a Farad Super3 which should be a nice uplift as well. Speakers of course are personal and room depended but you should check out the Proac line. That all being said I don’t think you need to do much if anything to be honest.


I found speakers biggest upgrade in my recent round of upgrades. I went for Focal Sopra 2s. Had the Focal Aria 936s before, which I have kept and use them in conservatory via a switch from the main system.

They have made a huge difference to the system by 40% overall improvement I would say.

I have 52, Supercap 2, 2 x 135s, CDS2 with XPS2 and NDS with 555PS and LP12.

Try different speakers. I was going to go down difference route, improving the preamp from 82 to 552. But with speakers sounding so good I opted for a 52.

I picked them up for just under £7k mint, 6 months old, retail price £14k.


Another vote for an XPS DR PS. That will significantly improve your already very fine system, and just as importantly it will keep everything nicely balanced. There should be some good bargains around too.


You might find that the balance between spending money on electronics versus speakers with the 926s is holding your system back.

I wasn’t convinced when my brother suggested to change out my speakers for something higher end. I haven’t looked back since.


I’d go for a pre loved XPS DR or a 555PS if you can.


That’s great to see - you have actually thought about quantifying the improvement (your ears, system, environment etc.). While it is only your subjective approximation, it makes a lot of sense and 40% is very worthwhile.

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I was surprised by the difference it made and the speakers put a huge grin on my face.


And I am not saying Focal Sopra 2s are right for you. ATC40SCMs are very good. They use them at my dealer in Brighton with 500 system and NC system.

There are lots of ways of upgrading. I focused on electronics for ages but speakers should be looked at too.

Your speakers are very good. But equate speakers vs electronics.


And of course an XPSDR or 555PS DR or non DR will yield a big improvement. It’s a win win situation you are in.


Similar system to mine…

I went with a XPS DR for my NDX 2 a couple of years ago and thought it was a wonderful upgrade. Also picked up a SuperCap for the NAC 282 earlier this year when they started heavily discounting the classic products another worthwhile improvement to the system. Unfamiliar with your speakers but do love my ProAc D30RS speakers.

Good luck and have fun exploring your options!


+1 for adding a PS to your NDX2. I added an XPS DR to mine and loved the uplift in sound and was so taken by it I later auditioned a 555 PS DR and was amazed. So I sold the XPS DR and bought that.

Having said all that I totally hear what @Dan_M is saying about speakers. They will have the biggest impact on sound and your Arias may be limiting what you can get from upgrades to your electronics. I have the Focal Kanta 2s and love them with 282/HCDR/250 DR and think it is a really well balanced system.

If you are able to home demo power supplies for the NDX 2 or different speakers I would highly encourage you to do that. Enjoy the journey and do report back on how you make out.


Interesting you’ve got the Kantas. They have a rear firing bass port don’t they? That’s a limitation for me as the speakers need to be quite close to the wall.

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Yes: they do have a rear firing port as well as a front firing one. The amount of energy coming from the rear port is very small but yes: it might be a limiting factor for you.

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Whilst the speakers are likely to be reaching their potential in your system I would go with the majority here and do the XPS DR first.

I had a similar system but with the original NDX and different speakers and I feel I left the XPS DR upgrade too late, hence my advice.

Once done then look at speakers. Given your room limitations PMC should work well with their transmission line and also Kudos with the downward firing port are very room friendly.

I have Kudos S20’s and have owned C20’s as well. They worked very well with my 282/HiCap/250R fronted by an NDX and later NDS/555DR.


Pre-loved 555PS DR would be my choice…

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Budget up to £3k would make even a P/L 555PS DR a challenge.

But then we have seen prices dropping since the launch of NC so who knows?

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The Sopra 2 sound alot better out in the room away from the walls. I did the same with my Focal Aria 936s and again sounded much better and more open.

I had to change my room significantly to get batter sound quality from speakers which was worth it.

SBLs are meant to be good close to wall. If you don’t want to change your speakers then don’t. You may not be ready yet.

If you do want to change them see if your dealer can suggest speakers to fit your room needs.

Budget of £3000 will be XPSDR. A 555PS will be alot better though.

I am currently listening to my CDS2 with 555PS and it sounds alot better than XPS2.

Other cheaper option is XPS2, which would make a difference and be alot cheaper than XPSDR and you could do a speaker upgrade. You may find with part exchange of Focal Aria 926 you could get something quite a bit better.

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