Upgrade 252 or 555ps

Current Black Boxes are : NDX2/XPSDR/282/HCDR/250DR

Considering either a move to 252/SCDR or swapping the XPSDR for 555DR

Clearly not easy to demo just now and as both options should be objective improvement and more a case of which to do first rather than one upgrade as a final destination.

What’s your experiences if you’ve been down this path (as I assume many have)



Well adding a 555PSU to my CDS3 was a massive step in my opinion whereas I’ve always held off the 252 on the grounds that I’d always really hanker after a 552 :grinning:



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I love the 252 so I’d upgrade your pre before upgrading the power supply on your NDX2. Your source is already very good, and at that level the pre will be the limiting factor IMO.

Those who prefer the 282 to the 252 will be along shortly to say you should upgrade the source :slight_smile:

With the same set-up as you I moved to the 252DR. This after experiencing what a 555PS brings to a first gen NDX.

The 282-252DR is one of these moves where the increased sophistication in replay reveals itself over time. It’s not (for me anyway) a wow! night & day obvious upgrade, but after you’ve been through a good few familiar albums it’s more refined character becomes clear and gets you hooked on playing more music.


It becomes even more important to get everything right moving up from a 282. I only lingered a year with the 252, but racks, Mains Power including cables and a good distribution block become very important to getting every ounce out of the boxes.


I would suggest to move up to the 252. This pre-amplifier is when run in and well positioned on the rack an absolute dream pre-amplifier for an acceptable amount of money. It a good step up getting you to real sophistication in comparison with your current setup.
The 555 of course brings your source up, but the 282 will then be too much of a limiting factor.

How about trading both the XPS2 DR & HiCapDR for a 555 DR & Supercap DR if that’s doable for similar money for 252 (which you need a Supercap for anyway)? 282/SC is a great pre amp.

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Following @RackKit suggestion above. I did try the 282 SCDR first as an interim but found it unbalanced my system…my ears etc etc…


I had none DR SC/282 & 250.2 at the time so maybe the DR upgrades have altered things with the combination? I’d have expected improvements with DR tech versions though.

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I use a 282 with a supercap DR, 250-2. The super cap on the 282 was a wow moment for me, bringing scale authority and more realism. Had my 282 since 2010 then added the supercap DR in 2014 and been very happy with it ever since. I still haven’t tried a 252 on the supercap yet, but sure I will one day!


I have made similar improvements in the last year. The order was determined by the availability of pre-loved and affordable items. The 555 PS on an existing nDAC fed by NDX came first and was a significant improvement to my ears with my music in my room. I had heard a 555PS on an nDAC some time ago and knew more or less what to expect. I then added a Supercap DR to the 282, which raised the bar again slightly. Finally, I replaced the 282 with a 252 and moved the 282 to the 2nd system

With the benefit hindsight, I would have bought the 2525/Supercap DR first and can only echo the comments by @GraemeH above. The 252 is more refined, just better all round and I listen to it a lot more.

The 282 is till an excellent pre-amp and a bit more forward and lively than the 252.

Since your source is already pretty good, I would go for the 252/Supercap DR first, depending on availability. The 555PS would, I am sure, be very nice, but not essential.


Another plug for the 252 here. Superb pre and it will help with other sources too. Truth be told both options would improve your system and I guess you will end up doing both anyway…


Secondhand NDS?


I would go source first so 555PS. What’s your end game? A 252 would be an improvement over the 282. But and a big but, if you see yourself going for a 552 in future then go for 555PS.

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Guilty of doing both now.


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