Upgrade to ND555 from 272/555PS

Apologies if this has been asked before…

Is there some sort of consensus here as to this upgrade? To my ears and in my system, the leap is not as big as I was hoping for. I am aware of diminishing returns and all, but either the old combo is exceptional value for money or my system & ears don’t fully appreciate the ND555.

What I hear with the ND555 is slightly more detail, space, and “voices vibrating longer”… so more HiFi and maybe even an analogue sound. While the old 272/555PS combo seems to lack the above finesse, it seems to be more in your face and seems to have more R’n’R or PRaT…


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I presume you are still using the 272 as a preamp? If so i think you are hearing what a nd555 could bring, but it really needs a better preamp, preferably a 552, and the icing on the cake is a Nap500. This is the system it was designed to join, ultimately. It also takes an age to settle down, and if new a long time to burn in.
Yes the 272 combo was/is a cracking piece of kit and great vfm.


The nd555 is more picky about set up (more sensitive to changes in connections, siting etc) and also will take time to run in / burn in / settle down. I can’t comment on 272, but if you are still using that rather than a “pure” pre amp at the right level (252 or 552 kerching) you won’t be hearing what the nd555 can do. I recently got an EE switch and a couple of melco Ethernet cables for my nd555 and am very pleased with the results

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Firstly, the 272/555 really is exceptional value for money. As has been said, the real comparison is 272/555 vs ND555/555/552. The latter is undoubtedly better. That then leads to the question of whether that amount of betterment warrants spending an extra £30,000. Only you can decide that. We have a 272/555 and an Eriba Troll.


Thx all for your comments.

Yes, I am still using the 272 as a pre. And yes, this is most likely the bottle neck as my power amp is a 500. Cabling is btw SL, SL, and NACA5 and everything is DRed.

I guess it comes down to what HH said. Still, was hoping for more of an initial leap forward…

Has anybody here stayed away from this upgrade… maybe for the same reasons? Or is waiting for the 272.2… :wink:

By moving the 555PS to the ND, the 272 preamp quality is significantly reduced, thereby becoming even more of a bottleneck. A 555, 272, 500 would not be a sensible system. Come to think of it, a 272/555 and 500 is not entirely sensible either! I’d suggest getting a 552 to try as well and then coming to a decision. It’s really the only way to decide. I’ve had a 552 in the past and it’s bloody brilliant but these days I wouldn’t spend that much and I’m having significant hearing problems anyway. But if your hearing is ok and your wallet is sufficiently large, go for the 555 and 552. It’s lovely.

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Ty HH.

Yes, the 552-first path is probably more sensible. And yes, my current system is not entirely balanced. I am looking for pre-loved boxes only… which results in (temporary) imbalances.

As to my current A/B comparison: I do have 2 555PSs at my disposal.

Again, wondering mostly if this makes sense from a SQ perspective. FWIW, the SQ difference (to me!) seems similar to the move from CDX2 to CDS3/XPS.

Yes, but you are comparing SQ with the 272’s pre in charge. I was faced with a similar dilemma - 552 or ND 555 first. I went for the 552 first, but either option is fine assuming the end game is both, otherwise picking one and sticking just leaves a very unbalanced system.

As you also have a 500, the only logical step now is a 552. Pre-loved examples do appear now and again to lessen the pain.

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Makes sense, Nigel. Thx for the feedback.

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