XP5XS performance upgrade for 272?

Looking at the PSU path for 272 the most recommended path is naturally 555 followed by XPSDR but what about the XP5XS. Does it add anything to the performance of the preamp and DAC on the 272? They come quite cheap nowadays. I’m sitting in the boat waiting for a new 272 so I’d like to spend carefully if it suddenly pops up.

By the way, just swapped my Harbeth SHL5 Plus for Tannoy Legacy Eatons and my bare 272/300DR system is now creating bliss in my room. Great match! :slight_smile:

I do not have any further information, but I’m also struggling with the same question. My choice is to wait for the 272 replacement and look at the power supply options once it appears in order to avoid spending money on an upgrade which might not be of any use later …

In comparison to the XPS DR or 555DR, the problems with the XP5 XS are fourfold:

1 it uses a much smaller transformer (the reservoir capacitors don’t refill as rapidly causing more ripple)
2 It uses smaller reservoir capacitors (which don’t respond to peak current so well)
3 The smaller reservoir capacitors don’t regulate voltage so well (causing more ripple)
4 It uses the old LM317/337 regulators (relatively noisy and limit peak current capacity)

The XP5 XS is probably electrically fairly similar to the internal power supply of the 272.

However it still allows further distance between the magnetic fields of the transformer and the 272, so there is still some gain to be had, just not as much as with a XPS DR or particularly the 555DR).

Whether it’s worth it for you is a personal choice and can only really be determined by hearing the effect it has on your system.

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My dealer suggest that it really wasn’t worth it and I’d need to consider the XPS DR at least for any real improvement.


When I upgraded from an ND5 XS to a 272, I initially kept the XP5 XS. Frankly, with or without, I couldn’t hear any difference. I traded it in for an XPS DR, and then I started to hear subtle improvements. I’ve just now upgraded to the 555PS, and the jump in performance is absolutely massive compared to the XPSDR.
If I were you I wouldn’t bother with the XP5.


That would be my view too. With a 300 the 555 is really what one should be aiming at. Buy cheap, buy twice.

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