XPS DR or spend more on source.. or cables

Could someone with more naim experience than I proffer an opinion on the relative value of the XPS DR. I am building up a new system and over time need to upgrade interconnects, speaker cables, streaming source and preamp. Ultimately was going to be NDX2 with NAP300, and either a naim or primaluna preamp. Just can’t get there all in one go, having just purchased the 300. I had not planned on an XPS DR now, or indeed ever, but a second hand one has become available at a good price, and this is rare over here (not the UK). So with apologies for the long winded question, with so much to spend on so many items… should i pass on this XPS and stay focussed on my original goal? how much of a difference would an XPS make to an NDX2… or a naim preamp? Is it so great that I would be happy with an XPS+ND5 XS?

I heard the NDX2 with XPSdr and was pleasantly surprised by the uplift in sound quality. We then switched in a 555dr and yes it was better as one would expect, but the XPSdr was 70% of the way there at much lower cost.


How much longer will you have to go without a preamp if you buy it? For a 300 a 252 is the normal partner and will need a supercap. A 282 hicap might do for a bit but the itch will be inevitable so what of the Prima Luna idea, that will need a demo to assess. I heard their integrated feeding various Franco Serblin speakers at a show and it sounded very nice but they were only playing Jazz of the less demanding (of the audience) sort. I was rather taken with the Ktemas.

Yes I’m with @Gazza on this one, the NDX2 with XPSDR is a good up and if going forward NDX2? XPSDR will be your main source? I have NDX2 with both the 555 and XPSDR it is a lovely product

when I had one of those demo days your dealer is changing everything around and then back again on my (2014) NDX i did not mind the XPSDR but did not really improve the source compared to the £££ - however then listen to NDX with 555 different story, but you should expect that

I love my 300 and that will be a major lift in the system, so in summary I kept my NDX bare (not my main source) and will possibly go for 555 in time - at the moment I am looking at 252/SC moving from 282/HCDR -

what I can say is the 282 works brilliantly with 300 and is a lovely match

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buy the best preamp you can afford. It’s the heart of the system.

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frenchrooster, A Naim system is a whole! I do not agree with the hierarchy that is attributed to one or the other of the links. The unity of the chain from beginning to end is the only safe bet.

it is what a majority of us tend to think…A whole, of course, but hierarchy of important components in the chain also. Pre, then source …

For my part the choice amp / speaker is the most influential for the choice to listen to or live music …

But, it belongs to me

I use an XPS-Dr with and NDX-2 (282/HicapDr/250Dr as amps) and the combination is very, very nice. When I first bought the XPSDr the sq improvement didn’t immediately show. Its seems (!) subtle (weight, detail, imaging) but when you take the XPSDr, you’d immediately miss it. I really like it right now and can definitely recommend it. I have never tested a 555 so cannot comment on that.

Thanks all for your comments. I think head wins over heart and I will forgo the XPS at this point and focus on the other elements of the system first.

Another approach to offer. Used pieces at a great price are a wonderful way to build a system. If you will want the XPS DR anyway, and now have a chance to get one at a great price, get that now. Perhaps in time a preamp will show up on the used market as well. Because no matter how much money you have in the bank, you cannot buy a nice gently used piece until you find one. I am a big fan of buying “gently used.”

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I would buy it now if the price is right. It can be used with a wide variety of Naim equipment, and if you find you don’t need it in the future, you can always sell it on. They are few and far between on the second hand market - I’ve been looking for one for ages.

The 2 posts above make good points. If you plan to arrive at an XPS DR eventually then always buy one when the price is favourable. You will end up saving a lot of money over all. The only time it becomes a decision would be if you have 2 or more items you want all available at the same time! An upgrade is an upgrade right? You should benefit from improved sound everytime.

Agreed, if the price is right, grab it and let it grow with your system.

Ah where were all you guys yesterday :grin: it was a second hand “lightly used” unit, and the price was so good it is now sold to some lucky person. I agree @Bart the second hand market is a great way to grow your system, but as i am now finding out thngs dont come up in the order you want to buy them. I will be quicker off my feet next time!

if only…

When something you want pops up… Just grab it.

Don’t sweat it though, look into other updates and get it next time.

The music is still good.

I’d suggest that @seakayaker knows as well as anyone the merits of NDX2 without any power supply (he has a Nait of some description). I also suspect that a 252 or 552 would deliver excellent result with any decent source. Not sure about 282 which I have owned.


I added a XPS DR to my 272 and it made a huge difference.