XPS DR upgrade underwhelming

I recently added an XPS DR to my NDX2. This is connected by WH Morgana to an SN3, Kudos KS1 to Spendor d7.2. This sits on a Hifi Podium rack with the XPS on the bottom shelf and the NDX2 on the top. The burndy is loosely draped and the right way round. I notice a subtle improvement in definition and texture, but am disappointed considering the outlay. I noticed a big jump with the Morgana and also going from NACA 5 to the KS 1. I wonder whether other people have had a similar experience.

1 Like

I added an XPS-DR to my NDX2 a while back. I felt it added a bit of bass solidity and texture. When I removed the XPS-DR, I did not feel I was missing much.
I also came to the conclusion it was not worth the additional cost. YMMV.


Is your XPS new? If so I suggest you play it as much as possible for a few weeks, then remove it and see how you feel.

Even if it’s been used, my experience is that it still needs to be played for a while before it fully reveals its abilities.

For me it’s a great upgrade to the NDX2, but if it doesn’t work for you, spend your money elsewhere.


Slightly different but I tried a used XPS2 (non DR) on my old NDX. Immediately there was slightly more detail but that’s about it. Once removed I actually preferred the NDX without it as overall the sound was more pleasing. I tend to feel these days that I wouldn’t add a PS to a unit that already contains one. However the new 300 series seems to thwart me in that respect :blush:.

Likewise ChrisSU

My XPS is the XPS2 (prior DR)

Big uplift in performance when added to the NDX2 - well worth it :+1:

1 Like

When I added an XPS to a CDX2 & the change was outstanding, best one box upgrade I’ve ever experienced.
I sold the CDX2 when I moved to streaming with NDX and although the NDX is better with a PSU, its nowhere near the improvement I had with the CDX2


I mentioned this on the momentary lapse of reason thread. Went to the dealer to buy an ND5xs2, heard the NDX2 and bought it because the difference was the proverbial night and day. I added the XPSdr (after a demo). The improvements it brings in my system are subtle rather than ‘night & day’. I’m glad I paid the ex dem rather than full price though because the power supply (judged purely on musical improvements) is overpriced at circa 80% of the NDX2. The NDX2/XPSdr combo is brilliant mindst. Love it.


I see your using a Hi-Fi Racks podium rack. I found that if everything is very tight then the rack can perform at its best. The legs have to be screwed tight. If there’re getting tight but not square undo them and move the bolt and try again. I noticed the newer stainless conned feet can now be tighten with a spanner. Mine are smooth and it’s difficult to get them tight. I overcame this problem using an electric drill. Screw the spike in about 3/4 of a turn so it’s stable. Open the jaws of the drill enough to grip the cone half way down. With the drill fully charged lean on it and pull the trigger to get a really tight fit.

I had my Supercap and 555 power supplies serviced in February this year by Class A (fantastic service and turnaround). The difference was big and I’m very pleased. I knew that the rack was set up as best I could. If it wasn’t I doubt I’d have heard the full benefit of the servicing. I hope this might help.


1 Like

I got a naked NDX2 to go with 82/ SC/250. Then I swapped 82/HC for a 52/ SC and then the 250 was replaced by a 300DR (not the 135s I had expected to get).

After that I got a s/h XPSDR for the NDX2. It seemed to make backgrounds quieter, bass tighter and added a bit more boogie - all good things.

Later, I also got a full set of Morganas and swapped
Out my A5 - two more non-zero but modest upgrades.

I kept the 82/HC/250 as an option for the cottage in Tasmania. I have since shipped them there and they work well with s/h ND5XS2 and Core as sources.

Before shipping I tried 82/HC/250 with ND5XS2 versus NDX2 (with and without XPSDR). The improvement from ND5XS2 to naked NDX2 was very small, but not zero. The extra improvement from adding the XPSDR to the NDX2 was negligible to my old ears, though 2 listeners still thought it a tiny bit better.

We all agreed that the gaps from ND5XS2 to NDX2 and from naked NDX2 to NDX2+XPSDR were both worthwhile if using 52/SC but vastly smaller if using the 82/HC.

I have liked SN3s when we I have heard them but reckon they are a couple of rungs down from 82 (or 282)/ HC/ 250. As a result, I am not too surprised that any improvement from adding XPSDR to NDX2 is hard to hear through the SN3.

If you already like NDX2 +SN3, I would suggest keeping them and selling the XPSDR - unless of course you intend one day to move well beyond the excellent SN3.

Diminishing returns…

And of course, in other room and with other ears, the answers may be different.


I can remember adding an XPS (non DR) to my then CDX2, it didn’t blow me away but just made the music more organic. Give it a little longer.



1 Like

Well Nick I disagree here , we are all different


It’s a mighty combo , the XPS2 to me was a very worthwhile step up in performance

Off topic - where is your Cottage in Tassie?



Hi @Bevo,

All ears and rooms differ, but that may not be the only issue here. I’d also expect that your view will be more use than mine simply because you are using pretty much the same boxes - no memory or extrapolating required.

Mind you, I think that you have (sensibly) added Hicap to SN3, and that (plus better ears) may be the swing factors. Have you tried NDX2 + XPSDR + SN3 without that Hicap? If yes, which PS made more difference?

The cottage is between Castle Forbes Bay and Geeveston, with 28 acres and lots of trees. When the weather in London gets really grim, it’s Spring in Tassie, and glorious.


That’s an interesting and helpful observation for those of us looking at a future pathway and along with what @Bevo and others replied, further confirmation of the subjective nature of our hobby.

I don’t know if this plays a part but some streamed files leave me cold while others are excellent. Perhaps there is no more to hear from certain files. (Same with certain CDs and vinyl for that matter.)

1 Like


I (we) totally understand where you are coming from. When I first got my XPS-Dr for the first week I had a serious case of buyers remorse. I almost returned it. I noticed some improvements but no ‘wow’ moments. However within a short order of time I cleaned up my cables (source cable was touching a power cable) and surprisingly I “massaged” my burndy cable (gently twisting so when plugged in was an easy connection) and made sure it wasn’t touching anything else(it makes a difference IMHO). Things improved rapidly after this.

In short give it some time.
(note) using the XPS-Dr with a nDAC not NDX2


I thoughts I would add my perspective from personal experience.

I have gone through an upgrade path from Nova to SN3 + NDX2. That was a nice difference.

Then I added an xps dr followed shortly after by the Hicap dr. Recently I have looked at the stack with a view of can I reduce box count? In particular can I get rid of the xps dr? Don’t ask I just have an issue with it.

Doing a side by side comparison in the listening room I was hoping to find that the difference between having it and not having it would be immaterial so I could sell the xps on and move to three boxes. Unfortunately I found in my situation I could hear a material difference. So I still have 4 boxes.

Although I do keep looking at the NC222 and associated NC250 as a simpler answer. Boxes boxes boxes.

Personal choices. Good luck!


For my 272 the XPS DR made a huge difference so in that context it’s a no brainer…


Yes this was pretty much my experience too marcusman, though i’ve never been tempted to put the link-plug back into my NDX 2 either.:thinking:


When I added the XPS DR to my NDX 2 > SN 2 > Naim Ovator S-400 system a few years back I thought it was a fantastic upgrade.

Comments regarding the XPS DR power supply has varied over the years where there has been positive experiences like mine and folk who did not care much for the sound in their system.

Like they say demo at home in your room with your system with your ears. It is the only way to know for sure.


Hi @akinoshima ,

Adding Naim upgrades from power cables and interconnects to external psu’s often results in varying impacts, especially initially, even when all the perceived wisdom and guidance is followed to the letter.

Nevertheless things always appear to improve in the short to medium term, if not immediately as expected.

As others mentioned, I too suffered buyer’s remorse after adding an XPS DR and SL loom to my system, but now would not be without either, to the extent I passed on updating to a NC 200 system….

Let your ears be the final judge and, as always, do not decide in haste😀.

Enjoy your music,



Be interesting to see how it stands up against an NPX300, not sure if anyone has done this yet, especially as a replacement to an XPS DR.
On paper it should sit somewhere between the XPS DR and a 555PS. Not something I’ve done or would be able to now lacking an NDX2 but mentioning in case someone can comment!

1 Like