ndac upgrade

Aric posted:

Jon, you could say a nDAC is really rather not bad! 

Now, how about comparing a nDAC / nDAC+XP5 XS / nDAC+XPSDR? 

Myself, I'm curious if the middle option is worth (via s/h purchase) over the bare nDAC?

I've tried that and concluded that the XP5XS gave about 80% of the XPSDR's performance at half the price. Now, putting a 555PS on the nDAC is a whole new ball-game altogether.  

nDac is on my wishlist after speakers.

Have not studied my preferences regarding SQ of Dacs yet, but it fits the picture in connectivity.

It has loads of ports and I have loads of devices. TV (digital coax), macmini (optical), Chromecast Audio, Airport Express, Apple TV.

It omits an async usb, unfortunately, but this is no issue given the current devices I have.

Well.... runnig both NDX + nDAC + 555PS (non DR) and NDS + 555PSDR I can hear great sounding music coming out of both systems. To my ears both are on the same level. Some subtle differences, but the more I think about them the more I believe I actually imagined them.

Prior to that I used to run my nDAC with an XPS. Adding a pre-loved 555PS non-DR was a massive improvement. So massive that I would adtually hazard a statement: don't bother with an XPS. Just get a second-hand 555PS at half the price of a new XPS.

I found the NDAC/555PS a fantastic performer, however in my room, my system and tastes the Chord Electronics Hugo gave an overall more realistic and ultimately more satisfying rendition on Red Book and hidef.. spookily so... and gave me more of that Mandelbrot effect that I enjoy  (and that  I have described on another thread). In my opinion however the bass drive  of the NDAC /555PS is probably very hard to beat, and again probably slightly contentiously I feel out performs the NDS/555PS(DR)

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

I found the NDAC/555PS a fantastic performer, however in my room, my system and tastes the Chord Electronics Hugo gave an overall more realistic and ultimately more satisfying rendition on Red Book and hidef.. spookily so... and gave me more of that Mandelbrot effect that I enjoy  (and that  I have described on another thread). In my opinion however the bass drive  of the NDAC /555PS is probably very hard to beat, and again probably slightly contentiously I feel out performs the NDS/555PS(DR)

I agree with your last statement, Simon, and that result surprised me.  I've never heard the Hugo and know it has many fans.  From the descriptions you and others have given on here I suspect the verve and vitality of the nDAC would probably sway me.  I'm mindful of our respective preferences for pre-amps: yours for the refinement of the 'debonair' 252 and mine for the 'rough-diamond' 282.      

Mike

Diggerbj posted:

I often ponder getting a PS for nDac but wonder of I will get the benefit with a 202/200/hicap DR. I get the feeling it will push me into 282/250 territory. 

 

Trying the modestly priced XP5XS on your nDAC might be the way to find out. The XP5XS matches the case-size of the nDAC too. My guess is you would gain a nice performance improvement while maintaining system balance.

Diggerbj posted:

I often ponder getting a PS for nDac but wonder of I will get the benefit with a 202/200/hicap DR. I get the feeling it will push me into 282/250 territory. 

 

Absolutely - I ran a NDAC/555PS on non Naim and then 202/HiCapDR/200 - certainly sounded fine - sure the NDAC/555PS will happily reveal more to you with greater NACs - but the 202/HiCapDR - and it does need to be the DR version in my experience - really performs rather well with that combo.

Jon - I found the DC1 best and most natural yet vibrant  sounding connecting NDX to Naim DAC - but moving to other DACs such as the Hugo - I have found Gotham AG 75ohm coax - Phono to BNC - sounds best between NDX and Hugo - slightly more naturally balanced and less 'forward' sounding than the DC1... for me really worthwhile in providing that extra magic.

jon honeyball posted:

having fun playing with bnc to bnc cables from hdx and other sources...

Naim DC1 is flat and boring

lab grade bncbnc cable is lifelike bouncy and fun

HD-SDI 12G cable is wow

I've used the DC1 for years but recently moved to a Canare 75 ohm BNC-BNC...all of £35 and it sounds excellent. Very well made too. The plugs have a good tight fit.

G

jon honeyball posted:

ongoing system from there is 52/52ps snaxo362/supercapdr 6x135 dbls

Frontending the ndac is HDX on input 1 and something else on input 2. And something else again on input 3. 

For a small free improvement try operating the HDX without the link plug. In this mode the HDX will only respond to IOS devices and the DTC so a little inconvenet. 

GraemeH posted:
jon honeyball posted:

having fun playing with bnc to bnc cables from hdx and other sources...

Naim DC1 is flat and boring

lab grade bncbnc cable is lifelike bouncy and fun

HD-SDI 12G cable is wow

I've used the DC1 for years but recently moved to a Canare 75 ohm BNC-BNC...all of £35 and it sounds excellent. Very well made too. The plugs have a good tight fit.

G

Hmmm. £35 isn't much of a gamble. Maybe I'll try one.

MDS posted:
GraemeH posted:
jon honeyball posted:

having fun playing with bnc to bnc cables from hdx and other sources...

Naim DC1 is flat and boring

lab grade bncbnc cable is lifelike bouncy and fun

HD-SDI 12G cable is wow

I've used the DC1 for years but recently moved to a Canare 75 ohm BNC-BNC...all of £35 and it sounds excellent. Very well made too. The plugs have a good tight fit.

G

Hmmm. £35 isn't much of a gamble. Maybe I'll try one.

Apologies...It's actually £21! 0.5m on a well known auction site.

G

MDS posted:
Diggerbj posted:

I often ponder getting a PS for nDac but wonder of I will get the benefit with a 202/200/hicap DR. I get the feeling it will push me into 282/250 territory. 

 

Trying the modestly priced XP5XS on your nDAC might be the way to find out. The XP5XS matches the case-size of the nDAC too. My guess is you would gain a nice performance improvement while maintaining system balance.

I tried the XP5XS with ND5XS, and found the improvement very minor, and not really worth the cost. But replacing the XP5XS and ND5XS internal DAC with Hugo was a significant positive improvement, so whilst I haven't compared with NDAC with or without PS, I think Hugo as a substitute - or better still Hugo TT, would be well worth an audition before deciding on a PS.

 

well there is the issue of xps*dr* versus 555PS *non dr* etc etc. A 555PS might be seemingly good value, as in not a huge amount more, than an XPSDR. But service and DR costs should be factored in.

The XPSDR I bought is ex dem, well run in and not many months old (from cymbiosis). So I am happy i am getting good value *and* a known quality of performance. Tired 555s are fine, but need more money spending on them to ensure they are performing correctly (service) and to their best (DR)

I actually prefer non-DR 555PS on my nDAC. I tried my 555PS DR and I think it took the nDAC to an uncomfortable place. But that's my personal preference. Conversly I prefer 555PSDR on my NDS.

A serviced 555PS, can still be found for around 50-60% of a new XPSDR. That's why I suggested it as an alternative.

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