NDX/XPS(DR) -> NDAC/XPS(Olive) anyone tried?

Posted by: Ken_NB on 05 January 2019

Hi,

I am wondering if anyone tried the above and/or if that make any sense?

My current setup: NDX(Transport) -> NDAC/XPS(Olive)  -> 82 -> 135 -> LS5/9

I came across with a good second handed XPS(DR). I am wondering how to maximise the benefit if having a second XPS "XPS(DR)" in the source, or which combination of these boxes will have the best possible result ...

I am curious if it make any sense to add a power supply in the transport? Anyone had experience in this area is appreciated.

 

Ken

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by ChrisSU

Iím afraid I canít answer your question, but Iíd be prepared to bet that a single 555 on the DAC would be a better upgrade than two XPSís. 

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by MangoMonkey

Lose the NDX. Get an Allo Digi One ($200). The XPS-DR should go on the nDac.

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Adam Zielinski

There will be very little benefit to powering the digital transport with a stand-alone XPS.
Essentially the typical set up is: NDX + nDAC + power supply on nDAC.

As Chris noted - the greatest benefit for the nDAC will come from a 555PS (I actually prefer the non-DR version there).

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by MDS

When I was using a CDX2.2 into a nDAC and was tempted by adding an XPS2 to the nDAC I found that the performance was best when, instead of using a single XPS2 on the nDAC, I used two PSUs: an XP5XS on the nDAC and a second on the CDX2.2.  Since the XP5XS was about half the price of an XPS2, the price of the upgrade was about the same.  My dealer's explanation for the result was that separating the PSU from the digital transport provided a performance benefit. That said, I don't know if an NDX would similarly benefit.   

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by trickydickie

As itís a good price if you get the XPS DR now you can plan to replace the NDX, Ndac and olive XPS with a nice used NDS. By the time you have traded the 3 boxes you will only have to shell out a few hundred pounds to make this change. Then you will be down to a simpler setup which should sound better.

I have just changed from an NDX/XPS DR to the NDS and the improvement is monumental.

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Mike-B
Adam Zielinski posted:

There will be very little benefit to powering the digital transport with a stand-alone XPS.
Essentially the typical set up is: NDX + nDAC + power supply on nDAC.

As Chris noted - the greatest benefit for the nDAC will come from a 555PS (I actually prefer the non-DR version there).

I don't agree with that Adam,  it might apply to a CD Player but unlike a PSU on a CDP where all the unit from DAC downstream is not used,   with a NDX the DAC is a long way down the signal path.  Significant pre-DAC stages include ARM Controller, Streamer Module,  DSP,  various buffers,  clocks & opto-isolation stages.    Before DAC is a sizeable chunk of the streamers processing stage,  take a look at the NDX White Paper   ........  https://www.naimaudio.com/site...te-paper_oct2010.pdf

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Ken_NB

-> Chrissu, thanks for your input, I also heard 555PS with nDac bring the most out of nDac,  however not sure the price justify the improvement and I certainly can't afford it , at least in the near future...

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Ken_NB
MDS posted:

When I was using a CDX2.2 into a nDAC and was tempted by adding an XPS2 to the nDAC I found that the performance was best when, instead of using a single XPS2 on the nDAC, I used two PSUs: an XP5XS on the nDAC and a second on the CDX2.2.  Since the XP5XS was about half the price of an XPS2, the price of the upgrade was about the same.  My dealer's explanation for the result was that separating the PSU from the digital transport provided a performance benefit. That said, I don't know if an NDX would similarly benefit.   

MDS, interesting to know PS on transport can also benefit. Is the improvement mainly on the background being quieter or something else? 

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Ken_NB
trickydickie posted:

As itís a good price if you get the XPS DR now you can plan to replace the NDX, Ndac and olive XPS with a nice used NDS. By the time you have traded the 3 boxes you will only have to shell out a few hundred pounds to make this change. Then you will be down to a simpler setup which should sound better.

I have just changed from an NDX/XPS DR to the NDS and the improvement is monumental.

that sounds like a good idea, however I wonder how much better NDS/XPS DR sound over NDX/nDAC/XPS DR? 

Unfortunately I can't try my NDX with the Olive XPS, but bare NDX is not as pleasing/even rough compare to NDX/nDAC/XPS(Olive), but then again, it is a 3 box source...

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Ken_NB
Mike-B posted:
Adam Zielinski posted:

There will be very little benefit to powering the digital transport with a stand-alone XPS.
Essentially the typical set up is: NDX + nDAC + power supply on nDAC.

As Chris noted - the greatest benefit for the nDAC will come from a 555PS (I actually prefer the non-DR version there).

I don't agree with that Adam,  it might apply to a CD Player but unlike a PSU on a CDP where all the unit from DAC downstream is not used,   with a NDX the DAC is a long way down the signal path.  Significant pre-DAC stages include ARM Controller, Streamer Module,  DSP,  various buffers,  clocks & opto-isolation stages.    Before DAC is a sizeable chunk of the streamers processing stage,  take a look at the NDX White Paper   ........  https://www.naimaudio.com/site...te-paper_oct2010.pdf

very interesting information indeed...

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Ken_NB

Has anyone tried this:

NDX/XPS(Olive) [disable D/A output] -> nDAC/XPS DR ?

Official NDX manual say it can't be used with XPS (olive), but if I disable the D/A output, will the olive XPS able to provide the needed power without damaging itself or the NDX?

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by MDS
Ken_NB posted:
MDS posted:

When I was using a CDX2.2 into a nDAC and was tempted by adding an XPS2 to the nDAC I found that the performance was best when, instead of using a single XPS2 on the nDAC, I used two PSUs: an XP5XS on the nDAC and a second on the CDX2.2.  Since the XP5XS was about half the price of an XPS2, the price of the upgrade was about the same.  My dealer's explanation for the result was that separating the PSU from the digital transport provided a performance benefit. That said, I don't know if an NDX would similarly benefit.   

MDS, interesting to know PS on transport can also benefit. Is the improvement mainly on the background being quieter or something else? 

In truth, I can't tell you what benefit each of the PSUs contributed to the overall system performance as I simply compared CDX2.2/nDAC/XPS2 v CDX2.2/XP5XS/nDAC/XP5XS. That said, I seem to recall my dealer saying that using a separate PSU on the digital transport would lower the noise floor. 

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by trickydickie
Ken_NB posted:

Has anyone tried this:

NDX/XPS(Olive) [disable D/A output] -> nDAC/XPS DR ?

Official NDX manual say it can't be used with XPS (olive), but if I disable the D/A output, will the olive XPS able to provide the needed power without damaging itself or the NDX?

I would be surprised if anybody has tried this given that the Olive XPS is not suitable to be used on the NDX. Naim is very clear about this.

If you try this, I would suggest having one of these at the ready.

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by ChrisSU
Ken_NB posted:

-> Chrissu, thanks for your input, I also heard 555PS with nDac bring the most out of nDac,  however not sure the price justify the improvement and I certainly can't afford it , at least in the near future...

My logic was that if you can afford two XPSís, you can afford one 555. Despite any forum Ďwisdomí, of course you would want to listen for yourself to see if it was worthwhile for you. 

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Ken_NB
trickydickie posted:
Ken_NB posted:

Has anyone tried this:

NDX/XPS(Olive) [disable D/A output] -> nDAC/XPS DR ?

Official NDX manual say it can't be used with XPS (olive), but if I disable the D/A output, will the olive XPS able to provide the needed power without damaging itself or the NDX?

I would be surprised if anybody has tried this given that the Olive XPS is not suitable to be used on the NDX. Naim is very clear about this.

If you try this, I would suggest having one of these at the ready.

well noted :-)

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Ken_NB
ChrisSU posted:
Ken_NB posted:

-> Chrissu, thanks for your input, I also heard 555PS with nDac bring the most out of nDac,  however not sure the price justify the improvement and I certainly can't afford it , at least in the near future...

My logic was that if you can afford two XPSís, you can afford one 555. Despite any forum Ďwisdomí, of course you would want to listen for yourself to see if it was worthwhile for you. 

Thanks , that makes much more sense if you put it like that. Glad to hear good advice from many experienced Naim users.

 

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Ken_NB

So it now comes down to whether NDS/555PS will provide more benefit than NDX/nDAC/555PS ? And if investment can justify the improvement? 

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Adam Zielinski
Ken_NB posted:

So it now comes down to whether NDS/555PS will provide more benefit than NDX/nDAC/555PS ? And if investment can justify the improvement? 

I actually do own and use both combos. Ultimately NDS/555PSDR wins it for me. But the margin is very, very small. Goes to show how good a transport NDX really is and how capable nDAC is.

But NDX has one cool feature which gets used every day for hours - FM/DAB tuner.

Posted on: 05 January 2019 by Ken_NB

Adam, good to know many Naim user also appreciate the nDAC and itís potential even there are so many other options nowadays .

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by Adam Zielinski
Ken_NB posted:

Adam, good to know many Naim user also appreciate the nDAC and itís potential even there are so many other options nowadays .

Of course it is appreciated. And I hope not only by me

if you look for negative reports, you will always find them such is life.

Truth be told it is an escellent and a very functional DAC.

 

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by MDS
Adam Zielinski posted:
Ken_NB posted:

Adam, good to know many Naim user also appreciate the nDAC and itís potential even there are so many other options nowadays .

Of course it is appreciated. And I hope not only by me

if you look for negative reports, you will always find them such is life.

Truth be told it is an escellent and a very functional DAC.

 

I very much agree. The nDAC is great VFM too.