To part exchange HDX-SSD, NAC 202, NAP 200 for Uniti Nova or add ND5 XS2 ??

Posted by: steveaxe on 06 January 2019

My system consists of  HDX-SSD, NAC 202, NAP 200, Ovator S400 and Chord Mojo with Apple Express for streaming. I want to add top quality streaming, and am considering these options: 

1. Keep NAC 202, NAP 200, Ovator S400 and add ND5 XS2 

2. Trade-in NAC 202, NAP 200, keep Ovator S400,  and replace with Uniti Nova

Any thoughts on what is the best option ? And is it worth keeping the HDX-SSD at all in either of these options ?

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by trickydickie

I wouldn't take it for granted that the ND5 XS2 is better than the HDX, I suspect that the HDX will still be on a par or slightly better as most people find the HDX on a par with the old NDX.  A Nova will almost certainly be a downgrade.  I wouldn't do either of your options.

Given the quality of your source I would be looking at a used 282, closely followed by a HICAP DR.  Alternatively you could boost the performance of your HDX with a power supply but I suspect that the 282 will give a better improvement.

This is the route I took with an NDX with 202/200.  The NDX stayed bare until I had 282/HicapDR/250 DR and assuming the HDX is a good then I think you could take a similar path and be very pleased.

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by French Rooster

or add second hand ndx and ndac, and keep the 202/200.   If you donít want to upgrade in the future, the nova is a good idea too.

Not easy choice.   Personally i would keep the 202/200 and later take the 282.  Try to compare also the hdx vs the nd5xs2, perhaps the differences are minimal.

An ndx/ ndac second hand can cost nearly the nd5xs2 new, and is better ( from what i read here).

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by trickydickie
French Rooster posted:

or add second hand ndx and ndac, and keep the 202/200.   If you donít want to upgrade in the future, the nova is a good idea too.

Not easy choice.   Personally i would keep the 202/200 and later take the 282.  Try to compare also the hdx vs the nd5xs2, perhaps the differences are minimal.

An ndx/ ndac second hand can cost nearly the nd5xs2 new, and is better ( from what i read here).

Not sure of the need for an NDX given that the HDX is at a similar level.

Adding an nDac to the HDX is anoth way to upgrade though.

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by French Rooster
trickydickie posted:
French Rooster posted:

or add second hand ndx and ndac, and keep the 202/200.   If you donít want to upgrade in the future, the nova is a good idea too.

Not easy choice.   Personally i would keep the 202/200 and later take the 282.  Try to compare also the hdx vs the nd5xs2, perhaps the differences are minimal.

An ndx/ ndac second hand can cost nearly the nd5xs2 new, and is better ( from what i read here).

Not sure of the need for an NDX given that the HDX is at a similar level.

Adding an nDac to the HDX is anoth way to upgrade though.

you are sure that the ndx is at the hdx level ?    it surprises me. 

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by steveaxe

Thanks everyone - great advice. I have a rather beginners question - my main issue is that the I am not pleased with my Chord Mojo/Apple Express streaming. My family use Apple Music a lot and this source is not good enough. I am also thinking of going to Tidal as well with the right streamer.

I love the sound of the HDX with the library from my hard drive, but it doesnít stream........

Any advice on this question - that is why I was considering the ND5 XS2. 

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by trickydickie

I have not compared but some others of this parish have mooted so.

Given the final price of the HDX was approximately NDX + Unitiserve it would seem reasonable to expect it to be around the same level.

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by steveaxe

So if thatís the case what streamer option is best to add to my system ?

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by French Rooster

if you want to stream tidal, perhaps the nd5xs2 is a good choice.  Ndx/ ndac second hand must better.      You have also the solutions of streaming bridges, like auralic, sonore, and even cheap solution as allo digi one.     I am sure some will be able to respond to you, like Simon, Innocent Bystander.....     You can also open a second thread, like hdx with streaming bridge.

Good luck Steveaxe.

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by cdboy

Option 1. Any day. Easy.

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by ChrisSU

The HDX is a great source, but given that you have the SSD version, you could sell it and buy an NDX, and use it with the NAS you already have with a server running on it. This will give you very similar sound quality to what you have now, but add Tidal and other streaming services with no additional boxes required. My experience of the ND5XS2 was that it didn't sound as good as the old NDX, which you might get for a good price on the used market now that it is discontinued.

Posted on: 07 January 2019 by Rich 1

When I was upgrading a year ago I auditioned the Nova and found it fatiguing, but that's only my opinion. Other listeners like it! Rich 

Posted on: 07 January 2019 by engjoo
Rich 1 posted:

When I was upgrading a year ago I auditioned the Nova and found it fatiguing, but that's only my opinion. Other listeners like it! Rich 

What speakers were you listening to with the Nova? It is often the speaker (and positioning) that is responsible for that. I have auditioned the Nova too first on the Focal Sopra and then on the Kanta. The Sopra does feels fatiguing but Kanta is a lot better.

Posted on: 08 January 2019 by Mike Sullivan

If you like your existing separates, Option 1. If you want to simplify, Option 2 is tidier. If you use headphones, Option 2, as the. Nova has an excellent headphone stage.

Posted on: 08 January 2019 by Rich 1

Engjoo, speakers are PMC 20 24's, I auditioned these on my previous Naim X pre/power combination as a replacement for Linn Kans, forget the exact models but at the time they were the cheapest pre/power combination. I have to admit that the PMC need care and experimentation for toe in angle. The tweeter can blast you if you have it firering directly to your ear. At the time of upgrading my thought was on upgrading with a power supply, that did make a huge difference, I also wanted to add a streamer. So wondered if a Nova might kill two birds with one stone, alas that wasn't to be. Then tried using the old power amp with a 272, that was a revelation. Then came along an ex demo 250DR that the dealer offered at a tempting price. So that's the system I have now! Rich 

Posted on: 11 January 2019 by steveaxe

Now considering trading in my HDX for the NDX 2 - I am presuming this would be the best option - assuming I can afford it ! 

Posted on: 11 January 2019 by The Strat (Fender)

I heard an NDX2 a little while ago.  Itís a fine machine but donít ask to hear it with a 555 PSU????

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by ChrisSU
steveaxe posted:

Now considering trading in my HDX for the NDX 2 - I am presuming this would be the best option - assuming I can afford it ! 

Sounds like a good plan if your budget can stand it. Donít forget to convert your CD rips to FLAC before you sell the HDX if you havenít already done it. 

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by steveaxe

No, I hadnít thought of that. How do I do that ? And does the NDX 2 simply play the NAS with no other equipment needed ? 

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by ChrisSU

If you run a UPnP server such as Asset or Minimserver on your NAS, it will serve music files to the NDX over your network, making your HDX redundant. 

Non-Naim servers generally canít access metadata from CDs ripped on a Naim ripper because of the unusual way in which the metadata is stored in WAV files. If you convert to FLAC ON THE HDX you avoid this problem. 

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Diggerbj

Hi, I did this recently. From memory you need the n-serve app on your Mac or pc. Select all songs, right click and take option to convert to flac. It took 5 days to convert 1400 wav cds!

If you are already backing up to a nas the flac files will be copied at the next backup point. For me this was daily. My backup was set to incremental which recognise changes so picks up any converted files.

Once I had all the files converted to the nas I installed Asset upnp server on my qnap nas. 

I hope that helps but probably worth a bit more research before starting.