Advice Sought

Hi Folks,

Looking at my current set-up I think it's high time I joined the world of streaming and I am looking for opinions from other members as to what they/you would do with my scenario.

I have a 200/282 based system - my sources are a CDX2 (1st gen, no XPS or DAC) and an LP12.

I don't currently stream and am looking for an easy way to get into it whilst preserving the character Naim sound. Dealers I've approached have steered me towards an NDX2 with a NAS drive controlled via tablet or computer and I was utterly blown away when I heard the NDX. BUT, I can't spend the thick end of £5500+. Also - my laptop is a works one and I am unable to load the streaming software. I have a Samsung S9 phone but that's not ideal. I'm thinking maybe a cheapo tablet just to have the software on as a dedicated controller? 

I probably won't be streaming off the internet per se, I think it will mainly be ripping my CD's to create a library. 

I'll most likely trade-in my CDX2 but being 12 years old it won't be worth much, it's then about what is best to look as a source and what is the best-performing streaming software which is easy to use as I am a complete novice and a bit of a technophobe.  I really like the idea of a one-box solution but is the trad separates approach with NAS drive the best way forward?

Any guidance (even if to say "save your pennies for the NDX Jonners) is much appreciated!

Original Post

If you need to rip your CDs, start now! It takes a while to do it properly, and a NAS is fairly inexpensive compared to the rest of the system, maybe £250 to £500 depending on what you want. Or get an Innuos Zen Mini for a bit more if you want a ripper/hard drive/server that works out of the box.

If an NDX2 is too expensive, you may find that the ND5XS2 is good enough, and later you can upgrade it with an off board DAC, still for a lot less than the price of an NDX2. Alternatively, the original NDX is still a good option, especially if you want it for streaming your own collection from a NAS rather than for web sources.

None of this requires a computer, except for running the NAS. The Innuos would do it from an iPad, which is also all you need to run a Naim streamer.

ChrisSU posted:

If you need to rip your CDs, start now! It takes a while to do it properly, and a NAS is fairly inexpensive compared to the rest of the system, maybe £250 to £500 depending on what you want. Or get an Innuos Zen Mini for a bit more if you want a ripper/hard drive/server that works out of the box.

If an NDX2 is too expensive, you may find that the ND5XS2 is good enough, and later you can upgrade it with an off board DAC, still for a lot less than the price of an NDX2. Alternatively, the original NDX is still a good option, especially if you want it for streaming your own collection from a NAS rather than for web sources.

None of this requires a computer, except for running the NAS. The Innuos would do it from an iPad, which is also all you need to run a Naim streamer.

Ooh, I like the idea of an all-in-one ripper/hard drive/server. Forgive me for asking dumb questions but I am new to all of this. Having ripped my hundreds of CD's on this Innuos device, what would I do then to hear music? Would I need to connect up the Innuous to the NDX and connect that in turn to the 282? In other words, once ripped, the CDs are stored on the Innuous acting as the NAS drive with the NDX being controlled by iPad (or Android tablet?) to pull music from it, right?

Actually, the Innuos servers can also be used directly into a DAC, and can play iRadio, Tidal etc. so you don't necessarily need a streamer at all, just a DAC. I don't own one of these, but I've had a play at my dealers a few times now, and if i didn't already have a Unitiserve and a NAS, I would probably go for one of these instead.

They are in the process of revamping the range, and the new models will apparently have an SPDIF digital output, which gives a wider choice of DACs. On the other hand, the current models might be sold off at a reduced price.

If you use the Innuos, or a NAS, with a Naim streamer, they talk to each other over your network rather than using a direct connection. The NDX has a built in DAC, so connects to your preamp just as a CD player would. Control is via the Naim app on iPhone/iPad.

ChrisSU posted:

Actually, the Innuos servers can also be used directly into a DAC, and can play iRadio, Tidal etc. so you don't necessarily need a streamer at all, just a DAC. I don't own one of these, but I've had a play at my dealers a few times now, and if i didn't already have a Unitiserve and a NAS, I would probably go for one of these instead.

They are in the process of revamping the range, and the new models will apparently have an SPDIF digital output, which gives a wider choice of DACs. On the other hand, the current models might be sold off at a reduced price.

If you use the Innuos, or a NAS, with a Naim streamer, they talk to each other over your network rather than using a direct connection. The NDX has a built in DAC, so connects to your preamp just as a CD player would. Control is via the Naim app on iPhone/iPad.

Thanks ChrisSu, very helpful. I like the sound of this Innuos more and more! I need to research into how all this actually works in practice as I'm really out of my depth. It sounds like one option you're saying is not to buy a streamer at all (Naim or otherwise) but invest in a DAC + Innuous. I need to hear how that combo would sound and how it's all connected together. More homework is needed.... 

If one wants to stay away from a computer, Innuos is indeed an attractive option. But I would suggest visiting an Innuos dealer to establish how you feel about the Innuos interface and apps running the machine. iPeng is the most popular among iPad users, and OrangeSqueeze among Android users. 

And if going down the Innuos route, indeed no need to pay over the tops for a Naim streamer -- just a Naim Dac (around 1K in the second-hand market) or maybe Chord Dac. Personally, I rather like Chord's Qutest... 

Of course you need to listen for yourself, as well as assessing the functionality of the Innuos and its control app against what you get with a (Naim) streamer. The fact the Innuos pretty much is a streamer means that you have more cash left in the bank to spend on a DAC, which to my mind has the potential to get you a better system for a given budget.

Also, the Zen Mini is just the entry level Innuos server - the more expensive models get quite pricey, but I haven't heard them. 

I need to think about how all this stuff is connected up, whether wi-fi or physical cable into my Router and then controlled. If taking this Innuous + DAC route, I imagine it will be the DAC that is directly connected into my 282, presumably with the same cable I am using on the CDX (which would be sold on), and then a cable from the DAC to the Innuous. I would access my libary on the Innuous with OrangeSqueeze (where do they get these names from?). In terms of DAC - Naim or Chord, no question about it.

Phew - is that it? 

100% agree avoid wifi if possible,  it can be made to work,  but a simple cable is invariably more reliable.

Most modern routers are OK with switching duties,  but how good is it at correctly managing the data distribution, you will probably never really know,  so I maintain a made for the purpose & does nothing else switch is at least as good & probably better.    The added benefit of a switch is you only need one ethernet cable up to the router & makes for a tidier install.      Don't be tempted with exotic ethernet cables, or not at least to start with,  CAT-5e is all you need,  CAT-6 is double all you need.   

Whatever route you take, make sure you keep at least one backup of your music, especially when you start downloading. I don’t know how the Innuos products backup but there will doubtless be an easy way. If you do download, a computer will be needed somewhere so you are probably best to get one of your own. 

hungryhalibut posted:

Whatever route you take, make sure you keep at least one backup of your music, especially when you start downloading. I don’t know how the Innuos products backup but there will doubtless be an easy way. If you do download, a computer will be needed somewhere so you are probably best to get one of your own. 

I'm over at a certain dealer picking up a pair of ATC's for home demo and they're an Innuous dealer, or rather several of their sister shops are so I'm going to ask a few questions about integration, ease of use - and security! 

A used Naim HDX (I imagine they must come up for sale from time to time) will rip, store and play-back your CD's plus, give you access to Internet radio.
The HDX is also easy to set to automatic back-ups of your rips, although a manual back-up of downloaded music is required.
The HDX will not allow you to Stream from Tidal, etc.

blythe posted:

A used Naim HDX (I imagine they must come up for sale from time to time) will rip, store and play-back your CD's plus, give you access to Internet radio.
The HDX is also easy to set to automatic back-ups of your rips, although a manual back-up of downloaded music is required.
The HDX will not allow you to Stream from Tidal, etc.

Another great piece of advice, thanks blythe!

Jonners posted:

Hi Folks,

Looking at my current set-up I think it's high time I joined the world of streaming and I am looking for opinions from other members as to what they/you would do with my scenario.

I have a 200/282 based system - my sources are a CDX2 (1st gen, no XPS or DAC) and an LP12.

I don't currently stream and am looking for an easy way to get into it whilst preserving the character Naim sound. Dealers I've approached have steered me towards an NDX2 with a NAS drive controlled via tablet or computer and I was utterly blown away when I heard the NDX. BUT, I can't spend the thick end of £5500+. Also - my laptop is a works one and I am unable to load the streaming software. I have a Samsung S9 phone but that's not ideal. I'm thinking maybe a cheapo tablet just to have the software on as a dedicated controller? 

I probably won't be streaming off the internet per se, I think it will mainly be ripping my CD's to create a library. 

I'll most likely trade-in my CDX2 but being 12 years old it won't be worth much, it's then about what is best to look as a source and what is the best-performing streaming software which is easy to use as I am a complete novice and a bit of a technophobe.  I really like the idea of a one-box solution but is the trad separates approach with NAS drive the best way forward?

Any guidance (even if to say "save your pennies for the NDX Jonners) is much appreciated!

Jonners

I moved my CDX2 with XPS to NDX in 2014 and don't regret the move for one moment, I listen to a lot more music, NDX is just on in the background with Iradio either Paradise or BBC 6 Music, I don't stream but use UPnP a lot (when like you the LP12 is not in use)

I find the NDX a great streamer musical, focus and not harsh - I ripped by CD collection on to my NAS using dPoweramp,  music files I store in FLAC and NDX transcodes to WAV on the fly as good NAS with sufficent memory is around £600 (mine is a QNAP and I use Asset)

for me now I have the best of both worlds - very good LP12 (spec on bio) and NDX very happy

and as a footnote I found a bare NDX is very good, slightly (very slightly) improved by XPS - however the reall up is adding in 555 PSU, but i have not done this yet but demo the difference

I to have 282 with HCDR but into 300DR

and as HH says - DO MAKE SURE YOU BACK UP!!

antony d posted

Jonners

I moved my CDX2 with XPS to NDX in 2014 and don't regret the move for one moment, I listen to a lot more music, NDX is just on in the background with Iradio either Paradise or BBC 6 Music, I don't stream but use UPnP a lot (when like you the LP12 is not in use)

I find the NDX a great streamer musical, focus and not harsh - I ripped by CD collection on to my NAS using dPoweramp,  music files I store in FLAC and NDX transcodes to WAV on the fly as good NAS with sufficent memory is around £600 (mine is a QNAP and I use Asset)

for me now I have the best of both worlds - very good LP12 (spec on bio) and NDX very happy

and as a footnote I found a bare NDX is very good, slightly (very slightly) improved by XPS - however the reall up is adding in 555 PSU, but i have not done this yet but demo the difference

I to have 282 with HCDR but into 300DR

and as HH says - DO MAKE SURE YOU BACK UP!!

Thanks Antony, I've got 3 options I'm presently looking at, 2 involve the Innuous NAS/Streamer with Chord Qutest or ND5XS 2, the other a Novafidelity X45 as my "one size fits all" option. I've got a lot of questions and research to do so it's going to be a bit of a journey methinks. Input like yours and from other Forum members has been immensely helpful and very much appreciated.

Jonners posted:

Thanks Antony, I've got 3 options I'm presently looking at, 2 involve the Innuous NAS/Streamer with Chord Qutest or ND5XS 2, the other a Novafidelity X45 as my "one size fits all" option. I've got a lot of questions and research to do so it's going to be a bit of a journey methinks. Input like yours and from other Forum members has been immensely helpful and very much appreciated.

I am curious to learn how the Qutest (with Innuos as transport) compares to the ND5XS2 from a SQ point of view. I rather like the Qutest -- great DAC! But I haven't had a chance to hear the ND5XS2. Please report back! 

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×