ND5 XS 2 user review

Stephen Tate posted:

Well; when I get my hands on one I will be comparing it to my CD5si and if it beats that I will be a very happy bunny indeed - the CD5si being almost perfect as is to these ears, feet tapping on a daily.

Stephen, I would have thought an ND5XS2 was already sitting in your lounge — after you were running a streaming thread that was nearly as long as the System Picture thread... 

Timo posted:
Stephen Tate posted:

Well; when I get my hands on one I will be comparing it to my CD5si and if it beats that I will be a very happy bunny indeed - the CD5si being almost perfect as is to these ears, feet tapping on a daily.

Stephen, I would have thought an ND5XS2 was already sitting in your lounge — after you were running a streaming thread that was nearly as long as the System Picture thread... 

I have just visited the Audio t website and had a look and came across this - Naim ND5 XS 2 Network Player - Coming Soon

I reckon the clue could 'May' well lay in my answer above. 

Hello all. I would like  to hear your opinions about the following configurations I am thinking about. I’m about buying one of the new streamers but I can’t hear them first because in my country it’s not possible:

1: ND5 XS2 > Naim Dac (the big one) > SN2 > PMC 25.24

2: NDX2 > SN2 > PMC 25.24

I wonder how is the Dac section of the new NDX2 compare with the traditional Naim Dac. If I chose the second configuration I would have one box less (better WAF) and would sell the Naim Dac.

My actual configuration is Unitiserve > Naim Dac > SN2 > PMC25.24

Thanks

Felipe

 

FelipeCG posted:

Hello all. I would like  to hear your opinions about the following configurations I am thinking about. I’m about buying one of the new streamers but I can’t hear them first because in my country it’s not possible:

1: ND5 XS2 > Naim Dac (the big one) > SN2 > PMC 25.24

2: NDX2 > SN2 > PMC 25.24

I wonder how is the Dac section of the new NDX2 compare with the traditional Naim Dac. If I chose the second configuration I would have one box less (better WAF) and would sell the Naim Dac.

My actual configuration is Unitiserve > Naim Dac > SN2 > PMC25.24

Thanks

Felipe

 

Hi Felipe,

i have only compared nDAC and NDX2 both with PSU added (555PSDR). Both are fine DACs but with my 282/HCDR/250DR I prefer the NDX2. After swapping between the two I felt the nDAC wasn’t adding anything and the NDX2 really shines with the PSU added. I have now sold on my nDAC. If you’re considering the NDX2 with SN2 I suggest adding a HCDR. I’ve used HCDR with my old SN2 and it really improves the bass handling.

I heard the ND5xS2 and NDX2, SN2, hicap thru Focal Kanta 3 speakers at Audio show east. Yes, the NDX2 was better, but in this combination they were both so musical the absolute Hifi differences was not that important. After sort of Hifi listening in other rooms it was really nice just to enjoy music from a well set up system. So by all means listen to your combo,s, but don,t write off either of the two streamers bare. I would be tempted to just enjoy either for quite a while and then making an informed upgrade later.

Hi:

Thanks for your answers and your help.

My doubts are related to the Dac section of the NDX2. For what I've been able to dig on internet, the ND555 uses the same DAC of the NDac (BB 1704K), which is, as I understand, a Multi Bit chip, and the NDX2 uses another (1792A) which I believe is an Hybrid chip, in part a Multibit and in part a Delta Sigma Chip. I'm far from being an expert in this matter, or even uderstand whow this things work, but I've been told that the 1704K is far better Dac (and that's why Naim uses it in the ND555). If this is the case, if I change the dac section of my chain from Ndac to the internal dac in the NDX2, I will be doing a downgrade, I think. Giving that I'm thinking that the best option is to keep the Ndac and incorporate the ND5xS2 as transport. This way I keep a separate dac and have more flexibility for the future to come in order to be able to change only the Dac if I find another one that blows my mind or sort. Actually I saw on Naim web page  that the Ndac is discontinue, and this make me think that they are, maybe, working in a new Dac. 

I don't know how importance is the chip in the final SQ that you can get from you chain, including the Dac section, and how much the other factors that might include the new NDX2. What are your thoughts about this?

Thanks

Felipe

FelipeCG posted:

Hi:

Thanks for your answers and your help.

My doubts are related to the Dac section of the NDX2. For what I've been able to dig on internet, the ND555 uses the same DAC of the NDac (BB 1704K), which is, as I understand, a Multi Bit chip, and the NDX2 uses another (1792A) which I believe is an Hybrid chip, in part a Multibit and in part a Delta Sigma Chip. I'm far from being an expert in this matter, or even uderstand whow this things work, but I've been told that the 1704K is far better Dac (and that's why Naim uses it in the ND555). If this is the case, if I change the dac section of my chain from Ndac to the internal dac in the NDX2, I will be doing a downgrade, I think. Giving that I'm thinking that the best option is to keep the Ndac and incorporate the ND5xS2 as transport. This way I keep a separate dac and have more flexibility for the future to come in order to be able to change only the Dac if I find another one that blows my mind or sort. Actually I saw on Naim web page  that the Ndac is discontinue, and this make me think that they are, maybe, working in a new Dac. 

I don't know how importance is the chip in the final SQ that you can get from you chain, including the Dac section, and how much the other factors that might include the new NDX2. What are your thoughts about this?

Thanks

Felipe

Hi Felipe,

As I replied previously, I have owned the nDAC and more recently NDX2 and I’ve compared the SQ of both DACs, albeit with PSU added on both. I suggest trying a demo of both streamers with/without nDAC if you can before deciding. Your ears will be the best judge!

 

I was a little shocked when Naim said the ND555 woulduse obsolete DAC chipsets. But, I was wrong they brought to bear their knowledge in doing a superb implementation. The same can b said for the other streamers as bongoman said, you got to listen with an open mind.

OuYang posted:

I am also waiting ND5XS2 to compare with Roon Bridge + nDAC. My amp is Nait XS and source is Roon. I actually don't need full function network player like ND5XS2/NDX2, but Naim seems not to release new pure DAC anymore.

While I haven't listened to ND5XS2 or NDX2 for that matter (but I did listen to ND555), I would probably go S/H ND5 and nDAC instead of brand new ND5XS2. 

Chag - 

Chag... posted:
OuYang posted:

I am also waiting ND5XS2 to compare with Roon Bridge + nDAC. My amp is Nait XS and source is Roon. I actually don't need full function network player like ND5XS2/NDX2, but Naim seems not to release new pure DAC anymore.

While I haven't listened to ND5XS2 or NDX2 for that matter (but I did listen to ND555), I would probably go S/H ND5 and nDAC instead of brand new ND5XS2. 

Chag - 

I'm demoing an ND5XS2 and Innuous box on Monday, I can report back though I've only the NDX-2 as comparison from a previous demo a couple of months ago to go on.

Chag... posted:
OuYang posted:

I am also waiting ND5XS2 to compare with Roon Bridge + nDAC. My amp is Nait XS and source is Roon. I actually don't need full function network player like ND5XS2/NDX2, but Naim seems not to release new pure DAC anymore.

While I haven't listened to ND5XS2 or NDX2 for that matter (but I did listen to ND555), I would probably go S/H ND5 and nDAC instead of brand new ND5XS2. 

Chag - 

This will make the day for the R&D department.

Chag... posted:
OuYang posted:

I am also waiting ND5XS2 to compare with Roon Bridge + nDAC. My amp is Nait XS and source is Roon. I actually don't need full function network player like ND5XS2/NDX2, but Naim seems not to release new pure DAC anymore.

While I haven't listened to ND5XS2 or NDX2 for that matter (but I did listen to ND555), I would probably go S/H ND5 and nDAC instead of brand new ND5XS2.

Fascinating, in the Ethernet interfacing and SPDIF transport precision layer there have been significant  changes in terms of functionality, isolation and robustness compared to the older streamers.. and the original ND5XS really is rather constrained by comparison.. but each to their own.. 

The Naim DAC  needs a top flight transport to really sing.. otherwise I’d be tempted not to bother and look at alternatives..

Heard nd5xs2, ndx, ndx2 (all bare) and nd555 (w single 555) in Chester  on Saturday, all running through same 252/300/atc50 speakers. 

I have an nds powered by 555 (non dr) at home so I may be spoiled but I didn’t like the nd5xs2 at all. (I did have an nd5xs for a few years before the nds). The ndx2 was impressive - hugely better than the nd5xs2.

Although there wasn’t an nds there so I could not compare directly (too many variables to do everything) I would (a) not be surprised by an nds being better than ndx2 (nds pretty good value used at the moment) but (b) I could understand how there isn’t much space left for nds between ndx2 and nd555

i do like the nd555 but apparently I should get a 552 before getting one. Eek. Better get saving

living in lancs yearning for yorks posted:

Heard nd5xs2, ndx, ndx2 (all bare) and nd555 (w single 555) in Chester  on Saturday, all running through same 252/300/atc50 speakers. 

I have an nds powered by 555 (non dr) at home so I may be spoiled but I didn’t like the nd5xs2 at all. (I did have an nd5xs for a few years before the nds). The ndx2 was impressive - hugely better than the nd5xs2.

That was a flawed way to demo the ND5XS2 in my view. I hardly think anyone would be likely to buy such an unbalanced system, and even the NDX/NDX2 without PSU is arguably a bit of a  weak source for such a system. 

I think they should have used XS level amplification for the ND5XS2 and maybe demo’d it against the old model to give it a fair assessment. 

The purpose of these demos is to show the differences in the streamers. If you start changing amps and speakers at the same time, nobody can judge what is doing what. Of course the ND5 and NDX are out of their depth, but hopefully prospective purchasers will have more meaningful demonstrations at their leisure. 

As far as I’m concerned, all it showed was the difference between a balanced system and a mullet, but perhaps that’s not a bad lesson to learn! I wouldn’t be surprised if the ND5XS2 sounded great in the right system, but a demo like that just puts people off. 

ChrisSU posted:

As far as I’m concerned, all it showed was the difference between a balanced system and a mullet, but perhaps that’s not a bad lesson to learn! I wouldn’t be surprised if the ND5XS2 sounded great in the right system, but a demo like that just puts people off. 

Would disagree with this assessment, surely the other elements of the set up are to provide a neutral base from which to present each source with minimal impact from 252 etc. All the new streamers are likely to share the Naim family sound to varying degrees and there will be strengths and weaknesses to each that the set up will highlight. For me this helps me to go in with my eyes open for what a product can and cannot do. 

Oh dear, I needed a preamp before listening to the new streamers, I was at Nova/300 at the time. Several months before the streamers came out I did a preamp demo, chose a 252 over a 282. The streamer domo,s were then with 252/300, I chose the nd555 over the NDX2 . You do not need the 552, even if it’s a better preamp. You need a home demo with your system.

Crispy posted:
ChrisSU posted:

As far as I’m concerned, all it showed was the difference between a balanced system and a mullet, but perhaps that’s not a bad lesson to learn! I wouldn’t be surprised if the ND5XS2 sounded great in the right system, but a demo like that just puts people off. 

Would disagree with this assessment, surely the other elements of the set up are to provide a neutral base from which to present each source with minimal impact from 252 etc. All the new streamers are likely to share the Naim family sound to varying degrees and there will be strengths and weaknesses to each that the set up will highlight. For me this helps me to go in with my eyes open for what a product can and cannot do. 

The universal opinion of those who heard the ND5XS2 in this system seems, unsurprisingly, to have been ‘OK, can we listen to something else now, please?’ What is the point of a demo that nobody is going to like? Better to leave it out and play the systems people enjoy. 

Or, to put it another way, it is not a ‘neutral base’, it is a very revealing amp and speaker combination, and what it revealed was the relative weaknesses of the ND5XS2. 

ChrisSU posted:
Crispy posted:
ChrisSU posted:

As far as I’m concerned, all it showed was the difference between a balanced system and a mullet, but perhaps that’s not a bad lesson to learn! I wouldn’t be surprised if the ND5XS2 sounded great in the right system, but a demo like that just puts people off. 

Would disagree with this assessment, surely the other elements of the set up are to provide a neutral base from which to present each source with minimal impact from 252 etc. All the new streamers are likely to share the Naim family sound to varying degrees and there will be strengths and weaknesses to each that the set up will highlight. For me this helps me to go in with my eyes open for what a product can and cannot do. 

The universal opinion of those who heard the ND5XS2 in this system seems, unsurprisingly, to have been ‘OK, can we listen to something else now, please?’ What is the point of a demo that nobody is going to like? Better to leave it out and play the systems people enjoy. 

Or, to put it another way, it is not a ‘neutral base’, it is a very revealing amp and speaker combination, and what it revealed was the relative weaknesses of the ND5XS2. 

Revealing is exactly what you want in an amplifier. By neutral I mean that you do not want it to colour the source in any way, like many products do, and simply pass the music through. I for one am surprised at the weakness of the ND5XS2 that has been highlighted by this demo. 

French Rooster posted:

some were impressed by the nd5xs2 performance.     If you compare a porsche carrera to a mclaren 720s,  you will find the porsche a bit sad and uninvolving.   So better not listen to an nd555 if you plan to buy an nd5xs2.

Really, no risk at all, I will not listen to neither, NDX2 and ND555.

Like I did till now with Keel/Ekos.

M.

Chag... posted:
OuYang posted:

I am also waiting ND5XS2 to compare with Roon Bridge + nDAC. My amp is Nait XS and source is Roon. I actually don't need full function network player like ND5XS2/NDX2, but Naim seems not to release new pure DAC anymore.

While I haven't listened to ND5XS2 or NDX2 for that matter (but I did listen to ND555), I would probably go S/H ND5 and nDAC instead of brand new ND5XS2. 

Chag - 

Yesterday retailer give me the price of NDX2 and ND5XS2, NDX2 is twice as expensive as ND5XS2 so it is not an option for me.

For the price of new ND5XS2, add some budget I can buy S/H nDAC with a good Roon Bridge like LUMIN U1 MINI. I like the combination of ND5XS2 and Nait XS, one for digital and one for analogue, simple and clear. But the price is higher than I expected.

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