ND555/NDX2

Terrysmi posted:

I now have my NDX2 but cannot find the variable volume out . I am keen to try it as it would let the roon app control volume although if that is at the cost of SQ then I will cope without it . Can anyone help in terms of access to the options show above please

Naim said that the variable volume was only added to the ND555 in order to comply with Apple Airplay certification requirements, and that they recommend it be disabled for optimum sound quality, so the same might also apply to the NDX2. If you are using system automation, that's a different thing altogether, but I don't know if Roon can cope with it?

ChrisSU posted:
Terrysmi posted:

I now have my NDX2 but cannot find the variable volume out . I am keen to try it as it would let the roon app control volume although if that is at the cost of SQ then I will cope without it . Can anyone help in terms of access to the options show above please

Naim said that the variable volume was only added to the ND555 in order to comply with Apple Airplay certification requirements, and that they recommend it be disabled for optimum sound quality, so the same might also apply to the NDX2. If you are using system automation, that's a different thing altogether, but I don't know if Roon can cope with it?

Roon cannot; no volume control via Roon directly.  There are work-arounds with using a Harmony remote hub, but I've not gone down that rabbit hole myself.

Bart posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Terrysmi posted:

I now have my NDX2 but cannot find the variable volume out . I am keen to try it as it would let the roon app control volume although if that is at the cost of SQ then I will cope without it . Can anyone help in terms of access to the options show above please

Naim said that the variable volume was only added to the ND555 in order to comply with Apple Airplay certification requirements, and that they recommend it be disabled for optimum sound quality, so the same might also apply to the NDX2. If you are using system automation, that's a different thing altogether, but I don't know if Roon can cope with it?

Roon cannot; no volume control via Roon directly.  There are work-arounds with using a Harmony remote hub, but I've not gone down that rabbit hole myself.

Thanks for confirming that, I was pretty sure it would be the case, but only have NDX and Atom. I’m guessing that if you use Roon via Airplay (or just Airplay) you would get volume control, because Apple insist on it, but again, not system automation, just the built in digital control. 

nigelb posted:

Dan, would mind kindly enlightening me in which ways the bare NDX2 is superior to the NDS/XPS?

Good evening

 

in my opinion so much easier to listen without losing in prat or anything else it should be intressing to compare with nds and two 555ps

 

Dan

Hi!

I thought that I could chimney in to the discussion regarding NDX2 vs NDS.

Last week I attended a 2h demo at a dealer here in Sweden where the Swedish distributor presented the new NDX2. It was an interesting and a bit surprising (to me) event. I attended the late session so there were only 5 attendees. The earlier session were a lot more crowded and noisy (I suspect) so the late session was good in order actually hear what the NDX2 was capable of.

The system used was a system that a “typical NDX2 buyer” could have: NAC282 + NAPSC + HiCap DR + NAP250 DR. Speakers was Neat SX5i and cables were “medium level” from Chord. Music played was “normal music” played via Tidal. No Hi-res or “audiophile music”, just normal music ranged from Beyoncé to Blues Company.

First test was NDX vs NDX2. No surprise here. NDX2 was better in all areas. The difference was not small.

The second test was NDX2 vs NDS + XPS DR. After reading here on the forum I expected NDS to come out as a winner (since NDX2 was using its internal PS) but here was the surprise for me. I preferred NDX2 without hesitation. The difference was obviously smaller compared to “test 1” but it was still clear that NDX2 gave better sq (to me at least). All attendees agreed that NDX2 was superior to NDS + XPS DR. Things that I registered first was lower noise floor, better presence, bigger soundstage to name a few. It was easier “to hear the music” if that make sense?

Test 3 was NDX2 vs NDX2 + XPS DR. No surprise here either, the NDX2 sounds better with an external PS.

After the demo I was mainly thinking about “test 2”. My conclusions is that the new streaming platform seems to be a big step forward. That’s good news! NDX2 also seems to be a really good streamer that will give great joy to a lot of users. I also suspect that it will be quite tricky to sell a used NDS. At least to people that have heard a demo of NDX2 vs NDS

The demo was only 2h. It was done in a room and in a system that I’m not familiar with. Although the result was quite clear to me during the demo I recommend people to do the demo themselves and if possible try out a NDX2 at home in their own system. The distributor ensured me that the difference would be bigger in a more revealing system and if listening to NDX2 over a longer time period you would also appreciate the difference even more.

The question that remains unanswered to me is whether the new streaming platform is better in handling Tidal playback. Would the result have been the same if music would have been played from a UnitiCore or a Melco NAS? Was Tidal chosen for the demo to give the NDX2 an advantage over the NDS? I don’t know…

When I asked I was told that Tidal was used in order to show how easy it is to play music on a Naim streamer and that you can get started quickly without ripping all your CDs. Ripping and storing all CDs can come as a “step 2”, not to scare away people from streaming. I believe this explanation but have not heard NDX2 vs NDS with any other format than Tidal, just to be clear...

/Marcus

Interesting, and I wonder if the differences would have been the same if the demo had been done with a local server rather than Tidal. I found Tidal to be consistently inferior to CD rips on NDX when it was first released, but I think it sounds quite a bit better on more recent NDX firmware. I would want to do that demo too, before committing to an upgrade. 

You beat me to that punch Chris.   OK it may well have served the purpose of demo'ing the SQ differences,  but it raises more questions such as are those effects due to the new internet over ethernet connectivity of the new platform & does that same effect/difference carry forward into local ethernet NAS streaming.   Whatever,  if/when I do move to the new platform,  & no that will not happen until its firm/software maturity has evolved for at least another 12 months,  then I will be insisting on a demo that included local NAS streaming & with low & high def PCM & DSD.  

Yes, a Tidal only test could be misleading. I would suggest that if the dealer was keen to demonstrate the full potential of the NDX2 they would have included a locally streamed UPnP source for music as this is clearly superior to Tidal, well to these ears anyway. They could have still played a Tidal stream also to show how easy it is to get going with a streamer, but maybe that would not give the comparative outcome they were looking for.

Tidal is simply not a good way of demonstrating the ultimate capability of a streaming source. I accept that the NDX2 pushes the NDS hard and might pull ahead on Tidal due to the advances made in the streaming architecture and new software, which I am sure makes external streaming sound better. But that is only part (and a small part for me) of a streamer's capability.

Interesting feedback though Marcus, all the same.

nigelb posted:

Tidal is simply not a good way of demonstrating the ultimate capability of a streaming source.

I would say this is system dependent rather than an absolute truth. In my system, Tidal is indistinguishable from rips. It could be argued that my system is insuficiently revealing but others on this forum with more expensive systems have reported similar findings. Reportedly there are some albums on Tidal which are inferior masters/versions (though I have yet to personally encounter this) but there is no intrinsic reason why Tidal should be inferior to rips given the same recording in the same format.

S-i-S has posted reasons why the new streaming platform is a step forward from the legacy one in handling Tidal (though I could hear precious little difference even when I had a Superuniti). Certainly the reports of drop outs when using Tidal have declined in recent times - although again this was a puzzle to me as with my rural 6mbps broadband I never had a dropout from Tidal, ever.

Radio Paradise however was very prone to drop outs, particularly around tea time. This has ceased now I have a Nova so something is working!

nigelb posted:

Yes, a Tidal only test could be misleading. I would suggest that if the dealer was keen to demonstrate the full potential of the NDX2 they would have included a locally streamed UPnP source for music as this is clearly superior to Tidal, well to these ears anyway. They could have still played a Tidal stream also to show how easy it is to get going with a streamer, but maybe that would not give the comparative outcome they were looking for.

Tidal is simply not a good way of demonstrating the ultimate capability of a streaming source. I accept that the NDX2 pushes the NDS hard and might pull ahead on Tidal due to the advances made in the streaming architecture and new software, which I am sure makes external streaming sound better. But that is only part (and a small part for me) of a streamer's capability.

Interesting feedback though Marcus, all the same.

I am betting that with better source material than TIDAL, that the differences are even bigger.  My reasoning is that the newer platform should be able to do more with HiRez material than the older platform, just based on maturity of the technology. 

I know all the owners of NDS's want the opposite, but we will see. 

Bailyhill

Bailyhill posted:
nigelb posted:

Yes, a Tidal only test could be misleading. I would suggest that if the dealer was keen to demonstrate the full potential of the NDX2 they would have included a locally streamed UPnP source for music as this is clearly superior to Tidal, well to these ears anyway. They could have still played a Tidal stream also to show how easy it is to get going with a streamer, but maybe that would not give the comparative outcome they were looking for.

Tidal is simply not a good way of demonstrating the ultimate capability of a streaming source. I accept that the NDX2 pushes the NDS hard and might pull ahead on Tidal due to the advances made in the streaming architecture and new software, which I am sure makes external streaming sound better. But that is only part (and a small part for me) of a streamer's capability.

Interesting feedback though Marcus, all the same.

I am betting that with better source material than TIDAL, that the differences are even bigger.  My reasoning is that the newer platform should be able to do more with HiRez material than the older platform, just based on maturity of the technology. 

I know all the owners of NDS's want the opposite, but we will see. 

Bailyhill

As a NDS owner, I don't really care if the NDX2 is about the same, better or worse than the NDS. The only streamer I am interested in is the ND555.

I do however feel that the new streamers are probably better at handling external streams (e.g Tidal), due primarily to the new platform, so to test the NDS against the NDX2 on only that basis is misleading. There are a number of design features that would suggest that the NDS is a match for the NDX2 on locally served material via UPnP (for example the floating chassis on the NDS) and both products still share many of the same components.

In the main, I still maintain that locally served files sound better than Tidal on my NDS although I accept that Tidal my hold a better master of an album I own and serve locally. Generally speaking, this is not the case and I use Tidal primarily for sampling music and locally served UPnP rips for serious listening. I would imagine the same would prevail with the new streamers. Maybe those new ND555 owners who have Tidal would like to comment.

I would suggest however that the reason there is no NDS2 is that the NDX2 is so close to the NDS, that there is now no room for an NDS2 in the hierarchy, indeed that has been mentioned by Naim staff at the odd demo.

Luvly down here in the gutter with you Nigel and our 252,s. The new Elvis Costello cd “Look Now” has turned up..the 2 cd version. I know Tidal has this cd as I played it before buying, and as it was only released a few days ago they should the same version, I would hope. 

nigelb posted:

Gazza, I would be interested to hear your findings, but accept that often difference are subtle and are not therefore always definitive.

BTW Gazza, like me you only have a crappy 252, so how are you going to hear a difference.

Nigel , I just tried the new Elvis Costello ripped on Uniti Core played via upnp, and then on Tidal, and then back to the Core on a few tracks. Really if there is a difference too subtle for my ears. As above pretty sure they must be the same version as it is so new the Dbase providers don,t have the artwork or correct metadata, yet. Hope this helps, will try a few others this evening.

Gazza posted:

Luvly down here in the gutter with you Nigel and our 252,s. The new Elvis Costello cd “Look Now” has turned up..the 2 cd version. I know Tidal has this cd as I played it before buying, and as it was only released a few days ago they should the same version, I would hope. 

If you guys are in the gutter with a 252, where does that put me, who does not have even a 252?  Lets not forget the underlying thing about Naim and this Forum, we are all music lovers and all have the best equipment we can afford within our circumstances. 

My circumstances are changing for the better, but I never forget humble beginnings in life and audio.  Love the posts here.  My ND555/PS555 is scheduled later this month.  Very excited.

Bailyill

It was only me and Nigel having a joke.....many years ago when I had a Nac62; I always wanted a 52 but never got there. Now lucky to have the 252, it’s a lovely preamp. As for the ND555 hope it turns up quickly, they do seem to be beating their delivery times some of us were given👍

Gazza posted:
nigelb posted:

Gazza, I would be interested to hear your findings, but accept that often difference are subtle and are not therefore always definitive.

BTW Gazza, like me you only have a crappy 252, so how are you going to hear a difference.

Nigel , I just tried the new Elvis Costello ripped on Uniti Core played via upnp, and then on Tidal, and then back to the Core on a few tracks. Really if there is a difference too subtle for my ears. As above pretty sure they must be the same version as it is so new the Dbase providers don,t have the artwork or correct metadata, yet. Hope this helps, will try a few others this evening.

Why not just download the high res from Qobuz? It’s cheaper and sounds better. 

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