ND5XS2

Thanks, interesting. Now that I have a NaitXS-2 I have an itch for a matching-size source. Yesterday, at my dealer's, I could hear some Tidal (from an NDX2, to be honest) and was very surprised at the sound quality. Plus, I find the lack of display and the nudity of the ND5 XS2's front panel totally seducing. But that would mean another major change in my life...

M.

Massimo Bertola posted:

Thanks, interesting. Now that I have a NaitXS-2 I have an itch for a matching-size source. Yesterday, at my dealer's, I could hear some Tidal (from an NDX2, to be honest) and was very surprised at the sound quality. Plus, I find the lack of display and the nudity of the ND5 XS2's front panel totally seducing. But that would mean another major change in my life...

M.

That could be a good system. I’ve been impressed by Tidal Hi Fi to, not that far off a good local rip from my Core. A display with certain albums art can be seducing to.....

Just used the ND5XS2 as a Roon Endpoint & the artwork is all on the Remote device, plus you can now, with the latest Roon release, display it on any Chromecast source or browser, so a TV or WIFi connected tablet.

There’s no need to have a display on the streamer and certainly no need to be displaying album artwork on a front display.

simes_pep posted:

Just used the ND5XS2 as a Roon Endpoint & the artwork is all on the Remote device, plus you can now, with the latest Roon release, display it on any Chromecast source or browser, so a TV or WIFi connected tablet.

There’s no need to have a display on the streamer and certainly no need to be displaying album artwork on a front display.

You have one already? (Or is that a spurious ‘d’ and you were making a suggestion rather than saying you’ve done it?)

You are correct - it was a spurious 'd' - it was a suggestion to use the ND5XS2 - it sounds like it is a good unit. I had the ND5XS/XP5XS for a couple of years, before making the upgrade to NDS/555DR.

However the advantage of the ND5XS2 is than it is already RoonReady

Massimo Bertola posted:

Mike,

I'd surely control an ND5 XS-2 with my MacBook Pro, and cover art wouldn't be a problem.. 

M.

I too have a preference for boxes without a display, but you need an iOS device (iPad or iPhone) to control a Naim streamer. You cannot control it from a computer (Mac or Windows) unless, as Simes_Pep  says, you use Roon, but that's a whole new ball game.

The ND5XS was an extremely underrated player in the first place and now getting rid of the display screen which was pointless anyway and along with the further improvements  Naim have made makes the ND5XS2 a really interesting looking streamer.

There used to be a third party app that allowed you to control a Unitiqute 2 from your MacBook but if you are paying for a new ND5XS2 it might be worth investing in a cheap used iPad to use as a remote.                 

Bob the Builder posted:

The ND5XS was an extremely underrated player in the first place and now getting rid of the display screen which was pointless anyway and along with the further improvements  Naim have made makes the ND5XS2 a really interesting looking streamer.        

I don’t know About the ND5XS being underrated: indeed, when I bought mine it was on the basis of good ratings by  the hi-fi press. At that time I didn’t even know that Naim did sources, but once I learnt more its place in the Naim hierarchy seemed right. Personally I found it a respectable player, returning similar sound quality to the CD player it replaced, which I regarded as good. Once into streaming it was not long before I learnt that better was possible for the money if one was prepared to put in some effort - but that does not negate the XS if a simple solution is more important than absolute sound quality. But indeed, if, as anticipated, the ND5XS-2 has improved noticeably on the original then given its price point it will be better value for money and so more desirable.

As for the display, that on the original model was useful for initialising in the system, for firmware updates and fault indication/troubleshooting (and as a bonus, if there was something wrong with the network there was still control to be able to play music on a usb stick), but of no value in day-to-day use. My only question regarding the absence of a display is whether the app’s connectivity is robust enough to be able to fulfil setup and troubleshooting functions.

ChrisSU posted:
Massimo Bertola posted:

Mike,

I'd surely control an ND5 XS-2 with my MacBook Pro, and cover art wouldn't be a problem.. 

M.

I too have a preference for boxes without a display, but you need an iOS device (iPad or iPhone) to control a Naim streamer. You cannot control it from a computer (Mac or Windows) unless, as Simes_Pep  says, you use Roon, but that's a whole new ball game.

My brother-in-law controls his HDX from a web page on his 21" iMac. He also has an app for the iMac: is it an older app, and now it doesn't exists anymore? Anyway, I have more than one iOs device. Thanks,

M.

Bob the Builder posted:

There used to be a third party app that allowed you to control a Unitiqute 2 from your MacBook but if you are paying for a new ND5XS2 it might be worth investing in a cheap used iPad to use as a remote.                 

Thanks, this is a good idea and I'd also have another use for a 2nd hand, older iPad.

Max

A caution re older iPads: if buying one, first check whether it can run the minimum IOS version required by the Naim (or other) app. I have an old (first generation) iPad that other than basic internet and email is now limited to clunky VNC remote control of my player because the proper control app requires a more recent IOS, so I presently use my work iPad, but it seems a shame that an old but still excellent condition device is confined just to stand-by duties.

Massimo Bertola posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Massimo Bertola posted:

Mike,

I'd surely control an ND5 XS-2 with my MacBook Pro, and cover art wouldn't be a problem.. 

M.

I too have a preference for boxes without a display, but you need an iOS device (iPad or iPhone) to control a Naim streamer. You cannot control it from a computer (Mac or Windows) unless, as Simes_Pep  says, you use Roon, but that's a whole new ball game.

My brother-in-law controls his HDX from a web page on his 21" iMac. He also has an app for the iMac: is it an older app, and now it doesn't exists anymore? Anyway, I have more than one iOs device. Thanks,

M.

For an HDX or Unitiserve (i.e. server) yes, you can use the N-Serve app on OSX for playback. The Naim streamers can only be controlled via the Naim app on iOS or Android.

I must be in a minority, I regulary use the keypad and display on my ND5XS. Very easy to select a new album or pull up a jukebox track selection (I use Asset UPnP).
Quicker than finding the tablet and firing up the Naim App.  I love the sound as well.

I heard a ND5XS2 with Supernait 2 very briefly being compared to a 272/250 dr, the ND5XS2 was better able to articulate, a piece of music that I quite frankly did,not like. If that gives some perspective to the ability of the new streamer.

Innocent Bystander posted:
Fred11 posted:

I wonder which is best; nd5xs2 with ndac or ndx2. The former should be cheaper now that the ndac go for nothing. Visually they are a good match!

Fred

For all we know at the moment, the ND5XS2 may be better on its own than with nDAC...

Well, there is some who prefers their Ndx2 with an ndac, so it should be better with one than alone. 

F

I went for a demo of the ND5 XS 2 on Friday…

A little about my system for context. I’ve been going to the same shop (Sound Cinergy) for many, many years (20+ years?) and know Clive the proprietor very well.

My first ‘proper’ Hi-Fi was all NAD then moved on to an all LINN system. I upgrade the system over time, always sticking with LINN. I also bought a LP12 along the way which I upgraded it to SE level.

I’d become dissatisfied and disillusion with the LP12 and LINN TBH. I decided to sell the LP12 and look for something else.

I went for a demo of the Well Tempered Versalex and was sold instantly. The dealer just so happened to be using the Naim Nova for amplifier duties, which I was extremely impressed with. I loved the sound and the looks of the Nova. Up until this point I hadn’t even contemplated going the streaming route, let alone the dreaded one-box ‘lifestyle’ route. This was back in March. Since then I’ve been looking at different options and weighing up the pros and cons of going the streaming route. Which brings us up to date.

 

My current system:

Well Tempered Versalex (Ortofon Black Cadenza)

Trilogy 906 Phono Stage

Akurate CD player

Exoitik Pre Amp

2200 Power Amp

Roksan TR-5

 

I asked Clive to set up a few options as I only listened to the Nova very brief so I have next to no experience of listening to any streamers. My following thoughts aren’t going to very detailed or scientific.  The gear is completely different to mine and it’s not a home demo. I just want to have a listen to a few options.

I listened to a selection of tracks from Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool and Grizzly Bear’s Painted Ruins. The albums were picked just because it’s what I’ve been playing  of late.  All the gear had been left on for over 24 hours BTW.

 Started with the ND5 XS 2, Nait 5si with Rega RX1’s. Interconnects were standard Naim and speaker cable was Chord Shawline:

 I was impressed and pleasantly surprised. I found the overall presentation and level of performance similar to my system but I found there was a lot more detail from the Naim set up. I didn’t find it lacking in any area. I really liked the look of the ND5 too but more about that later.

 Next up was the Atom. I would have liked to compared The Star to the above system but my dealer hadn’t got one in stock. I know the price difference is quite large but wanted a listen to Atom anyway.

 First off I think the Uniti range look class. Naim have really nailed the design. It’s like something from the film Fahrenheit 451. Sadly once the Atom is switched on I found the display off putting. I’m sure it can be switched off but what’s the point of having one?

Onto how it sounds. I was initially surprised as I preferred the presentation of the Atom. There seemed a bit more room for instruments to breath. Once the novelty had worn off (pretty quickly I might add) I found the Atom to be….well artificial. It’s always difficult to describe Hi-Fi but put in simple terms it did take me long to ask for it to be swapped to the next streamer.

Last to be tested was the Linn Majik DSM. The case work hasn’t been updated for a long time so it wasn’t off to the best of starts. Things didn’t improve once I started listening to it. I found the instruments had a tad more realism compared to the ND5 but that was the only positive I could hear. I found it left me cold and there wasn’t any ‘get-up-and-go’. It just sounded flat to me.

 I’ll be going back to my dealers in a couple of weeks to try the Nait XS 2 with the ND5 XS 2. Watch this space….

 

Cheers

Rob

BLACKMASS posted:

 

Sadly once the Atom is switched on I found the display off putting. I’m sure it can be switched off but what’s the point of having one?

 

Even more sadly, you can't switch off the display on the new Uniti range. 

Greetings fellow Members, just resurrecting this thread now I've had demo's of both the ND5SX2 and NDX2.

The NDX2 demo was at one dealer who had a similar set-up to mine at home, 200/282 combo though going into a pair of floor-standing Kudos speakers instead of my standmounted Dynaudios. NAS was a QNap. 

Sounded utterly awesome, better than my CDX2 in every way to my ears which is what I am considering replacing.

Demo'd the ND5SX2 this morning which was hooked up to a Supernait 2 and Hi-Cap (I think) feeding a pair of PMC Twenty5.21's which I thought were quite close in sound to my Dyns. NAS duties were care of an Innuous Zen and a Uniti Core.

Firstly, I found 3 identical tracks on the Core and the Zen which had been ripped from CD's and flipped between them to see if there was any difference. None that I could identify at all. So I'd probably take the Zen and save a lot of money in the process.

Secondly, on the performance which to my ears was not that great. It was good with less complicated pieces but once I asked it to tackle busier stuff it began to sound messy and harsh. Even on the uncomplicated stuff it lacked warmth and spacial awareness. In short it couldn't hold a candle to the CDX2.

So, when I go down the streaming route it will definitely be the NDX2 which to these ears was awesome, that is unless I am tempted to try Chord first...

perhaps the dealer managed to make the nd5xs2 sound bad, in order to sell the ndx2.  

Of course i can’t be sure and believe what you heard.   But normally the differences should be more on details, spaciousness, dynamics than warm and harsch.

Curious?       Or the ndxs2 was not burned in....

al9315 posted:

Perhaps to anyone thinking about NDX2 - the screen cannot be switched off, which to me (and presumably others) ends consideration of it (sadly!)

Would you consider applying a strip of gaffa tape or using a felt-tip pen? Either could be removed at resell time and could solve the problem cheaply. It's a shame because the NDX2 sounds pretty darn good IMHO.

French Rooster posted:

perhaps the dealer managed to make the nd5xs2 sound bad, in order to sell the ndx2.  

Of course i can’t be sure and believe what you heard.   But normally the differences should be more on details, spaciousness, dynamics than warm and harsch.

Curious?       Or the ndxs2 was not burned in....

I don't think so French Rooster, he didn't have an NDX2 and knew I demo'd that at a different dealer. 

He got the ND5 in last week and has been demoing it solidly ever since so I think it's safe to assume it's had the minimum burn-in time. I couldn't really get beyond the harshness and confusion but soundstage and dynamics were there, certainly more apparent on the less complicated tracks I listened to. It was less easy to pick out the separation between instruments. 

I don't know, you can only speak as you find and my reference was 2 pretty impressive products - the NDX2 and the CDX2 so it probably wasn't a totally fair trial in that respect. If I didn't own one and hadn't heard the other I'd most likely paint a more positive picture. According to the dealer he can't get enough of them so it's obviously a very popular choice at that price point.

Jonners posted:
al9315 posted:

Perhaps to anyone thinking about NDX2 - the screen cannot be switched off, which to me (and presumably others) ends consideration of it (sadly!)

Would you consider applying a strip of gaffa tape or using a felt-tip pen? Either could be removed at resell time and could solve the problem cheaply. It's a shame because the NDX2 sounds pretty darn good IMHO.

In a word "no" 

It just seems to me it is a major error ? - Do not require screen blazing away all the time, also - something else to go wrong - perhaps reduces SQ?

P.S. Not easy to find gaffa tape with same quality of finish as the casework ?!

The Naim support page for NDX2 says it can be turned off, the same way as the ND555. Use the remote to navigate on the screen to settings, select display, select display off. It will momentarily come on to show album/ track and then turn off.

Gazza posted:

The Naim support page for NDX2 says it can be turned off, the same way as the ND555. Use the remote to navigate on the screen to settings, select display, select display off. It will momentarily come on to show album/ track and then turn off.

I asked Naim specifically about this point, and was informed that "the screen cannot be turned off"

al9315 posted:
Gazza posted:

The Naim support page for NDX2 says it can be turned off, the same way as the ND555. Use the remote to navigate on the screen to settings, select display, select display off. It will momentarily come on to show album/ track and then turn off.

I asked Naim specifically about this point, and was informed that "the screen cannot be turned off"

We need an NDX2 owner to confirm or try, the Uniti range currently cannot turn off. But even that is in the pipeline for a future firmware update.

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