NDX+XPS vs NDX 2+XPS

Hi there, I currently own an NDX+XPS.  I haven't seen and wonder if anyone has directly compared an NDX+XPS with a NDX 2+XPS?  I understand the differences with respect to improvements in file resolutions and native support for Roon but I'm interested in the sound differences / comparisons between the two.

I will certainly demo myself but in my case others seem to further ahead in evaluating / demo'ing the NDX 2 so wanted to get input from others in the interim for this particular comparison.

Thanks!

Original Post

I would hope a NDX2 would be a decent improvement.

On the other hand, I do not think an NDX2 is the logical upgrade for an NDX. It would be a bit like having a new CDS, then a CDS2, then a CDS3 and then a CD555. Yes there are definitely people who did that but replacing a model with simply the same item at the next iteration is not the way to upgrade.

It is like buying a 2000 Ford Focus and then replacing it with each current iteration. Yes they are all appreciably better than the one before it but if you going to upgrade from a Ford Focus, you don't do it with another Ford Focus. You go and buy a Lexus, or a Porsche or something. Going directly from 2000 Focus to a 2018 model would be enough of a delta to be a meaningful upgrade also.

I also currently use an NDX/XPSdr. To me, the logical "meaningful" upgrades are:

- A second hand NDS
- An ND555
- In 6 or 7 years time, an NDX3
- A non Naim streamer

Regardless of how good the NDX2 is, I'll hold out for one of the above rather than just swapping out something for the current model at the same point in the range.

Congratulations Iver, I do look forward to hearing your thoughts on moving up to the NDX-2!   Hoping to hear feedback from others who also decide to move from an NDX to the NDX-2.  Always a consideration for a future update.........

Iver van de Zand posted:

Tomorrow I’ll pick up my NDX-2 to join my existing XPSdr. Up till today I use an NDX with it, that will be traded. I can tell more in a week I think

 

feeling_zen posted:

I would hope a NDX2 would be a decent improvement.

On the other hand, I do not think an NDX2 is the logical upgrade for an NDX. It would be a bit like having a new CDS, then a CDS2, then a CDS3 and then a CD555. Yes there are definitely people who did that but replacing a model with simply the same item at the next iteration is not the way to upgrade.

It is like buying a 2000 Ford Focus and then replacing it with each current iteration. Yes they are all appreciably better than the one before it but if you going to upgrade from a Ford Focus, you don't do it with another Ford Focus. You go and buy a Lexus, or a Porsche or something. Going directly from 2000 Focus to a 2018 model would be enough of a delta to be a meaningful upgrade also.

I also currently use an NDX/XPSdr. To me, the logical "meaningful" upgrades are:

- A second hand NDS
- An ND555
- In 6 or 7 years time, an NDX3
- A non Naim streamer

Regardless of how good the NDX2 is, I'll hold out for one of the above rather than just swapping out something for the current model at the same point in the range.

If one is happy with the NDX I think that it makes perfectly sense to move to a NDX2. This comes with a more flexible streaming platform and an integrated UPnP server. But I agree with you that if the move was motivated by  the wish of mainly improving the sound quality, then it would perhaps make more sense to move to a different device.

On the other hand, the NDX has been often deployed as a transport for nDAC+555PS in all-Naim systems. If the NDX2 alone turned out to sound as good as (or better than) the NDX2 into nDAC+555PS, then a move from the NDX to the NDX2 would make a lot of sense even from the point of view of sound quality alone.

I guess that we will know more as the first NDX2 owners will start playing around with their devices and report their findings.

feeling_zen posted:

I would hope a NDX2 would be a decent improvement.

On the other hand, I do not think an NDX2 is the logical upgrade for an NDX. It would be a bit like having a new CDS, then a CDS2, then a CDS3 and then a CD555. Yes there are definitely people who did that but replacing a model with simply the same item at the next iteration is not the way to upgrade.

It is like buying a 2000 Ford Focus and then replacing it with each current iteration. Yes they are all appreciably better than the one before it but if you going to upgrade from a Ford Focus, you don't do it with another Ford Focus. You go and buy a Lexus, or a Porsche or something. Going directly from 2000 Focus to a 2018 model would be enough of a delta to be a meaningful upgrade also.

I also currently use an NDX/XPSdr. To me, the logical "meaningful" upgrades are:

- A second hand NDS
- An ND555
- In 6 or 7 years time, an NDX3
- A non Naim streamer

Regardless of how good the NDX2 is, I'll hold out for one of the above rather than just swapping out something for the current model at the same point in the range.

That’s all very well, but the new streamers offer a timely update to the range of streaming services available, as well as any sound quality improvement. If the OP wants to jump up the ladder, that means he needs an ND555 plus PSU at £20k, which is a lot of cash, even with a trade in deal. 

feeling_zen posted:

I would hope a NDX2 would be a decent improvement.

On the other hand, I do not think an NDX2 is the logical upgrade for an NDX. It would be a bit like having a new CDS, then a CDS2, then a CDS3 and then a CD555. Yes there are definitely people who did that but replacing a model with simply the same item at the next iteration is not the way to upgrade.

It is like buying a 2000 Ford Focus and then replacing it with each current iteration. Yes they are all appreciably better than the one before it but if you going to upgrade from a Ford Focus, you don't do it with another Ford Focus. You go and buy a Lexus, or a Porsche or something. Going directly from 2000 Focus to a 2018 model would be enough of a delta to be a meaningful upgrade also.

I also currently use an NDX/XPSdr. To me, the logical "meaningful" upgrades are:

- A second hand NDS
- An ND555
- In 6 or 7 years time, an NDX3
- A non Naim streamer

Regardless of how good the NDX2 is, I'll hold out for one of the above rather than just swapping out something for the current model at the same point in the range.

Not quite as it seems ,at least according to improvements on paper.

Pretty sure your reasoning may perfectly fit the nd5xs series but the newer ndx2 has ...discrete analogue stages.Ina sense and with due proportions could anyway account for a huge jump as was the nDAC when partnered with anything bar the best. 

Hi all,

I picked up my NDX-2 this morning. Installation (including automated Firmware through internet) works super-simple. Display, remote and general functionality are splendid. Overall impression of build-quality is also very good.

The NDX-2 is connected to my XPS-Dr. Currently playing and running-in. Even though it is fresh-out-of-the-box, the sound is immediately very good.  The familiarity with the NDX is there; it terms of color, speed and imaging one immediately recognizes the brand.

The overall sound quality of the NDX-2 is better than the NDX. Brad Mehldau's piano-play has more clarity and I can better recognize the fingers touching the piano keys.  The voice of The voice of Allison Kraus is remarkable bright and articulation is super. Imaging is also better emphasized and the 3D placing is ridiculously good. I have the feeling that the NDX-2 is slightly more "in-the-face" than the NDX. I like that. 

The system is just a few hours old, so I will share a more detailed summary in a few days. First impressions though are very good and  a big step-up to the NDX with XPS-Dr

Cheers

Iver

Interesting. I asked my dealer his impression of NDX2 compared with CDX2 (which I currently have). He suggested NDX2 was more forward - so I guess thats consistent with what you are hearing.

Will be demo’ing NDX2 on Monday of next week as potential replacement for CDX2. Already have XPSDR.

Thanks Iver for your early impressions and congratulations!  I look forward to hearing more of your impressions as it breaks in.

Were you able to hang onto your NDX to be able to go back and compare in the next few days?

I know from personal experience that when upgrading you think you hear and understand the differences (or not) post upgrade listening to the new equipment and then once you go back to previous equipment you realize you either over or under appreciated the scale of change with the new equipment.

analogmusic posted:

feeling-Zen makes a very valid point.... I guess the only way to know for sure is to hear them side by side.

To be clear, I'm not commenting on the sound quality of the NDX2. Even if it is leagues ahead of my NDX, my personal upgrade philosophy says to go for something higher in the Naim (or non Naim) range.

For that reason, I'll enjoy my NDX/XPSdr for many more years and then go for something of ND555 positioning.

Hello all,

The NDX-2 has been continuously running for 2 days now and is starting to "open up". It's the first time I actually notice myself what running-in does to a system. The difference compared to two days ago is very big. The NDX-2 is very, very good and exceeds my expectations.

The first thing that is quite a difference towards the NDX I had, is the speed of everything. There is more dynamics and the music is really separated/loose from the loudspeakers. In general I also have the impression that everything is closer to me, like if the soundstage comes a few yards closer.

Second the NDX-2 is really "in the face". It immediately grabs you by the throat and makes you almost part of the music. I know that sounds strange, but it really does. You really feel the atmosphere of the sound stage or studio where the recording was done. Very nice. Dynamics are so much better; stronger and clearer defined. The level of detail grew significantly when comparing my previous NDX/XPSDr combo. 

Third is that imaging and 3D is further evolved and refined. Separating instruments and voices and understanding who/what is in front or not, is automatically there and doesn't even require intense listening to notice.

Downsides? Oh yes; even more than the NDX, the NDX-2 highlights bad recordings pretty significant as bad recordings. Next I notice a sense of harshness in some high frequency tones but I think it is due to the Beryllium tweeter of my Kanta 2 speakers since also the NDX had this a bit. It is not much, but it is there.  

Would I do the investment again? Yes I would: the NDX-2 for me is a superb addition in my set which I feel is pretty balanced now. It brings the overall quality and experience to a higher level. This does not say anything about the ND5XS or NDX (I had them both) which are very good pieces off equipment, but the NDX-2 just very clearly shows how also audio-development can evolve.

I never had a NDS at home and only heart it at audio shows, but I dare to say that the NDX-2 is close if not on par. 

At the moment I do not have my NDX anymore, but I was able to directly compare the XPSDr/NDX versus XPSDr/NDX-2 combination directly the very first day (when the NDX-2 wasn't run-in at all). It is especially the speed and detail that improved and makes the combo even more mature

 

Iver

 

Hi Guys

I have now had my Naim NDX 2 for 10 days, having traded in my existing NDX

My system - XPS dr: Arcam FMC 49 amp: PMC Twenty Twenty six speakers.

I have to say that I am suprised at the improvement in sound quality over the original NDX; I expected only mininimal sound improvement.

It does take a few hours to "Run In" (used to think this was a myth).

I have found these improvements:-

  • Greater clarity and timbre from piano notes - generally a clear ringing tone
  • Violins; Cellos - more definition / timbre (I now notice diferent textures in the strings)
  • Human voice is very well defined and detailed; can hear words in songs which I previously couldnt pick out
  • Bass is definately tighter and better defined
  • There is more "attack" for want of a better word; things happen quickly and often suprisingly
  • There is more weight to louder complex passages
  • More stable when searching for titles on Tidal and shows album art on screen from Tidal
  • Seems to be good at retrieving album art with music files, as it shows the album art when often the app doesnt

I have not had a chance to do any A-B comparisons; the above are just the points which i noticed.

Cons:

The 5" display is too bright, only the buttons can be dimmed
Flac files previously edited using Wave Pad will not play on the NDX 2, wheras they played ok on the NDX
Buttons on the remote are supposed to light up when it is moved - sometimes they dont
No direct buttons on remote eg for TV and Internet radio
Naim App  !!!!!

Absolutely no regrets in swapping the old NDX - hope this is helpful to those contemplating a purchase.

Steve

Stevie Bart posted:

Hi Guys

I have now had my Naim NDX 2 for 10 days, having traded in my existing NDX

My system - XPS dr: Arcam FMC 49 amp: PMC Twenty Twenty six speakers.

I have to say that I am suprised at the improvement in sound quality over the original NDX; I expected only mininimal sound improvement.

 

  • .....
  • ........
  • More stable when searching for titles on Tidal and shows album art on screen from Tidal
  • .................

Steve

Same impression here Stevie Bart: Tidal seems more stable. Also the quality of sound from Tidal is better now and gets pretty close to,my NAS stored files. Still not the same, but close(r)

I borrowed an NDX 2 for a few days a couple of weeks ago, only a few days use and it sounded superb even without an XPS.  Admittedly that's comparing with a Nova, both to an external pre/power combo (though as the Nova only has variable out, perhaps not an ideal comparison).

I guess it'd be the same with hearing an ND 555, but having heard the NDX 2 I really know how much improvement a standalone streamer brings.

Has the price of the NDX 2 gone up?

AlanJ posted:

Interesting. I asked my dealer his impression of NDX2 compared with CDX2 (which I currently have). He suggested NDX2 was more forward - so I guess thats consistent with what you are hearing.

Will be demo’ing NDX2 on Monday of next week as potential replacement for CDX2. Already have XPSDR.

Which version of the CDX2?

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

If the NDX2 is more forward than the CDX2 that is a little worrying... the CDX2 is about as forward as you want... sure it works well with some genres, but as I have said before it’s significant forwardness doesn’t lend it self to be the most neutral of players...

This was my thought exactly.

Added to this, the NDX/XPS combo is firmly at the opposite end of the spectrum with a very laid back almost analogue quality. So when I read the same post I thought "that's gonna be helluva shock to your system" for anyone making that specific upgrade.

Incidently, your choice of the word “upgrade”  is interesting. Im intrigued to see if it is, indeed, an upgrade. I’m thinking of it more in terms of a change of format, driven by a variety of factors. As I said in my earlier post - it has to be at least as good.

Ok.... Definitely NOT more forward than the CDX2. Quite the opposite in fact. Apologise to dealer.. misunderstood his meaning.

Sounding very good right now, having resolved some initial network issues. 

Very open and detailed to my ears -  plenty of space between instruments etc.. 

 Have use of it for a couple if days so will be able to have a good run with it before making final decision.

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