Is adding a Qutest to my ND5XS2 a good idea or should I look long term and wait until I can afford the NSC222.
IMHO the ND5 XS2 is already a better streamer compared to the (streaming component of) NSC222
FWIW, I now have same or similar, to you : ND5 XS2 → SN3 + HCDR. And seriously considered the NSC222 before pressing the “buy” button and going that route.
If you wish to improve the ND5 XS2, (and if you don’t mind adding boxes) then adding an external DAC is the next step. Chord Qutest or maybe nDAC are both good options.
Having said that, the NSC222 is a fabulous product. The rationale for choosing this option is a great one box solution.
I haven’t heard that particular combination myself, but adding Hugo1 to ND5XS was a game changer for me, to my ears distinctly more natural sounding. Personally I thank a separate DAC is also beneficial because if is the most critical component in digital replay, and you can upgrade the DAC without having to change a whole streamer.
Yes both are great options. I had a Qutest on loan for about a week but around the same time a nDAC showed up for sale and for me(my system, ears, room) I liked how it worked/sounded with my SN3+HiCapDR better.
FYI, I completely agree. That was my finding too. (You may already know that).
But find myself often suggesting the Qutest (or other options) thinking not everyone wishes to go to the same trouble to locate a pre-loved nDAC, when Chord DAC’s are maybe more readily available.
Just saying, to you.
Good nDac’s are like rocking horse poo at the moment. I have an opportunity of a display Qutest so may just go for that option .
Thanks for your advice and opinions.
By no stretch is that a bad choice. I keep forgetting how hard a used nDac is to find.
Regardless the Qutest works just fine with your gear.
6 UK NDACs sold on eBay since early September, you don’t often have multiple to choose from, but if you’re in the UK they’re not that hard to find. I didn’t look to see how many were scabby though
Qutest is a very competent DAC. It certainly was a game changer on my ND5XS. I got one on loan from my dealer and the difference was dramatic. Clearly the second gen ND5X2 has a better DAC so the difference may not be so big.
See if you can find a used HugoTT or nDAC
Definitely a good idea