Advice on upgrade

Hello all,

I’m new to the forums, and I’m just after some general advice about my system. I’ve had the following for about 2 years
Naim 5si
B&W CM8 S2
Yamaha WXAD-10

All of my listening is via Tidal. I really enjoy the sound, but I’d like to explore what the next upgrade could be to get that little bit more.

I’m considering either
An upgrade from the 5si to a Supernait 3
An upgrade from the Yamaha streamer to a ND5-XS2

Looking at the existing components, the much lower cost price of the Yamaha streamer would suggest that it’s the weak link, and the streamer upgrade would be the best way to go. Maybe it’s my naivety, but considering the relative simplicity of a streamer, I’m not convinced on how much improvement an upgrade here would make, and instead maybe an upgrade to my amp would provide better results.

After current events have passed I would like to demo if I can, but I know not everywhere offers home demos, and shop demos are nice, but obviously can only go so far to replicating your home environment.

Hoping someone with more experience than I can offer some thoughts.


Streaming and pre-amp in one box - a power amp is still needed. The OP has a 5si so perhaps the ND5XS2 would be more appropriate. It also has the latest streaming platform inside so more future proof than the 272.

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It may be very good but as several folks on here have had problems with Tidal on N272 and you can’t integrate Qobuz on N272, I am not sure that is best choice if your source is streaming

It is also not an amp - it’s a preamp and streamer

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Depends what your budget is. Nova would give you real upgrade in both amp and streaming

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Looks awesome… think the power amp requirement would definitely put it out of my budget unfortunately! One to aspire to!!

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Budget is around £2.5k, so I’m already pushing it slightly with my original idea of upgrading either the amp or the streamer.

I hadn’t considered the Nova, but didn’t really want to push the budget any further.
Now you’ve mentioned it though I’ll try to get a listen of one before committing to anything.

I’m in a similar position where the streamer is definitely the weak link in my system. I have Nait XS2 feeding a pair of PMC twenty5.22’s and the difference in sound between the streamer, a Sonos Connect, and my CD player Naim CD5si is huge. I haven’t heard a ND5 XS2 but I think the conventional wisdom in here is that it sounds as good as if not better than the CD5si and if that’s the case a better streamer should be a good boost to your system. I’d be looking at a source upgrade before an amp upgrade. I got my CD5si before I invested in the XS2 and PMC speakers but even on my previous far more modest system (Musical Fidelity A1 amp, Rogers LS2 speakers, Arcam Alpha CD player) the CD5si gave a huge uplift in the sound and my guess would be the ND5 XS2 would do the same to your system.


On the basis that improving source first is generally the best idea (and assuming you want to buy new rather than s/h), then with that budget I would suggest buying an ND5 XS2. You should easily see a real upgrade in SQ. Then you can save for an integrated NAIM amp eg SN3 at later date. ATB


Is that a headphone out on the 272?

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Second hand superuniti, one box solution.

streamer, amp in one?


I’d be looking at an ND5XS2. It’s a great sounding box. The legacy boxes such as the 272 and SuperUniti were introduced before online streaming became widespread. I have a 272 and it’s fantastic when streaming from the Nas, but Tidal sounds pretty ropey and I wouldn’t touch it if Tidal was my source of choice.


Considering the target budget of £2.5k you could combine a NAIT XS2 + ND5XS2. That’s based on used prices but would give you a nice path forwards and the basis for future system improvements.
I’d be inclined to do both the amp and streamer source in one hit if you can, if you want to skew your priority/budget one box at a time I’d do the streamer source first starting with an ND5 XS2 and then later adding a Supernait 2, great amp and still great value for its flexibility and performance potential.
Don’t overlook the benefits and importance of cabling (including mains supply) and what your equipment sits on, even a used Fraim lite will make a difference then you have powerline mains cords and a Hi-Line interconnect to experiment with too.
The things between the boxes are as important in many respects as the boxes themselves!
I would add if your longer term goal is not a lot of boxes and a simple setup that improves what you have today but without options to modify significantly beyond that then a Uniti Star or Nova would be worth a look and listen as they will do everything in one box and have the latest Naim streaming support also.


Appreciate the input, everyone.
It’s given me some food for thought.

You may also consider the nDAC and let your Yamaha do the streaming part, if it has a digital output of course. You will spare some money for a good IC for example.

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An ND5XS2 would be the priority IMHO. Ge that first and see how you get on. If you can save up for a Supernait 2 or 3 then get that and you’ll be in a great position.

If you can’t wait then the Nait XS2 would be mighty fine too. What you have is no slouch and will still sound great with the ND5.

I would go for source first with the ND5.

Plenty used and ex demo. Dealers are struggling right now so you are in a commanding position to get a great deal on ex demo, used or new stock.

Don’t be afraid to make offers on equipment to get a great deal!

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