This post is out of interest.
Should one feel any cause for concern buying or upgrading within legacy streamers? Obviously with the new range of streamers now out it makes for some good deals to be had with the legacy products. Especially the very sort after NDS. Obviously the NDS is still an expensive product and I am interested if people would have reservations putting £3500-£4000 into the old technology.
My thoughts and concerns would be and don’t know if this would be possible but is there any chance of the tidal integration becoming defunct somehow? Then the only means of using the unit would be via Bluetooth which would not be ideal unless one uses a upnp server with stored music.
Would anyone hazard a guess on the lifecycle of the legacy streamer lineup?
I’m pretty sure Naim will do their best to continue to support the old streamers as far as possible to maintain their existing functionality, including Tidal. I wouldn’t like to say how long they will be able to sustain this.
If native Tidal cannot be sustained, there are already alternative means of using it, such as BubbleUPnP or, with suitable hardware, Roon. If you are prepared to use these workarounds, I think the old streamers are a good buy at current prices.
The NDS is a bit of a bargain for the performance on offer. Playing from a decent NAS with an optimised network setup, you’d be very happy and as Chris says, there are work arounds to keep up to date with streaming services. Factor in that the display will fail which will require a trip to Salisbury sometime.
Are the screens still likely to go even if you never have them on?
That was undoubtedly a question that crossed my mind when I was trading up from my NDX to an NDS earlier this year @popeye.
My most used methods of listening to music on my system are UPnP from my Unitiserve and iRadio, both should not be impacted by any changes to the platform.
Tidal is an increasing percentage of my listening though.
As @ChrisSU has said, there are workarounds available today and I’m sure there will be technical solutions available going forward to solve issues of getting streaming services to my NDS.
For those reasons I was completely comfortable with making such an investment on a legacy streamer, others may feel differently though.
I certainly wouldn’t put £3500-£4000 into an NDS: its streaming platform is outdated and the NDS DAC section is not worth that price, in my view.
If you want a Naim DAC, I would rather go for a second hand nDAC (and front end it with a modern streaming platform) or for a new Naim streamer. Of these, the most interesting device is the ND5 XS 2, in my view.
Do not rule the NDS out. A few months ago I went for a s/h NDS/555PSDR combo. By song three wifey said it was like the band was in the room which she has never said before.
the nds is for now the second best naim streamer. If you are not interested by tidal, qobuz, and roon, like me, it’s the best bargain on the market.
If you want to have tidal, qobuz, roon and mqa, go for dcs network bridge with a naim dac, it’s also a bargain.
I am personally not looking at any options. I was just interested on peoples thoughts on the matter.
I had a ND5XS (legacy) and signed up for TIDAL, then the Roon trial.
Roon was transformative for me. It integrated everything (my digital library and TIDAL), but more importantly made it so easy to discover new things with Roon Radio, etc. However, I had to use an old Squeezebox Touch as to bridge Roon to the legacy streamer, so I decided I really wanted to go to the new platform where everything is native. The ND5XS2 was the easy change to make, but I stretched and went for the NDX2. That was two months ago and a week a go I acquired a S/H XPSDR from my dealer. FWIW: I have since abandoned TIDAL for Qobuz.
I have not looked back. It was the right choice for me.
The screens still come on, albeit briefly even if you have them set to the lowest setting.
My NDX screen faded after 7-8 years despite being set to switch off as soon as possible.
I understand the replacement screens are different, hopefully the new ones will last better.
My only comment, is that they were Naim’s first generation, and from the ‘streaming’ perspective have now significantly been improved and enhanced in terms of functionality as well as SQ with the newer current streamers.
So if you can get for a good price, the legacy streamers might be a good gateway to the current devices… but they can be bettered at their respective levels.
Are the 272 screens also known to have the same issue?
Probably too early to tell, the 272 only came out in 2015 and it tends to be older units in the other models that are starting to fail. If they use the same screen hardware then I suspect it’s only a matter of time but if they use a different display then things may be different.
If your main goal is local streaming, then opting for an older streamer would have zero concern for me.
These are excellent sounding units. My main issue would be the screen. I’d want to know it had been replaced or priced to compensate for the fact the buyer needs to do this. That should not be a big issue though. When buying anything second hand, you expect a price that reflects whether it has just been recapped/serviced or will need to be soon after purchase. I just group the screen issue with all that.
Any of the ‘Classic’ streamers can combined with the SonoreUPnP Bridge to easily provide Roon integration through the Ethernet input.
This harnesses the optimized input of these Network players making a S/H NDS purchase good value over a ND5XS2 or NDX2, unless there is some feature/functionality on the latest products you absolutely require (btw these are AirPlay, Chromecast built-in, Bluetooth (aptX HD), and support for 24/384 & DSD128 formats)
Roon downconverts the 24/384 and 24/382.8 (DXD), DSD128, DSD256 to the 24/192, 24/176.4 and DSD64 - if of course you have any recordings in these formats, they are pretty rare.
You could also find a ND5XS at a really good price, which could be used with a XP5XS or XPS-DR, which is always going to be better than any Sonus, Bluenode, Cambridge Audio level product.
The NDS is still a reference grade product and with a 555DR power supply only bettered by the ND555 in Naim’s range.
Naim provide long warranties, support & repair for all of their products going back to those from the 70’s, so the concept of obsolescence should not be worried about.
I think truly it’s “the display may fail” rather than “the display will fail”. Also since about a year ago 272 has been fitted with a different screen during manufacture, so late 272s will be different. I don’t know whether that is also true of late NDX/NDS.
So generally I would say if using as only a DAC with SPDIF input the legacy streamers in terms of the NDX and NDS are not so far away from their newer cousins in terms of SQ… though noise decoupling, so important in digital audio is enhanced with the new streamers.
If you are looking at Ethernet streaming, I think you may find like me, there is a huge difference. The transport architecture design was the biggest area of innovation on the new products… and really do leave their legacy cousins behind. I know Trevor Wilson was very pleased with certain advancements if not all of them. It was these addressed shortcomings that certainly prompted me to change to the newer architecture.
Given the advancements in the streaming area, and the issues addressed architecturally I really would not be looking at a legacy streamer unless I had no or little choice, or if I was only using as a SPDIF DAC. If funds were light I would look at the ND5XS2, phenomenal performance… for the budget… at the cost of no frills… a deliberate design objective by Naim.
Would be happy doing this* - if the NDS is a bargain now, there shouldn’t be too much risk in getting one and then trading to a newer model if that’s what you choose to do later.
- my NDS is about to be traded for nd555 after two years of happy use and (hopefully) depreciation that isn’t too bad