Arrival of Chord TT2 & MScaler…..But what front end to partner with?

Hi Naim forum members!
I’ve recently purchased a new Chord TT2/MScaler pairing, initially connecting with my NDX/XPS DR combo using DC1 BNC.

I’m looking for suggestions/recommendations for a suitable front end replacement for or additional to the NDX/XPS DR combo.

I find the current front end offers great performance and was latterly used in combination with Chord Hugo2/2go which were traded against the TT2/MScaler.

Outside of Naim streamers I’m not particularly familiar with other brands. I ran the 2go for about a Year and gave access to Qubuz, however I decided the 2go wasn’t for me.

My dealer suggested Innuos Zennith mk3.

My budget is roughly 5k GBP, but do I need to go to this or will something like the ND5 XS2 suffice?
Many thanks,


I guess a lot depends on whether you want a ‘pure’ streamer or a streamer/server. One way to give yourself options would be to audition the very highly regarded Auralic Aries G2.1 (to which you can later add internal storage) or the similarly flexible Aurender N150. The imminent Lumin U2 should also be within reach (but storage would be external) and for much less the equally imminent U2 Mini. I’m saving hard for one of these to go with my M Scaler/Qutest, on the presumption that the ND5 XS2 that I’ve now had on order for 10 months (!!!) has now become as irrelevant as it is unobtainable.


I use a Innuos Zenith mk3 as a server/streamer into Dave/MScaler, excellent results. The ND5XS2 would work well, as would the NDX2, you would duplicate DAC’s if you go this route, both excellent streamers though. Lots of good options available for your budget, Auralic, Lumin and Aurender as mentioned.

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I use an NDXS2 as a front end into an Mscaler/DAVE. It’s a fine combination that opens up the control of system control into Naim’s pre amps.


If you can find one given current supply constraints, a Naim NDXS2 would be a great option, together with appropriate music server.

We have an M Scaler + DAVE and use an Audiostore Prestige server and Sonore opticalRendu.

An Innuos Zenith is a good option, with Melco being the obvious competitor.

Best regards, BF


I have that dac with a zenith 3 and its fabulous. With an ansuz switch its even better

Thanks so much for responses.
I see there are plenty of options open to me within my budget.
I do currently use a Unitiserve for my ripped CD’s and a few hi-Rez down loads. I thought that a streamer only option would be preferable. However the Unitiserve is ageing and I do wonder about its longevity.
Is it preferable to have the server separate to the streamer and connect through a “switch”?
I’ve not considered a “switch” in my audio chain. Is this something I should budget for.
I see there’s a recommendation for the Ansuz switch. I’ve just looked this up and it’s 2k GBP. Gulp!
I do like the NDX into Chord Dac musical presentation and I’ve found so far that local serving from the Unitiserve quite comfortably out performed the Qubuz streaming from the 2go into Hugo2.
Ultimately I would like the Qubuz streaming (or other service) to be equal or better than what I can achieve serving from the Unitiserve/NDX into the now MScaler/TT2.
Thanks once again for comments on this post.

I prefer to have store and renderer in the same box, and connect direct to the DAC (or in your case M-Scaler), and avoid streaming across a network, so taking out of the equation all the potential complications, and questions over network cables and switches and their effect on sound quality (and pondering over what may be the cause of differences). It is not the common approach on this forum, possibly because Naim doesn’t make such a product, but this would pint me to the likes of Innuos or Melco.

It’s much cheaper to keep the network out of it if you can, so a streamer/server feeding your dac may be the best option for you. However a DDC between the server/streamer and your M Scaler may help.

This path leads you to a Melco, Innous, Roon Nucleus or equivalent. We went for the highly specced Audiostore Prestige. A DDC such as the Singxer SU-6 between your server/streamer and the M Scaler would be well worth trying too.

However, if you want to stream music via Tidal, Qobuz etc. then you will need to insert the network. At this point, the ND5XS2, opticalRendu etc. come back into the picture.

Given even your generous budget, I wouldn’t spend £2k on a switch. Start with a £30 Netgear switch and see how you get on. Once everything’s up and running, by all means play with £600 or £2,000 switches if you want. We ended up with an EtherRegen switch but the Netgear or a reconditioned Cisco 2960 8 port switch at £70 both did the job well. There are some awesomely long threads about Ethernet switches on the Streaming Forum if you really want to disappear down that rabbit hole.

Hope this helps, if only a little.

Best regards, BF

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I tried a variety of streamers between the zenith and the mscaler and none of them gave an improvement over the zenith and a phoenix usb direct into the mscaler. I’m sure others have found differently and I’d be happy to find a better sounding front end but i havent so far


Maybe the Grimm MU1, Antipodes K50……

Maybe, I’m very happy with what I have for a good while though, best sounding system I’ve ever owned and lovely easy to use interface. The ansuz made a huge difference to it too

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I have no doubts on the performance of your system. :+1:

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and would be my choice especially since they updated the user interface.

Innuos make some great products and provide great service as well.

I have an NDX2 w/o power supply upgrades into your combo of M Scaler / TT2 (into a Gryphon Diablo 300 and B&W 802 D2 speakers and a REL S510).

Personally I wonder if you need any change at all if you’re not using the Naim internal DAC.

I tested Auralic too, which was as good, but I really think Naim’s support, system integration and software is excellent and rock solid which matters a lot. You may have learned that from the 2GOs clunky interface. As I have a Uniti Core and some Muso’s the integration across other components was handy.

In all honesty, spending time and effort on really playing with speaker / sub positioning and tuning the desired sound made a much bigger difference.

One other thing at the risk of setting off a firestorm…… the type of BNC cables between M Scaler and TT2 do make an appreciable difference for reasons others may better explain. The link between NDX2 and M Scaler is not such an issue and even cheap Blue Jeans cables worked very well (though I bought Siltech anyway cos they look nice!). I tested loads of BNCs on extended home loan, including the Chord owner favourite- Wave Fidelity, but went for Siltech Classic Legends (about the same price).

May I ask how do you find the match between the B&W 802 D2 and REL S510. On REL’s speaker pairing recommendation, the S812 is the minimum requirement for the 802.

To my ears, it is a great match. I did look at, but did not listen to, the recommended S812. I didn’t go for it for aesthetic reasons, my wife is very understanding but as the system is in the living room, I scaled back. My dealer felt the 510 would work and gave me along home loan …and it has been great.

I do use the wireless link on a high level connection …. using the sub output of my Gryphon Diablo 300 just gives flabby slow bass.

It took a long time to integrate the sub and 802s but it now sounds unbelievably good. Bass is fantastic , but the soundstage is what is very special ….and that matters a lot to me and was the main reason for getting the sub. Turn the sub off and it all collapses.

The key ingredients were (1) to get “disappearing” speaker by having the speakers 1.64 m into the room (in my case), (2) get really good mid base coupling between main speakers by getting distance between speakers right by experimenting. Then I used the technique of sticking the sub in my listening position and using software and a calibrated mic to get the subs positioning right. Finally setting crossover and gain by experimenting…… turned out to be about 40-45 Hz and a higher gain than I was expecting.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks for the response which was much appreciated. Good to know the S510 worked out great with the 802. I was actually looking at the T9x as a potential upgrade to my current PMC sub but was told by REL that it’s not good enough for my speakers when I wrote to them. The S510 was recommended as the minimum for my Marten speakers and S812 was said to be even better. The S812 would be too big for my room and the rep agreed that the S510 might be a better option in smaller rooms.

Improvement in soundstage to me means more air and space which gives a more 3-dimensional sound or presentation. This is surely a good thing.

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Out of curiosity, what interconnect, mains and speakers cables do you use with Gryphon, if I may?