Auralic Aries G1 + nDAC vs ND5XS2 + nDAC

Anyone here who has tried both these combinations?

Only the ND5XS2 + nDAC for me. I wanted to stay within the Naim family tbh

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I can fully imagine that thought. Did you notice a big improvement adding the nDAC?
I just feel I would be paying for a DAC that I won’t use in the case of the ND5XS2. If I would spend the same amount of money on a transport without DAC I think I would get a better transport than spending that money on a transport with DAC.

That was my logic when I opted for an Aries G2 over the NDX2.


I noticed the improvement immediately. Fuller bass, soundstage 3D, richer notes etc… I still think the ND5XS2 is fantastic as a standalone Streamer/DAC. I lived with it for well over a year matching my XS2. I happened to have found a great deal on the nDAC and took a risk while in the midst of upgrading. It proves to me that the Transport in the newer streamers are first-class. If I move on from the nDAC for some reason my system will still function.

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I would also consider Lumin U1 or Aurender. Both as transports only. Some prefer Lumin vs Auralic on other forums.
At least there are alternatives to Auralic.

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