Best streaming service into a ndac

Not sure I nailed the title but the question is….

I have a ndac and want to start streaming, was thinking tidal or quboz, I don’t have a transport but have a Apple TV

If I was using the Apple TV as a tidal transport can I get 192 24bit out to my dac, and should I expect it to sound rubbish (Apple TV).

My end game is to go nd5xs2 to ndac.

But not sure I want to jump into streaming just yet

Main music sources are hdx and lp12

Thanks all

Hope you are all enjoying Christmas

You won’t get 24/192 out of an ATV, and those Apple power supplies are notoriously noisy. I would just buy any cheap non-Naim streamer you can afford and keep saving for that ND5. Bluesound, Cambridge Audio, Yamaha, Innuos, there are lots to choose from.

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May I recommend the basic Tidal subscription?

It came with my Muso… the first 90 days free.

Now I’m using either an Apple TV. to feed a CAL Sigma tube DAC, or an AirPort Express that feeds a Rega DAC via optical output, then on to the 5italic.

Stable, CD-quality & an easy to navigate application.

An aside… my CDs are ripped lossless then sent into the HDD input via an Apple AV 30-pin cable, usually skipping the charger. The old 30-pin iPad is a great replacement for the CD player.

If there’s any noise from the Apple brick I’ve yet to hear it…test results here;

You can connect an iPhone/iPad to the nDAC USB and play Tidal content. Connect device via lightning/USB cable, press Dock button on nDAC. Simples.

No need for a separate streamer if you’re just dipping a toe in the water.

Check out Lumin U1 mini which is now replaced with U2 mini so prices have gone down a bit. Super great streamer that I owned and liked a lot.


I’ve used a few Airports Express into various DACs over the years, and they are convenient and simple to set up, but I always found the sound quality mediocre at best. For a cheap or free option I found an iPhone into the USB port on an NDAC or 1st gen streamer to sound much better.

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Like you I ‘toe-dipped’ into streaming about 18 months ago. I still have (and regularly use my CDP555). However, I’m at a point where I feel I’ve optimised my streaming system significantly and I’m still only using a Bluesound Node into Ndac. I’ve tried a Naim streamer on a couple of occasions but can’t yet justify the additional cost.

What I’ve managed to learn from a bit of experimentation and from this forum is that the streaming side of things is very very sensitive to noise, vibrations, stray fields etc.

For my system I’ve found the following equipment provides sound quality that is equal to/and exceeds my CDP555…

…BT FTTP > Blue Jeans ethernet > BT router > Blue Jeans > EE8 Switch > Belden Catsnake > Node > DC1 > Ndac > Naim Hiline > 552. There’s a Powerline on the Ndac and all of this (except the router) is on a Naim Fraim. The Ndac is the only item on my dedicated supply with everything else on another ring main. I have adapted a standard Naim kettle plug to figure of 8 plug to run the Node.

Every single step has bought an improvement to the system. I’ve tried a few things like LPS’s that were a bit disappointing but for the most I’ve really enjoyed the journey and the results I am getting for very little outlay.

I hope you enjoy yours?


Interesting - I guess that goes to show how much the NDAC, like the 1st gen Naim streamers, can benefit from careful setup and network configuration. Are you using it without a separate PSU?

Correct, I’m not currently using a Naim PSU on my Ndac. I can, of course, use the the 555DR’d power supply from the CDP555 on the Ndac, and I have tried it a couple of times with the usual results and uplift in performance. This will only be a permanent solution once I can summon the courage to sell the CD player.

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That’s highly presumptive at best.

Sources I’ve A/B sampled:

CD analogue out RCA/DIN

CD optical out to a CAL Sigma tube DAC

CD optical out to a Rega DAC

CD coax out to the above

iPhone 4S, Apple AV RCA/DIN out

iPod 6 Gen as above

iPad 2 as above

Apple Airport 2 & AirPort Express, optical out

Apple TV & optical out

Blusound Node2 RCA-DIN out.

Summary… for ease of use streaming, it’s a iPad or iPhone & Airplay2 - DAC- RCA/DIN.

Playback of ripped CDs, the Apple AV 30-pin RCA/DIN playing lossless.

If you want quality and a device that will do it all, then find a secondhand dCS network bridge, yes they are not cheap, but also not really expensive, especially when they dont seem to need all the separate switches, power supplies, cables, ect, to sound fantastic straight out the box.
Just plug it in and enjoy streaming what ever you want, will even do a proper job of the MQA if you go tidal

@2roomsor1 have you tried an iPad/iPhone direct into nDAC via USB yet? This is a feature of gen1 devices which is likely little used or understood. Current streamers, such as NDX2, don’t offer USB option as they have AirPlay.

I dug out a cable and tried it again last night on the back of this thread. Granted it’s not comparable to NDX2 as a transport, but it was perfectly serviceable.

Would allow you an interim solution whilst you save for ND5XS2 (which will sound fab into nDAC) or perhaps a new naim product.

I tried last night using amazon music and i was quite impressed.

i am trying to work out how to get hd sound out, so i am currently trying to get a 192/24 flac file onto my phone to play in hd.

i am having a difficult time in deciding what to do.

currently looking at source change and doc/streamer, leaving my 252 and atc50s alone.

having a HDX, i would end up converting all to flack and getting a innious mini, then adding a nd5xs2 to the mix (as the digital out on the igneous is probably not great, the hole i am currently in with my HDX)

other thoughts i had were to change out the nDac to a molamola or add a 555dr to my ndac

I guess a call to dealer is in order to see what is available for a home trial

nDAC with 555 is amazing.

USB input (via iPad) is limited to 48kHz I believe.

I’ve no experience of the HDX or its features. But google suggests it can be a uPNP server, so it will serve content to any “transport” whether that be physical device or iPAD player.

If you want to lose the HDX you could always buy a Synology or QNAP NAS with 2TB storage and run Asset uPNP. Small outlay of few hundred pounds then move content from HDX to NAS. You wouldn’t need to convert format - but would you lose the metadata? (i.e. does HDX use same approach as Core, keeping metadata in naim format files only).

Whether you keep HDX as uPNP server or move on, then when you invest in ND5XS2 as transport you’ve got a kick ass digital setup.

555 can come later.

There are just so many streaming options, but we’d recommend you keep that lovely nDAC.

USB on nDAC is limited to 352kHz :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry was talking about via iPad…

I honestly didn’t know so checked the naim website and it still says 48kHz via iPad/iPhone :frowning_face:

Have edited post.

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I’ve only ever used the USB input to play 24/352 material from a USB stick. I’d not noticed the iPhone restrictions as I would never own an Apple product.

He should convert to FLAC on the HDX before copying the files, or the metadata will be lost. (As it would be on a Core, although bizarrely the Core doesn’t let you convert WAV to FLAC.)

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