Cheapskate Advice Required!

This is like the strawman of audiophile discussions. Ask advice on one thing only to be deflected to something else entirely that doesn’t answer the original question in any reasonable way. :roll_eyes: And FWIW: I just did a major upgrade to my electrical and now have a dedicated circuit for my system with its own isolated ground. The improvement is there but claims about the level of improvement are vastly overrated, IMO.

To the OP. ND5-XS2 should be really nice addition to a SN3, but as stated already has no support for an external PSU. The previous generation ND5-XS did. I once owned a ND5-XS and wanted to upgrade for Roon support. I ended up springing [a lot] extra for a NDX2 to have the option for a external PSU, which I did in fact get sometime later.

I now have a NDX2/XPSDR and only use it as a Roon endpoint with Qobuz. But it’s doesn’t sound nearly as good as my analog front end, so it’s gets cheated for playtime.


I presume you must not have used ohmically constrained counterbalanced cabling then? The improvements really must be heard to be believed. Like most things in high end hifi, just using any old cable wont do. At €324/m ohmically constrained counterbalanced cables are euro for euro the best money I’ve ever spent on hifi.

Obviously YMMV


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I asked my electricians about sourcing Super Lumina 20 amp cable for the new 100amp subpanel, but they kept muttering something about dealing with customers disconnected from reality and asking my wife if I was being treated.

They did kinda roll their eyes when I handed them the AV Options cryo’d Hubbell hospital-grade outlets for the quad AC outlet in the room.


I do hope she responded by saying ‘Yes, this is definitely a treat for him’.

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Just flying the flag for the gen1 streamers as they seem to get bad press for simply being gen1. They still have a place and the problems you have experienced I have not come across at all having owned till recently an NDX and currently own an ND5XS and NDS. If you simply want Tidal or Spotify or local streaming they are great VFM and excellent SQ for any Naim system. Of course if you want more lifestyle features then the latest Gen provides these and if you don’t want to compromise then the ND555 is the way to go. My advice to those on a budget it simply decide what features you really need and what your budget is before discounting gen1. They are a real bargain right now. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Indeed, my NDX was reliable with Tidal lossless streams although others were not so lucky in the first year ot two, until Naim and Tidal managed to optimise things to get a reliable service.
Local streaming, on the other hand, really should be very stable for all users. It’s what the 1st gen streamers were designed for and anyone who finds this unreliable simply has an undiagnosed fault somewhere on their network.

I’ve been debating whether to post on this thread, as all I’m going to suggest is the setup I run!

I think you should try and have a listen to a standalone DAC and separate streamer.

I run a Chord Hugo MK1 and Primare NP5 streamer. Both bought used, I think for about £800 total in the UK. It definitely isn’t as convenient as a ND5 XS2, that box certainly is a compelling one box solution and has many reviews to back up its quality, including SQ.

I took my speakers and streaming solution to a demo of a ND5 XS2, the dealer supplied their XS3 to save me the trouble of taking mine over. To me the Chord sounded better. Clearer, better separation, even if the Naim streamer had something about it’s imaging that I might have preferred. The Naim streamer got much closer when the dealer used a Superlumina DIN cable, but that close on doubles the price, even if it did allow the ND5 XS2 to show its best.

There’s a definite trade-off between convenience and SQ between the two. I’m not in a hurry to change, but I would strongly consider the convenience and forgo the last bit of SQ. I listen to my vinyl source more than my streaming source, but suspect the balance would be closer if I had the ND5 XS2, it would probably mean I listened more as well. I know you asked about power supplies, but if it’s SQ per pound you’re interested in then it’s definitely worth a listen to a separate DAC and streamer setup.

Thank you all for the much appreciated input.
Following the replies, a read around the internet and a visit to my dealer I decided to go with a more budget friendly Primare NP5 and a Chord Qutest.

I’m quite happy with that.

Another thread to follow about speaker cables!


I find Tidal incredibly glitchy on my NDS. I normally have to repower my NDS at least twice a night to get it working again. It’ll work great for an hour or two and then just freeze. It’s really annoying. I would struggle to recommend the gen 1 streamers for this reason alone, as great as my NDS sounds.


Me too.

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Streaming, streaming, streaming!!! Is there anything wrong with a MacBook Pro and Hugo 1 running Apple Music? Even my 11 inch MacBook Air works tremendously well.


I now have a seamless streaming set up. I am enjoying it more than I ever did before. I said a while ago that the streaming functionality was bothering me.

Music needs to work. I am sure I was having some underlying network problem. But only on Naim Gen 1 products. Streaming on everything else works fine. What does that tell you?

And it was on NAS as well. Now those problems have gone.

I recall reading that the NDS was designed for streaming from a local source, not over the Internet. That being the case, you’re now using it as it was originally designed to be used :+1:

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Everything is now going ND5XS2 into NDS and 555PS. NAS and streaming.

It works well.

Another 500DR on auction. And a 555PS.

Too much temptation. Am listening to Donald Fagen on Qobuz. Sounding very nice.


How much are these going for now over there?


£7153 on auction 500DR.


500 series in the U.S. is stupid expensive. I’m not touching it. I’ll sell all my Naim and switch brands before I pay those prices.


FWIW, we have compared my MacBook Pro to a Naim Core or my girlfriend’s NAS as digital CD storage delivery sources. The MacBook works fine - but music is much better via the other routes.

If you do the test and your ears disagree, then you can avoid spending money.


Did you use a reasonable DAC and the latest Apple Music. Those make a big difference!! There is no issue with the hardware generation either.


We found the Apple Music current in 2019 worse than CDs ripped and stored on the laptop. We used the DAC in my NDX2/ XPSDR….

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