DAC and Phono Option with minimum boxes


I’m an ex Naim owner returning to the brand - previous was NAP250s, SNAXO, SBLs.

I’m looking to power Quad ESL 2912s with a Mac USB or SPDIF and Turntable RCA as sources.

I’m interested in buying a ND5 XS2 plus SuperNait 3 without being too expensive.

Though they are in different ranges, are the finishes similar?

What happens when the Naim App, iOS, or Android functionality is lost - is the streamer effectively a brick or can it operate it without it? Can it also be set to play a default input so I don’t have to reach for a mobile or iPad?

Hi, the ND5XS2 can only be controlled by the Naim app. If you’re going to run a streamer you really should make sure you have a robust home network, and once done you shouldn’t have reliability issues with the app.

I’ve issues with the home network but I’m concerned that the design of the streaming product is reliant on a 3rd party product in order to work.

If you have issues with your network, the streamer is dependent on it as well as the app so you should ensure that it is robust in any case. Decent networking hardware is fairly inexpensive compared to a Naim system, so if you are getting poor results from equipment supplied by your internet provider it’s well worth investing a little in some reliable equipment.

Oops - I missed out a very important word.
I should have type “I’ve NO issues with the home network”.

Regardless of any network issues, which as you say can be rectified cheaply, I’m concerned that the streamer is dependant on a 3rd party product in order to function.

I’m told by my dealer that the ND5 XS2 will default to the last used input after power on.
That’s good enough for me.

Do you mean the Naim app? I wouldn’t say that was a third party product.

If so/anyway, and if it’s any use, (and I also note you’re good with the other feedback on this thread!) then I use my UnitiQute with BubbleUPnP - it will force the UQ to the streaming source from the selected other sources. The volume works from that app too. I can also use the Naim app, but it isn’t unusable without it. I assume the ND5 XS2 behaves similarly @ChrisSU?

[Edit, I think the correct term is that the UQ1 is a UPnP renderer, I suspect the ND5 XS2 is one too, allowing a UPnP control point to get it to play stuff. The ND5 XS2 is also a Roon endpoint, I know nothing about that but also suspect it can be triggered to play stuff from Roon. What I suspect you cannot do without the app is control settings on the ND5 XS2, swap between digital and analogue out, or swap from RCA to DIN output etc. But I don’t own one (yet, I’d love one!), so definitely do not know for sure!]

What is your concern, if the Naim app becomes unsupported then you’re left with an unusable device?

[Edit 2, oh and welcome :slight_smile: ]

1 Like

I wouldn’t class the Naim App as 3rd party. I’d class iOS and Android as 3rd party without which the App won’t work which would prevent me changing the source input. The concern is that Naim has no control over either - so what’s the guarantee that the streamer will always work?

I’ve not even got an interest in streaming as I’ll use a Mac Mini with FLAC over SP/DIF or USB directly connected to it. If streaming is better than that, I’m open to education or any other advice. As I don’t (yet) use UPnP for anything, the BubbleUPnP was over my head but I can experiment when I get the streamer.

My planned kit will be:

Michell Orbe turntable.
Mac Mini digital source.
SuperNait 3 and ND5 XS2
QUAD 2912 speakers.


Where does the music on your Mac come from? CDs ripped locally? If there’s really no network sourced music in scope here at all then maybe a DAC would be better suited - for the price I think you could probably better the DAC in the Naim streamer, either Naim’s DAC (second hand now, they are no longer available new) or one of the many other popular DACs around, many of which support USB.

If you want to keep streaming as an option even then you could use the Mac as your streaming source. For example, in my main system, I use my phone, via USB, into a Chord Hugo into a Nait XS3. That doesn’t use BubbleUPnP, but something called USB Audio Player Pro, to get high res audio out of my phone. I would like to replace all that with the ND5 XS2, mostly for simplicity and convenience. I fear slightly that the phone/Chord combo is ridiculously good for what it cost, and might eclipse the new Naim streamer, but the streamer will definitely be easier to set up and use. And I could still route it via the Hugo if I wished. Lots of users here who use a Mac as a streaming source who would also have advice I suspect :slight_smile:

Another option might be one of the Naim all in one units, but the recommendation for the SN3, with its built in phono stage, is to support your Michell?

And I also wonder if the dealer is recommending the streamer because that’s the cheapest Naim way to add a new DAC to the SN3?

Depending where you live, a Naim DAC would likely be less than £1k in the UK. A first gen Hugo is half that. Second hand ND5 XS2s are still around 1600/1700.

Good luck with it!

I’ve just bought a Chord 2Qute with a MCRU Psu (which I’ll sell on) for £450 I’m going to use it with an Auralic Aries but as is mentioned above you could use a Mac this would of course mean using a lead but if you live with that you’ll have a pretty decent digital source.

1 Like

iOS and Android are unlikely to disappear. But in any case there is an unofficial interface to the streamer that can be used in any internet browser, so that’s always an option. It’s basic (but functional) now, but if there was a need I’m sure Naim could make it more polished

1 Like

Hah, so there is, even a basic status page on my very old firmware UQ1! Nice :slight_smile:

Crikey, 2013-07-16, I must get round to sorting that out X)

I wouldn’t be concerned about this. It’s (extremely) unlikely either iOS or Android is ever going to stop working or prevent apps from running. Even if they did Naim would figure out another way to run their kit via a different approach.

Not sure if this works with the UQ but on new streamers you can go to http://YOUR-streamer-IP-address/webclient

Thanks! Though not found on my UQ, I’ll have a better look later but just index.asp being served, with ‘Profiles’ and ‘Device Status’ off that page.

I’m completely happy with my UQ1 as it is, the screen has virtually completely failed now, but apart from a few initial configuration tweaks when I first bought it, it just works.

I will have it serviced, new caps, new screen, new streaming board and firmware, at some point. But right now, it runs the TV audio and Qobuz without any appreciable interaction from the Naim app.

And because I see yet again that someone clicked the address in my above post: You need to use the IP address that your streamer has in your own network (or the network name your router may be providing for it)

I saw that too :slight_smile: For the record, it wasn’t me!! (Though the temptation to click it several times now just for the troll value is almost too much to bear X) )

1 Like

:slight_smile: Every time someone posts the webclient info with an http link, either with their own IP address or just a generic “IP” like I did, the link gets clicked many times - even if the post points out to replace the address with the real one. It’s a bit scary :wink:

I edited the link now to hopefully make it clearer, so the click count was reset

FLACs are ripped from CD and stored locally or on a Windows server.

I’m trying to keep the system all Naim and take advantage of the 5 year warranty

I have found a new NAC 272 which may suit me better but concerned it’s old technology - though it may be better for upgrading in the future.

Yes - I liked the built in phono stage for the Michell.

The dealer hasn’t steered me to the SN3 but I find the cost of the NDX2 too high for the perceived gains.

I got the pair of them in the house this morning - the SuperNait has a loose component so needs to go back - not a good start!

Having looked at the NDX5, it looks like the only input option that the Mac Mini (Late 2014) will send audio to is the SP/DIF interface from the headphone out. Newer Macs don’t have that interface and looks like it needs to be a USB convertor.

Is there any issues on converting USB out from a MAC to the SP/DIF to the NDX5?

(I think an earlier post suggested I really just needed the discontinued DAC, as I want to keep it all Naim).