Decisions, decisions - ND5 XS2 and 2Go/Hugo

It sure has. I decided to let Naim do the system-matching for me, after trialling my Atom as a pre in my old system. Today the system ‘opened up’ considerably-presumably this is the brand new 250DR doing it’s thing.

Obviously there are differing views, and you have chosen a nice setup with the ND5XS2 + nDAC.

A key point for me with an external DAC is that I run a TOSLink out from my TV into my DAC, and with the NDX2 there is too much time lag (even with adjusting synch settings on the TV) I.e. lip synch issues, to use it as a straightforward DAC. It is nice to have the option to switch between the NDX2 and Chord Hugo2 for music streaming.

The NDX2 is so good with Qobuz (esp HiRes) and FLAC Internet radio that I won’t be buying many more CD’s for ripping, or LP’s (my turntable is effectively redundant as I prefer the convenience of digital, provided it sounds good).

Like you, I run a TOSLink out from my Samsing TV STB into my DAC.

(Weirdly, the lip sync timing seems better when using the hifi system than when using the Samsung’s built in speakers!)

I also use Qobuz as my main source.

I dropped Tidal, and sold my Rega TT, Naim CDP, and half of my record collection (to help fund hifi upgrades).

1 Like

Leaving aside the subjective view of what sounds better or worse, I’m not aware that anyone has yet come up with a meaningful way to measure differences in sound quality that would help in this context. Obviously we are not talking about just getting the right bits to the right place, which is a trivial task for virtually any digital audio system.

Not really.

Difference in sound output at the analogue stage is very measurable, and audible.

Of course people may have their own preferences for different sound outputs.

There is no evidence that I’m aware of (happy to to be correct) that detects differences in the USB output of different streamers.

Measurable analogue output difference vs same digital out out of streamer

I‘ve gone that route.

First a Moon NeoMind, but the app was total failure, so i traded it in for a ND5XS2 and thought, i am fine.

A few weeks later, i was dicussing an upgrade of my phonostage an my dealer loaned me a NDX2 just for the fun of it. „Give it a go and let me know, what you think of it.“ he stated.

Long story short, the ND5XS2 is a very good pice of kit, but the bigger brother is way better! And before i am fiddeling with other highend dacs, i will go further down the road and consider buying an ND555.

At the moment, i‘m a happy camper and try to save money for XPSDR.

Yes, obviously NDX2 beats ND5XS2.

Did you compare NDX2 to ND5XS2/nDAC?

(I have that with 555DR.)

I joined the community in 2019 to get advice and guidance on buying nd5xs2.
I followed Stephen Tate who had just bought one. I respect Stephen and he wasn’t always happy with the nd5xs2 even preferring the sound of the cd5si which I have. He eventually traded up to NDX2 and is now very happy.
I also have great respect for your views and noted you bypassed the nd5xs2 buying the NDX2 which you are also very happy with.
So yes I really do want a streamer but not one that costs over 5k.
I have a budget of 2-3k so at the moment I am considering an upgrade of the CD player which is the format I use the most or looking elsewhere for a streamer I would be happy with in my price range.

nope, since my dealer didn‘t have one.

Isn’t the ND5 XS2 in your price range?

Can you demo one and compare it to your CD player and simply get the ball rolling, if your end game is a streamer? You can always upgrade later to a NDX2 if the anxiety gets too much.

It may not be to everyone’s agreement

but Google Chromecast (available second hand) with optical output to a Chord Hugo is very musical to my ears.

The Chromecast audio should be connect via an ethernet adaptor to get the performance needed.

hi t-elmi
i like the idea of being able to switch between NDX2’s DAC and Chord Hugo2 to be able to enjoy what each delivers.
probably a stupid question, but just wondering how easy it is to switch between NDX2 and Chord Hugo2? does it involve plugging / unplugging cables from NDX2 and NAC282 and powering down equipment or are they switchable?

Hi Indexical,

Provided you have the NDX2/Hugo2/282 and NDX 2-direct-to-282 connected into separate channels on the 282 it is an easy two-step process without leaving your chair or changing the stream on the NDX2:-

  1. Change the output on the NDX2 via the naim app from digital-BNC to DIN (or RCA) or vice versa
  2. Change the input channel on the 282 using the remote control or buttons on the fascia.

Best to reduce the volume on the 282 beforehand as typically the output volumes from each device do not match.

It is nice to have the option depending on mood, type of music, and listening level.

A couple of folks have. I seem to recall a thread on this. (Not meant to derail this thread)

HI T-elmi
many thanks for the detail - pre the first lockdown i had demoed NDX2 and Qutest - clearly very different presentations - but couldn’t decide which i preferred in a demo situation across a wide range of genres. now you have given me a viable solution -many thanks

Ideally you should keep the direct analogue DIN connection from NDX2 to 282 as this will provide the correct grounding for the amp (unless you have another source such as a Naim CD player that provides this.) If you use the NDX2 via SPDIF into the Hugo it’s worth keeping the direct connection even if you never use it.


Just bear in mind that if you also take an optical/TOSlink SPDIF feed from another source, as I do from my TV, into your DAC that the Qutest doesn’t have a remote control for switching sources, whereas the Hugo2 does (for more money) and it is good headphone amp by design.

I found (reported on another thread) that there is too great a lip-sync delay (presumably due to buffering) to use the NDX2 as the DAC for TV output, even with changing TV settings, unfortunately. Great streaming source - never forget !

1 Like

This is a bit surprising: I have, among others, my TV connected to the nDAC via optical and I never noticed any lip-sync delay issue. I would have expected the optical input of the NDX2 to behave as the one of the nDAC. Is this a TV setting issue or a NDX2 problem?

many thanks @ChrisSU and @T-elmi - i don’t plan to connect to TV as i watch very little, but it’s good to have the info. my local dealer has very limited chord options but after vaccination and end of lock down i plan to travel a little further and demo a full naim system, a full chord system and now the hybrid option which sounds like it would give the best of both worlds - i have found that listening to Qobuz hi-res on my muso2 sometimes the detail is entrancing but on other (too closely-miked?) recordings it distracts from the flow of the music.

NDX2 I think. I had no such issues with previous DACs, fed from the same TV via TOSlink E.g TT2, Qutest, and TAGMcLaren AV32R.

Thanks, that’s very strange but good to know!