What are thoughts on this? There’s quite a few threads on using the NDX2 as a transport to a nDAC, but has anyone compared using it as a transport into a NDS? In theory you get the same streaming transport section as the NDX2, and the floating chassis and DAC in the NDS that together might get to close to a ND555?
I already have a NDX2/555PS DR, so a used NDS and an extra Fraim level is much cheaper than the ND555, even allowing for selling the NDX2 in that option.
I’m assuming the set up is simple, digital output from the NDX2 to the NDS, run the NDX2 on its internal PS, have the NDS screen turned off and use system automation between the NDX2 and the 552? Swap DIN output from NDX2 to NDS and good to go?
I still have my NDX2 but currently not connected as a streamer into my NDS. It’s a simple straight forward setup. Personally I prefer the nds as is with Audirvāna. Have never heard ND555 though. NDX2 with 555PSDR is awesome but bit different from NDS 555PSDR. I would say NDX2 is leaning more towards the new generation of naim sound and NDS towards the older. Logic of course but also true to my ears. What one prefer ia as always personal.
Also since I’m these days a firm believer in moving power supply as far from electronics as possible I think the NDX2 as a streamer not using an external power supply limits the performance compared to nds as a streamer with zero power supply in it. Audirvāna was such a game changer to me. It sounds scary good with naim. Everyone should try it out.
ND555 is on the list when people start to change for the new gen streamers but not in a hurry. At all. Synergy with what I have today is mind blowing good.
I also agreed that paring NDS with a more recent streamer like ND5XS2 or NDX2 is a worth while investment if you are like me that the ND555 is a bit too out of reach.
I currently have the NDX2/NDS/555PSDR combo and I am very happy with the result, particularly on the TIDAL/Qobuz/Spotify streaming side. Although it still feels overkill using the NDX2 just for the tiny streaming board and disable the rest DAC part where it excel over the last version. This means pairing it with the ND5XS2 making more sense.
my initial plan was to ditch the NDS and use the NDX2/555PSDR. Although the SQ in NDX2 has improved a lot over the old NDX when I first auditioned, but still, they are just still not on the same level as the NDS despite it is an old product.
Also a fun fact to note that I compared the NDS/555PSDR with nDAC/555PSDR using a CD5XS. Although both DAC are pretty much on the same playing field to my ears, the NDS sound more Naim or musical or cohesive than nDAC. My personal assumption is the nDAC was designed to be paired with different sources in mind, including non Naim sources, so it may need to have a more neutral character, and to my ears is a little bit sterile if I have to compare it vs NDS. Bottom line is both DAC are great in SQ, they are just different with their own sound characters. If you don’t have a NDS for a critical A/B test, you will certainly enjoy nDAC if pair with a more recent source like ND5XS2/NDX2 especially mDAC is much cheaper than an NDS.
Also want to share that although I did start with using an XPS with both NDS and nDAC before, the change to 555PSDR, even though is a huge investment even on 2nd hand, it worths every single penny. I believe that is what/ how these DACs were designed and tuned to be pair with in the first place, Naim just offer other alternatives for people like me who need to “work my way up” slowly to finally afford one to see what these DAC can really do if a higher quality power supply is used.
Always happy to see someone still hanging on to their NDS , which in my opinion is a great and reasonably priced flagship streamer back in the days vs the price point of the new current flagship ND555.
Might do another trial with NDX2 on my NDS now when vacation is here. But last time I felt the NDS lost some if its lush warm organic sound and became more HIFI which is not my preference. NDS is a super duper bargain if you have a 555PSDR. Love it. I see in the reviews they demoed the NDS with a DCS network bridge. Might evaluate different streamers later on if I get bored.
€2K, 2017 model, it was a buy-now price. I’m really happy with the NDX2/555 DR though, it really is extremely good. Logic would be that it would take a ND555 to move it, but that needs to be sensible money for it to be viable. You will see from the 500 DR thread, that there’s an option there as well - an auction though. Actually there seems to be a flood of old gear suddenly.
There are some threads comparing nDAC/555 to NDS and finding not much difference (especially on local content), others say more detail.
At the 2k price range it’s something we still haven’t ruled out, but I think I said on another thread that after long term NDX2/555 to NDX2/nDAC/555 comparison (and all the faff of changing connections) that we’re currently just happy to enjoy the music.