Has Anyone Upgraded from an Atom to ND5 XS 2

Wanting to explore upgrading from my Atom connecting to my preamp via RCAs to an ND5 XS 2 as I currently am powering my speakers with mono block amps. I’m thinking a more dedicated streamer without any potential interference from the all in one would provide a better sound quality and increased clarity. Hoping someone else made a similar jump and would shares their observations and experience.

Be aware that the volume control on the streamers is just 32-bit digital and will lose data if you have to turn it down. The preamp is usually also there to provide correct impedance between the source output and amp input, and many people who tried without one were not happy.

So you’re saying the ND5 removes this issue that the Atom has as far as the correct impedance is concerned?

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No I am saying that a source directly into power amps omits the things a preamp is supposed to do and is there for (and the Atom probably also does by using its pre-out).

Edit: E.g., a source output typically expects a high impedance on its output, the Naim preamps have 47 kiloohms on their input. Depending on your power amps, if their input impedance provides a lower load, the source output works harder.
Another aspect is whether the frequency range on the source output is compatible with what the power amp inputs expect.
There are many aspects to a pre, and you’d have to try if it works for you without one and ideally check some specifications

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What’s your current setup?

Atom to PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell to M700s out to Kanta 2s

If I moved up to a ND5 XS 2 I would need a preamp. It’s about whether or not that new set up would sound better than the Atom.

Depends which preamp you used with it and how that matched your system and ears.

I’m using the PS Audio Gain Cell DAC Preamp in my system.

Are M700 speakers Mission Model 700?

PS Audio M700 Monoblock Amps

Speakers are Focal Kanta 2

Would you intend to use the ND5XS2 analog out to the PS preamp?

Yes correct.

I have watched hundreds of Paul’s YT videos, and do enjoy his sense of humour.

But I’ve never heard any of his gear.

And I don’t recall many people using his amps on this forum.

So I can’t predict how that system will sound.

It would be interesting to compare the ND5XS2 vs say a Directstream dac in that case.

I’m happy with the sound, my question was how much improvement is the ND5 over the Atom.

Sounds like you are in the market for a different pre amp as well as streamer/dac.

Is this a change in your audio enjoyment strategy?
I think understanding that (what you are trying to attain) will help you in deciding what move to make.

No I am simply looking to improve the streamer in my system which is currently the Unity Atom and I was considering an Innuos or a step up in the Naim family like the ND5.

I haven’t heard an Atom, so I cannot help with that comparison.

I do love the ND5XS2 in my system.

Given that the Atom (All in one box) is about the same price as an ND5XS2, and the latter is designed as a dedicated steamer/DAC, it would be surprising if the ND didn’t sound better than an Atom.

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That’d be difficult to determine without actually testing the ND5XS In your current setup.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there is at least one other thread on the same or similar topic

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I get that hence the question for anyone who was or is in a similar situation.