Has Anyone Upgraded from an Atom to ND5 XS 2

Your thread title is not acting as a beacon to other PS Audio amp owners on this forum.

My thread title has nothing to do with my amps, it a question on whether the ND5 is a major or minor improvement on streaming quality, I thought I made that clear.

Where are your monoblocks located? If, like some you have them quite close to your speakers with long leads from the preamp you may get better results with a balanced connection which you would get from an Atom HE. No other Naim pre offers this, unless you’re feeling flush and go for a Statement S1!
Whether this would be any better than using your existing preamp I wouldn’t know, but it would be a neater solution with no redundancy, whereas at the moment you have an unused DAC, preamp and power amp going to waste.

I realise that doesn’t answer your question, but it’s just a thought. Otherwise if you like your current pre I would expect the ND5 to work better than an Atom when used only as a source, and it would avoid having a second preamp and volume control in the system which you have now.
If you go for the ND5 you might also experiment with using either its digital SPDIF or analogue out to see which you prefer.

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I actually would move the Atom to the master bedroom or my office. Unfortunately I have an older version that’s powered with no balanced outs.

Sure, I was just thinking that the HE might fit the bill and simplify your system, but that depends on whether you are committed to keeping your PSA DAC/preamp.

Oh, I misunderstood. I thought you were thinking about streamer directly into power amp. People come up with the idea sometimes.

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The ND5XS2 is often paired with a Nait XS3. That combination is often compared with a Uniti Nova and although opinions differ, it is at least competitive with the Nova. Since the Nova is a significant step up from the Atom, I’d be surprised if the ND5 didn’t improve on your Atom used as a streamer. But whether the rest of your system would fully reveal the improvement and whether the cost would make it worthwhile, only you can decide.

The ND5 also offers the possibility of using its digital output into your PS Audio DAC. I’ve no idea how that would compare with analogue out but it’s another possibility. All that said, though, I really like Chris’ idea of replacing your pre/DAC with an Atom HE. It has balanced outputs which you could use with the balanced inputs on your power amps. That could well offer the best bang for your buck.

Choices, choices …


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I agree there are many choices. I also do wish I had waited and gotten the HE over the original Atom but given the situation I feel I can relocate the Atom and find an improved streamer to enhance my overall listening experience. I appreciate your feedback.

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