HDX Replacement

Hi to the Naim community. Though this is my first question to the community, I have been following it for a number of years now.

I bought an HDX (2TB ssd) new, over 10 years ago. When I retired 6 years ago, I upgraded the system from Cyrus amps to NAP300DR + 300PS linked to NAC252 + Super cap PS. I also added a XPS PS for the HDX. I have the HDX linked to a NAS for backup. I have also got the system linked via Sonos so that I can play music in several areas of the house including the poolside (retired to Portugal). I am using Martin Logan ESL speakers (probably my next question for the community). This setup has provided many many hours of musical enjoyment for both myself and my friends.

However, early this year following a few days period of thunderstorms when I had isolated the power supply, the HDX would not restart - “starting” kept on showing on the screen. A new battery was installed and all was well until last week. Again following a period of power isolation I have the screen message “starting”.

Returning items from Portugal to Naim UK for repair/serviced can take a time period longer than I am prepared to accept. Also following Brexit, there are export/import considerations (paperwork and cost). I would also like to have a more intuitive interface to control backups etc.

So I think it has come to the time to replace the HDX.

My initial thought is to get a new Uniti Star or NDX2 as they seem to offer CD ripping (usually I just rip my CDs of which I have c. 2500 currently ripped), CD playback (not often used) and the ability to store and back up. I have also aware of alternatives such as the Innuos Zenith Mk3.

Questions
Will existing XPS PS be suitable/beneficial for Uniti Star/NDX2 if I go that route?
Will the current stored information on my NAS be instantly readable by an Uniti Star/NDX2?
If I went for another supplier, such as Innuos, would the current stored info on my NAS be instantly readable?
Would a Uniti Star/NDX2 be compatible with the current Sonos system?
Would a Uniti Star/NDX2 provide an easier user interface for controlling back ups?
Any other points that I should consider?

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your feedback.

I think you would be better off with a Naim uniti Core with NDX2, the uniti star is a stand alone player and some on the forum are reporting drop outs on their playback of rips. Other stand alone ripper/storage like the Innuos zen mini or zenith could be considered instead of Naim Core.

NDX2 doesn’t offer CD ripping. For that it’s UnitiCore if you want Naim. The Star is a standalone player and not suitable for your application. Also as Gazza says, it has some ripping issues currently that Naim seem to be struggling to solve.

You could use the XPS power supply with the NDX2. You can’t use an external power supply with the Star or the UnitiCore.

The current data stored on your NAS will work with the Core, but if you wanted to use the NAS as the server you would need to run upnp server software on it, which is not too much of a problem. But unless you have stored the data on the NAS in FLAC, you won’t be able easily to use it with a non-Naim server.

I don’t know about the Sonos situation at all.

Perhaps @NeilS can advise you best, on what is happening with your HDX and it ‘eating’ batteries…?

Is this is a battery you can easily replace yourself…?

You can replace the battery in an HDX yourself, but you have to then reset the BIOS to Naim settings otherwise it won’t work.

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There is a stock power supply in the hdx that powers the motherboard. When my ns02 started with the starting crap I purchased a new one from rs and replaced it and all was good.

Might not be the issue but worth considering if you want to eek more life from it.

I guess then you need to ask yourself will you need to rip to much in the future. Personally I would avoid hifi companies for servers

I suspect you mean that you have the 2TB HDD version? The SSD version uses a separate NAS for external storage only.

First, are you storing your CD rips in WAV? If so you should convert them to FLAC as soon as possible on the HDX to ensure compatibility with non-Naim servers. It also makes file transfers easier due to the reduced size.

If your backup is on a suitable NAS I would instal a UPnP server on it and use that over your network. An NDX2 would be a great choice as it would slot into your system in place of the HDX, using the same power supply. This should work with your Sonos gear as well.
If you only play locally stored music an NDS would be a great option too. Just be aware that the NDX2 is more future proofed if you use internet streaming services, radio etc.

The Uniti Star is a stand along all in one unit, wholly unsuitable to front a 252/300. The NDX2 is an excellent player, would use your XPS and would be happy with the amplifier. But it doesn’t rip, store or play CDs.

Your music is on the NAS, and if this is a Synology or Qnap it’s easy to load Asset (a upnp server program) and play directly from the NAS. Dedicated servers that cost an arm and a leg are very popular but you don’t need one, and a decent NAS can sound just as good. Presumably you are not buying armfuls of CDs these days, so it’s perfectly easy to rip any you do buy on a computer, or just buy downloads. You can then ensure that the NAS is backed up to a removable hard drive.

Note what’s been said above: HDX WAV rips will not be playable outside of the Naim server environment. So get the HDX to convert them to FLAC. That said, if you don’t intend to fix the HDX you will have a challenge. There is software that can do it but I suspect it may be outwith your capabilities: it’s certainly outwith mine.

Its very possible to covert meta data in the WAVs to be read by other programmes so its not the end of the world, but flac conversion would be preferred.

@ChrisSU and @hungryhalibut Yes he should convert WAV to Flac using his HDX if possible, but this whole thread is about the fact his HDX is not working!

Guys. Thanks for the feedback so far received. I can see a plan shaping up which looks like:
Short term - change out battery in HDX and if ok, convert files to FLAC.

Then go ahead and replace the HDX with NDX2. If battery change out does not provide a workable HDX, then a more immediate change to NDX2 will be required.

The NAS is a Synology DS120, so I should be able to upload uPnP software on to it for future ripping from laptop.

It will be a few weeks before I get someone with appropriate old computer to enable the battery change out. I will let you know how it goes.

There are, I believe, alternative ways to convert to FLAC in a way that successfully incorporates the Metadata from a Naim rip, but if you can get the HDX to do it, so much the better.

Your Synology should be fine. There is a basic media server bundled with it which is easy to set up, or try Asset if you want something with more features.

You don’t need an old computer. The battery is a CR2032 which you can buy anywhere. You will need a keyboard which has either a PS/2 plug or a USB plug and you will need a VGA monitor and the VGA lead to connect it.

Once you have those, if you post again here then one of us can tell you what you need to do. Don’t forget that if you are opening up the HDX, you have to take electrostatic discharge precautions, just like if you were going inside any computer.

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I would guess that there is another problem with your HDX apart drom the battery given that you replaced it recently. They should last for years. Still, maybe worth a try.

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Got to be worth changing the battery just to be sure. Was the current replacement new/still in date?
If the SMPS is dead, the front screen won’t work, but if the output voltage is low it will still run the front panel/screen, but not start the motherboard.
There are many reasons for an HDX not booting, the best plan of attack is to hook up a VGA monitor & report back with what it displays. This will help to narrow it down.

Regards
Neil.

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