How good is the Naim NDS

Hi, my first post here although I have been a Naim owner for the last 30 years or so, starting my journey with a Naim 62 /140.

Currently I have a Naim Unitiserve with nDAC, 252 to 300DR to a pair of Ovator S 400.

I am a fairly recent convert to ripping and streaming - and am now looking at my next steps up the ladder.

There are quite a few NDS’s about at the moment and I am wondering if this would be a step forward for me, a side step or a step back.

My gut feeling is this would be step up, and yes, the only way to know for sure is to go and listen.

However, I wonder if the forum could offer any thoughts from their own experiences.

I am aware that the NDS really starts to sing with a 555 ps - and even more so I am told with two !!

Any thoughts ??

I am sure some would suggest that your nDac would also sing with a 555ps, so you should factor that into any demo of a nds.

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You are aware that the NDS needs a power supply to function?

I use mine with an XPS DR and it works very well. Not compared to an NDAC though.

Thanks for your replies guys. Yes, I had considered what benefits a 555ps might bring to my nDAC, and that is certainly something else to consider. I am aware that the NDS will need a power supply and I was planning on moving my XPS DR from powering the nDAC, to perform that duty. My real interest is whether the NDS will provide a more musical performance as against the unitiserve/nDAC.

If you’re able to borrow another digital source such as a HDX or NDX you might be surprised by the improvements to the musical performance of the nDac compared to the Unitiserve.

IMO the nDac responds really well to improvements in the digital transport that feeds it.

A s/h nDac costs maybe 20% of a s/h NDS. I’d pair the nDac with a Allo Digione. Well, that’s my plan.

The NDAC with the 555PS is very good indeed … I preferred the NDAC/555PS nonDR to the NDS/555PS for most genres.

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Interesting. I had an NDAC 555PS for a few years and prefer the 272 555PSDR.

G

Indeed, we all have our preferences, however they do have very different presentations… the NDAC with dual powersupplies with its dual PCM1704K is pretty impressive, especially with punch and bass energy. Less convincing on choral and perhaps on some more subtle acoustic, chamber and orchestral music.

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I have a NDS with 555PS, 52 and supercap, and 4x135s with Ovator 600s, until I sorted out my mains I found the sound, for lack of a better word, muddy. Since sorting out the mains I am rediscovering my music. So that’s a :+1:for the NDS.

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Hi Gpward,

Welcome to the forum!

I used an NS01 + nDAC/XPS for a fair few years, eventually moving to a different DAC as I needed some extra facilities, I still think it is a great device and there is no doubt that improving the PSU adds to its sound quality …at a price.

Looking back I think the quality bottle neck I had was down to the NS01, which I fractionally preferred to the US, but its sins were those of omission rather than commission; that is I always enjoyed what was presented, it is just that there is more to be had. I bought this before Naim started to produce its ‘streamers’. I now see the selling of the nDAC as a mis-step, very much a sideways move.

As you know the only way to know what works best for you in your system will be to listen, IF that is possible. Assuming you like what the nDAC gives you then I would add one other bit of kit for you to consider, the dCS Network Bridge. Having listened to a number of the solutions available I think this is a nicely made box of tricks with excellent SQ. This will retain the strengths of what you like adding modern streaming capabilities in a package that you know will, like Naim, be supported and updated.

M

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Welcome to the forum!

If you’re going to get a 555PS, whether you prefer 555+NDAC vs 555+NDS will come down to preference as to sound. My own comparison was NDAC+XPS2 vs. NDS+555; not a very fair comparison and I definitely preferred the latter. And I prefer (Q) UPnP home networking, with the server in a remote location and (B) a $500 nas vs. the uServe, which also pretty much precludes a direct connection. And © I have 2 systems, so UPnP and home networking allow one server to serve to 2 systems in the home.

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I was using an ndac/555dr with an ndx as the source feeding it. It sounded great but when the ndx/ndac was replaced with the nds the sound was just so much better. Thinking this may all be attributed to the source feeding the dacs I then tried another source feeding the ndac/555, then tried the same source plugged into the nds/555. The nds dac section still was substantially better.

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Thinking along those lines as well, but as the current HAT is a IQAudio Digi+ and is no slouch, the Digione may well be “much of a muchness”. In which case, it may have to be the Digione Signature

I used to have nDAC and NDS before I traded the latter for ND555. The NDS/555DR combo was better to my ears than nDAC/555DR, although the nDAC firmware update 6.11.8 brought a substantial improvement to the same ears. This is without considering the streaming capabilities that the NDS brings over the nDAC.
In short, a S/H NDS nowadays at 3.5k£, is a no brainer. :nerd_face:

Chag -

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One just went on the bay for £2100 including 12 month warranty. Small ding on the faceplate in one corner. Seems very cheap.

G

Wow NDS for 2.1k anyway very happy with my 272/555dr

The NDS is the second best DAC you can currently buy. But that’s only according to my ears. Yours may vary.

I went from DAC/555PS to NDS/555PS. The change was significant and musically rewarding. I couldn’t praise and recommend the NDS highly enough when it was still on the Naim price list. It’s ridiculously good value for money now. If you like what it does.

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I found NDX/ Ndac / 555 was bettered by NDS by some margin. Given the price drop on NDS’s post the release of the ND555 it makes it a good time To buy a pre loved NDS.
Gary

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I would echo the above comments. I went form HDX/NDAC/555PSDR to the NDS. It wasnt necessarilly night and day but it was a desernable difference but the NDAC with the power supply was a seductive sound signiture i really liked too. The big point here is, as others have stated, you can pick up what was an 8k streamer for 3500 or less and then sell then NDAC maybe for close to 1k. The NDS would use both outputs of the 555 maxing out its potential which is where i suspect i heard the uplift it gave me. Before my ND555 arrived the NDS was singing its heart out every evening and it felt hard to imagine things could get much better but thats a different story. The NDS is very fine and even if you had to buy blind you would probably be smiling at the end of it and if not probably flip it for not much loss i would think.

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