How good is the ND555?

Not having heard the ND555 I certainly would not say that about the amplification. IMHO Naim absolutely betters the competition in timing, attack, definition weight of the sound and so on. I’ve spent so much money trying to better Naim amplification and I’ve now come to a point where I won’t do it anymore. I would also caution statements like ‘Naim needs some catching up to do’ because it’s reading these sort of statements that made me waste so much money. I’m sure you prefer an alternative but that statement is absolutely unnecessary and I’m confident untrue.

I found the Rossini timed at least as good as the Nds/ Nd555, maybe even better. But the sound is less organic and cohesive, to my ears. But better soundstaging and details and dynamics for the Rossini.
As for the Meitner MA3, it’s incredibly good for the price. The timing is spot on. Fast, organic and very involving.


Are you saying the new 500 series is not as PRATy as the summit Olive gear?

I have never heard a NAP500, but i have found the new classic, uniti range a departure from the relentless full on PRaT to something more pleasing to the masses, still good just not as in your face.

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Whatever Naim do in the future it will never sound like a Linn, Chord, DCs or others…….and that is great by me, we need different choices out there.


I responded that because the OP is searching which source to buy. You are right, Naim is different. But not all of us want to buy only Naim and not other brand.
In my recent listening I found the Meitner to my taste, the only for now digital source that could replace Naim. DCS, LINN, CHORD and LUMIN didn’t provided what I am searching for. I didn’t heard Auralic.


I would suggest you need to listen to an ND555, along with its competitors, before you can say whether the statement about NAIM ‘needing to catch up’ is untrue or not.

Some will prefer NAIM, others dCS, Auralic, Linn or Meitner, whoever they are. The only way to found out it to listen, and compare, all options.


I understand you preferred the alternatives in source components. I too have owned Audio Note DACs and currently own the SW1x DAC as source components instead of a Naim source. But I won’t say Naim needs to catch up to these DACs. That kind of statement reads like Naim is lagging far behind in their tech which I don’t believe is the case at all.

I would encourage the OP to go out and listen and make a judgement based on their own likes/dislikes. But the I idea that Naim needs to “catch up” is ludicrous. If fact I’d say that Naim’s engineering is by-far state of the art. Large outboard power supplies, heavy brass/suspended circuit board, faraday cage, 13 DR regulators… all contribute to great sound.

Here’s some light reading for anyone interested:


I am sorry but naim does need to catch up, its obvious once you get a few top dacs/streamers on a good system and compare them.
Its not that the nd555 sounds bad, it just can’t deliver what others can these days, it sounds closed in against some and where you could always say it has prat, well guess what so do most others these days.
I am sure naim will up its game very soon, it has too really as others are pulling even further away and even much cheaper stuff is on its heels these days.
The burr brown chips that naim has fell back on for years are all but gone, so for certain the next generation will sound different and good for it, as i look forward to what they come up with, but for me i feel the apex upgrade is my way forward and that’s ment to be a very nice upgrade and puts the rossini in the same ball park as a non apex vivaldi.
The nd555 was really a reworked nds, the next will be a new design and as said will be interesting what they do.


Excellent thank you as you clearly have the inside track.


If the engineering is state of the art, as you suggest, then it is not translating into sound quality. This was my emphatic conclusion based on extensive listening tests. This is the area where I meant they were lagging behind. Apologies for any confusion.

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Absolutely Andy, spot on.
From 3 years ago (3 years? Really? Oh my goodness!):
Trying a few streamers

Best regards, BF

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So I’m getting the impression that the ND555 is not revered around here.

I will however give it a good audition before I make my mind up.

Not true, your thread just woke up the opposition


Not true……i have tried the other stuff, they did not make me want to listen every day for hours on end. You have to listen for yourself, i don’t care what people buy, some seem to feel that they need to justify their purchases over and over?


It’s the best streamer Naim currently make and it is a superbly engineered player - the white paper that @ChrisBell posted shows the attention to detail that has gone into this design. It may use ‘older’ DAC technology, but Naim certainly have the experience to get the best performance out of these devices.

As others have said, have a listen to the opposition and then make up your own mind as to how good you think the ND555 is. That’s all that matters.


One may or may not like a particular way of presenting music, and tastes are not debatable; everyone has their own.

But tastes are only tastes… they do not indicate anything relevant about a product’s quality or technological level.

Unfortunately, some people believe their taste and/or opinion has an objective value, or even a technical validity.

Only one expression comes to mind :

Sutor, ne ultra crepidam



As others have said, you really must listen. Before splashing out on an Innuos Statement and PhoenixNet net for my ND555 + 2Ps I had a good listen to the “more advanced” Chord offerings and was astonished at how far behind they were in terms of what I look for from a source component. I had been left just as unimpressed by the top-of-the-line Linn. Not tried the DCS. But I’d say just listen for yourself. The “latest generation DAC” lovers love to refer to the tech when explaining their affection for their chosen products, but I’m yet to find anything to match the timing, dynamism, cohesion and textural detail of the ND555. I’ve not heard the DCS though, as I’ve said, but the other stuff does not in my mind even come close.


As i said in my first post go try a few and see how you get on, its the only way really.
As nd555 owners will say there’s the best, dcs owners the same, dave etc, etc.
But lots of great ones to try as the market has never been better for such a device, so go and explore, its much better than buying blind