How Much Should I Upgrade?

It’s funny you mention NACA5 speaker cable. That’s what I’ve got in my system. It replaced a much more expensive set of highly regarded, at the time, Audioquest cable. The jump in sound quality in my system was significant.

I appreciate all the feedback. Obviously, it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten out and done any listening to new gear. I’m going to start that process up. My ears need to hear what’s possible and then my budget can dictate what’s practical.

A digital source to beat analog at its own game? The ND555 is the closest I’ve heard to that, just after I’d upgraded my turntable so it still didn’t beat it but it’s in pursuit. I’m guessing the 555 is a little over budget but the other two in the range are worth auditioning as funds allow.

I want to be very specific. I’m looking for a digital source to beat my P25 and FONO. I’m hoping that a ND5 XS2 is the answer to do that.

I’m going to try to audition that and an SuperNait 3. I think I need to get updated on the NAIM house sound.

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Upgrade to the SN3 and listen to both the ND XS2 and NDX 2 if you go for a demo. Trade/sell your Nait 5i, CD 5i and Bluesound Node 2i. Your be ready for another decade or so…


I don’t think you are being at all unrealistic. You just need to listen to the various suggested sources. I also think the 5i is a cracking amp. I use one with just a sqbox system into a Cambridge Audio dac ( cheap seats here). It is a sweet sound. A better digital source and dac would knock the spots off the P25 imo.

I think it will be good, I think it will be different but as to whether or not it is better than your Rega Planar 25, only you can say.

Well, as upgrades never go as planned or expected, my initial change is going to be switching to a set of PMC twenty5 23i speakers. I plan to run these in when they show up before I move forward with any additional changes.

The piece of kit that has really caught my attention in the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge.

I do hope you tried them with your 5i, as it’s really not up to the task of driving them properly. Probably you already know that, but be prepared for some serious expenditure on amplification and source to build a balanced system around them.

If I go Naim, it will be a SuperNait 3. My dealer buddy is pushing Bryston HARD. He’s insisting I need to hear the new cubed amps

Bryston are very good, though they sound totally different to Naim. With you being in the US Bryston will be more price competitive than over here. The 135 integrated with optional dac looks rather appealing, though it has too many little buttons and writing for my taste. It’s definitely worth trying both.

One of the system configurations I’m considering if I went Bryston amp would be to use a Mytek Brooklyn Bridge as the preamp.

That said, Naim gets the first shot at amplification here. My Nait 5i and CD5i have been stalwarts the last 14 years

The better PMCs seem a better choice than the Dynaudios you originally proposed unless you had already heard the Dyns (and assuming you limed the character of your current PMCs.

As for digital, have you considered the Chord Hugo or Qutest, which some people find much preferable to Naim’s DACs? (My experience of Hugo vs the ND5XS DAC is much a more natural sound.)

I use a Node 2 i into the dac portion of my Rega Saturn R as initiation into streaming.

Playing a Cd in the Saturn R vs the Node2i into the Saturn R dac, the Cd wins hands down regardless of bit size on the Node2i

The Saturn R is £1700 whereas the Node2i /saturn r dac is say £1k ish, so i guess it should sound superior.

Hope to be able to afford a ndsxs2/ndx2 one day, but a long way off at present with concerns about redundancy.

Option 4 btw.

@MetalMan First, your room is really small. That has to be considered. I have Dynaudio S40’s in a 15’ x 20 room and drive them with 150 wpc. The 5i in that size space with S40 is not a good choice, S40’s are power hungry, and need more space. Here’s my thoughts ProAc Tablette 10 Signature’s. They throw a huge soundstage, sound amazing and your 5i can drive them. If you find they need more bass a smaller Rel sub would do the trick. Get a good Dac like the Chord Qutest you can run your Node and CD5i into it that’ll be a big upgrade in it self! and FYI the US importer for ProAc, Rega and Chord is in Arlington!

Hey Opus,

I’ve ordered PMC Twenty5 23i speakers. I like the PMC house sound and I know their speakers set up well in my near/mid field listening requirements of my room.

I’m now considering amplification and front end. The speakers will force bigger upgrades.

Enjoy those PMC’s

I had a pair of the 20-23s. Fine speakers. Like ,a lot of speakers they like a decent power up up ‘ um.

I would get the Naim gear serviced , and then audition the ND5 XS2 and then change the speakers .

It should be a step by step process so that each change can be highlighted and identified, I recently revamped and overhauled my system , which took about 18 -24 months , changing the amplification, TT (forced change of tuner) added a DAC - reduced the box count .

I was fortunate to find two good (and patient) dealers

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