How to get the best from my ND5 XS2

Just fine tuning my system, trying to get the best from it, so would appreciate any advice regarding the streamer, had it running for six months so should be settled in by know.
At the moment it is connected to my nac202 using the din cable supplied with the streamer, ethernet cable directly to a port on my Sky Q router, so no switch in the circuit. What I would like to know is are there any further improvements I could make, I do see some people are using expensive switches in their systems, are there big improvements to be made this way even though I do not need the extra ports, any help or guidance would be much appreciated.

Just to add I only listen to Quboz, had not ventured into playing any stored music yet, something I may do in the future.

What rack / furniture do you have?

Do not underestimate the standard Naim cable.

Have you considered adding a HiCap to your 202…? I would suggest you think about that.

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I was pleasantly surprised when I added a Powerline to my ND5XS2. Replacing the Lavender interconnect with a Hi-line is also an option.


You’re missing out on the best of the ND5’s capabilities, get a NAS & listen to real HD music.

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Hi Robert,

System is now all housed on a Hifi rack, room is all solid walls, concrete floor, heavy carpet and underlay so room is pretty heavily damped not a lively room if that is what you are querying.


Hi IanRobertM,

I need to update my equipment list, I have recently added a hicap dr to the system, I have posted a pic of the system as it is at the moment , have just decided to try the Bryston in place of the nap200 just out of curiosity.

Added 6m runs of Witch Hat phantom into the mix as well and so far very happy with the result.

I wasn’t under estimating the standard Naim cable I was just listing what I use at the moment.

Hi Mike-B,

I will definitely look into adding some storage/nas in the future just haven’t got around to it yet, not really up to speed with adding or using a nas but as you pointed out worth doing , hopefully a little bit of research and it will be plain sailing.

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Hi marcusman,

The powerline maybe an option, would definitely like to try one in the system as I have read many praise the sound improvements with it, but I have thought of putting in a dedicated supply, wonder if this maybe a better first step vfm wise.

To be honest I would struggle with a Hi-line, paying £900 for an interconnect doesn’t sit well with me, I don’t know if my system is at a high enough level to get the full benefit from such an upgrade, but I’m open minded so if a dealer was prepared to loan one I would be more than happy to try it.


mine responded well to a powerline and in a wooden rack too, so i tried naim style glass with naim cups/balls to good effect for a bit of extra detail.
I used mine with innuos zen mini as roon core

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Def try a loaner. They are ‘delicate’ that’s for sure. I found mine 2nd hand. It improved my XS2 and is now used with my SN3. I’d definitely go for power options before interconnects but that’s just me.

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Hi jmtennapel,

I have a Netgear GS105 between my Sky Q router and the sky boxes so I could simply connect to a spare port on the switch, can I ask why it is better to go through a switch as apposed to connecting directly to the router.

Changing out the Cat6 cables seems a straight forward task, thanks, but very curious as to the use of the switch in the circuit.

+1 for Hicap
A dedicated audiophile server as Melco or Innuos, with hires albums in it.
An audiophile switch, maybe English Electric switch.

Wow, are they £900 now!

I paid £600 back in 2015 for my first gen. ND5 but as Marcusman says, a definate upgrade in refinement.

Edit: We are talking about the Hi-Line not the Powerline?

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Hi Hifi-dog,

That is strange, for some time I toyed with the idea of using an innous set up as it seemed to tick a lot of boxes but in the end I opted to go with Naim, I think at the time sticking to one brand seemed the logical route.

Using the Naim style glass with the cups/balls seems a fairly straight forward step.

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Hi frenchrooster,

A Hicap has already been added to the system so that base is covered but if I’m being honest it didn’t bring the level of upgrade I had hoped for, not sure why, when I added the napsc last year the improvement was instantly noticeable if subtle but definitely a nice improvement, the Hicap not so much, one of the reasons for adding it apart from the expected sound improvement was to enable me to connect the Bryston power amp into the system which I felt would drive the PMC’s better, which it achieved and some but thats another story.

You will have to excuse my ignorance regarding the Melco/Innous server, not 100% sure what you get with a server.

The English Electric switch I see mentioned a lot throughout the forum, so I’m guessing many people are happy with vfm of adding one into your system, food for thought, thanks.

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£900 is indeed its current price, I believe the powerline is a relatively cheap £600 approx. so to add both your are looking at a not inconsiderable some of money and being honest I would struggle with that a little, maybe thinking adding a s/h Ndac may be a more cost effective way of spending £1000+ but I could be wrong. I think its just me struggling with the cost of inter connects to be fair.

Add in the fact they seem extremely fragile is enough to put the fear of god in me, I don’t have the deftest of touch, some just call me clumsy but moving a 6’ 2" 19 stone frame around is not easy especially when you add in the age factor as well.

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The server like Innuos or Melco adds really some thing vs streaming from a common Nas or even worse, from Tidal. IMHO.
There are many many threads on Innuos and Melco, through the search part.
As for Hicap, was it serviced ? When ?

Will definitely give it a try, thanks very much for taking the time to explain the reason for using the switch in the circuit makes total sense now. A simple task to carry out before my next listening session, cheers.

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Understandable. The rings on my HiLine eventually cracked with no damage to the cable itself.

Naim repaired it free of charge about two years ago.