In Praise of Older Things

There’s so much negativity on here right now, largely surrounding the recent firmware update and resultant problems suffered by many, so I thought I would share my positive thoughts on an ancient piece of kit in my system.

Following recent networking troubles, reported elsewhere, I came to the conclusion that my Synology backup was no real backup at all, since it held CD rips done by my HDX, and therefore in Naim’s proprietary version of WAV.

I decided to set the HDX the task of encoding these to FLAC, which makes more sense on my NAS, and since the HDX can transcode back to WAV for replay, (which, I believe, the newer Core can’t do), the streamer will still see the WAV file, Naim’s preferred format.

Originally purchased ex-demo as a source, and teamed with Naimdac and 555PS, it has since given great service as a ripper / server, making the whole ripping process completely painless, and was sent to Naim a while back for a complete service and overhaul, at a most reasonable price.

So, all in all, a great piece of kit, which may no longer be cutting edge technically, but simply “does what it says on the tin”, for all that it’s somewhat “so last Century” … bit like myself, really. :thinking:


My experience of the HDX is also a good one. Had mine 2 years having bought it second hand, having been upgraded to the 2Tb hard disc. It has performed faultlessly and sounds really good with an XPSDR. The HDX will shortly be relegated to a server role as I anticipate the arrival soon of an NDX2, but as you say it does what it says on the tin!

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Yes, lets hear it for old gear! I doubt there will be any updates on my NDS either. It’s actually a 2017, but that’s a tad unusual.
I really prefer not to be too current; it has it’s issues.
And most people I read about that have/had and NDX, really like them.

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Not sure I’d call anything made since 2000 old necessarily. But the “previous” generation of the current range was excellent. In my opinion, the original NDX (especially with an XPSdr) is still a high end source.

The thing is, when anything new is released, the user writeups bring hyperbole to a whole new level.


Heres my HDX


I too will never part with my HDX (well, I’m 70, so “never” is a finite number)! I wasn’t aware that NAIM’s WAV format was “proprietary”(?) Their folder format certainly is, but the WAV files themselves? Could you elaborate?

The WAV files are standard WAV format, the metadata is not embedded in the file and instead is held in external files with a Naim proprietary format.

Yes, the WAV files are perfectly standard, rather it’s the manner in which Naim deal with the metadata which makes it a good idea to have the HDX convert them to FLAC, so they can be used on non Naim kit.

Not a problem, since the HDX will then transcode the files back to WAV on the fly, which is what the streamer will see, so it’s all good.

(Beat me to it, Eoin).

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So, they are basically what you would rip from a CD on your computer - clean with no metadata?

The metadata is there, it’s just stored in a separate file within the album folder.
The HDX searches and downloads the metadata from online databases in the same way as other rippers, but just stores it in a slightly different way which some non-Naim devices can’t cope with.


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One of the advantage of Older Things is that they do not need to be updated. At least, they do not need to be updated so often as new stuff. They do one thing and if they are Good Older Things, they do it right.

I have gone through two firmware updates with my nDAC. The first one was a pain and the second one a perceivable upgrade.

I have never experienced any stuttering or spontaneous reboot with my system and no need to replace the nDAC with a newer Naim streamer. If at all, with a new DAC.

When you say ‘bring hyperbole to a whole new level’, is that an example of hyperbole?

In most cases, the manufacturer just ceases to support the “Older Things”… hence no updates.
The “new stuff” will get a few updates and then be abandoned by the manufacturer… hence no more updates!

New stuff becomes old stuff and the “circle of life” continues.


Possibly. At the very least, an example of exaggerated superlatives.

I don’t know how many levels of hyperbole their are. For a stab in the dark, I’ll say 42 :smiley:

True but the nDAC has received perhaps 5 updates before being discontinued. How many updates is a ND555 going to receive during its lifetime? 50? How many updates will be needed to keep it successor up and running?

I have no problem with updates as long as they are not regressions and have no impact on the sound quality of a device. I am running 2-3 music servers and streamers in my household. They are all based on MPD, MinimServer and upmpdcli. Over the last 5 years, I never had any problems updating these systems and no update has had any perceivable impact on the sound quality.

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