Incoming Naim amplification but no NDX2

Hello all,
I have a full set of Naim amplification arriving next week which includes: NAC282, HCDR and NAP250DR. That’s probably/hopefully a good thing whereas, for the moment, I will have to continue to use the ND5XS2 as my only source for Roon, local library and Qobuz. The ND5XS2 is ethernet connected via a fast and stable fiber connection and powered by a dedicated mains and connected by a HiLine.

I’m hoping that my forthcoming “mullet” status doesn’t mean that I won’t enjoy the new electronics, which will take months to settle in anyway, IME.

Please tell me that I will be happy anyway…!


It will sound great, no concern with all the mullet stuff the ND5 makes sweet music. A few years back when my CDS3 was away for service I had a CD5XS on loan it sounded great. Enjoy.


Thanks, certainly hope so. With the exception of a transformer hum that I solved with a DC blocker, I literally cannot fault the ND5XS2 for rock-solid stability, reliability and perfectly acceptable SQ.


Find a good-condition nDAC and you’re sorted.

You can add the power supply later.:smiley:



Congratulations! A fantastic system and you will find hours of happy listening…

If you are like the rest of us around here you will most likely incorporate additional changes over time… Life is sweet and so is the music!


I’m sure it will be very enjoyable!

It’s a while ago now, but I once listened to my CD5 through a NAIT5 and then I think a 202/200 into Neat SX2s. It sounded good through the NAIT, and even better through the pre/power.

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As an interim measure I think your mullet system will sound just fine. Only when you upgrade it will you realise what you were missing.
Within the current Naim range you really want NDX2/XPSDR to end up with a well balanced setup, or you could keep the ND5XS2 and upgrade the DAC which can potentially be a more cost effective route.


That is a heck of a system to have drop on you all in one go. What loudspeakers do you have to play it all through?

I know nothing of streaming, but have a lovely Naim CD player, which is in need of some Salisbury TLC.

But what you really need is a decent turntable to front up your system - that’s what your lovely new Naim stuff is best at, in my opinion at least (oh, OK, they love a decent FM tuner feed too!).

If you have found yourself a good Naim dealer, they will be able to help (anything from an inexpensive Rega up to a fully specc’d Linn or similar). You’ll find no end of well-intentioned help in choosing a deck on this Forum!

Good luck!


The OP has Sopras.


Great amplification - you are in for a treat once it has all run in.
My advice is not to worry about your streamer. It is an excellent device and it has the potential to be improved as funds allow as @ChrisSU has explained.

Meanwhile enjoy streaming and ignore labels such as ‘mullet’!


Oh come on! It’s a £2.5k XS level streamer/DAC, in front of a £11.5k amp and £7k speakers. That’s the very definition of a mullet. Not that price alone is a failsafe way to judge these pairings, but revealing, well driven speakers are capable of giving so much more than Naim’s entry level separates streamer can provide. I would go so far as to say that even an NDX2 is somewhat limited in its ability to give a system at this level what it deserves unless powered by an XPS.
Nevertheless, as a short term setup I’m sure it will be enjoyable enough for now.


You won‘t be happy at all…not before you own an ND555 driven by two PSU. Accept it!

But isn’t that the point? SQ should be the primary way of judging a system.

The relative price of each element might be helpful to some but it does lead to a label; not fond of these! I demoed the NDX2 against the ND5 XS2 and felt the difference in SQ didn’t justify the extra cost at that stage. This was with the OP’s amplifiers and with similarly priced speakers. Others have a different experience - YMMV.

While I am sure the NDX2 would benefit from more expense in the form of a PS, the ND5 XS2 can be usefully enhanced with DAC improvements just as well as the NDX2 can. I’m sure the OP will be happy with their system now and if they choose to upgrade in the future.

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Of course it is, and it is on that basis that I’m arguing that this is a mullet system. Having said that, when it comes to Naim compnents their price generally tends to reflect their sonic abilities quite accurately, and this system is an example of that.

I am not so sure that price is the the key issue.

I have NDX2 + XPSDR into 52/300 & B&W 804 D3s. On price that’s a mullet and not a million miles from the OP’s system, but it works very well. I had the NDX2 naked first - good, but it needed the PS to match my CDS2 and (nearly) my LP12 for detail and involvement.

I also have an ND5 XS2, waiting to go to a new home. It is less good than an NDX2 for sound quality, but it’s close. It sounds good through the main system, not bad.

Adding a second-hand nDAC is widely held to make the ND5XS2 about as good as the NDX2 (implying that one pays a lot for the screen), but does little or nothing for NDX2. Adding better power to either if using it as a streaming source only is a bit pointless, but adding better power to NDX2 (or nDAC if with ND5XS2) makes a marked difference IMHO.

Surely, the point of ‘mullet’ as a comment is that there is mismatch that means one is 100% wasting the quality of amplification or speakers or even that they are too revealing and will actually be less satisfactory with a modest source than a cheaper amp/ speaker would be.

To me, a Nova with Isobariks, SBLs, Shahninian Hawks or Tannoy Westminsters would be mullets by any definition - the OP getting ND5 XS2 may well not be the end of the upgrade journey, but it really doesn’t fall into the same category, does it?


Not as extreme as your examples, no, but nevertheless it’s a poorly balanced distribution of funds.

Fair enough.

If the OP had not already bought 282/HCDR/250DR and speakers, I’d be suggesting he hear the option of SN3/HCDR and using the saved cash to get NDX2/XPS2. However, I don’t expect going up a big step in amplification will make the ND5XS2 less enjoyable, or that this will be the end of his upgrade path, so it’s all a very minor point.


[quote="NickofWimbledon, I don’t expect going up a big step in amplification will make the ND5XS2 less enjoyable, or that this will be the end of his upgrade path, so it’s all a very minor point

That’s the point, the 282/250 will inevitably deliver more with a better source but just the same the ND5 will be more enjoyable with a 282/250.


Don’t know nothing about mullets, what I know is that a 300DR its a huge upgrade from a 250DR.
So, first you enjoy your new system, then you experiment the best VFM upgrade, maybe for a long time.


I have a monkfish system, bigger head than tail.

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