Innuos + Dave vs Innuos + ND555

Has anyone compared Innuos Statement (or similar) + Dave/MScaler vs Innuos + ND555?

In the first case Innuos would rip and serve to the ND555 as DAC and streamer. In the second, the Innuos would rip, serve and stream to the Dave/MScaler.

I’m already 1/2 way there with a Statement and my intention was to use it with an ND555 but circumstances are forcing a rethink. I don’t mind deviating from the plan but not at the cost of sound quality.

I have a Statement with ND555 and two PS but also had a Dave and MScaler on home demo over a number of days, which I tried in a variety of configurations. I vastly preferred the ND555 and was quite surprised by the scale of the difference considering the positive comments posted here about the Chord gear.

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Hi Elfer,
@Michaelb and I have both separately made the direct comparisons, Michael with 2 555PS on the ND555, I with one 555PS. I also tried the equivalent MSB and DCS streamers. Each of us draws our own conclusions. The ND555 and Chord combos do not sound the same and you will almost instantly know which you prefer when you hear them back-to-back.

There is a substantial budget difference between the two, even if you run with 1 power supply. I started with a CDS3/555PS-DR.

If you are going to look at Naim & Chord, I recommend auditioning DCS (Rossini + clock) and MSB (Premier + Powerbase) too. Our impressions are posted on a thread in the Streaming Forum somewhere from 18 month-2 years ago.

Hope this helps, BF

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Both will give good results which you prefer will be down to you. I haven’t made the Innuos/ND555 comparison but did compare the Innuos/NDX2 and preferred the Chord DAVE/MScaler, by a considerable margin, with the Innuos performing server/streamer duties.
If I was considering an investment in the region of the Statement/ND555 plus additional PS’s I would certainly add DCS to the audition.

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I haven’t tried a DAVE into a Statement Pre, but I felt the DAVE just didn’t sound at home with a 552DR, everything was too hot or forward… with or without an M Scaler. However connect DAVE to headphones or a Chord amp I find it’s a very different and absorbing difference.
The only non Naim source I had that really seemed to gel with my 552 was a Hugo mk1.
In my experience system synergy and component matching is critical in high end.
Side by side the Hugo mk1 is somewhat curtailed compared to the DAVE… possibly to my ears the ND555 has more in common with the Hugo mk1 than the DAVE… albeit the ND555 has a more defined sub bass compared to the mk1… although the mk1 certainly gives that sub bass pressure feel with kick drum with the planars.

(Actually right now enjoying Jack White’s album Fear of the Dawn on my old Hugo mk1 driven by my iPad at 96/24 into my Empyreans… and it’s pretty damn satisfying.)

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How would you connect the ND555 to the Innuos Statement?

The ND555 is intended to be networked.

The Statement has two reclocked Ethernet ports, one for input and one for output, though you only connect to the input port if also using a PhoenixNet. At present, you have to set up the Logitech Media Server configuration for UPnP bridge to control the ND555 using Innuos Sense, which is what sounds best since it plays from cache, but the next major release of Sense will provide native support for this.

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Interesting, thanks Michael.

And to give context you have quite different speakers to Mike, too.

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Hi Jim,
Could you explain how this is significant, as I don’t quite understand?

When comparing the ND555 to the Chord combo and others, speakers included our ART Alnicos, plus Wilson Sasha DAW, Kudos Titan 606, Kudos Titan 808 and Focal Sopra 2, so a fair cross section.

Best regards, BF

Limited audition possibilities, especially in the appropriate combinations means seeking input from the forum and I appreciate all of the responses. Whilst there is some fantastic equipment out there, Naim is not particularly neutral (not a criticism) so getting the synergy right is not easy. Many comments seem to reinforce that.

Ultimately I guess the decision is about whether or not I want to stay with Naim.

Speakers and room-speaker interactions (plus set up) could make a difference to the result of a comparison.

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Absolutely… in fact I think it becomes almost impossible to objectively compare equipment performance, especially high end, without taking this onboard.

Clearly if the room, speakers and damping is a constant, then the comparison is valid but only in the context of your listening room…. Hence why we usually attach such importance to home auditions. Not many of us have a professional production room audio damping setup in our listening rooms… at best we may have a few acoustic panels on the walls and soft furnishings and carpeted floors.

When it comes to reflections and comb filtering effects then we can become disproportionately sensitised to very subtle changes in balance… or a subtle change in relative impedance response between a source and preamp can disproportionally affect the perceived ‘SQ’ performance of a source… simply because there might be minute amounts of increased room reverb from say 6k to 10k due to room reflections for example. Let’s not forget pre digital electronics, many recording studios used largish rooms with solid floors, walls and ceilings with varying amounts of damping to act as room reverbs in music production… and this was subtly changing the feel of a track… not an echo chamber.

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I would even go so far as to say that the room alone makes such a difference that it is impossible to compare systems.

In a normal room, with normal furniture, normal curtains, normal carpeting, in short a normal room, what we hear is 50% the room, 50% the speakers. And I’m optimistic…

In view of this reality, I completely agree with @Simon-in-Suffolk.

Unless the room is heavily and correctly treated, what we hear is a mash of music and distortion. Therefore each room has its own distortion signature…

We can only compare systems within a given frame of reference.

Listening at a dealer’s or at friend’s, gives at most a vague idea of what a system is capable of, compared to another.

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If it was completely true, it would be impossible to choose the right electronics and speakers at a dealer place. Each brand of electronics and speakers, and each particular combo of those, has a certain kind of sound signature. It will help us to choose the right combo at a dealer place, our particular tastes have to match the sound signature of certain brands of electronics with certain brands of speakers.
Of course, the results will vary in different rooms, different spaces, furnitures…but the sound signature will globally remain the same.
I bought a lot of components since 25 years, many different electronics, sources, speakers, all heard first at different dealers places and not at home, which is very difficult in France.
I was 99% of the time satisfied.

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In France, if you buy a component and don’t like it in your room and system, can you send it back?

If so, then this is in effect a home demo period.

You can’t generally send it back, because it was ordered specially for you.
In 25 years I made only one error. I bought a nap 300 dr . 8 months after, after some room acoustics tweaking, I ended by selling it on EBay. My dealer could take it only for half its price, even if buying a new nap 250 dr from him.
You generally can’t borrow at home, neither send it back if you have bought it. It’s mandatory to listen in the best conditions at a dealer place.
Maybe I was lucky, but I bought really a lot of equipment like that during all these years, and was never disappointed. Apart for the 300 dr which didn’t work properly in my system and room. The 250 dr was perfect.

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I don’t think there is any doubt that there is great synergy between the ND555 and your 552/500. (How that works with your room and speakers is another matter, of course.)
For what it’s worth I spent some time at my dealers listening to an ND555 in a couple of different systems. It sounded fantastic, and the improvements over both NDX2 and NDS were easy to hear. For me, though, the benefits were nowhere near enough to justify the £20k asking price at the time. Others, of course, will disagree with this subjective conclusion, and that’s fine. There is no single right answer.
I thought the Chord Dave was an extravagant purchase, although perhaps it doesn’t look so bad when you compare it to the 555. (Discovering that it can also be used as a preamp in an all-digital system makes it seem like a relative bargain, but that’s another matter.)
Good luck with your decision.

Another option is to buy a second hand Linn Klimax DS3 and upgrade the dac to Organik. Total cost around 10/11 k.
Or buy the best transport possible, like the Grimm MU1 or Antipodes k50 and connect it in Spdif to the ND555 as dac.

I agree, I meant the synergy between Naim and non-Naim equipment needs careful matching.

I am very happy with the price I was quoted, quite a bit less than the price you mentioned earlier. My reasons for considering other options are not related to cost - though I do struggle to see the value at full, new pricing.