Is the Naim DAC still a thing in 2021?

Last time I made a change to my system (4 years ago?), the DAC wars were becoming bloody…but people were still hanging on to Naim DAC…upgrading it. Others were ditching their Naim DAC for battery operated stuff…

I’ve always wanted a Naim DAC to complete a 100% Naim system, and it has three Toslink Ports! I use optical from all my digital sources to my DAC.

Apparently still enjoyable after 12 years old. Some people here have for instance the Naim new Nd5xs2 streamer and upgraded it with the Ndac.
Our administrator uses one with the Uniticore.
You will find a lot of threads on it in the search part.

1 Like

It’s still a great DAC and very versatile - I’ve had one for about 6 years sitting between the CD5XS and XPS -2. Just upgraded DAC with Hi Line feeding SN3 - remarkable improvement

Grab one if you can, very reasonably priced these days.

Not sure if Naim would ever release a MK 2

1 Like

And there’s a thread topic - used naimDAC

Have a look through that

Cheers

Bevo

1 Like

I love my nDac which I’ve had for about 10 years. I started without a PS, then an XPS, and now it has a PS555. If it sounds great now, it sounded pretty good to start with.
As far as I can tell, the DAC section of the £13k ND555 still has the same fundamentals, so I don’t feel that the nDac has been greatly overshadowed since it came out, provided you have a good source feeding it.
Mine has been fault free. You can only get them second hand now, but as such they will be a bargain.

1 Like

Absolutely. I was casually wondering what might be out there that might do a better (and physically tidier) job feeding SPDIF into my nDAC than my Allo Digione/USBBridge Signature arrangement and it’s two Allo Shanti power supplies. A Lumin U1 mini looked like just the thing, but apparently can be easily and beneficially DIY modified with an external LPS (like an SBooster). But now the box count, and cost is growing further. So what about something like an Auralic Aries G1, but then there’s a G2, and so on … and then I realised I only paid about £1k for my DAC and I’m starting having thoughts about spending three times that on an SPDIF source, and I snapped out if it.

1 Like

I don’t think the sound of the ndac is obsolete per say but the facilities certainly are. There is far far better out there even at the nDacs second hand price point, that are more versatile and sound great.

I’ll be honest, I am astounded this area has not been of high importance for naim.

2 Likes

I still use the N-DAC after 10 years - my HDX and my CORE both run through the N-DAC - and so does all other digital sources - TV box, BluRay, and soon the ND5 xs 2.

1 Like

Phew. (My exasperation. So many letters.) So. I’m mulling what I want. Do I want a Nova or the ND5 XS3 with the Nait XS 3? Ah…or no. Ndac? If the Ndac improves the ND5 XS3, should I just suck it up and get the NDX 2? Or…stick with the Nova?

A real question or irony?

2 Likes

I directly feed the nDac from a Mutec MC-3 USB reclocker and a Unitiserve . I use a PC to do the streaming, and the Mutec draws from a PC USB output, cleans it up, and presents the nDac with a very accurate clean SPDIF bitstream.

I found that the Mutec levels everything up, whether the PC is streaming from Tidal or playing from NAS - I find it better than the Unitiserve (which itself is fine, by the way). If I dispensed with the Unitiserve, then between the PC and the DAC is just one box (the Mutec).

2 Likes

I still use a Naim DAC. I love its sound and its versatility; it really is a digital hub that can take a whole range of digital devices without the need to plug and unplug stuff all the time. I use it with a Hi-Line interconnect.

FWIW, I also have a Chord Hugo, which may be the “battery operated stuff” you allude to in your opening post. It’s also an excellent sounding DAC, albeit different to the Naim. It really shines on classical music. However, it’s a fiddle to use, and it can really only be connected to one item. I don’t wish to let it go, but I do realise that I haven’t actually used it in a couple of years, whereas the Naim DAC is on every day and used regularly.

4 Likes

Thanks Martin. I’m thinking for now I’ll just stick with my (over) elaborate Allo setup. To better it significantly, from a performance perspective, I imagine it’s going to need something like a dCS Network Bridge.

For now I’m going to hold back as I would not be surprised if we soon start to see the usual suspects (Lumin, Auralic, dCS, etc.) releasing new versions of their streamers with optical Ethernet connectors. Then I’ll see what’s what after that.

1 Like

Oh…serious. It would be much simpler if I could have them here, or even in a showroom. But that’s one thing that I don’t have available.

1 Like

Agree Richard , my nDAC gets everyday use, I reckon it’s one the best pieces of equipment Naim put out in their mid range line, it’s very versatile and an absolute bargain these days

Bevo

1 Like

You have an Atom. So a Nova is of course better. An Nd5xs2 with Nait Xs3 would be a little upgrade vs the Nova.
An Ndx2 with Nait Xs3 would be the step further.
The best cost effective would be SN3/ Nd5xs2/ Ndac.

2 Likes

Would you rank the NDx2 with the Nait Xs3 as first there? If that’s the route I went, will I decide I still need a power supply…or DAC…and will I be happy as is for a year or two? Lol…while my bank account recovers…

…also, it seems to me an ND5xs2 and Nait Xs3 would be easier to sell in a couple years than the Nova? Or at least the Nait would…

…hm…I’d probably want to go SN 3…ha…$$$$ adds up…well, the NDx2 is the big budget buster…

Is the nDac reallya significant upgrade for an ND5XS2? I play with SN2

I had an nd5xs2 in my system for a while. But since my ndac is used with a 555 it is not a good answer for you to say that the ndac with ps555 was a significant improvement. What I can say from a short test is that the nd5xs2 can also be iimproved with other cables than the regular naim cable supplied. When I for a short while changed to my chord Sarum the improvement was big. Of course you would not buy a cable that is as expensive as the streamer, but when you have the cable and make the comparison the result is interesting.

2 Likes

You can see a lot of threads for that in the search part. But yes, the Ndac uplifts nicely the Ndxs2. A lot have testified.

2 Likes