Is the NDX2 streamer significantly better than the ND5XS2 which I have?

I got a very good price on a new unit. If I waited and then decided I wanted one, it would not be available. I could have gotten a used unit, but I did not find the offer compelling for several reasons. I would rather purchase new and the price was too good to pass up.


Are you going to try the ndx2 on its own briefly to see the difference between it and nd5xs2 for yourself? Congratulations on the great deal on xpsdr.


You’re about to be very happy.

Fair enough, I’d probably do the same.

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@dmu No the dealer’s staff will install the new units and take back the ND5SX2. Given my disabilities I don’t do well with changing of equipment for comparison sake.


Totally understand I need someone else to do everything like that too. Glad you found a good dealer they are worth their weight in gold.

@dmu the story is interesting. I knew the dealer I am currently with for 40 years (Innovative Audio) He is also the owner. He initially lived in our co-op. His shop was in Brooklyn and because of location, purchasing gear was super easy. Like walking a few blocks. He was a Linn dealer whose staff had amazing setup skills.

Because of increased disability, suspension TT no longer was viable for me. I moved on to Rega and switched dealers. My second dealer (Signature Sound) was in upstate NY, 300 miles from me. Not only were his Rega setup skills amazing, but he had one of the most sensational set of ears for judging equipment that I have come across. The distance was not a huge issue b/c his mother lived not far from me. Support was viable. When his mom passed away and my disabilities increased, I needed a dealer who could offer easily accessible home support.

When my Rega system died during home renovation, we decided to replace it with Naim. The Naim components were easy for us to operate. I reached out to all the NYC Naim dealers and explained my need for home service, which I was willing to pay for BTW. Most dealers did not even give me the courtesy of a response.

Home support was never an issue for Innovative Audio.

In terms of dealer quality, both Innovative Audio and Signature Sound have been spectacular in terms of customer support and helping me select equipment. Although not a Naim dealer, Rich at Signature recommended I consider Naim and worked with Innovative on the transition.

I think more attention needs to be given to the special needs of audiophiles with disability.

Thanks to everyone for your support and help.


Dont knock it, i had my xpsdr 4 weeks before my ndx2 ! Not through choice, it was 4 years ago during covid when supply chains were being squeezed. Never listened to the ndx2 on its own ps.

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You can get a nice upgrade by removing it and then replacing it.

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It’s odd I bought a basic coffee machine a year ago to try out barista coffee at home it was ok tbh but it was not the real thing and the coffee tasted so so still coffee right? But I decided to buy a more professional Version to see the difference. Everything was easier, it flowed better, the milk frother was hotter and faster and the coffee taste was sublime. I enjoyed coffee even better than the shops! True story, same with my Ndx2. I was convinced I never needed a better player, I was wrong. I moved the speakers so many times to get it all to sound right but once the new unit was in it sounded right whatever I did and eventually moved the speakers for tone purposes only. I felt like a lot of time was wasted trying to get the nd5 to sound right but that was the problem all along. I do have a very revealing system saying that but I should have realised as the same happened when I got a cdx2… some people never learn :joy:. Ps don’t rush to get a power supply, enjoy it first if you can, it’s more fun later on I’m sure and some people are just happy with what they have. There are always people saying you need this you need that, you don’t always!:wink:


@Marki thanks. I got a great deal on a new power supply for the NDX2. An XPSDR. If I later decided I wanted one, it would not be available.

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We all would have done the same! I meant in general … you will love it

You have made the decision in terms of a high quality source player that will be well beyond a SN3/HCDR. At least you’re upgrading the right way around. Enjoy.

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@Stephen_Tate Thanks. My upgrade options are quite limited. I can’t do amp/Pre combination. No more rack shelves and can’t accommodate a higher rack. More importantly, we chose the SN3 because it had buttons that we could see and easily operate. Most current stuff is LCD which can be difficult for us. Everything in audio is a compromise and balancing act. Just by luck, the speakers we chose. Spendor A4, worked well in a difficult room. We have been through many different speakers in the past. We will likely keep the speakers.

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You did right. A NDX 2 is excellent by it’s own, but even better together with the XPS DR.


Is there something more than the DAC that distinguishes the two units? Put another way, if the DAC is the most significant difference, should one also consider alternative, external DACs?

As mentioned earlier there is a quite informative thread on that subject called “what will adding nDAC to ND5 XS2 bring” which explores al the various combinations of streamers, between themselves and with or without nDAC and PSUs (many combinations!), as well as reasons why to investigate that.

There are also threads on pairing either streamer with a Chord DAC, another popular choice.


@IJHB my reading is that it is not just the Dac, but more attention to the analog output stage, lower noise floor and build quality. I could be wrong. Also if the Chord Dac comes with an external ps requiring an added power cord, I would be out if outlets and shelves.


After a few months using the nDac paired with the ND5XS2 I notice on some recordings that there is something in the high-medium frequencies, especially on piano notes that annoys me, and make me want to turn the music off. While I like the calmer/relaxed character of the nDac I can’t remember having this kind of experience when using the bare ND5XS2.

Any similar experiences?

I think i may give the bare nd5xs2 a listen, and maybe try a Chord Qutest but I have read that it can sometimes cause speaker hum because of a ground issue.


@GlenJ what digital cable do you use? I found various cables to make quite a difference.

nDAC (and DC1 cable) turn the streamers into very different animals so normal that you hear different things. But they should at least be pleasant things! Perhaps you can briefly try the ND5 XS2 stand-alone and then see what your ears tell you.

Some prefer the NDX2 in their systems, only way to find out what suits you most is listening.