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

With the XPS DR added, there’s a few upgrades going on in one, not just within the DAC. The transport itself is significantly upgraded with a much beefier supply, sturdier casing, internal transformer is turned off, better earthing, and so this is way beyond that of a ND5 XS 2. Also the internal wiring & sockets are decoupled from the main board…


A downside of using the NDX XS2 as a transport into the ndac, is it doesn’t have an optical out.

I’m using a Van Den Hul optical into Ndac. It sounds refined and details.

1 Like

I thought it had a coax digital out, no?

I use the Audioquest Carbon. I would love to try the DC1 but it’s 450 euros… Maybe a Mark Grant HDX1 BNC to BNC would do the job? Has anyone compared it to the DC1?

1 Like

I had a couple of DC1s and sold them as I found an HDX1 to sound just as good, and I could buy one the right length instead of Naim’s take-it-or-leave-it 1.25 metres which was too long and just ended up jammed against the wall behind the rack.

1 Like

It doesn’t have optical out.

@ChrisSU I have not tried the Mark Grant HDX1 so I couldn’t comment there. I did try a one-meter Mogami 2964 cable off Amazon and a one-meter Chord Clearway, and the Naim DC-1 was the only one to my ears that made streamer and dac “gel” into one system. All the BNC>BNC versions.

Btw I understood there is science behind the length as shorter runs than 1.25 induce reflections of some sort? I was able to run the DC-1 below the rack so no problem there, it’s Naca5-ish stiff but not totally inflexible.

@GlenJ See if you can perhaps find a used BNC>BNC Naim DC-1 one as I did, still not a bargain but significantly cheaper and as you see from time to time there are people selling them off.

The whole point of using cables and connectors with a defined and consistent characteristic impedance is that there are no or very minimal reflections. That is why you use 75 ohm cable and plugs and sockets on quality SPDIF connections. If there are significant reflections it’s because of a low quality or faulty cable, connectors or electronics are being used.

However reflections are at their most negative impacting at 1/4 and 3/4 wavelengths - and therefore depends on the frequency of the framing data of the SPDIF protocol which in turn is driven by the sample rate - so the impact of the reflections will vary on the sample rate for a given length of cable.
44.1/16/2 on SPDIF has an approx frequency of 3MHz and therefore reflections have their most negative impact at around 25 m, 75 m, 125 m, and 192/24/2 has an approx frequency of approx 13 MHz with a most negative impact of around 5.7m. 17m etc

So from a science perspective you can see shorter runs of 1 metres or 2 metres are really largely irrelevant - and effectively totally irrelevant if a 75 ohm cable, connectors and plugs are being used.

Now there may be tuning with certain products where there is out of band common mode noise/interference passing through the cable from a leaky device and is attenuated over a distance - but that would be device to device dependent, rather than SPDIF dependent.

DC1 is a totally fine cable, but there are many other totally fine cables that cost a few pounds to buy or make. I personally prefer a lighter more flexible 75 ohm cable to accurately fit the length required if I can that puts less strain on the connectors, I currently have both my DC1 cable out of circuit at this time.


Indeed, the biggest turn-off for me with the DC1 was that it’s unnecessary long length combined with the stiffness put stress on the connections at both ends, as well as looking rather ridiculous with a big loop squished up against the wall behind the rack.
When I quizzed Naim during a factory visit about cable lengths, they said that they really had no appetite for stocking a range of cable lengths and were happy to leave that to specialist cable brands such as Chord.


What a great and honest answer :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you @Simon-in-Suffolk and @ChrisSU, I read this as another account of that generally standard Naim cabling is the no-brainer and successful first choice in a Naim system, up to and including the NDX2/SN3 level at least, unless installation problems occur due to length and/or stiffness of the DC1 and/or NACA5 cables, and one obviously and rightly so looks for a fitting alternative solution.

I can’t speak for DC1, but I ruled out NACA5 because of its inflexibility. In our home. speaker cable needs to be fairly flexible, to go around bookcases and soffits. There is no absolute right way.


Indeed so, that was what I tried to convey, recommended to try standard first unless…good reasons

@daddycool some things we got right the first time (SN3 with HighcapDr), others (ND5XS2 to NDX2 with XPSdr) we upgraded when the opportunity presented and speakers ( Spendor A4) just worked out without home audition. Part of assembling a good system is just luck and magic. Again no absolutes.


Has your dealer discussed optimising the cable connection between the NDX2 and SN3 with a HiLine Din-Din cable or even a SuperLumina Din-Din cable to get the best sound quality from your system?
I remember you had previous thread on cable connections when you were focussing on upgrading your Chord interconnect cables.

Not such a disadvantage as the coaxial connection is superior and sounds better than Toslink optical.


That’s an urban myth, often repeated.

I’m using a Van Dan Hul optocoupler in preference to coaxial, between a Primare NP5/Ifi X and Ndac. I’m very pleased with how it sounds, in fact it’s turned the Ndac into something that sounds similar to a CDS2, so that’s obviously a good thing.

Primare produced a 20 minute youtube video giving tips and tricks on how to get the best out of the NP5. There is no advice to use coax in preference to optical, which says a lot.

Rob Watts, who designs the Chord dacs, recommends using toslink with some of his dacs.

The review below seems to indicate coax isn’t better than coax.

No unauthorised review links please.

Is it an urban myth?? I’m not sure it is. Certainly whenever I’ve tried Toslink against coaxial s/pdif in the sane transport into DACs I invariably prefer the coaxial, regardless of different cables, even using special glass Toslink leads.


@MoonDrifter No he has not. He likes Chord cables. I might consider cable upgrades. However, I want to hear how the system sounds with my existing cables before I upgrade. The NDX2 and XPXdr power supply and Utopia headphones are still awaiting delivery to my dealer from Focal Naim. Seems things have slowed with their new computer system.

Well, I’ve just searched the forum for 6moons. There are 22 post containing 6moons, the vast majority are links to reviews, not all are reviews of naim equipment.
I can’t see why general review of numerous SPDIF cables would be a problem.

That’s your opinion. But, maybe companies who are designing high quality streaming bridges (only function is to output SPDIF) are now putting in the hours and money to develop high quality optical outputs.

Back to the Primare NP5 tips video. The guy at Primare talks about setting up the NP5 for a friend, using toslink. So, again, that tells you something.