After planning to upgrade my Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 streamer to a ND5XS2 I took a bit strange decision but purchased a second hand NDX which was a great offer. Even though, it uses the old streaming engine it’s a higher class in the Naim’s range and was one of the best streamers a few years ago. I doubt I will be disappointed.
What I will end up with is NDX and Zen Mini + LPSU. I want to ask you whether it would be a good value for the money to use the Innuos for uPnP connection playing mainly stored or ripped music and also use its Qobuz/Roon capabilities in the future (I think the NDX does not have native support for Qobuz). Is the device playing files via uPnP important for SQ or it is just a sender without making any rendering? I started ripping CDs less and less recently, so my main concern is having a possibility to play local files to the NDX and have Qobuz/Roon features. However, if the device on the source end of a uPnP connection is not so important to SQ I can sell the Innuos and buy a lot cheaper device or even NAS (sacrificing Qobuz/Roon features). Also, are there cheaper CD rippers with similar quality in case I want to rip something from time to time?
The SonoreUPnP bridge will enable to use your NDX as a Roon Endpoint, so you can have local streams, Tidal & Qobuz all via Roon.
I presume the Zen will run Roon Core.
I reckon you might have been better off buying an NDAC and connecting the Zen via SPDIF. That gives you Qobuz, with or without Roon. You don’t need the streaming functions of the NDX if the Zen can do it all, and more, and the Naim DAC is a step up from the DAC in the NDX.
Currently I’m connecting my Zen Mini via SPDIF to nDAC. I just wanted a better streamer and wanted to try a Naim product since I like Naim’s signature. My main focus is streaming TIDAL. I think Qobuz is not yet supported in my country and that’s why I might use Qobuz capabilities in the future but not yet. So if NDX provide better TIDAL streaming than my Zen Mini I’d be very happy. My main goal is to substitute Innuos for a cheaper alternative streaming local files via uPnP.
Yes the Zen has a uPnP player. I think it does not transcode to WAV but my main local collection is ripped music from CDs which is ripped in WAV format. The Innuos is a very convenient device with lots of features and can serve as a Roon Core and has also Qobuz integration. Also it has 1TB internal HDD which can store a lot of files.
Probably I’d be better off if I keep the Innuos and use its uPnP features and CD ripping. It would be a bit of overkill keeping both devices, but if the NDX improves the SQ over the Innuos it would be a good decision.
For best sound quality, the Ndx should be the player, connected to Ethernet, and streaming files from the Innuos, connected to a switch too. In that case you use the Naim app. However you will not have Qobuz.
If the Innuos is the player, using another app than the Naim , connected in spdif to the Ndx ( to its dac), you will have Qobuz. However the sound quality is normally inferior than using the UPNP mode.
But you can compare. You just need an spdif cable to do the test.
Don’t know if my response can help you…
Yes, that’s my plan for now. Connecting the NDX to Ethernet and streaming local files from the Innuos.
I forgot to say that I have the UpTone EtherRegen switch and it will be connected to my NDX.
You’re right that for Qobuz I would need the Innuos to be the player but I don’t like this option. I want to use NDX streaming direct to my nDAC. So Innuos would be a great option for everything except Qobuz but even without it, it would still be great.
I missed that you already had an NDAC. In that case I’m not convinced that putting an NDX in the chain would improve Tidal sound quality. Native Tidal on the NDX doesn’t sound as good as locally streamed WAV files, so you may find it’s a backwards step.
These are no good news, if it’s true. Why TIDAL streaming on NDX is worse than local WAV files? On my Innuos I don’t find a big difference between ripped wav files and the same songs on TIDAL. Are you saying that ND5XS2 and NDX2 have more equal TIDAL performance to local WAV files or that is valid for any streamer as a general?
I think the Innuos Zen (the next model in the range) might be a closer match to NDX but I have the Zen Mini Mk3 which is the entry level of Innuos. The external LPSU I have for it is shared between the internal HDD, streamer and CD transport so it is more or less polluted. The NDX PSU would be used entirely for streaming to an external DAC. I direct comparison would show the truth but why do you think the NDX and Zen Mini should be equal?
With, as you pointed, an entry level Zen Mini, the differences should be very marginal between Tidal and local files.
But more the go up the Innuos range, or Melco, more the differences are in favor of local files.
As Qobuz is sounding better than Tidal, if your main streaming is online, perhaps something like a microrendu , added to the Ndx ( it’s a mini box) would enable you to have Qobuz and then better sound quality.
For me it’s not a problem, as I stream only locally.
I didn’t said the differences don’t exist, but are not night and day. They are bigger when the Audiophile nas is better.
For the new streamers, you seem to repeat the statement of Simon. However many members here have the Nd555 and found adding a Melco still improves very clearly the sound, vs common Nas.
We seem to not understand each other. So you want to stay that the difference between local files on a Nas and Tidal on an Ndx is big?
If so, the difference is still bigger with an audiophile Nas.
I don’t understand your point on the new streamers. Even if Tidal and Qobuz are better, closing the gap with local files on a Nas, streaming from an Audiophile nas is still clearly better than Qobuz.
I have tested at dealer place with an Nd555, and some here using the Nd555 still prefer clearly streaming from their Melco.
After reading your comments I got confused and started regretting purchasing the NDX. If we let aside local files streaming, I at least hope NDX would provide better SQ for Tidal streaming than the Zen Mini. I like the Naim app more than the Orange Squeeze player which I use for the Innuos. This is one plus for NDX, but if it is the only one it would be a very expensive change of an app for streaming. My plan actually was to enter the world of Naim streaming with the NDX and after the prices of NDX2 drop a bit to upgrade to it eventually but we’ll see.
I’m waiting for it to be delivered. It’s picked up by the courier.
Why worry ? A have a very good streamer, a good Nas, and you can easily enjoy the music.
The only problem is that Tidal sound quality is inferior to Qobuz, be it with the old streamers ( Ndx…Nds) or new ones. And old streamers can’t stream Qobuz on Naim app.
If you want to upgrade the Ndx later for streaming Tidal, you can add a Naim dac. Some have done it and enjoy. You can find ones for 750/1000 pounds.
I just started hesitating whether I’ve made a good upgrade and invested my money properly. But next week I’ll try the NDX and see for myself.
Actually, as I’ve already mentioned I have the Naim nDAC, so my plan is to connect it with the NDX via BNC. I really like the sound signature of the nDAC and wanted a proper streamer on the front of the chain to match the level of the rest of my system.
If you have already the Ndac, the Ndx/Ndac combo will be a very good source, on the level of the Ndx2.
So don’t worry, you have made no error.
That’s what I have read in other topics. The nDAC is the natural upgrade of NDX and together they would match perfectly in addition with the DC1 BNC cable, which I also plan to buy.
I moved up the Innuos range and up the USB to spdif. I ended up with Zenith and Audiophilleo + PurePower. I got both at good prices. nDAC + 555 etc.