I could compare today the top Lumin X1 streamer ( 12k) vs the Nd555, using the same system and cable.
As originally the Lumin was on demonstration associated to an Esoteric integrated, I asked for a comparison on a Naim system. The swap was made a bit in a hurry, and a same RCA/ RCA cable was used between the 2 streamers and Nac 252 ( with 300 dr).
Speakers were Apertura Onira.
I could listen to 6 different tracks, from Qobuz. Kamaal Yussef, Tom Misch, a French woman singer, Herbie Hancock ( Gerschwin world) , Sarah Tandy, a classical piece with a woman on voice ( Opera).
I can’t honestly say which streamer is better. They are very different.
The Lumin was more dynamic, dramatic, extended on top, and more refined on voices. Voices sounded more accurate, natural.
The Lumin was also clearer, better defined, more transparent.
However the Naim was more organic, a bit more articulated. The musicians were playing more together. I was more implicated with some jazz tracks and complexes rhythms.
The percussions and drums were more extended and dynamic with the Lumin, but more natural on the Nd555, I could more feel the skins.
For a streamer costing half of the Nd555, it’s an achievement I feel.
The Nd555 was not at home with an RCA/RCA cable. However the Lumin was not connected in fiber optic Ethernet, which is its strength.
I’ve owned both. The X1 was the best I’d owned at the time. When I moved back to Naim, I went with the ND555. Cabled with Chord Music DIN IC’s I believe it works best with Naim kit.
My recommendation is to choose the ND555 if you are going to use it with Naim. Otherwise, I’d probably choose the X1 with other electronics. I’d use Ansuz cables.
What did you preferred on Nd555 vs the X1? I guess the X1 disappointed you a bit, if you sold it and get the Naim?
Indeed. Although, beyond a certain level ( read High-end) , cost it’s not that relevant: the person with means to get “filet mignon “ , will get what he likes, no matter the cost.
I kept trying various combinations of brands and decided to go back to Naim. That meant ALL Naim including the streamer/DAC.
The X1 is a terrific device and I loved it. The ND555 is also terrific especially when used with a Naim system.
f I were to choose on appearance alone, the X1 wins by a mile.
I know the Filet-mignon Cardoso, but didn’t understood what that filet mignon is about here. I miss something.
Sorry , I meant the person who want the best ( I called it fillet mignon) doesn’t care about the money. Money is no object from a certain level…
I haven’t heard the Lumin but massively agree with @leatherneck that system synergy is absolutely key.
I moved away from Naim 15 years ago when I heard how much better an Esoteric CD player was than my Naim CDS3. After a few years I was listening to a lot less music, because I think my system just didn’t hang together that well. I returned to Naim a few years later and my obsession with music returned.
Thank God we don’t choose (all) the same things.
The world would be a more boring place.
( going in topic: my cousin have a Lumin transport with an integrated amp Chord and it’s a marvelous system.)
Agreed with the synergy approach.
Question: I know that Esoteric ( Teac high end if I recall) it’s expensive material. Is this two transport s comparable in terms of price?
I’m not sure the world works like that. Many people stretch their finances to get better “stuff” whether it’s HiFi, cars, watches or haute cuisine. If anything, perhaps people with a substantial disposable income do it more.
I heard the Nd555 vs Lumin in a Naim system. The Lumin was better on some aspects, vs the Nd555 in synergy with its electronics.
But however preferred the Naim.
Talking about Esoteric, the X1 was connected to an Esoteric integrated. My dealer sells Esoteric and is a fan of.
I have never really appreciated their sources, neither electronics.
Too much clinical and cerebral.
The X1 and Esoteric stuff. Avantgarde too.
Normal Japanese sound tradition
But I really think that above a certain level, you don’t need to stretch.
With much disposable income, the diference between A or B it’s up to a mere choice.
The effort rate it’s minimum.
I have heard the ND555 but not the X1. If I had to choose, I would go for the ND555, no matter how the X1 sounds. The ND555 looks so much better!
Hi @Cardoso, I can’t remember the prices exactly but I recall that the Esoteric was similar in price to the Naim. The Esoteric’s detail and clarity is impressive, but after a while I just lost interest in the music. It was beautifully engineered and built however, in that department Naim was far behind. But actually Naim is well built enough, music sounds fab, and Naim are on hand to repair it when it goes wrong, which is not often, thankfully!
…and the moral behind some of these observations:
Frequently we know what we best like, but putting our reasons into words is both difficult and unnecessary.
(before a comments questioning this thought…this does not mean that we are deluding ourselves)