Hi All, I am new here however as I haven’t had much of a response to my initial query on the What HiFi forum and expect similar to my further comments I thought that I would post it here.
My current set up is pretty much all Naim (I hope that it shows in my profile) but suffice to say, CD player, power supply, power and preamps, it is about 12 years old excepting the power supply which is something of a whippersnapper at 9-10 years old. I was planning on adding a streamer to this setup and whilst I can see that the Naim entry level is a sterling piece of kit and Naim have never let me down, I was thinking of a Moon 280D MiND 2 DAC & Network Streamer or the straightforward Moon MiND2 without DAC and partnering that with something like a Chord Qutest for a similar outlay. However when I contacted a store (I live in Germany btw) they suggested that Naim and Moon don’t match that well and suggested demo’ing the entry level Naim ND5 XS2 streamer or the Auralic Altair G1. I have no reason to disbelieve this store, they stock the Moon products and I understand that I can demo them still and to be fair if I opted for one of these it would save me €800-1000 but I was keen on demoing the Moon products, so wondered whether others have had issues pairing Naim and Moon. Owing to a little windfall my budget is in the region of €4,000.
I had a moon CD player, there’s nothing that I can think of that would suggest a moon streamer wouldn’t match with Naim amplification.
I think you will probably have to listen to both before deciding. I haven’t heard the Moon but considered it before going with the Aries G1. The general consensus was that the moon was less bright, a bit softer than the Aries both from the dealer and from press reviews. It may be that your dealer thinks that softness is not a good match with Naim. Of course it depends on the rest of the components in your system - loudspeakers and room layout.
One consideration might be that you would be able to use system automaton in the app if you went for the Naim streamer. (Albeit that you may not then be able to do the same with your CD player) Obviously, visually the Naim would be preferable if that concerns you. Also, the earthing arrangement would be maintained by the Naim streamer, but that is not really a deal breaker. A home trial of your options would be great, to see what works for you in a home environment.
I’d probably go for the Naim streamer if you are using a system which has all Naim electronics at present.
These replies have been really, really helpful so far, I appreciate the comments.
@bruss , you appear to have the Chord DAC linked up with your Aries G1, I guess that you are very happy with this arrangement? Also that is interesting about the brightness/softness, my loudspeakers are Dynaudio Focus 40, they have been very good speakers, however, these will possibly be the next thing that we will consider upgrading. We got them at the time because we had stone floors and not many rugs and they came across as much softer than the similarly priced but perkier and brighter PMC speakers. However we then moved the HiFi into another room (carpeted etc) and subsequently moved to Germany where our current living room is much bigger, I think something a bit brighter would work better, it is a bigg’ish’ rectangular-shaped room, looking back I think that the PMC’s would have been the better option.
Considering the longevity of my current kit and the intended outlay, I just want to get things right. Most of our music listening will picking up from a separate server, where I have about 3,300 albums, internet radio so Radio 6 in the UK and FM4 in Austria for new music suggestions, and then Bandcamp. I am still yet to go down a Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify etc route, partly because I like to own my music and partly because I have issues with the paltry sums some of the guys pay out to artists (hence why I like Bandcamp) anyway I am getting on my soapbox and going off-topic. Ok I might see if I can demo sum, or even ask if I can take something home with me to trial.
Thanks again, it has been great to get your thoughts.
Some years ago my dealer advised me the Moon Neomind with Ndac, on a Naim system. The Naim Ndac can be considered too in your search, specifically with actual bargain second hand prices.
With the Neomind as transport, you are in the Ndx2 level territory.
My main system is Naim feeding Spendor 9.2 floorstanders in a largish room with higher ceilings than UK standard. I would consider the Naim plus Spendor sound on the warm rather than the bright side of things. The Aries plus the Qutest seem to compliment this well, bringing out the detail but not losing any of the clear bass and mids that the Naim/Spendor produce.
I wanted to look at the NDX2 but I have decided that Amazon HD is my preferred streaming source and Naim do not yet have that on board.
With something like a cd player or dac, absent a mismatch of the line level output, I would think that there is not much else to consider for “compatibility.” Of course almost nothing else will have the DIN outputs so you’ll be doing RCA > DIN but that’s hardly an impediment.
I’ve run a Mind2 (well actually a Mind Neo, which is the earlier version of the Mind2, same sound but doesn’t offer Roon, or multiroom), since the product launched & their 180Mind before this, always with Naim components. As a streamer I don’t believes it colours the source, so it should match just fine with most setups, unless your specifically looking for it to colour the sound. As for a Simaudio DAC combo, that I couldn’t say how well it pairs with Naim. I’m currently using a Sonnet Digital Morpheus DAC (NOS R2R), & previously a Metrum Acoustics Menuet, before that their Musette & before that the TeddyPardo DAC.
The Naim ND5XS2 is an excellent streamer and a perfect match to your setup. It has the same Naim voicing as your CD player and amplifier and seems the obvious choice. I wonder what got you thinking about Moon and Chord options? The only way to know which is best for you is to listen to them at home to see which you prefer.
Hey @hungryhalibut, I suspect that you are right and I guess that the Naim ND5XS2 as you say is the perfect match and it would save me about €1000 which let us face it would go a long way to a new set of speakers sometime down the road. I guess I was trying to look at what else is out there. I love Naim, my set-up has never let me down in much in fact in much the same way as I also love my Volkswagen camper and Beetle (admittedly both newer and not older classic models), but I do think that I should not pigeonhole myself to one brand to the ignorance of all else, so I was doing a lot of reading of reviews both this month and last and the Moon products seemed to be held in extremely high regard with ridiculously long 10 year warranties.
I am trying to arrange a listening for this Saturday with the Naim, Auralic and Moon products to demo’ , I will let you guys know how I get on. I have been really pleased with the feedback it has been great.
Another thing to consider with these streamers is how you operate them and choose your music. The Naim app is very easy to use and very reliable; do look at them all carefully. As mentioned above you can link Naim streamers to the preamp with system automation, which lets you change volume and inputs from the app. I think the 122x can do it, but it may be worth checking this. It does make the system that bit easier to use. Consider also whether you still need your CD5x if all your CDs are ripped. Selling it would release some funds, and as your Flatcap would then only be powering the preamp, the sound may improve a little.
There’s truly no shortage of electronics with fine reviews and high regard! You could listen to streamer players and dacs for weeks and months.
There’s a wonderful argument to be made that if you enjoy the Naim sound thus far, staying within the Naim family is sure to satisfy. We know that such products are “voiced” by the developers. The same people will have voiced the Naim streamer. Instant kharma so to speak.
Is the Moon voiced in a way you’ll like? Or prefer? The ONLY way to know is to listen to it in YOUR system. In-store demos in other systems won’t let you parse out what you’re hearing.
Yeah the future of the CD player is something that I had thought about. I absolutely love the sound of the CD player and as much as I enjoy the sound of my Gyrodec, once I switch across to the Naim CD Player for overall sound it really kicks it into the long grass. The CD player is safe for a bit yet as I have quite a lot of CDs that aren’t backed up but if a Streamer delivers anywhere near that level of satisfaction, I will be very happy.
If you like the CD5x, I would assume you’ll like the CD5XS2 sound!
That’s s bit odd. The gyrodec should knock the naim cdp out of the park. Mine certainly did/does.
The ND5xs would leave some funds to improve the gyro a bit.
When I bought a CD5x it started showing up my turntable as a bit grey sounding. I had Rega amps at the time with a Michell iso and mk2 Townshend Rock/RB300/DV17d2. Replacing the Rega arm was the key to bringing the turntable back to its preeminence, I landed on a lightly used Aro and shortly after decided it didn’t need the damping trough.
You don’t list arm or cartridge but I’d guess there’s scope for improvement if the CD5x has it beat. There was a chap at my local dealership (and a great source of wisdom on this forum) but now sadly no longer with us,with a Gorb (Gryro upgraded to Orb spec) who went through quite a few arms, starting with an SME IV but eventually choosing an Aro. On the way a Wilson Benesch Act 0.5 had impressed too. My guess is that a Roksan Nima or Moerch UP4 wold be worth a try if you can get the correct weighted armboards, they were both considered the poor mans Aro.
Thanks @Thegreatroberto and @Yeti . The Gyrodec has a Rega arm and a Michell Engineering Cusis E Cartridge, the Cusis is actually still really quite new so perhaps needs a little more running in. I previously had a Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III and we really, really loved the sound from that cartridge, I think that perhaps this one needs a little more time to bed in.
I used to own an all-Naim system and now have Moon amplification with Klipsch Forte III horn-loaded speakers. The primary reason for opting for the Moon rather than Naim was that I had decided on the speakers first. I really wanted these and they are absolutely superb. However, due to the voicing of the speakers I believe that Naim electronics would not have been a good match.
The Moon electronics are superbly built and finished and also sound excellent. They do not have the same voicing as Naim. They are smoother and more refined and laid-back. The presentation is gentler, and lacking some of the all-out attack and drive of Naim. Still with plenty of dynamics and excitement though - they are definitely not boring. They do not grab you by the throat but rather the more you listen to them the more you appreciate the musical involvement that they bring and it makes you want to keep listening.
I suspect your dealer said they did not match well with Naim because of this different type of presentation. I don’t think Moon would sound at all bad with Naim but perhaps it wouldn’t be the optimum choice. Personally if I had Naim amplification I would chose a Naim streamer, no question. I have always found that Naim equipment just sounds best when used with other Naim equipment. Sure it will work happily with a variety of other kit, but keeping it all-Naim to my ears maintains a certain synergy and magic that can start to become diluted when you introduce ‘foreign’ components.
You’re the first person I know to try one of those Michell cartridges. Give it 100hrs and report back how you find it.