My thoughts on Nd5 Xs2/Roon

So now that I’ve had a few weeks to really experience my new(ish) set up I thought I’d share a few thoughts.

First the nd5 xs2: Ultimately I’m really happy with it. But I can’t say I hear much, if any, discernible improvement in SQ over my Cambridge 851N. It’s possible at this point I can’t remember what the old streamer really sounded like. I do love the Roon integration and the Naim app. I was having some issues with it dropping tidal frequently and very occasionally my library… but the issues seem to have resolved themselves now. I never needed the display or the remote and so for me the XS2 was a lot more money and I suspect I may not have appreciated the difference in SQ.

As for Roon, I’ve seen the recent threads where some folks don’t think it’s worth the money. l can see their point but for me I love the way it integrates my library with tidal and the Roon radio that takes over after I finish an album is terrific… so much more music that I’m interested in exploring with this feature. I ended up getting the lifetime subscription. I did originally have Roon core on my 2012 MacBook Pro and it worked fine quite surprisingly. But I wanted a stand alone solution that could be “on” permanently so I want with building a nuc and installing ROCK. Wasn’t as smooth or straightforward as I was hoping… took me about 2 to 3 hours to finally get everything working. Totally worth it and way cheaper than a nucleus plus.

So I’m hoping these upgrades along with my recently purchased SN2 and Focal Kanta No1’s will keep the upgraditis at bay for many years. End result is I’m really enjoying listening to my existing music collection and discovering a lot of great new material.


Sounds like a nice setup you have there. Very similar to mine. I’m eyeing the same Focal speakers that you have.

Good to hear your enjoying Roon and building a dedicated core with ROCK is the way to go. How come it took so long what issues did you have ? It only took me 5 mins with my last install on a NuC I bought for an endpoint for my headphone stations and that includes installing memory and an SSD.

Hope you enjoy the new amp as much.

Your experience is similar to mine. I bought a NDX2. I started with Roon/Qobuz on my 2012 Mac Mini, but opted instead for building out a NUC with ROCK. I also love how Roon has helped me discover new music. I’ve had the NDX2 for over two months and still have yet to use it (or a need) for anything but as a Roon endpoint.

Before that I had a ND5XS and trialed Roon on it with a Squeezebox Touch as a Roon bridge. I had TIDAL but after trying Qobuz when it debuted in the U.S. canceled the former and kept the latter.

Probably took me longer than most cos I’m pretty slow at these kind of things. Installing the ram and ssd was no issue at all. There were some initial problems with installing the BIOS. Got some error code that I had to google to fix. Then after installing ROCK I couldn’t get the nuc to connect to the WiFi (this coupled with the fact that I don’t have a monitor in the house so had to use the TV in the basement via HDMI and then go back up stairs to hook into the Ethernet). But all went well in the end and a chuffed that a non-technical person like me got it going.

Loving the “new” SN2. … but maybe I need new the SN3 now? :rofl:

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Problem with Roon radio now is that its been so good I don’t have time to check all the new bands I’m discovering. First world problems for sure!

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