Naim Dac vs. NDX2 Dac

Anyone compare the original Naim Dac with the Dac in the NDX2?

I previously enjoyed the Naim NDX > Naim DAC with XPS (non-DR) power supply.

I now enjoy the Naim NDX 2 with XPS (non-DR) power supply.

I did not have a problem trading-in the Naim DAC. It added color to the NDX 2 that I did not enjoy.

In my opinion, the NDX 2 is a world class source.

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I had an NDX2 at home for a few weeks. It was very good but ultimately I preferred the sound of the Naim Dac.

As I’ve mentioned previously though - the level of performance from the Naim Dac is highly influenced by the quality of the digital transport feeding it, whereas with the NDX2 you can easily stream Tidal lossless etc.

I have followed a similar path to razzzor1963 and agree with his thoughts.

I used to have NDX > NDAC + XPS2 (non DR) and now have NDX2 + XPS2(DR).

To my ears in my system I thought that the bare NDX2 outperformed the NDX>NDAC +XPS2 by some margin. Improved sound stage and dynamics. Adding the XPS widened the gap further.

So I haven’t explicitly compared bare NDX2 vs NDX2+NDAC but I would be surprised if the combo sounds superior.

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I have not and it is not completely clear to me how you would like the comparison to be done.

The most obvious way to compare the nDAC with the DAC in the NDX2 would be to select a reference TRANSPORT with S/PDIF outputup and then compare TRANSPORT > NDX 2 with TRANSPORT > nDAC.

This comparison, however, would not be very relevant if you plan to use the NDX 2 as a streamer.

In this case it would be perhaps better to compare the NDX 2 with the NDX 2 > nDAC combination.

Very true. I use the Audiophilleo + PurePower USB to Spdif to connect the Innuos Zenith. I have got my system sounding wonderful. The soundstage is perfect and the music is bliss. Nothing wrong with nDAC + 555DR PS.

Phil

I agree. I often wonder how many people have dismissed the Naim Dac after listening to it with an inferior transport?

I bought the Naim Dac when they were first released and used it with a Squeezebox and mistakenly traded it in when the NDX was released thinking it was an upgrade. I had never really heard what the nDac was capable of at that point.

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There’s another thread already on this: NDX2 vs nDAC

My take on nDAC vs NDX2 is as per my previous post… the nDAC with 555PSDR presents an organic, almost analogue sound stage. When I got my NDX2 I experimented with NDX2 into nDAC with 555PSDR, compared to NDX2 with 555PSDR. After lengthy listening I preferred NDX2 with PSU. I sold on the nDAC. I didn’t feel that nDAC was adding anything to NDX2. The inbuilt NDX2 DAC is no way inferior to the nDAC, just qualitatively different.

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That was my eperience also. I’m a happy NDX2 555psdr owner (ex nDAC owner).

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Thanks for the detailed feedback! This shows that the NDX 2 can indeed be deployed as a nDAC replacement, sound quality wise. The NDX 2 is significantly more expensive than the nDAC but it has a built in streaming input. I tend to prefer separated DAC and streaming section for flexibility and future proofness but an integrated solution is more convenient in terms of number of boxes, of course.

My own take on this is that the BNC SPDIF output from the UnitiServe, Core and CDX2 are not good enough to get the best out of the nDAC. Of those three the CDX2 was always better. I can’t comment on the NDX or others. I now use the Audiophilleo + PurePower to convert USB to SPDIF which leaves me in a very very happy place with nDAC + 555DR. This is my justification for the problem being the output to rather than the nDAC itself.

I would add to anyone using nDAC with a power supply that in my experience the Burndy does not like any form of contact. If there is it completely messes up the sound (well all the nice stuff goes from bass, the higher frequencies and the soundstage).

Phil

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