Naim ND5 xs2 or

Hello all,

I’ve been a member for a while, but (as you probably know) I am not a regular poster.

I am in a bit of a streamer quandary and was hoping your collective informed opinion could help with my decision.

I am currently using a Supernait 3 and CD 5si connected by Din. Also, Clearaudio Performance DC turntable in a Rega Aria Mk3. ProAc D20R are my speakers. I am extremely happy with the sound of the CD 5si and the turntable.

I also have a Bluesound Node 2i connected with Nordost White Lightning RCA to the Supernait 3. I am ok with the sound, but don’t love it like I do the turntable and CD 5si.

My listening is evenly split 33.3% between turntable, CD and streaming Tidal Hifi.

I am on the brink of upgrading my streamer. But I am on the fence between the Naim ND 5 xs2 and a Lumin D2. I have heard both and liked them
both; different in their own way). I don’t mind paying the extra money for the ND5 xs2, I just want to ensure I’m making the correct decision. What draws me to the ND5 xs2 is the synergy with the SN3 and familiarity with the Naim App (Ive owned a Unitiqute 2 and Uniti Star in the past). What keeps drawing me back to the Lumin D2 is the fact that it supports MQA which is all over Tidal Hifi. As you know, the ND5 xs2 does not accept MQA.

I would love to hear your input and opinion on both these streamers. More specifically, which of the two streamers would you choose? I’d rather not turn this into a MQA war but just want to make sure I make the right choice and am not moving backward by ruling out MQA.

Thank you.

You are: nd5xs2 is a better option because it’s made by the same manufacturer which bring you a coherent design ( plus on aesthetics) and better ( theoretical) sinergy.

I also know both products you’re talking.
My cousin haves one Lumin D2 with a Chord system. It’s good. Very good. But different presentation. I personally prefer Naim.

I’d get the ND, I doubt you’d be disappointed. I’ve never owned a Lumin D2 but have owned a ND5 v1 and 2 and an NDX2 and all the Supernaits.
I ran a setup with a SN2 + HiCap DR + ND5 XS2 for a year or thereabouts, works nicely together.

This being the Naim forum, I think it’s inevitable that you will be told you should buy a Naim streamer! The ND5XS2 would be a good option, although I don’t buy this idea that systems need to be all from the same brand to work well together. Just let your ears guide you.
Given that you have a Naim CD player, you should take care to ensure that the system is grounded properly. I’m not sure how this would affect the Lumin, but the Naim streamer has a little switch on the back to disconnect the ground, which you should use to ensure that the amp is grounded only by a single connection to the CD player.

Thanks Chris, asking about a Naim streamer on a Naim forum did cross my mind; but nevertheless, I thought I could get some objective advice.

Thanks M.

Do you think not having MQA ability on the Naim is a deal breaker? That is the one (and only) point drawing me closer to the Lumin.

@Mr.M is my muse and he’s said what I’d say. However I currently do have a ND5XS2 and your speakers(almost) and it’s a fantastic combination. I run Tidal as well and tbh never think about it not having the full MQA unfold. Could be ignorance is bliss, but as you know discussion on the ± of MQA is a can of worms.

I have no interest in MQA ability so it is not a draw for me. I do not know if you have Qobuz available. I ran Tidal for quite awhile and when it became available last year in the US I did a side by side comparison during the 30 day free trail. At the end I canceled Tidal and ordered Qobuz. The Hi Res on Qobuz was much more engaging than anything on Tidal and was $5 dollars less expensive for the monthly subscription. Having used a ND5 XS, NDX and now NDX 2, I can recommend going with the Naim streamer.

My system profile is NAS > XPS DR > NDX 2 > Hi-Line > HiCap DR > SuperNait 2 > NAC A5 > ProAc D30RS. NAS has 2000 or so CD’s ripped to it and along with streaming on Qobuz and some internet radio. This works for me, my system, my room and my ears.

Perhaps home demo if possible and good luck with your decision.

Valid point you make on MQA, relative to Tidal. I’ve got a mix of DAC’s at hand here at home, some do MQA full unfold natively, some don’t. I also have full subs on Tidal and Qobuz as well as having Roon in my setups covering Naim, Linn, Chord (Mojo/Poly) and Sonos Systems.
I’ve dipped in and out of both Tidal and MQA playback and I have to say that even with the kit and the services to take full advantage of it, most of what I find myself listening to is FLAC based from Qobuz.
I can’t say I’d make a source product choice on its support for MQA alone, I have the feeling you’d need a somewhat analytical system and better hearing than mine to quantify its value if any.
I haven’t found it doing anything that couldn’t be done in a FLAC or WAV equivalent, in fact in some cases I found it somewhat bright and fatiguing in my system to my ears.
It uses less bandwidth to get audio data to my home but I don’t have a bandwidth issue here so it’s solving a problem I don’t have. If I was pushed to say if it sounded better and I prefered it, i’d be inclined to say no and certainly it’s not something i’d pay extra for.
I’d also add that I listen to a lot of 16/44.1 recordings much in the same way I watch a lot of HD programs on my 4K TV.

I haven’t heard the Lumin, so unless anyone else chips in who has done the comparison I guess you’re on your own.

Regarding MQA, leaving aside the ‘land grab’ idea that they are out to fleece us at every stage, lossless hires from Qobuz sounds really good to me on a Naim streamer, so if it’s available in your location, that would be my recommendation. Perhaps you can get a demo comparing that against MQA on the Lumin.

Unfortunately, Qobuz is not available in Canada yet…with no anticipated landing date.

I think I read somewhere that Québecor is in alliance with Qobuz. Hopefully it’ll be in Canada soon.

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