Naim nDac USB issue

Hi Guys.
Need some advice on a recently purchased nDac:
The unit is spotless and (obviously) used very little. The owner said it has basically been sitting on his hifi bench and not been used much.

However, upon closer inspection, it does not detect/recognize USB sticks at all.
Any attempts on my part (changing to new USB sticks, changing the file contents, changing file-format type to FAT, FAT32, etc) has been futile.

Have you had any similar experiences?
Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks: Alex

Hi @alexiss . And welcome.

I’ve got an nDAC and like others on here I’ve found that it is fussy with USB sticks. Some it shuns, some it will talk to. I’ve found no reason for this.

One thing to check is how the music files are captured on the USB. I’ve found that the nDAC needs to see them directly, not through a folder.

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As an nDAC owner I find ‘cheap’ USB sticks work the best. Get some cheapies off eBay, Chinese import ones work great.

Don’t use any of the top brands Kingston, SanDisk etc as they won’t work.

Hi MDS and thanx for the reply.
I’ve tried all the USB sticks in my arsenal and it does not recognize them :frowning:

The main reason I got the nDac was to be able to play HR files through USB.
I tried the USB again as you said: with the files directly on the USB, not through any folders…still nothing.

Is the doc button suppose to light up once the USB stick is inserted into the DAC?

I’ll go to the local computer store tomorrow and try to find some decent USB sticks to try out.
In the mean time: what about file-format type of the USB stick? FAT, FAT32, NTFS?? Does it matter?

Another question guys:
Is the “dock” button supposed to illuminate once the USB stick is inserted to the Dac??


FAT32 is the format. It’s cheap ones that you need not decent ones :grinning:

Thanx Guinnless.
I’ll try to find a cpl of “cheap” chinese ones.

The whole experience has been a little bit of a turn-off actually.
I’ve had a cpl of cheap chinese dacs off ebay that work flawlessly up to 748 kHz and 32 bits with no issues or hick-ups.
Looking at the price, and the internal pics of the unit shows that a lot of work has gone into the design of the dac.
Yet the USB docks have problems…

As for the sound, it sounds very nice.
Compared to some Hi-End Delta Sigma dacs, it sounds a little rolled off on top, but with excellent heft and depth in the lower frequencies. The soundstage is slightly bigger, it conveys more information along the z-axis (in a xyz coordinate system).

…but at the same time, I detect a slight amount of grain in the critical midrange.
This is completely non-existent on my reference Delta Sigma Dac: Forsell Air Reference.

Forsell sounds very liquid, extended and airy… clearly more than the nDac, but it does not have the powerful low end of the Naim.

As far as I know the USB is strictly for connecting an Apple device via its lightning connector. It plays the digital music being played on the device. The streamers play files stored on a USB stick.


Hi Phil and thanx for your response.
I need to connect a USB stick to the nDac in order to update it to the latest firmware/software version.

The thing is that it doesnot recognize/detect USB sticks at all.
I am under the impression that once the USB stick is inserted into the dac, the “dock” button should illuminate. Is this a correct assumption??

Mine does not anyway…

It only plays files from Apple devices like the iPod. I can’t find the instructions for the the firmware update, maybe they are in the download file.

@Richard.Dane will be able to help and delete your other thread.




This is not so. I have used the usb dock on the nDAC to play files successfully from a stick. It is true, however, that some brands, or at least samples, don’t work. Recently I’ve had good luck with Samsung.

Do you use an Apple product to format and copy the files? The manual reads very Apple oriented. I don’t have a means to use a USB stick with my phone or iPod.


I do happen to use a Mac, but a PC should be fine. It is important to use FAT disc formatting, though. Sometimes I’ve had to reformat new sticks.

I just stream into the nDAC BNC input.

Thanx to Phil and AHT for your responses.

I think it would be highly unlikely for the nDac to only operate with Apple hw.
But what AHT said is interesting. I will try to reformat my USB stick using FAT format and try again.

Does the “dock” button iluminate once a USB is inserted?

I think so, can’t remember for sure. In any case, you can just press the dock button.

Both tried…damn…
It neither reads the USB or detects it.

I’ll have to get some new USB’s, although I am not sure that will help :frowning:

I would not want to play music from the USB input. Ok as a temporary measure.