Naim NDX 2nd hand or Cambridge CXN100

This is to go with a SN3. I’ve been streaming for years and am still using a Sqeezebox. Im planning on investing in a nearly new SN3 and thought I should look at upgrading my streamer. The NDX2 is too pricey but there are a few NDX available around 2012 vintage. The Cambridge has good reviews and is around the same price new. Or an external dac for the squeezebox?
What’s the difference between the NDX and NDX2?

The NDX is excellent for playing locally stored music but struggles with any streaming service. It was discontinued when the NDX2 was released. Although the streaming capability is limited, the DAC is good however.

The NDX2 uses Naim’s up to date streaming platform and is significantly more future-proof than the NDX. Many users regard the SN3 and NDX2 as natural partners.

If you can’t afford an NDX2 now then I think you should probably look at other streaming options rather than buy an NDX. Ultimately it does depend what you want the NDX or NDX2 to be able to do.

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Like the Cambridge? I want to stream Qobuz and play locally stored music

I don’t know the Cambridge so can’t help with that. The NDX doesn’t do Qobuz though. Of course the NDX2 does.

At this price point there are a few choices. I wouldn’t go with the early Naim streamers, they don’t support much now without other software/hardware.
The Cambridge one gets goods good reviews, so to does the Eversolo DMP-A6 - this is one of the only to support hi-res on Apple Music if that is important to you. Go listen to a few :slight_smile:

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Do not buy an NDX.

Could you stretch to an ND5XS2, if you want to stay Naim?

If not, perhaps a Qutest with a simple network bridge? Try it with your Touch as a starting reference point.

I own three 1st-gen streamers (including an NDX) and have no issues with any of them (streaming Tidal and ripped CDs.) All three have had screen replacements.

That’s a big jump in price to go to an NDX2 just to get Qobuz.

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One of the mistakes I made in my hi-fi journey, from my perspective, was upgrading two things at once. I would suggest you get your SN3 and enjoy it and enjoy the uplift it brings over whatever you are using now and when this sound has become your new normal then look it upgrading the squeeze box.

.sjb

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To be honest, the NDX performs as well now, if not better, than it did when it was new. Functionality hasn’t been taken away, it is just that there are newer streaming services available.

If the streaming services that the NDX does support are the ones you want, then it is probably fine. Internet connections are also superior now to what they were 12 years ago, so the shortcomings of the tiny buffer cache are less of a problem today than they were back then.

The main issue is the screen. They are prone to die and replacements are expensive. It’s the screen that would give me pause for concern, not the other stuff.

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Maybe if UK located the summer combo of SN3 and NDX2 which Richard is reffering to, might be something to investigate?

I own Cambridge CXN mark 2 (the predecessor to CXN100) for many years. I am not impressed by the sound at all and do not understand why it has been getting “streamer of the year” awards. I am curious now whether other streamers of the same price category sound even worse… It does well everything else (=streams from both NAS and Internet), it has a color display (the deal breaker in my case), the app is decent, but that’s it. I would go for a BluOs streamer now, but the form factor of the Cambridge fits my setup, and there are no other streamers with such a display and I do not want to buy a streamer-(pre)amp because I already have an amp. So, sadly, I am stuck with the Cambridge. Don’t repeat my mistake :slight_smile:

I would try to listen to a Naim streamer, if I were you (and if it is the sound that is your priority).

P.S. My amp is SN3, too.

I am relatively new to the dedicated streaming world

A few months back (August 23) I purchased a second owner NDX with BT, at first I encountered numerous problems - almost all of these being self inflicted with my complete lack of streaming knowledge showing through.

But after help from members on here and another forum I have managed to get to a point that I am very happy with my purchase.

I mainly play my own files stored on an iMac but also enjoy using Spotify for research and Tidal for higher quality listening….

Now here’s the rub, the NDX is not able to play Tidal to MQA levels “out of the box” - to enable this to happen I use a Wiim mini into one of the TOS-link inputs on the NDX (so still using the DAC in the NDX) and am more than pleased with the sound quality, which really is what this game is all about.

For sure, it would be ideal to be able to play Tidal MQA/HiRes natively, but even with an NDX2 I believe that this is not possible and to be honest for the relatively small outlay for a Wiim Mini it’s a great good value way to enable your system to play almost anything.

Good luck whatever course you choose, But I still believe that there is still some life in an old NDX for now, but one final tip, don’t worry about Blue Tooth capability, it’s really not needed.

Oh yeah! Also make sure that you have the ability to hard wire the NDX as even with a good WiFi signal they are quite sketchy regards relying on WiFi - wired is king!

Personally, I would save and go for an NDX. Naim will still service devices they sold in the 1970’s, assuming parts are available. I doubt that Cambridge Audio (AKA Audio Partnership, AKA Richer Sounds) will be able to offer you the same level of service.

I’m sure Naim will continue to service 1st gen streamers, like all their products, as long as it remains possible and economically viable. They are considerably more complex than the amps they have been servicing for half a century, and there are already some parts which they cannot source, and it remains to be seen whether they can continue to support Tidal integration indefinitely.
On the other hand, they are now cheap, and if you’re not averse to a bit of tinkering there’s always a workaround that will likely keep them running.

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Depends how you define cheap, because there are some terrific modern options for 300-400 quid that will functionally blow NDX etc out of the water, plugged into a decent dac, these first gen streamers should not really be on the menu.

Unless they are 300 quid.

The main issue with the NDX functionally is that it was not designed and optimised for cloud lossless streaming. It is therefore very limited technically in this regard. It was carefully post launch optimised through software updates to just about get 44.1/16 FLAC to work from Tidal, but even here it can be temperamental depending on circumstance. It just physically can’t be robust here.
There should be no issues however with home network streaming.
There were also limitations on the transport isolation, so with the NDX you will find it sensitive to UPnP server type/platform and even connecting switches from an actual Ethernet perspective… which the newer platforms have isolated themselves from using their streamer transport module, albeit the newer platforms can still be affected by analogue issues like common mode noise over connecting Ethernet cables etc, and bad Ethernet cable reflections.
Naim learnt a lot from the ND5XS/NDX/NDS that they put into their subsequent streamers.

I’ve used an ND5XS2, Cambridge Audio CXN v1 and v2 (the CA long term) all with a Qutest DAC.

The CA StreamMagic app was horrendous and updates were poor, the physical unit was good and packed full of features and a decent twin-DAC. Just don’t be swayed by the What HIFI reviews as they hand out 5-star ratings to anything with a CA logo on due to the amount of advertising they have with them.

I bought an Innous Zenith Mk3 and its the best transport IMO and I can;t see myself swapping it out anytime soon. Have a look at the ZENmini Mk3 as this includes a DAC.

The Innnuos SENSE app is excellent and has regular updates based on user feedback / roadmap.

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