Naim SN2 and ND5XS2 --- any additions?

Dear all, some months ago I posted a topic here: Best upgrade for NAC N-172XS + NAP200

In the meantime I got a real bargain and traded in my NAP200 for a much younger SN2. So currently I am using the NAC N-172XS only as streaming source. I bought a 3rd party power supply to give the SN2 some air :).

Upgrade gave a real boost in transparancy and especially detail. After months of research I decided to trade in my 172XS for a brand new streamer ND5XS2. Main reason is that I only use streaming as a source, and I want the newest streaming platform. Therefore a 2nd hand NDX is not my choice. A new NDX2 is way out of my (current) budget.
Next to this I upgraded my ethernet cable and power cables.
Now, I have 2, no 3, questions:

  • I will keep using Naim DIN-DIN as interconnect. Beats RCA in this setup and relative budget. Right?
  • Have been reading a lot about Silent Angel Bonn N8 as a switch. Worth the 395 euro ?
  • Any other remarks/suggestions that I do not consider? (No, I am not going to buy an additional power supply for the new streamer :slight_smile: ).

Cheers!
Jan

ND5SX2 does not have the option of a separate power supply.

Nice system with the SN2.

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Nice system, well done.

Yes, use the DIN - DIN. A Highline is a good option if you can find a good used one.

I use the EE8 switch, which is a nice lift in SQ over a regular network switch.

Better power leads and boards will round things off nicely, there are lots of options, I use the Powerlines and a Isotek power board.

Have fun!

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Have myself the near-same system, acquired fairly recently: SN2, HC DR, ND5 XS2. I went from an NDX & XPS DR to the latest streamer mentioned and honestly do not miss it much. I LOVE the native Qobuz and thus far rock-solid streaming, whether via wifi or ethernet. I’ve started threads on the subject since putting this combo together, and only recently added a Naim HiLine between the SN2 and ND5 XS2. Honest upgrade, IMO, albeit subtle, but enough to really add perceived frequency extension, resolution and nuance. I have a Cisco Catalyst switch, so nothing to add there, but recently have been thinking about the etherRegen. I’m in no hurry there, as I feel—as you might, too—this has a certain synergy I’d rather not muck up at the moment; it’s also quite resolving as simple systems go, and am erring on the side of owning to reservations about what that would bring, if anything at all, to the table, especially at ~$650USD. I’m also not a real cable/ethernet enthusiast, but if you wish to delve in that there’s a plethora of threads on that, too. I use a mix of BJC and AQ Cinnamon for wired connection.
Personally, I’m nearing the end of my upgraditis until seriously considering a digital component switch (like to an NDX2, but since I use the ND5 as transport, even that is becoming seriously unlikely).
Congrats on a lovely system!

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You need a proper hicap.

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Jan I used a ND5 XS with my SN 2 and enjoyed the combination quite a bit.

Yes the Din - Din is the best and as Mike_S mentioned a Highline will bring improvement.

Cannot comment on the switch but there 50+ threads regarding switches and 8 of them mention the ‘Silent Angel Bonn N8’ so there may be some information already existing on the forum. Type in ‘Silent Angel Bonn N8’ in the search bar and you will find them.

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It’s easy to get sucked into the world of tweaking of network gear, cables etc. and to look back after a couple of years at what you’ve spent, only to realise that you could be well on the way to a major box upgrade that would make a real difference. So my advice would be to buy yourself a nice piggy bank, and wait until you can afford an NDX2.
I’m not saying that cables and network gear don’t make any difference, but I’m afraid I am deeply sceptical of some of the claims I’ve seen here about massive improvements from network cables, switches, linear PSUs for switches, mains leads for PSUs for switches, etc. etc.

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Save up for a second hand nDAC

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…one other thought is buy the SN 2 and ND5 XS 2 and don’t do anything but listen and give everything a chance to settle in and give yourself a chance to get acclimated to the new sound. You would then be in a much better position to demo and judge any change an new piece of hi-fi gear brings to your system, in your room, with your ears.

It also gives me time to recover from a purchase and perhaps even put a little more aside towards something in the future.

Good luck with your decision…

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These responses are awesome! So true, option-wise, on every front here. I think it depends on priorities and what, ultimately, you wish to accomplish and within what timeframe.

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I have an Sn3/ND5XS2 NacA5 and an Hi-Line.

I suggest you the hi-line hands down ! Best VFM upgrade for this level of system.

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Great thanks for the advise and learnings!

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Great reactions and I will wait, think and listen firstly. I am not a person to become a real “tweaker” as I lack the technical knowledge I guess. In the meantime I did purchase an Audioquest Cinnamon ethernet cable. Next week I have a listening session with the ND5XS2. Perhaps I will ask if they make a Silent Angel available for the session as well.
Din to din. Check! I still have that cable and will use it. If I find a highline once for a real bargain then who knows. Need to keep my wife satisfied as well ;). Thanks again Naim fanatics!

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Oops, you should have got the Blue Jeans Cat6a cable. :innocent:

Does that make the difference? What is its price?

It’s very well made cable from the US.

Not expensive.

You have to pay about £15 to get it delivered to Europe.

Many on here prefer it to even much more expensive AQ ethernet cables.

Put ‘Blue Jeans’ into the search box and you’ll find various threads on it.

Others prefer Designacable Catsnake Cat6a, which is sold in the UK, which is similar, but in my system gave too much bass.

Thanks, interesting stuff. This weekend I loaned a Silent Angel Bonn N8. Tried it and heard significant improvement almost immediately! This in combination with my current setup and compared to a simple Zyxel switch. Anyhow…I listened at the store to the ND5XS2 and got the permission from my wife so I will order one coming week so it will arrive within a few weeks! Excited. Will return the Silent Angel and make sure I score some more points at home :). For now I can not spend 395 euro extra…choose your battles wisely :wink:

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Additional question…can I source a digital tv via this streamer?

You can plug your TV’s digital output (often Toslink) into a Naim Streamer/dac.

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Running the same system here. Upgraded a couple months ago from SN1+MacMini to SN2+ND5XS2+Qobuz. The amount of sheer weight and clarity is so greatly transformed; it is amazing. I rarely believe people when they say an equipment upgrade causes them to “rediscover their love of music” but this is as close as I’ve come to validating such an expression. :yum: I have upgraded pretty much everything except the loudspeakers, so I suppose it’s hard to pinpoint exactly which had the most impact.

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