If a screen is not of importance what would be the better sounding choice?
I would go with the Nait XS 2 + ND5XS 2 since I had a similar configuration and loved the music! No experience with the Nova besides listening to the unit in the dealers showroom.
…in reality the only way you would know for sure is demo both systems in your room. If that can not be done then a side by side demo at the dealers.
I had a nova and now have xs2 & nd5xs2 and the separates while not so slick to look at are superior sounding, not that a nova is poor by any means…
Not heard a Nova either at least other than briefly at a show, but I’d be surprised if the OP didn’t prefer the separates. I started my journey into Naim with CD5XS and Nait XS, a fine combination. (I went to the dealer’s planning to buy a Uniti!) And the separates are easier to deal with when the upgrading bug bites. Personal taste comes into it, though, so best to audition.
Good point with the upgrade possibilities. The multiple boxes way is indeed more flexible. If I would upgrade the Nait XS2 eventually to a Supernait 2 would the ND5XS2 still be a good partner? I don’t want to upgrade to the NDX2 for a long while since that would be another big investment.
Hifi Critic June 2019 has a review/comparison of this if you can get your hands on a copy.
Thanks! I tried to find the article but without luck.
I emailed Hifi critic if I can download that particular article. If I click to order that issue it will send me the paper version of the magazine, which I don’t want. A PDF version would be much more convenient.
They just said it’s not possible to get the magazine digitally… How convenient…
Let the magazine know that you would be prepared to pay the full cover price for the PDF.
That’s unfortunate, I have no idea what the article/review concluded, maybe another forum member has read it and can provide you with the information.
Personally I compared the Nova and ND5XS2/XS2 at my dealer a while ago and ended up choosing the Nova, I found it hard to separate them sound wise but agree with others that in terms of an upgrade path the Nova is not your best choice.
I’m not the right person to offer advice on this as I haven’t done the comparison, but there are threads on the subject which would be worth looking up. I took the general conclusion to be that the NDX2 betters the ND5X2, as it should for the extra money, though some thought it a close call, but the ND5XS2 was at least on a par with the NDX. Several posters run ND5XS2 into SN2/3 and are very happy with the result. I don’t think getting an ND5XS2 would restrict your upgrade plans significantly. But if you’re in the UK why not try to get demo once lockdown restrictions are eased?
I am in the Netherlands, but I might get my hands on a Nova for a very nice price so I will await if that falls through first and see how it sounds. In the meanwhile I won’t sell the Nait XS2 yet.
I received the article from HifiCritic. Very nice of them to release just that article instead of the whole magazine.
It doesn’t make it much easier though as the conclusion is not as simple as you might think.
The ND5XS2 + Nait XS2 is slightly better than the Nova but has less bass grunt but more detail (probably cause of the higher wattage of the Nova). The separates also offer more upgradability of course and the Nova offers more user friendliness with it’s fancy screen and slick appearance. In the end it comes down to whether you want to upgrade eventually or whether you want to stick with the Nova. Cause the SQ of both is very very close where both better the other in some aspects.
Thanks for the feedback, as I said I had difficulty picking the best solution when I compared them. I think your last point is the key, it comes down to whether you envisage upgrading.
Not the comparison that you are looking for but I went from a 202 / 200 DR (with microRendu for streaming) to a Nova. I preferred the sound of the Nova. Apart from that I preferred the one box, one cable solution that stopped the upgrade bug).
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