ND5 XS 2 arriving soon

Hi All, first post, I am soon to collect an ND5 XS 2 streamer to partner with my Nait XS 2 amp and Neat motive 1 speakers. currently I use the DAC in my Oppo 105 for all music sources (connected HD with lossless FLAC CD rips, some hi res files and SACD).
I am keen to know what to expect sound wise compared to my Oppo.
Has anyone used a similar set up?
Also, my main source of new content is Tidal Master - how good is the interface on the Naim compared to the iOS version which I consider to be very acceptable?
What is the best input to use for tv sound?
Quite a few questions so apologies if all are answered elsewhere.

Welcome to the forum Bjm!

I started with a ND5 XS with the NAIT XS 2 a few years ago with a pair of ProAc D2 speakers. Main source for music was a NAS (ripped CD’s and some HiRes Downloads) and TIDAL with a bit of Internet Radio on occasion. The Naim App on my iPad manages everything quite well. I don’t use the HiFi system with a TV.

Congratulations on your new system! When it arrives assemble and play and post any questions you have and I am sure you will have lots of advise from the forum members. Also the search feature can be your friend on finding thread discussions on topics your interested in both here and on the archived forum.

Do you have a stand to support the system? I use a Quadraspire Q4EVO Bamboo 3 Shelf Rack to support my streamer and integrated amplifier.

Look forward to reading your future posts…

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Thank you for the response Seakayaker. I have a fairly robust stand but not sure of the make.
My system is in a cupboard under the stairs feeding through to the speakers and tv in the kitchen/sitting room. The Nait XS 2 is permanently on with the Oppo feeding it for Sky tv and all music sources.
I am looking to improve the sound quality of music and also to have a more friendly interface. I currently connect my iPad Pro to an HDMI input on my Oppo for listening to tidal. It works well enough but I have to place the iPad in the cupboard and return to it to select tracks or albums. I am looking forward to being able to access tidal via the Naim app rather than having to go via the Oppo.
I am already wondering if a chord Qutest DAC will improve the sound and am ‘working on the Mrs.’ in case I buy one! What are your thoughts on this approach?
I believe that the source is the most important element based on the fact that amps and speakers can only work with whatever is fed to them. However, I do not have very deep pockets and am very wary of the law of diminished returns - this is why I will not consider an NDX.
My reasoning behind the qutest is that I enjoy the sound of the chord mojo with my Oppo PM2 headphones compared with the Oppo HSA 2 DAC. I was considering the Hugo 2 but the qutest seems better value by not having the amp or headphone socket.

I believe you will find the music from the ND5 XS2 will meet your needs and you should give that a chance before looking to adding another DAC. The ND5 XS2 has received great reviews. If you research some of the threads on this forum you will read some great feedback regarding sound quality on the system configuration you have purchased. I would install what you have purchased, sit back and listen for several months, then if you want to explore any changes your thinking about you would know the baseline sound of your system. Give yourself and the system a chance to settle down and for you to experience the music before making any changes.

JMHO - YMMV

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Excellent advice and thank you. I should have mentioned that I will give the ND5 time to run in and then get used to the sound before considering any changes.
I believe that the ND5 will have a 5 pin cable in the box - do you reckon that the quality of this is adequate without having to consider the outlay for an improved (more costly!) cable?

I have found the standard cables supplied with the units to be sufficient. When I had the ND5 XS the dealer let me demo a Highline for a month. I could not discern any uplift to the sound quality to justify the cost and returned to the standard cable and have been quite happy.

With that said, others have installed the Highline and speak highly about the change in the sound. So it is best to demo in your own environment and I would only recommend a demo after you and your system have had a chance to settle down.

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Thanks, I can’t wait until Saturday when I pick it up!

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Hey Bjm. I’ve had my ND5XS2 for almost a week, and it’s wonderful. My Naim dealer had it playing for a few days before I picked it up, so it was well on its way to being run in. My wife and I have been playing it all the time through SN2 and Neat Motive SX1 speakers.

I also heard the NDX2. As far I’m concerned, if there’s any difference with the 5, it’s slim.

The app does have some quirks, one being that any MQA files you have saved in your iOS app won’t show up in the Naim app. Not to fear – the sound is great. I’m sure you’ll love it, and can safely forget all about splashing any more cash for a while.

Like the estimable Mr. Seakayaker, I’m happy with the supplied DIN to DIN cable.

Just make sure you have enough cash left to buy her a nice present too, you’ll be fine!

Thank you Bhoyo, good to hear that you are enjoying it so much. My speakers are the SX1s and I am very pleased with them. I upgraded from Motive 2s about 18 months ago.
Interesting about the MQA files on iOS - I assume that you can access the same MQA tracks/albums on Tidal through the ND5 app juist not the saved ones?
Great to hear that the supplied cable is good enough.
My main sources will be tidal and FLAC files from a HDD but how do you find the quality of the radio?

Hi ChrisSU, I hope it didn’t come across as demeaning but my good woman does not share my love of HiFi and TVs, she is content with whatever the quality happens to be. She accepts that I will want gear from time to time but is amazed that I feel the need to spend thousands!!
‘Working on her’ generally involves planting a few seeds, waiting for her to come down off the ceiling and periodically showing her pictures of my intended purchases. She will always (quite rightly) have the final say on the looks of an item - nothing ugly would be acceptable! I am lucky that the Naim gear looks so good in a very understated way.
Obviously building up Brownie points by doing lots of jobs around the house doesn’t hurt!!
I am hoping not to have to buy a chord DAC so there can be peace in the household for a little longer.

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I’ve had my ND5 XS 2 a few months, it’s feeding a SN2 + HiCap DR on to PMC OB1i’s

I had the original ND5 on a NAIT XS and briefly had the new one on the same integrated amp.

The great thing about it is the added convenience that features like Airplay and Chromecast bring. Whereas previously I had various USB and S/PDIF connections acting as a source it’s now all gone away. I’ve kept my CD5 XS for now as a transport and that has an input over BNC coax in to the ND5 XS 2.

The other nice thing you can do with a simple 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable is also control the NAIT inputs and volume from the Naim app meaning you can do everything from your phone or tablet.
The desktop apps I tend to use mostly support Chromecast or UPnP so getting everything from source to streamer is a lot easier now.

I’m not a quality purist personally, favouring ease of use and less cable clutter over Hi Res perfection and as such use the Wi-Fi connection through a Mesh setup, works well enough and no complaints over quality!

I had a Hi-Line IC I used previously on my CD player so just moved that across to the ND5, the bundled cables usually do a good job to be fair and some folks prefer their sound. If you plan to get anything else a Hi-Line is a safe bet, I’ve used one for so long now I can’t give a fair comment if it’s better or not, suggest borrow one for a few weeks if you can or get one second hand, they pop up fairly often especially as folks move on to SL IC’s where appropriate.

I left mine playing the radio 24/7 for a few weeks, it settles down after about 100-150hr of use, it needs to be actually playing something rather than just being switched on.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy it a lot and it compliments the NAIT you have very well.

Hi Mr.M, thank you for the response. I have several questions building up concerning the app and other interfaces but I will hold my thoughts until I actually have the ND5 and can walk through any responses.
As far as burn in is concerned, yes I planned on keeping it on 24/7 with headphones attached to the Nait during the night etc. I will have my OPPO blu Ray player attached to the Nait via RCA interconnects as currently for TV use - my sky Q box is plugged into the OPPO so this will be always be on part from during the night.

I seem to recall that my Nait sounded quite good out of the box but improved over a few weeks until I stopped being able to tell if it was real or a placebo effect.

Bravo, nice post, later I’ll tell you about my fabulous devil ND5xs2. Now I’m driving and I can’t wait to go home to listen to ND5xs2 …

Hi mr.M, I wanted to ask you how you connected the 3.5 mm cable to control the volume from the App naim del nait. I’m interested, I have a Nait5si. Maybe a picture

I’m interested in the ND5XS2 with an SN2 as a possible upgrade to a Nova but worried I’d miss the controls and screen, I often use the radio, particularly in the morning and it’s nice to be able to switch on the Nova and select a station without faffing with a phone or ipad. Obviously the NDX2 would cure that problem!

Hi BJM, you have a jewel that in my opinion should cost even more because I think it changes very little compared to its superior NDx2. It doesn’t have a display but I think it’s not a problem and I think it’s even better for the musical quality. I have him at home since 02/01/19, he started playing well just now … I am very satisfied. But I put a Nordost Blue Heaven power cable and a Quadrasphire Soundstage as support. You can see the photos on the post “photo 2019” separately. I kept it even though I rarely use it until once a year my Marantz SA8400 SACD reader in the cabinet but connected with a coaxial cable to the ND5xs2 and the musical quality of the CDs has improved. With Tidal hifi the CDs are no longer needed and Tidal is also very satisfying. I don’t use it with TV, which is my Nait5si amplifier that drives the two side speakers via the AV output and bypass. Now I’m listening to it, Paradise 320 k radio sounds very, very good and I have been enjoying it for months. Before with Marantz NA7004 this current fun was not the same. Next month I will buy a Mu-so qb because I found it in my dealer and I’m afraid the new ones will have a much higher price than the current one. For the end of the year I would also like to replace the Nait 5si with a new Nait xs2, as you already have it to improve the state of the sound. Yes, because Naim is THE SOUND AT THE STATE OF ART! :notes::notes::+1::+1:

@Bjm
You could also connect the TOSLINK S/PDIF output from your Sky Q STB directly to your ND5 XS 2.
I don’t know the specs of your Oppo drive but imagine you could do the same with that as well.
The other nice thing with your setup you could explore later is making it part of a multichannel AV setup where your NAIT is configured to drive the front Left and Right channels and can also be sent a line level signal from an AV amp/processor. I’ve done that with a NAIT XS and Arcam AVR amp to allow for moving back and forth between 2 channel and 5.1

@Hollow I think you answered your own question there!
I also use the radio a lot but tend to be sat near a device I can use to select a station or control it from. I don’t miss having a front panel display personally as I tend to use my iPhone as my primary “remote”, the ND5 XS 2 doesn’t even come with one in fact.

I’m happy they decided to focus on the important stuff with this product and having been an owner of the original ND5 it’s superior in so many ways despite having no display or PSU upgrade path as examples of differences.

I’ve never owned a Uniti Nova, I have heard them a few times at dealers demo days and events and they are very capable however if you hear a SN2 and a streamer I’m sure you’ll want to swap it out.

If you are happy having more boxes and spending more money you won’t be disappointed! I did look at moving from my old setup of a NAIT XS + ND5 XS + CD5 XS a few years back to either a Unit Star or Uniti Nova but having auditioned them and the Atom I settled on the SN2 instead as it gave so much more with not much more space taken up.

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@Andrea The NAIT 5si does not have a Remote IR control input so would not support control using the Naim app. The NAIT XS 2 and Supernait 2 do have the required connector.