ND5 XS 2.- WAV or FLAC

Hi everyone. First post here. Been enjoying my SN3 enormously and awaiting arrival of an ND5 XS 2.
In anticipation I have bought a SYNOLOGY DS920+ so that I can rip my cd collection to it and then play them via network from my new streamer.
I have not started ripping yet as I want to try and get it right first time.
So I am wondering (as a novice to NAS) should I rip all the cds to FLAC or WAV. I know WAV uses lots of memory. But how much would say 1000 cds use?

  1. Is there are a preference to what files the streamer likes.
  2. would you us DS audio station on your nas for organising your library or are there better apps.
    I did try reading some threads but can’t really get a grip on it.

Much appreciate your kind attention.
Cheers David.

I use FLAC , however my nd5xs2 has no preference.
You don’t need ds audio. I use dbpoweramp to rip and ammend meta tags.
Just drag and drop your new FLACS to your NAS and use a UPNP like Asset .

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It’s generally agreed that WAV can sound marginally better on Naim players, however the latest platform such as your new ND5xs2 are reported as it makes no difference.
Whatever, I advise to rip to FLAC. It’s more or less a universal format, it’ll play on all other players such as car & mobile devices, all the HiRes vendors sell in that format & it saves HDD space.
Then when you get your new toy you can play your FLAC files as WAV & listen for yourself by using the transcode feature in Synology ‘Media Server’.
So have fun with your new toys, happy days ahead.

Next as & when you have got used to Naim & Synology, you might think about something better for browsing your music than the Synology ‘Media Server’, it’s a bit basic, & I recommend you look at Asset UPnP, so much better way to browse your music. But one step at a time, enjoy.

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I ripped my CDs using dbpoweramp. Easy.
I also wondered whether to rip to FLAC or WAV, so I ripped a CD which I was familiar with and ripped one track WAV and the same track as FLAC then repeated for the rest of the CD (track 1 WAV, Track 1 FLAC etc etc)
Try to mix up the WAV / FLAC order then forget which is which
Listen to the whole ripped CD i.e each track twice.
See if you can tell the difference.
I could JUST detect a difference and correctly picked out the WAV files as VERY slightly preferred for every track.

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Yes but if you transcode FLAC (Play As) WAV its the best of both worlds.


Rip to flac using dbpoweramp and standard compression level 5. It’s easier to control the metadata in flac. Then use Asset as your upnp server. You can set it to transcode to WAV on playback and then you can see if you think that’s worthwhile.

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Thanks for advice so far.
Can I check is Asset something that goes on the nas or is it on the naim app? Is it like Plex for instance.
On the subject of ripping flac then playing as wav - is this not similar to upsampling from a lower res source?
Is WAV hard to edit regarding metadata?
I have downloaded poweramp to my Mac.
I assume I use it to rip cds into wav/flac on to a folder on my Mac called let’s say ‘nas music library’. So I then drag and drop whole file to NAS
Or do I create a ‘music’ folder on nas to drop grabbed albums to?
Sorry for the questions - it’s a new era for me. Took me 2 days just to work out how to get the families 4 macs backed up on time machine to it. !

Hi again …

  1. Asset needs to be installed on your Synology, its so easy to do. Download it from dBpoweramp to your laptop, then using the Synology GUI laptop screen in Package Centre Install, browse to the Asset software in the laptop downloads & install, it does all the rest itself. You don’t have to but good idea to uninstall the Syn Media Server just to save a bit of CPU.
    Once thats done you might want to chat about browsing & other Asset configurations
  2. WAV metadata is as easy as FLAC or any other lossless PCM file
  3. Its up to you how & where to rip to, when I first started I ripped all my CD’s direct to the NAS preset DSM ‘Music’ share. Now as & when I rip the odd CD I rip it to laptop first, check out the metadata & if happy (99.9% always happy with dBpoweramp rips) I then drag & drop to NAS

Have fun.

I tried this experiment. I ripped several tracks in WAV and FLAC uncompressed, level 5, 3 & 0 and heard no difference between any of them. Used DB Poweramp too.

It’s easy to do so try it yourself on a few tracks.

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I agree.

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Just answering this specific question as Mike skipped over it…

WAV and FLAC are both lossless formats so when you transcode from one to the other, no information is added or lost. Some people prefer the sound of WAVs because the streamer doesn’t have to do as much processing to play a WAV as a FLAC file, but it’s going to be subtle on the Naim new platform streamers, including the ND5 XS 2.



Whoops, need new glasses

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Great info. Thanks. I’ll start with these suggestions and revert with hopefully success!

Good advice.
I would add, double check the metadata carefully on each rip. Usually it is 100% but there can be issues with multiple album versions and track order etc. in isolated cases. Much easier to get it 100% first time.
Suggest you do ten albums and setup AssetUPnP and check you have everything OK before doing your whole collection.

Also standardise on your conventions e.g.
Rolling Stones, The and Beatles, The
(most library software is flexible but not all).
Genres - do you want all jazz to be Jazz or use “sub-genres” such as Jazz Vocal, Jazz Modern, Jazz Big Band etc.
I make sure Year is only 9999 as other fuller dates sometimes cause confusion e.g. in BubbleUPnP.

You are absolutely right to “want to try and get it right first time”.
(you can however edit metadata later (I am tweaking it all the time) but it is much simpler to avoid it if you can).


In my own experience, 500 CDs ripped to flac (level 5 compression - dbpoweramp default setting), will use around 200 gb in disk storage.

I would certainly store in FLAC, and when choosing a hard drive allow about 500MB (0.5GB) per album. Most will be smaller, but you need plenty of leeway as a completely full drive will not function properly.
Also consider the possibility that you might buy HiRes downloads in future rather than CDs. These take up much more storage space.

Much to my surprise, WAV sounded slightly better than FLAC on my ND5 XS2. Given that storage is inexpensive, I would go with WAV. I also keep a FLAC copy for use on my iPhone, where storage is more of an issue. I used db Poweramp, which works perfectly, or downloaded WAV files I purchased from Qobuz.

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Like most others here I would recommend ripping to FLAC. On my old 272 I could hear a difference between WAV and FLAC, but I can’t hear any on my Atom or on the non-Naim streamer I use in my (very revealing) main system.

If it turns out you can, and prefer WAV, all you have to do is instruct Asset to transcode, I.e. send the data to your ND5XS2 in WAV form.

I agree with @Paul_C that it’s worth spending a little time thinking about what metadata you’re going to use. Perhaps rip just a few CDs and then play around to check things work as you want. Going back and changing metadata on several hundred albums is best avoided if at all possible.


Good advice to experiment and develop a plan with genres, etc., before having to fix them all up later.

However, before you do this with the years, be sure that you will never want to list albums in chronological order.

Shouldn’t at least years “YYYY” work everywhere, also in BubblePnP? (Maybe YYYY-MM-DD does not?)

YYYY does work in BubbleUPnP OK - it is some of the others formats that do not show correctly.
In fairness BubbleUpnP actually shows the year (and the genre) on their App - Linn Kazoo and Naim apps do not.
Part of the confusion may be due to the metadata spec - is it meant to be a date or a year seems unclear when I looked into it.
On the Audio Properties and ID-Tag properties of an audio file the field is described as a year.
(Doesn’t dBpoweramp metadata show DD-MM-YYYY from memory?)

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