ND5 XS as a DAC


Could I use an ND5 XS as a DAC? ie in between a Core and 282?


NDAC is a lot better, but on the presumption that Core has one of the standard digital outputs … yes.

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Yes, you just need a coax SPDIF cable, but is there a reason you wouldn’t use a network connection between them which they will need in any case?

Thanks! I’m sure that the NDAC would be a lot better but an ND5 also gives me a streamer…

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I use my core to stream to my ND5 XS2. There is no need to connect using the DAC coax input. It might even sound better! You can use the DAC in the ND5 XS2 for other sources (e.g. CD transport).

You can use an ND5XS with a Core, and my understanding is that there are two ways of connecting, one is to connect direct from the Core’s digital output, using the Core for rendering the music files and the ND5 just as a DAC. The other is to use the Core to stream across ethernet to the ND5, using the latter’s full “streamer” function, i.e. using the ND5 as both renderer and DAC. Which sounds best you would probably have to try for yourself.

Personally I prefer not to play music over my network, instead using a direct connection from my store/renderer (not a Core) to my DAC, thus taking the network out of the equation, with all its attendant potential complications such as possible effect of every single network component on sound quality. When the Core was originally introduced, my anticipation was that it would be great used that first way round, but it seems the majority view on this forum was that it sounded better via ethernet.

Incidentally, if it is just a DAC you want there are definitely better ones than the DAC in the ND5XS, such as the nDAC, or, as I found as significant upgrade to ND5XS when I had one., Chord Hugo.

Yes it is possible. And shortly someone will be along suggesting adding a flatcap to bring things to a whole new level !


Just to add on, the output from the Core is BNC spdif if using the direct connection.

Thanks. I don’t plan to use my ethernet but maybe I ‘ll try to do a comparison. In any case it looks like I can do what I wanted which I wasn’t entirely sure about until the good people on here answered my question.

The direct/shorter connection is logically better sounding (less is more). However, there are audiophile networking switches/cables to improve the sound. For example, brands like English Elektric, Bonn/silent angel, SOtM and etc…

Here’s someone suggesting you don’t :slight_smile: It won’t work … needs to be PS555, XPS (v2 only? - not sure) or XP5XS

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Waste of money in my experience, considering how minor the improvement was - for less money I bought a better DAC, running the ND5XS through it acting just as the renderer, with very distinct improvement bringing more natural sound. I can’t comment on the other PSs, but suspect that the money would be more effectively spent on other improvements like even better DAC, or better streamer for someone who wants the renderer and DAC combined.

I was merely correcting the earlier mooted Flatcap suggestion - I listed the PSU’s which would work.

Fairy nuff! :blush: