ND5 XS to nDAC Connection?

I’ve searched, but not turned up any answers to this very obvious question. Looking at the rear panels of both devices, do you connect an ND5 XS to an nDAC using a BNC-to-BNC patch cable? The nDAC that I’ve bought only comes with a mains lead.



Yes. You can use a Naim DC1, although there are much cheaper options that have worked well for me.

You have to buy a BNC TO BNC cable, called SPDIF too.

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Thanks, both… have ordered a BNC-to-BNC. Odd that there isn’t an optical-out / in on them…

While I’m at it, what does the RCA-to-BNC adaptor that came with the ND5 XS do?

RCA connectors are very common on coax cables and sockets, so it’s just a convenience for easy connection. Not sure why Naim chose to provide it.
Naim have always preferred coax to optical SPDIF, I guess they have optimised their gear around it.

BNC to BNC is the gold standard; but lots of DACs and preamps containing DACs only have RCA, no BNC.

If Naim were to supply the BNC-BNC cable, the adapter would make more sense. Still, a nice freebee.

The nDAC has only one BNC input; if you have more than one BNC digital source, one would need the adapter, or a BNC to RCA cable.


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The nDAC has two BNC inputs.

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The nDAC does have optical inputs. Well, mine did.


Four of them! :slightly_smiling_face:

It really is a versatile piece of kit.

In that picture of the Grimm MU1, the SPDIF IN shown at the back is coaxial or optical SPDIF?

Looks like it has both

What they describe as SPDIF will be coax via the RCA socket.


nDAC inputs:

2 BNC (electrical)
2 RCA (electrical)
4 optical “paired” with the 4 electrical inputs…

Edit: on rereading the manual, each electrical/optical pair is somewhat sophisticated. You can connect to the electrical and the optical inputs of a pair and the DAC decides which input has valid data on it and switches accordingly. Clever!

The Linn Numerik, has something akin to this, where the DAC defaults to Input 2 unless there is a data stream present on Input 1. So my “always on” streamer is connected to the default input and the Karik CDP is connected to the “override” input.

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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

It may be old, but it is one d@mn fine piece of kit. I run mine with an (olive) XPS, which I feel is worthwhile.



I used mine with an Olive XPS too.

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One day, I’ll get it a matching black XPS. My CDX is lonely without its PSU :laughing:.

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Thank you. Corrected. Naim DAC has 2 BNC, 2 RCA, 4 Optical.


This SPDIF via RCA socket as you say is appropriate with Naim dacs?
Is it optimal if I use the Grimm into Nds ?
Is it the same as Naim digital out on Nds?

The Grimm digital output is AES3 so you’d need a converter (basically a small transformer - Neutrik do them) to convert the balanced AES3 to single ended coaxial, suitable for the NDS digital input.