ND5-XS vs Bluesound Node vs Cambridge CXN v2

Hi all, just considering dipping my toe into the sreaming world…
(Not sure if I can get the correct interconnect for my toe though!)

Any thoughts on which would be the best idea from the following choices?

Naim ND5-XS (S/H)
Bluesound Node (New)
Cambridge CXN v2 (New)

I could purchase the s/h ND5-XS for roughly right inbetween the new prices of the Bluesound and the cambridve.
I would prefer to have a streamer that connects to my existing pre, rather that one that replaces the pre, at these price ranges, as I havea long term plans to keep going up the Naim pre/power ladder.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated!

What is the current system?

Sources / Amps / Speakers

Are you aware that the original ND5XS uses rather dated streaming tech compared to its Mk2 replacement and has limitations if you are intending to stream from internet sources rather than a music collection stored on your local network?

Taking into consideration Chris’ comment above about the Naim streamers limitations, out of the two remaining options I would recommend the Bluesound Node.The latest version is a great streamer for toe dipping and the app is a dream.

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My entry into streaming was an cxnv2. Very good for the money. Local and via tidal, qobuz et al.
And as i sold it during first lockdown, sold it for £150 more than I paid.

No, I’m not very aware of software choices at this point.
I’m not even sure which service might be best, for me…

I was just surprised to see the ND5-XS at a comparable price (although s/h) to the other 2 aforementioned products, which made me wonder…
Hence the post!

The mk2 is possibly out of my budget, for the time being.

I think that perhaps my options are likely to be focussed on the Node or maybe the iFi Zen streamer (?)

I have been reading some threads about the addition of an nDAC being a possible wothwhile upgrade to these, at some point.
Would this hold true, for the nDAC, if I were to obtain an NDS2 or NDX at a later date, making it more favourable as a longer term investment - or would these mk2’s negate the addition of an nDAC ?

All Naim streamers have a digital output which allows you to run them with a separate DAC as an upgrade option.

The main issues with the 1st gen models include:
Poor WiFi performance: you need to use an Ethernet cable for reliable performance.
Support for Tidal and Spotify, but no other streaming services unless you are prepared to try various workarounds.
Possibility of dropouts on Tidal in particular due to the small buffer.
No support for AirPlay, Chromecast, Roon.

NAC102/HiCap/NAPSC
NAP180
CD3.5/Flatcap
Thorens TT (Can’t recall the model, it’s from around 1968 and maybe TD125 or TD150, but I do remember its a MkII !) /Stageline
I also have, from some years ago, a Pro-Ject RPM and a Pro-Ject phono pre, with USB on board that I got with the idea of rippping some vinyl to CD, but never did much, in the end!
All using original Naim interconnects and NAC-A5 cabling to an old pair of Castle “Harlech” speakers.
Oh, apart from the RCA to DIN, where I have a Chord Crimson and a Chord Chrysalis (iirc?)

I have just returned to this forum, after around 15 years, having finally aquired some upgrades to my original entry level system of NAC92R/NAP90.3 which I bought with the intention of entering the upgrade path, though never got around to it!
I had intended to make an introductory post, in the lounge, but got carried away with myriad questions!

Thank you all for your inout!

Thanks for the update, consider adding this to your profile. Nice system. Like the sound of the old Thorens TT.

Not familiar with the the streamers you’ve mentioned, but you’re getting sone good advice.

You also mentioned the IFI Zen. This does though, get some good reviews and not too expensive to “dip your toe in”, as has been suggested.

I would go for the Cambridge over the Bluesound myself well regarded for its price. I had the Node 2i for a while and was underwhelmed by their app it does a lot but none of it very well and I found their service a bit meh, but to each their own. Plenty of other options for less than a new Naim, Lumin U1 mini, Matrix Element I, Ifi Zen Stream.

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I have the CXN V2 and with a Qutest it performs brilliantly. Not sure how much better it is than a Node but it supports all major streaming platforms plus ROON.

ChrisSU, thanks for your replies.

What I was trying to figure out was this:

If I were to purchse, for example, a Node and then later add an nDac to it, presumably this would now sound better.
So far, so good!

But, if I were later still to obtain an NDS2 or NDX2, would the nDAC still serve as an upgrade to them?
Or, would the DAC quality in these streamers have surpasseed that offered by the nDAC, by this point, making the nDAC now redundant?

Hello,

actually working with the Bluesound Node on a SN3. As already mentionned by others, good streamer with nice corresponding app and added a Teddy Pardo power supply to lift up SQ. Pleased with this digital part of my sound system while looking around and saving funds for a more performant replacement.

Hi, there is no NDS2!? The NDAC was certainly an upgrade on the internal DAC on the original NDX. The improved NDX2 closes the gap somewhat but for me the NDAC is still an upgrade, and at used prices, a pretty cheap one.
The other possible route is to put a PSU on the NDX2 such as an XPS.

You really need to listen to these combinations yourself as personal preference comes into play and we will not always reach the same conclusions.

Some great advice above, I started a thread covering my own thought processes around streaming options with Naim kit. If it is if any use

I’m still using a NP5 and Hugo mk1 - it sounds fabulous. I suspect a ND5 XS2 is in my future, for simplicity. The SQ isn’t a match for my Hugo when I listened to one, but definitely got closer with an upgraded, Naim, interconnect.

Good luck :slight_smile:

Sorry, I meant ND5-XS2 and NDX2 not NDS2 and NDX2
It was getting too late at night for me!

Another vote for the Blusound here, like you I was curious and dipping my toes, auditioned a Node 2i and it stayed. For the money I doubt theres anything else out there to beat it until you start spending Naim or similar entry level price points.
Great SQ, suppports just about any streaming platform your likely to want, very reliable and stable over wifi.
To be honest, with a good high quality stream there are times when it can give my fairly advanced on the upgrade path LP12 a run for its money.
And I understand the Node has now been further improved over the 2i.
Depending how serious you want to be with streaming and the law of diminishing returns you might find the Node to be perfectly adequate for quite a while, had it about 4 or 5 years now (I think)

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Just to clarify I mean the Node 2i, a decent used model could be a good bargain or the newer “improved” version.
Not the earlier Node model though that pre dates the 2i, just to confuse matters I see Bluesound are now naming its latest iteration The Node :thinking:

Yes, I agree! A curious decision on the model designations!

I have been recently trying to confirm my understanding of the ascending order of things!

As far as I can tell, so far, the latest (2021?) model is referred to as “Node N130”

Am I correct? Is this the very latest model?

A second hand Auralic Aries mini is another option worth considering. I have only used it for streaming from Apple Music with the intention of hearing new music which I might then buy in physical form. With this limited intention I am not bothered that it doesn’t match my other sources, although it’s very listenable. This raises the question of what you mean by dipping your toe in - what do you want to find out?