ND5 XS2 and Naim nDAC

99% of folk don’t

just a few nerds on this forum


I thought we were all nerds on this forum?



Hi Samwise

As an nd5 xs2 owner I can vouch that it is a great piece of kit. Easy to use and it fits perfectly with other Naim components.

The fact that it can be used with a variety of additional dacs is a great facility for future change/tuning to your own liking - much like cartridge or phono amp changes on a turntable. For some (me included) this is a hobby and the variety of combinations and flavours is all part of the allure and charm that maintains our interest. Oh and when we find a change we like we do like to talk about it.

My plainest guide for you would be that in the past my system comprised a cdx2 and supernait 1 both sporting Naim external power supplies - today streaming qobus with the nd5 xs2 into a Supernait 3 the sq is easily the equal of that 4 box system and in some ways it’s better.


You can put the Ndac under the rack, on a wood or granite shelf.

You don’t need it, as you have already the Ndx2/ Xpsdr. But you made a good choice deleting the phone numbers of all the dealers. You will be less tempted by a 555 dr . :laughing:


Thanks for the suggestion but no can do. Unless I’m able to squeeze it in with the ND5 XS2?

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Thanks for the comments. Good to know it’s just the desire to tinker and improve rather than anything drastically wrong with the dac. Someone did mention adding a ps to the SN 1 which whilst it sounds good, defeats my desire to reduce the amount of kit :grin:

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Add another shelf maybe . But I guess you have already thought about that.

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Frenchrooster wrote - “You don’t need it, as you have already the Ndx2/ Xpsdr.”

Ahhhh but would an nd5 xs2 with an ndac or Qutest or Dave or ………… sound “better” than an ndx2 and xpsdr :sunglasses:

If budget permits, I would go for Ndx2/ xpsdr. If not, Nd5xs2/ Ndac.
Chord, I let them for others. I am a generous man.


My two pence worth. I bought a new ND5SX2 about 6 months ago and I am very happy with its performance. Previously I had a node 2 which I didn’t get on with at all…all hifi and no music is how I would describe it so it was sold.
Anyway last weekend I was lucky enough to buy an nDac on Ebay from a fellow Naimer. Well this has raised the bar considerably. The sound quality, musicality of the ND5 - nDac combo is sublime to my old ears. I wont be going back to a stand alone ND5 that’s for sure. Very happy, only had to spend £3k to achieve NDX2 + sound quality. :grin:


I’m happy for now but I am tempted by an ndac. The Burr-Brown PCM 1704 DAC is a bit of a classic being found in the cd555 and nd555 - oh and not forgetting the nds. :slightly_smiling_face:

Oh and I could at a later point in time put an xpsdr on the ndac. Or an 555 PS DR :heart_eyes:


I agree with all of what you say here, and it mirrors my experience closely.

I know you did a smiley on this comment, but have you ever tested NDX2 vs ND5XS2, either in a shop or at home?


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Did you test ND5XS2/nDAC vs NDX2 into the same amps and speakers?

If so, in a shop or at home?

Using what interconnect between ND5XS2 and nDAC?

With which power cables on the 3 boxes?

Did you also try the NDX2 and nDAC with an external psu?

If so, which ones?

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You’ve hit the nail on the head JimDog

These are the relevant questions



It’s not that these aren’t good questions but all of them at once…

Philifa clearly likes his nd5 xs2 and clearly found the addition of ndac to be positive what I would like to know is what changes are heard when an ndac is added to an nd5 xs2.

Very difficult to describe changes in sound.

I have mainly used ND5XS2 into Naim DAC/555DR (sometimes with a CHC Powerblack cable on the 555DR).

This adds a lot of extra energy into the system (literally).

It gives a lift in clarity and sounds better to me.

But the bare nDAC sounds very good too.

And the ND5XS2 sounds very good in the first place!

All good.


I agree entirely about describing sound!!! For me when auditioning the nd5 xs2 and ndx2 I thought the ndx2 had slightly more energy and warmth in the lower frequencies. But the difference to me was small and wasn’t evident in all tracks played. Money no object I would have gone for the ndx2.

For the audition I used tidal and Apple Music and wish I had been using qobus which now that I have started using it is far and away my favourite streaming service in terms of sound quality.

Simple comparisons I would like someone to try would be ndx2 with and without ndac compared to nd5 xs2 with ndac.


Yes :grinning: :grinning: The external DAC will be better than a PSU

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