ND5 XS2 .... Oh Dear!

Picked up a used ND5XS2 for the lounge system which is system 2. Couldn’t install it as my wife was doing some stuff so couldn’t get to the rack. Decided to install in the main system on a free rack shelf under the 252 and connect it up to my NDac with XPS2 DR. Interesting 48 hours later still getting better, what great synergy this combination has, there is more space and airyness and definitely got my foot tapping. I use Roon and have an NDS with a third party power supply and this trio is really up there, currently listening to some quite diverse music at different resolutions and can really hear the difference with 24/192.

Could be a while before this gets to where it was intended.



Great to read this. I’ve had a bit of a box shuffle with various bits and pieces changing rooms and locations. I’m a Roon ‘lifer’. My ND5 XS2 is sitting in my rack ready to be coupled up to my nDAC but I realised that I do not have the correct cable. Doh! Have you connected your ND5 XS2 to your nDAC via BNC > BNC coax?

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We use NDX2 (same streaming board as ND5XS2) as transport into nDAC with naim DC1 cable. Wonderful combo.

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very interesting, do you think nd5xs + ndac + xps 2 sounds better than nds with 3rd party power supply? I also have nds with 3rd party power supply and added a bluesound node 2i to play with other music suppliers

ND5 XS2 really is a very nice piece of gear. I think it sounds better than the credit it seems to not get here and there. I also like the fact it has no displays to be bothered with, as I use my iPad anyway. About the only thing I miss every great now and then, is a way to quickly mute it, say via remote control at hand, but that is a very small thing in my operation.


Your amp rc has a mute button.

I do not always use it with my Nait XS3, sometimes it gets paired with my Croft Micro 25/Series 7 amps, so all manual. As I said, in the grand scheme of things, no big deal. I think it is a very fine streamer regardless.

I have used the ND5 XS2 with variable analog out on the RCA’s with the Croft, just doesn’t sound quite as good this way…

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I’m also a fan of this combo. I came about my 3 box front end by accident and now don’t know what I can do to better it without spending LOTS more money. Regardless the ND5 XS2 is a wonderful bit of kit.


I connect mine with a DC1 cable then a HiLine to my SN3. Hope this helps

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I run ND5 XS2 / DC1 / nDAC / PS555 (non DR) and like this combo alot.

I thinking about changing the nDAC to a NDS (and use it only as a DAC with ND5 XS2 fronted as streamer) as prices for NDS are really attractive now.

Curious about what this change would bring.

Some people are telling me that the nDAC is more of an “rocker” like the CD555 while the NDS is smoother and more like an CDS3.

Anyone who has had the experience of comparing?


As a bit of an update, my normal source is an NDS with third party 555 PS and the interconnect is a Super Lumina. It sounds great, refined and very detailed on the front of my 252/300 DR combo. Because I use Roon and love it, I know some people don’t and I respect that. The NDS may be a bit ham-stringed in Squeezebox mode and I use a Sonore Bridge to provide Roon compatibility. The ND5 XS 2 was intended to replace a Bluesound Node 2. My NDac and XPS 2 DR have been used for my CDX 2 which I got converted to digital out, so that’s why I’ve kept the components. I have tried a Lindemann Limetree Bridge and my Bluesound Node 2 on the NDac with a sort of a Meh! listening experience but the ND5 XS 2 just has that sound a feel which seems so right.

The ND5 XS2 is connected to the NDac with a BNC DC1 and powered by the XPS2 DR and has a Hiline from it to connect to the 252. I haven’t done any experimentation as yet with the components and have been listening to music most of the day, I did try and compare the NDS to the ND5XS 2 but probably need a bit more time to let the latter bed in.

I suppose the obvious experiments are to connect the ND5 XS 2 to the input on the NDS and see how that compares with the NDac, then perhaps try the third party 555 PS on the NDac. In the short term I can’t see the ND5 XS 2 being used in the second system until I figure out which I prefer. However, in the short term I can parallel it with the many comments on the difference between the 282 and 252 pre amps, where the 282 boogies a lot more and the 252 is a lot more refined.

But so far this is a happy accident and I’m having some fun enjoying the music. Probably end up with another used ND5 XS 2 for system 2 if I can find one at a good price.



I have a Lindemann Bridge2 that I find sounds very good, especially considering its fairly reasonable price. I do however feed its digital output to my LinnenberG Telemann DAC, which is fairly pricy DAC/Preamp. In my LinnenberG main system, this sounds really good. Maybe more of the DAC itself somewhat dictating overall sound quality here, possibly?

My ND5XS2 tends to sound better overall when used in Naim company/system in general, although to me, it is just a really good sounding piece, period. I certainly would like to try it feeding the Naim DAC, they are getting harder to find these days, folks holding on to them!

I have also tried the ND5XS2 into the above LinnenberG DAC via BNC’d adapter/coaxial digital connection, and it too sounds really good as well, maybe not quite as “Punchy/PRAT-like” going through the LinnenberG DAC, but still quite fabulous. Like anything, there are so many combinations one can try, most are just different, not necessarily “Better” to my ears.

Regardless, I really like the ND5XS2, it makes wonderful music for sure. Probably one of my favorite Naim purchases in the last several years.


Yes the DC1. I just can’t stretch to that right now. Searching ths econd hand market etc…

Cheers @marcusman


I own two ND5XS2 one feeding a Nait 2 CB the other feeding a Chord MScaler / DAVE into 552/500 cannot fault either setup the ND5XS2 is a real performer if used as a streamer or transport.


Understood. Luckily the previous owner of my now nDAC had no use for the DC1 any longer so I got a “package” deal.

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Exactly. I have it as a combo with Qutest DAC. Sounds superb!! Bit underrated perhaps because it is “only” a XS?



You were lucky! I must say that the feedback regarding ND5 XS2 > nDAC bodes well. I’m looking forward to switch on…I noticed the lack of digital output on the new NSC 222. I wonder what’s next for release, and if that too has no digi out. I’m so glad that the existing ND series have digi out…

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Me too. For me, it’s the sweet spot in the Naim range: everything I need and nothing I don’t at a fair (for Naim) price.