ND5 XS2 .... Oh Dear!

nDAC/555PSDR is unbeatable to our ears.

NDX2 a very capable transport.


also here ND5-XS2 as transport on nDAC+XPSdr, DC1 bnc-bnc cable and three powerlines: really good setup


I had an Xs2 and Hicap DR for quite a happy time before SN3/ Hicap dr. Given you’ve traded in your XS3 how did the Technics turn your head and get to that position ?

I’ve got Densen amps in other system and they are lifetime keepers so what are the characteristics you like the best with the new amp?

Adam, without wishing to derail this thread, I will give a potted summary.
I had no plans at all to change my xs3. I was very happy with it despite its Naim foibles.
My son was away and I took delivery of his new Technics amp for him. He asked me to give it a visual once over, in case of any issues. Bad move… I unpacked it and set it up in my system in place of the Naim. My initial impression was that it is a stunning piece of hifi. Beautifully built and the VUs are a delight. It weighs a fair bit too.
I let it play for a day or so continuously.
What I immeadiatly noticed was the return of central balance at low volumes. No more left pull on the stereo image.
Also, absolutely no transformer hum.Silent.
No speaker hiss, even at high volume.
The headphone section is a delight, better than the Naim.
The phono stage loading suits my cartridge better than the xs3.
Finally, to my ears, it sounds just as nice as my xs3.
So… I ordered one and sold my xs3.
Im very happy with it.
My Naim ND5XS2 is a keeper though.


Sounds like a real discovery, and the amp looks like a supermodel.

Perfect result, just making my justification easier but my need to be more creative.


I bought one because I already had an nDac and XPS so there really wasn’t any point going for the NDX2…lots of comments on the forum…yeah it hasn’t got a screen…less to go wrong imo


Having owned the ND5XS2, nDAC, XPSDR and NDX2, the NDX2 is the more capable transport. Not in the hifi sound aspect, but in its flow, ease and timing.

Is it worth the money over the ND5XS2? That’s the question. I only pulled the trigger on the NDX2 because I got a fantastic deal on it.


So you found Ndx2/ Nadac/ xps more musical vs Nd5xs2/ Ndac / xps?
I would not be surprised, despite some opposite points of view here.


Hifical? :grin:
He said above that the Ndx2 was better vs the Nd5xs2, not on hifi terms, but giving more ease, free flowing sound. So I said more “ musical “.
But you can propose me another term Neil, no problem.


Not wishing to start something here but I don’t see why a ND5 XS2 ought not to sound every bit as good as (if not better) than a bare NDX2 if it were powered by XPSDR/2 and run through a NDAC. For a lot of people, the ND555 is beyond their reach and the FOMO isn’t perhaps as great as with the NDX2 which, comparatively, is a minor stretch. My thinking is that sanity may be preserved (attained) if we could find happiness in what we have instead of chasing some dream of nirvana which can only be reached if we spend yet another 2,3,4 10k


You may be right. I was not putting on front the Ndx2 vs Nd5xs2 however. Just curious, and asked a question to @nicnaim , relative to his 47 post here.

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In no way aimed at you - just a a general observation. Where music becomes a passion, it too, becomes all too easy to justify the additional spend and before long one finds oneself down the rabbit hole… you know how it goes, diminishing returns and all.

In my country, the ND5 XS2 retails for just under half the cost of the NDX2 which, in turn, retails for a third of a ND555 (albeit a demo model). Now having heard all three, I’ve come away thinking it’s different strokes for different folks, horses for courses if you will and all that that implies.

In no way, however, have I ever felt the entry level streamer to be anything other than a solid piece of kit and standalone at that. Paired with the NDAC powered by suitable PSU (in the right room, with the right system) I could live with it and be amazed daily.


I did. I also found the NDX2 a bit better than the ND5XS2 into the Chord TT.

That doesn’t change that the ND5XS2 is fantastic transport and one of the best values around in hifi.

My guess is it’s the better casing and bigger transformer.

Similar to why a Klimax Radikal is better than the Akurate Radikal even though it’s the same stuff in a different box.

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Ha ha! Absolutely right @ChrisSU. I’m going to have to bite the DC1 bullet aren’t I :laughing:

I keep re-reading this sentence and its relationship to the previous para that begins ‘the second generation streamers are similarly an evolution […]’. When you say that ‘one might speculate this combination is technically superior to the ND5X2/nDAC’, which combination are you referring to? NDS with its outboard power supply? I’m probably being thick here, but I am genuinely interested in what you’re saying :slight_smile:

Nds/555 dr is generally rated above an Ndx2/ 555 dr. I Presume Ndx2 into NDS/555 dr is better than NDS /555 dr alone. But nobody tried.

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Some very interesting comments, so thanks all for your contributions. I have now got the ND5 XS 2 running into the digital input on my NDS, using a DC1. When I first got the NDS I was using my XPS2 DR power supply with the link plug inserted on the NDS and when I could I upgraded to a third party 555 PS and it was a huge uplift in performance.

However, my thinking and I believe this parallels the Naim design philosophy that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts so the NDS was designed to optimise the transport mechanism and the DAC aspect to take advantage of the 555 power supply.

So I plugged in the ND5 XS 2 with a bit of trepidation into the NDS and configured the digital input in the Naim app and went back to Roon. Result! My initial thought Oh Yeah - there it is! The best so far, by a reasonable margin, my wife also commented that the music was so much easier to listen to and was more engaging. Great, so I went back to my initial setup and re-attached the ND5 XS 2 to the NDac with XPS 2 DR, nice but not quite there. I have often found that when auditioning Naim upgrades, especially power supplies is that the step up might not be immediately noticeable but going back a step does emphasise the difference.

Back to the NDS, looks like the ND5 XS 2 is going to stay for a while, I really like what its doing. So this was a bit of fun and I’m getting the best of both worlds, updated transport and an excellent DAC. But not to take anything away from the NDac/XPS 2 DR combination it’s really good. I’m sure a proper Naim 555 DR PS will take it up a notch but that is way out of my league for the time being, but I’m always looking out for one “at the right price”, maybe I’ll get lucky.

Finally, the ND5 XS 2 has quite a good DAC in it, not in the NDS, NDac/XPS league but still good. So if you are like me and are on a limited budget and used NDS might be a good idea with a used XPS 2 DR, but I’m pretty convinced a Naim 555 DR PS is optimum and has a hell of a lot more synergy than the third party equivalents.

Music used for the main comparisons:

Roadhouses & Automobiles - Chris Jones, Tidal FLAC 44/16
Some Other Time - John Nazarenko Trio, Tidal FLAC 44/16
SHADO - Barry Gray, Tidal FLAC 44/16
Running On Empty - Jackson Browne, Local FLAC 192/24
Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd, Local DSF DSD64
Sings The Blues - Carmen Gomes, Local DSF DSD128
Turbulent Indigo - Joni Mitchel, Local FLAC 44/16
1812 Festival Overture (Mercury Living Presence) - Tchaikovsky, Local FLAC 44/16
Symphony No. 3 - Henryk Gorecki, Local FLAC 44/16

Plus a load of others, so many hours on the clock but a good bit of fun with a used item at £1750.




Nice one @Timbo. A good read and very enlightening. :+1:

Very interesting Timbo. Have you tried ND5XS2 direct into the 252 ?

Yes I have and although not as good, it is still very musical and beats all of my other non Naim streamers.