ND5 XS2 vs BlueSound Node 2i?

I’m afraid I have nothing to add to this great thread, but I’ve been reading it with pleasure as I have been thinking about a future upgrade path. I use the Innuos Zen Mini as a streamer/Roon endpoint into my SuperUniti via coaxial. It sounds fantastic, but I’ve been toying with the idea to sell the SU and get a Nait XS3 and a DAC. Probably a used nDAC.
I’ve tried the chord Qutest for a while, by-passing the SU internal DAC and there was almost no difference to me. Both sounded great. The chord being a bit more forward if I remember correctly. But if everyone is saying the nDAC could be better, I’d probably go that route.

Roon or Sense App via Innuos Zen Mini → nDAC → Nait XS3 → Kudos X2

Or maybe a Nova instead…. :laughing::thinking:



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Atom HE with Nap200 or 250 perhaps?

(instead of Nova or Nait XS3 plus Dac)

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Funny (or confusing) enough, here in NL all 3 options I mentioned above could be roughly the same money at about €4k to €4.5k.

(with a pre-loved non- DR but serviced Nap200 to go with the Atom HE that is, and some discounts and ex-dem offers here and there, and a pre-loved nDac)

Still a significant upgrade from a SU which would fetch max €1.5k here when sold-off.

Recently also pre-loved XS3s and ND5 XS2s are coming to market here. With good searching / quick decisions it is now possible to also arrive at that particular combo for €4.5k.

Choices choices…

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That’s about right, here in the UK as well.

Prices has been going up faster than you can say NAIM.

A few years back, Before I settled on the SuperUniti, I pre-ordered the Atom which at the time cost £1600. Crazy that it’s now £2300?


My biggest upgrade on the system last year were the NDX2 and the focal Sopra, the NDX2 was a small upgrade for the price final result, the sopra was a big one.

It’s not fair to compare a entry level coax and usb out only streamer to a high end one with integrated dac, but taking the price into account and depending on the system and dac you could already have the zen stream is a bargain at any price.

In my opinion is better to spend 399 euros on a zen stream and 1000 euros on a good dac than 6000 euros on an NDX2, if the dac and cables are chosen carefully, most people will be more than happy to have on their wallet 4600 euros more.

I could use the same argument to the power supply, or any other Naim product, I think Naim products are good and well designed but they also are not for every wallet and the prices are becoming prohibitive to many people. In this regard there are solutions like the zen stream that could make many people happy.

Also the DSD on the NDX2 is not on par with PCM reproduction, and my other dac’s that support DSD can do a better job on the format, Naim makes DSD almost lifeless and soft. I respect the Naim position on MQA, but why not implementing, unfortunately we will live with the format many years more if we want it or not.

The upgrade pad for a full Naim system is not for every one, is something I am evaluating but not very interesting to me at the moment.


Is the software of the zen stream now reliable for tidal connect and Spotify

I use the Zen Stream exclusively for roon in mode 2 selected on the back, and for roon users is a good add on, the supplied software is based on volumio, it had a bad start but IFi has been correcting bugs, as I do not use the supplied software maybe looking on the oficial tread of the zen stream on head fi can give you a more concrete answer.

too many issues with the zen stream which runs on old volumio… tempted but in the end im not going to buy it

As I think I mentioned, as a roon end device is stable, and that is my main use, in this way the IFi software provided is not in use and the zen is updated using roon.

IFi software never was a good thing, I think their software is realy bad and has been for years. But the hardware is good and performs better than the price suggests. If you want to use their software just forget it.

I tried using my Chromecast audio for Spotify connect, Tidal and with Bubble UPNP for playing from NAS

it’s not perfect, but it’s not bad either, with my Chord Mojo sounds quite good to my ears.

Sure I would like a more expensive sounding streamer, but it really is very good for the money I paid for it - I also got an ethernet adaptor and the CCA is now hardwired to the switch.

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I am picking up an S booster linear power supply tomorrow for my Zen stream.Getting a 12-13 volt version,should be a nice uplift.:slight_smile:

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I have had the S booster running for 2 days now, I will definitely be keeping it.
Now I have a Linear power supply
(S booster) on my Streamer and Dac.
I should point out I use a 2960 switch before the Zen stream to.
The noise floor is non existent now,I have a bunch of ferrites on my USB cable between my Streamer and Dac as well.
This cheap combo will keep me happy for a long time. I am also so happy with the sound I am getting from Tidal,that I have put the idea of playing my own library on the back burner…seems pointless adding hardware to play music that is available on Tidal.
Dcs Bartok or Mola Mola Tambaqui are the only future purchases for me I am afraid.:slight_smile:

Beware YT reviewers!

They are paid to make positive noises about those boxes.

Show me evidence of a bad review of either product. Granted, I have not heard either one, but there are many forum members here using DCS. On Audiophile style and head-fi forums there are people using and praising the Mola Mola, so actual users that are not paid.
When the time comes, and I am financially able to upgrade my source again, I will try to get an actual demo.
I currently only have one Audio dealer in the city I live in, but he just bought the business, and is opening a B&M store next month.
He carries Naim, Innous and Lumin, so I should be able to get an in person demo within a couple of months.
The Dcs and Mola Mola will require me to travel a few hours each way to hear them.

When you say a ‘bad review’, I presume you mean a review that is conducted with rigour and carefully explained and thoughtful reasoning and that gives a negative evaluation of the product.

The Goldensound review of the dCS Bartok fits that description.

(BTW, I too have not heard either of these products, so my comment was in relation to YT and other professional reviewers).

Or perhaps I misunderstood and by ‘bad review’ you mean a review that is shoddily executed or obviously biased?

Actually the Mola Mola is the one I am more interested in. Cheaper than the DCS, and has everything I want in a one box streamer/Dac/Roon endpoint. I would probably need to go to an ND555 with 555DR power supply to beat it, and I am not willing to spend that much money.

If I had to hear one of the two items I’d choose the MMT too.

(But I’m not looking for a DAC.)

A bit off topic, but was reading your info and the Fireblade is an excellent classic bike … always wanted one. I just sold my '98 Kawasaki ZX9R, also a great classic, all-day rider. '98 was a total redesign. I’m 66 now, so I wasn’t getting out much and the bike clubs here are all 20 year olds … not that that’s a bad thing…
Anyway, enjoy your riding. Y’know, you can tell a happy motorcyclist by the bugs in his teeth.

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Thanks David.

Quick off topic post

Planning the Scotland 500 in a few months on the Blade, its a good all rounder, comfortable and more than enough power especially for me :grin:

Bike is currently wrapped up in the garage but here is a picture from a few years ago

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