Nd5 xs2 & xps


Is it possible to connect these two? I know the XPS could power the old ND5, but the rear of the XS2 doesn’t have the same PSU connections.


No. As you have already noted the ND5XS2 does not have the connections. You can upgrade with an external dac if you wish.

Because an external DAC would be superior to the one incorporated in the XS2?

If you got one that was better, then yes, if not then no.


I assumed you’d be referring to a Naim DAC since this a Naim forum. In which case you couldn’t purchase one that wasn’t an upgrade. Was therefore hoping for an elaboration on the suggestion, as tempting as purchasing an inferior product would be.

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I wasn’t suggesting any particular Dac, merely saying that you can upgrade with one if you fancy doing so.

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The NDAC was a Naim recommended upgrade for the old NDX, and being discontinued, it might be a cost effective upgrade the the ND2XS2, which has a very competent streaming board that is essentially the same as the one in the NDX2. A lot of people either did this, or used non-Naim DACs, particularly Chord DACs, and to my mind this remains an effective upgrade path.
You could, of course, go for an NDX2, with the option to upgrade the PSU or the DAC, but then you’re looking at spending a lot more cash.

Thank you. I did some reading around & searching on the forum (hence the delayed thanks; apologies), and it doesn’t seem like upgrading the DAC is a ‘common’ upgrade path. Maybe it’s because its not one of the ‘sexier’ upgrades! And/or doesn’t provide a significant level of improvement.

Since I exclusively stream my music having relinquished the CD collection, I am curious to see what difference a dedicated Naim DAC (or other) could make, so was wondering if anybody has any experience of this? Is the DAC in the XS2 an improvement over the old ND5?

The use of offboard DACs was very widely discussed on the old forum. Less so since the NDAC was discontinued, but there are certainly plenty of us still doing this, mostly with either NDAC or various Chord DACs, but of course, any DAC with an SPDIF input could be used in this way.
One of the advantages of this approach is that it can be a great deal cheaper than adding a Naim PSU such as XPS or 555. A handful of forum members caused a bit of a stir by selling off their NDAC/555s and repacing them with Chord Hugos because they preferred them. You can now pick up a used Hugo for £500 to £600. I’m not saying this is better or worse than putting a PSU on a Naim streamer, and besides, it’s never a simple linear heirarchy of good/better/best or whatever. Personal preference and system matching also come into play, and the only way to find out is to listen to some different options and see what floats your boat.

I’d like to give it a try. £500ish is a relatively small outlay given resale prices.

So the DAC would need to go between the source (ND5) and the preamplifier. What cables/connections are required to do this, please? I assume its an optical from the ND5 to the DAC, and then RCA to DIN to the preamp?

You need a coaxial SPDIF cable from Naim streamer to Hugo. BNC at the Naim end, single RCA for the Hugo. A Naim DC1 will set you back about £300 at full price, but you can get decent ones from the likes of Gotham, Mark Grant or Flashback quite cheaply.
Then you need an RCA to DIN to the preamp.
Best to set the Hugo output to a bit below max output volume.

Thanks very much. Really helpful.

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