ND555 curent wisdom - simple set up

So, events are conspiring to accelerate stepping into the brave new (for me) world of streaming - CDS3 mech no longer available, impending price increases and a reasonable discount offer on current new prices.

ND555 seems an obvious candidate in terms of system synergy but I’m not sure about the most appropriate peripherals. Unfortunately my dealer is not a useful source of guidance.

I want to be able to play locally stored CD rips and access online services such as Qobuz and internet radio without taking on an IT project. I’m not interested in Roon (at least not currently).

I know there have been lots of threads about ND555 and many different takes on the best set up. Some seem overly complicated to me - multiple switches, 3rd party power supplies etc. Those that have gone before have blazed a fascinating trail of experimentation, some of which I have understood, some not. I would like a simple set up, minimal fuss and maximum sound quality and I’m hoping there might now be consensus on how to reasonably extract the most out of the ND555, without going to extremes. I may tackle the 'nth degree in future but thats not my current goal.

We had some work done on the house not too long ago and have already installed a dedicated cat6A cable straight from the ISP (300Mbps fibre) modem/router to the wall socket by the system. Everything else feeds from a separate port on the router to a switch with the wifi and other bits feeding off that.

I would need at least a NAS which I guess could connect straight to the ND555 but there seems to be a pretty solid consensus that specialised device such as those from Melco is well worthwhile. Therefore what comes to mind is using the dedicated cable from the incoming ISP router to the wall socket, a patch cable from wall socket to a Melco N1Z/2EX-S40, then a quality ethernet cable from Melco to ND555. Melco CD ripper, back up HDD and/or additional storage would connect straight to the Melco.

Do I need anything else? I know there has been a lot of discussion of switches but would adding a switch before or after the Melco make sense in this set up?

Would I use the Melco or the Naim app to browse/select/play or could I use either?

The problem with solving SQ in one go, is you do not know what is contributing. I would try your suggested system at a dealer and at home if possible, then mess with cables and switches.

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Is it not possible to visit another dealer to see what combinations can be offered and to be quite honest at this level (or any other level really) I would like to be dealing with a dealer that can offer these facilities?

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Would also pitch in to say as an NDX2 and XPS dr user don’t dismiss a NDX2 and 555ps pairing as I have frequently been told this is a sweet spot for streaming.
I have a Innuos zen mini hooked up to my NDX2 with a digital interconnect and also ethernet cable. Together with Qubuz it covers all my listening needs.

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Elfer, I use ndx2/555psdr into 552/500.
Prior to current streamer I had used cds2 and 01 tuner
I ran cable to listening room for wired internet connection
I use blue jeans cat6 to my switch (uptone Etheregen) and run another cat 6 cable from the switch to my ndx2
It sounds amazing
I don’t miss my CD player or tuner at all
I have not had any need to play my cd’s and so have not purchased a server to rip them
Qobuz has most of the music that is in my cd collection
Also, Naim radio offers hundreds of radio stations, many of which are hi res.
Lastly, I’m sure the nd555 is better than ndx2/555 but at quite a cost. Also, eventuality can trade up ndx2 to nd555 as the power supply is the same
David

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I’m not in the UK and in my location home auditions are a non-starter. Very few dealers carry anything other than Muso/QB/Uniti so no option to audition combinations. Experience, forum feedback, research and intuition are all I have to go on but they have served me well to date.

I wanted to avoid having to solve SQ problems and get it right first time but perhaps thats naive of me. Sounds like I might have a reasonable starting point though and don’t need to think too much about switches or cables (a relief!).

The NDX2 is undoubtedly a great option and I already have XPS2 DR so it would be by far the most economical route. However, knowing an upgrade would eventually come, taking advantage of the dealers offer and getting in before the price hike makes a lot of sense in my situation.

I guess I have just seen so much discussion on streaming setups, I’m a little lost lost in deciphering what’s necessary, what’s useful and what’s just icing on the cake.

It’s really not complicated @Elfer and with a 552/500 I think the logical move is to the ND555. The only other ‘tweak’ I have is a Chord EE8 switch between Virgin Superhub 3 and ND555.

Sounds bloomin’ marvellous. Just lets the music flow and lets you forget about the hifi.

G

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With your amps suspect ndx2/555psdr would be minimum source - I moved from xpsdr to 555psdr with the ndx2
A worthwhile upgrade. My dealer gave me great trade in on xpsdr to facilitate move to better ps
I’m in USA so these were purchased without demo
David

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I still have my NAP300 since upgrading to the 500 and with ND555 I will still have the CDS3 and XPSDR (no dealer trade in option). Once the CDS3 dies (still on the original VAM1250), NDX2 would be a great option to replace it. All I need to find is pre-loved 252 and somewhere to put it all and I will have an awesome second system!

Roon does make this super easy. I’ve not used an easier-to-set-up combination of hardware and software for music streaming than the Roon Nucleus (server hardware) and Roon software. It’s just so easy.

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The simplest solution is probably a Naim Core for ripping CDs and serving the rips, it uses the same Naim app as the ND555. I’ve not compared it to a melco as I bought mine when it was announced just because I liked what they’d done with it. I was running out of room for vinyl so the CDs needed ripping and moving out of the living room. No need for a PC unless you want to download, the rest can run from a tablet.
An ND555 with a single ps can have a nice swing to it but pay attention to setup. box and plug order, cable dressing etc. There are various ideas as to what is right so experiment to find what works for you. Even run wirelessly it works well as I discovered after my move last year, though somehow I think the wired version was slightly better but there wasn’t that much in it.

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This is a good suggestion for those who really “don’t want an IT project”

People I know who use a Core could have well changed long ago; they like their Core and think it sounds great.

When I got started with in-home streaming in 2011 I too strove to avoid an IT project and bought a Naim UnitiServe. Unfortunately the UServe was not as user friendly as the Core and it turned out to be an IT project anyway. But along the way I learned how to set up a nas and use it for backup…which then taught me to ditch the UServe and just use the nas as a home server. But then I tried Roon and really liked the UI and ditched the nas boxes for a Roon Nucleus.

Given that @Elfer wants to rip cd’s makes a more compelling case for the Core as it’s a ripper. With Roon you have to be comfortable ripping cds on a computer.

Not that Core doesn’t have its own set of issues and limitations. But it’s an easy way to start.

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Hi Elfer,

I suspect a fully fletched ND555 set up will set you back around £35-40K ( single PS).
I personally have 0 appetite for streaming with its multitude of variables, so my humble suggestion will invariably be to find yourself a nice second hand CDP555 from a UK dealer preferably with a recent drive change and simply have it shipped over. This may also give you some trade in value for your existing gear.
You maintain what you’ve been doing all along (playing cds) and for a fraction of the cost you acquire a cd player, which runs rings round the CDS3. For all the saved cash you can even treat yourself to a second 555PS, et voila a simple life with a World class front end and amazing piece of engineering. It’s Christmas :partying_face: Best Peter

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Past experience with UnitiServ is steering me away from Core. I didn’t mention earlier but I would like some or all of my music to be portable and useable on other devices, via USB stick in the car for example. I found the filing structure and WAV rips weren’t very friendly to non Naim devices in the past, though I don’t know if thats changed.

I was considering the Melco D100 for ripping - it seems to get good reviews in terms of rip quality (if you believe there is a difference) and if I have a Melco server, it should be plug and play.

Fair enough! Plenty of Melco owners here.

Hi Peter,

That was my thinking too, until recently. Keep it simple, look for a CD555 and don’t worry about it. The catalyst was the sudden lack of mechanisms to repair the CDS3 - I didn’t expect repairs to go on forever but thought there might be some indication that stocks were running low, long before they hit zero.

As much as I love the idea of a CD555, I wouldn’t be too pleased to discover all of a sudden there were no mechanisms for that either, but I would only have myself to blame if I put myself in that situation now. I know, it may never happen. In fact my CDS3 might go on for another 20 years (I hope it does) but I hope to retire in a couple of years so I want to get big expenses out of the way whilst Im still earning. We need a new fridge too (also 15 years old and no longer repairable :woozy_face:)

When I retired just over 3 years ago I had put money aside for a new fridge, but lone behold then we moved house and being a new build it already had a new fridge. Then I bought the S1 instead, as we don’t know what is around the corner……let alone in 10 years time :thinking:
Good luck with your choice Peter

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Thanks Peter, I’ll suggest to Mrs Elfer that we look at an S1 instead of the fridge, see which bed I end up in tonight :joy:

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By coincidence I’ve just been discussing with my dealer the possibility of replacing my CDS3 with a streamer but have concluded after a lot of deliberation that the CDS3 will remain until it dies. I’ll deal with the fall out at the time, in the meantime I’ll just groove on.

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I use mine ND55 via wi fi. Sounds great. - no drop outs i use the 5Ghz on my wi fi booster for the ND555 and it seems to work well. I am on 4G internet through a Drey Tec router. That’s all. I use Qobuz and CD are in in my outbuildings next to lawnmower, keeping the mice happy

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