ND555 Impressions


To add perspective I am using a Chord Music ethernet cable with my ND555. Difficult to understand how 1 meter of cable can make such a difference. I’ve compared it to my Chord Sarum Tuned Array, Ansuz Acoustics and a garden variety $2 Cat6 cable in several different ND555 systems. The Music cable is the perfect partner for the ND555… it brings the streamers to a new level of resolution and ease. There’s no tension, digital hash, or edge to the sound. It is both very natural and musical at the same time. Tidal streams rival CD rips from my UnitiCore. It only takes a few seconds to hear how much better digital can sound… it is not subtle. Yes, a very expensive cable and worth every penny in context with the rest of the 500 system. A friend uses the Music BNC cable between his ND555 and Core. It has a similar sound but it a bit more precise… where the ethernet has tad more ease. Both are highly recommended.


Hi Filipe, I never tried. And I am also not inclined to do so now. If I change it will be to a Melco N10 Black, as it most probably would be a step up. While I am still skeptical as I would loose 3TB which I have to bring in through other means.


This I hoped not to hear. I hope my Vodka cables would be enough…


Hi Bert, Innuos and Roon both allow you to attach NAS shares. Roon makes getting up and running with no ripping a dream.

My interest is really in the Ethernet bridge Melco and Innuos provide - how much does it improve SQ by isolating the streamer from the nasty dirty world of (some of our) home networks. I suppose even this solution is improved with a good quiet switch on the LAN side.



I understand and know you just can attach the drives. That’s not the point. However - there is a practical dimension of spacing and right positioning. And there is an emotional blockade as to, he we are doing so much to seperate and use the right components, and then at the end we connect a normal USB drive dirty storage and that wouldn’t have a negative impact ?..
The isolation of the ethernet traffic is one of the key aspects of the Melco’s value proposition.


@BertBird, I think you misunderstood the NAS share business. It is just on the network, and I would keep it outside the cleaner Ethernet of my Cisco 2960 switch. The Innuos Zen range upward have a 4GB music buffer to eliminate disk access during playback.

Do you prefer to have SSD storage?

Could you explain what specific placement issues you have? Being connected by Ethernet to the Melco gives some flexibility.

So you are in favour of the dedicated streamer port your Melco provides?

Have you tried Roon (I am not sure if your Melco supports it)?



I have the HDD connected by usb. I have never tried the option of connecting it with Ethernet, and also don’t know if the Melco can then access it via the Music server. So far hen I connected the other as it was a separated instance. I am not so much 8nterested in the sdd


I have still the ND555 running overnight and during workdays. And decided I will stop with it after this weekend. As I have the feeling my ND555 is now fully at it’s potential. While everything we have said so far talks about the fantastic aspects like soundstage, microdetail, lows etc… the one remaining feeling I have is that’s the most musical source I have ever heard. Every album is sounding so much better and direct. And it doesn’t require high volume levels to get the right feeling.

It’s for me more or less in the same league then when I moved from 252 to 552. No regrets, not even for a minute…


Bert, with the N10, you can ‘daisy chain’ additional Melco 3 TB drives, as required.


I realize that, but for me it would mean quite an investment. Upgrading to the N10, buying two additional 3TB drives and having to add another Fraim level to my tower. Something I would need to be having sufficienct funds and it would need to convince me in comparison with my current setup. So it would need to give a significant step up from my current Melco.

Assuming I would get access to the funds, I have the feeling I would first invest in DR’ing my NAP500 and potentially exchange my audioquest Vodka with the Chord Music before going the Melco upgrade road… Let’s see what the future brings. Perhaps I will also stay a bit longer dry with upgrades…


it’s possible that the chord music gives more uplift to sound quality than the step between middle to top melco.


Well I obtained and tried CAT6 1.5m Ethernet into the ND555 instead of my old CAT5 1m. The longer CAT6 1.5m worked a lot better than the 0.5 CAT6 I’d tried before and had a lot going for it in terms of clarity and timing - yet over time I began to hear what it was missing and I reverted back to my ‘reference’ CAT5 1m lead and it was a relief.

The CAT6 gave a superficially cleaner and leaner presentation but the low-level detail in harmonic structures was just not there right and gave an ‘empty’ effect to the sound - and the bass was rather overblown and boomy.

The CAT5 has all the detail and low-level harmonic richness I’ve come to expect and appreciate from the ND555 and I find it amazing still at this moment (it will pass) that an old Ethernet cable no longer made as fit for purpose gives me the best results.

On reflection this is what I think is happening: It is nothing to do with data integrity of the stream or errors but pick-up. The CAT5 has the conductors grouped together very tightly and offers the lowest cross-section to electrical or magnetic induced currents. The CAT6 spaces the conductors to make their data performance over long runs better - but I want to run about a meter and the CAT5 does that fine. A screen will work with electrical interference but do nothing for magnetic induced noise - low cable cross-section is best there as it is proportional to area.

The above are just thoughts - I have no idea why but know what I hear.
I like the ND555 with the CAT5 so am in no great hurry to ‘improve’ it but did not (and do not) believe I’ve got the best interconnect. I will try some expensive HiFi cables up ahead once I have a chat with my Dealer to see what I can borrow. I’ve had a poor experience with some cables that other people like so it may be a personal taste thing.



DB , before I got the nd555 I tried a few cables, and decided on the melco ethernet cable. If you try be interested in your view, they are relatively cheap.


i find the audioquest diamond specially natural sounding, fluent, well balanced, with very good timing too. But i have not heard top chord streaming cables.


I may do that as I don’t really want to spend several thousands on a bit of cable unless I’m blown-away.

I tried a cable costing about a thousand and the CAT5 blew it away in my system. The CAT5 presents a flood of information that I’ve heard can get very murky on some systems but mine just eats it up and renders it into a 3D image.
The more expensive cables I’ve heard remove low-level data and give the system less to handle better - but I really don’t like that effect. Not saying they all do that but some do. I remain suspicious until I hear it done to my satisfaction. :bear:



I say that because you wrote you will borrow some cables from the dealer. The audioquest diamond 0,75 costs around 700 GBP.
Perhaps your dealer have one to try…


My Dealer ALWAYS has things to tempt me.
They have also tried a lot of different cables and tend to find some systems work well with one cable and another system will sound poor with the same cable, so you can’t always generalize as to what will be best.

Also I do think personal taste - or what you actually hear yourself and prefer done right matter a lot.
I’ve heard other customers at my Dealer’s prefer things I did not like - I heard why they liked the item and it was right for them as they preferred it - but to me it was not what I would have.



Methinks time to forget Ethernet cables, and just listen to music. Life is short…


I’m thinking that way right now. :slightly_smiling_face:



I have to say, my system is very similar to DB and I came to the same conclusion as him. Naim advise this too.