ND5XS with Tidal?

Does the older ND5XS work well with Tidal? (I think I remember that it’s not Tidal connect.) This would be with a wired connection.

It is supposed to work. My brother who owns one has regular dropouts.
If you are looking to buy one, I would advise against it. Get the ND5 XS2 if you can.

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I would definitely go with the ND5 XS2!! There’s a firmware update coming which will allow it to play Tidal high-res, the earlier ND5 cannot and will not get that firmware update… Not sure if the older model can use Tidal Connect but the ND5 XS2 does and works very well.

I have what must be one of the last ND5 XS ever made (I took delivery about two weeks before the ND5 XS2 was released). I switched from a wireless to a wired connection a couple of months ago and it plays hi-res (24/192) files from Tidal no problem (no dropouts) using mConnect or Bubble UPnP as the controller. It can’t play hi-res files wirelessly. I know other owners of first gen streamers have not had the same luck. Of course, it’s never going to get Tidal Connect. If you already own a ND5 XS - give it a go. If not, save a bit more and go for the XS2.

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Info from @ChrisSU is that the legacy streamers will stream CD quality 16/44.1 files from Tidal, or anywhere, with no problems. It’s only if you try to stream higher res files that signal drops arise because of the smaller buffer in the legacy units. I have an NDS, and this is also my experience.

When I had an NDX it was generally reliable with Tidal 16/44.1, although in the early days this forum was awash with complaints about dropouts. Naim spent a lot of time and effort modifying the firmware and talking to Tidal and gradually improved reliability, but I think it’s fair to say that lossless Tidal is still only just within the limits of what a 1st gen. streamer can handle.

Someone (I don’t recall who) then came up with the idea that BubbleUPnP server was an effective workaround to improve reliability. As an added bonus, it also seemed to sound better, and although I prefer the UI of the Naim app, I did use Bubble for some time.

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I think you’re right, Chris, about the 16/44.1 files being at the brink of what the first gens can handle. Maybe its because my NDS is a 2017, one of the last ones made, that I wasn’t getting any dropouts at all from the 16/44.1 streams, while others still were. I don’t know.

Its funny, beause the NDS was sold as a unit that would handle 24/192 files, but I can’t remember if they specified that it would stream them from the internet or just from locally stored files. Will the legacy units play 24/192 locally? IIRC, I believe I have downloaded hi-res files and the NDS has played them from my Synology NAS and my computer. Maybe when its playing these, its not using the streaming boards and buffer … just the Dac?

I’ve said it on the other threads: no issues streaming 24/96 Tidal Max using mconnect to my first gen Mu-So.

Thanks folks. I’ve got the opportunity to go for an ND5XS for my office system. To be honest, it generally just plays Radio Paradise for 95% of the time. I’m sure it’s going to be fine for my needs here. The screen is good, but once set up I’ll be turning that off pretty much permanently.

I find the lossless FLAC streams from Radio Paradise sound quite a lot better than the regular streams. To access them, you would need an ND5XS2, or try this workaround if you haven’t already:

I don’t think the age of your NDS would affect this. All 1st gen streamers (except for a few of the very earliest NDX and Unitis) use the same streaming board.
Tidal will be using various servers dotted around the globe, and the route from there to your streamer could be very long or not, depending on physical distance, and on the number of hops it has to make via your ISP before you get it. Different albums or tracks may come from different servers in very different locations too. So I think whether or not this affects you is largely down to luck.

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That work-around sounds beyond my capabilities!

Streaming the FLAC version of RP would be an absolute necessity, so this might be the killer.