Hello to all.
I’m following up on a previous thread posted here about the replacement of my beloved streamer: the Bluesound Vault 2.
After some hesitations between replacing the nDac/xps by an NDS, or keeping it and adding a streamer like the NDX2 or an ND5XS2, I decided to do it.
After reading some threads and feedback from some people here, I noticed that there is very little, if any, difference between the ND5XS2 and NDX2 when used with the nDac (apart from the screen, the remote control).
And that this ND5XS2/nDac/XPS combo was on a par with the naked NDX2, not far from the ND555 but not far from the NDS either but differently.
I have indeed chosen to keep the nDac because I really like its very fluid and analog side, but also because it shares the same conversion chips as the NDS and ND555.
I wanted to keep this feature while changing streamer to go up a notch in quality and definition.
That’s why, a new ND5XS2 arrived at home since a week…
Happy ? Yes and no.
The first hours of operation were disastrous. The ND was really worse than the BS, and this with the same coaxial cable. I almost returned it after 3 days! After that, things got a bit better, everything got smoother. Nevertheless, the gap between the two streamers was still very small. Was the money spent worth it? Especially when I changed the coaxial (Vertère DFi) for the DC1, there the BS and the ND5XS2 were equal. Hard to admit. I gave myself a few days to think again…
The situation changed when (in my closet) I replaced the DC1 by another coaxial that I just put on sale: a black cat silverstar 75. Cable that never worked for me and for other people with a different demat system. It was just to see… Well, the ND5XS2 has taken over from the BS, and we enter another world ! More definition, more PRaT, more airiness, more fluidity, a veil is gone. Some tracks listened on Qobuz are almost “holographic”. And I weigh my words! We feel that this time, the ND5 has more amplitude, of aplomb, of body, of behaviour.
For the blow, I did well to keep this streamer! It brings a lot. It is not the day and the night either, but all is played on small details or nuances in more or less, which, once integrated in our listening make that we cannot return any more behind… (a bit like going from hicap to hicap DR if I can make a comparison).
Sorry for this long digression, but I give you my feelings about my first week with the ND5XS2.
Then comes the coaxial problem, and it is the crucial point I think that will allow me to live for a long time (for now) with the NDXS/nDac/XPS trio.
Which cable can you recommend for the streamer/Dac link ? I used the Vertere for a long time because with the BS it gave a lot of definition, refinement, aeration, but also PraT. The DC1 was more “brutal”, live, in your face, messy.
With the ND5XS2, the DC1 is better, but we still lose in refinement, aeration.
The blackcat is almost perfect for me, but it’s still a bit too dry (flesh on the bones).
I know that the nDac and the ND5 have very sensitive BNC outputs and that the use of RCA/BNC converters can degrade or strongly impact the rendering, because I want to use only this interface to exploit the nDac at best.
So which coaxial cable can you recommend according to your experiences?
I looked for a Nordost Silvershadow, but I can’t find it new or used. The belden seems to have good press as well as the Wireworld starlight, and Chord?
Your feedback will be useful for my choice.
Thank you for reading this to the end. And sorry for the possible translation mistakes, because considering the length of my post, it would have taken me a day to translate everything myself!
Greetings from France