May I ask how big your living room is?
I am contemplating to pair the A7’s with my XS3 with either the ND5XS2 or Allo Sig. Player + Shanti into a NDAC.
Mine is about 5m by 10 m long. My living room is open 5x4 meter while the open kitchen and dining area is another 6 x 5 m. I am not firing down the length but down the width. As in screenshot.
May I ask how big your living room is?
Is you happen to read the opening post carefully, you will find that Shanti was explicitly mentioned as PSU…
By the way, your pricing of the ND5XS2 is wrong too…
All fair points indeed.
But I want to dive deeper into the sound quality vs. the price.
A second hand nDac + new Shanti + Allo Sig player is possibly around 16-1800 Euro.
A second hand ND5XS2 (without the nDac to be specific) would probably run around 1800-2000 Euro. Let’s not correct each other over the few extra euro’s that I might be off.
I care about which one will give me the best sound.
Your room is larger than mine which is 6m x 7m
I think another question to the OP is “how comfortable are you with playing with RPi configurations, writing software images to SD cards, etc?”
If you went down the RPi route have you thought which OS/App you would use?
My intention is to try out Roon as I really liked it when I used it at the dealer recently. Especially for discovering new music.
I haven’t compared these two — so I cannot offer first-hand experience, but I have followed this Forum and PinkFish for a while. Without hesitation I would put my money on the NDac/Allo combo.
Allo is widely seen as offering excellent transports — not only excellent value for money. Personally I am using an Allo USBridge Sig into a Chord Hugo 2. The NDac was Naim’s upgrade for the NDX! The ND5XS2 is certainly a fine product, but when the new streamers were introduced I was not under the impression that the ND5XS2 outperformed the NDX — let alone the NDac.
Exactly, lots don’t want to bother with that and there is nothing wrong about just plonking down a nice Naim streamer and getting on with the music.
I’m totally into playing with Linux and like that sort of thing. Reminds me of another time, another place, as a former Unix support guy.
I don’t know much about Roon but I think you would need a separate server somewhere in your network (think they call it “The Core”), and your Allo would then be an end point.
Maybe start a new thread for Roon related…
My reason for asking about your comfort level with RPI is my assumption that you have been looking at the pre-built Allo Signature Player.
If you are comfortable with RPi, and wish to go the Allo route, I would suggest that you should look at the USBridgeSig+DigiOneSig+case+Shanti solution, at around 800 euros. Add a DC1 cable and an nDAC+XPS, and you will have a very fine source.
If you go the Allo Digione Signature route then ask Allo to provide an SD card with Ropieee pre-installed. It’ll just work, no messing about, and it will update itself with new software updates as they become available. My Roon Ropieee end-points are solid, reliable and about as close to maintenance free as it gets.
Well the allo digione doesn’t have the expensive aluminium anodized casing of the Naim
The linear PSU isn’t quite the same as those Naim uses.
The allo uses open source software. Naim has to pay for the software which also has google chrome cast capability, and is natively tidal and Qobuz capable
Last but not least allo isn’t sold by a dealer network
Add in cost of Roon and a roon server the allo and it doesn’t seem so economical as compared to the nd5xs2
I have not done any direct comparison between my Allo DigiOne Signature (powered by UpTone Audio JS-2 [Rpi] and LPS-1 [clean]) and a ND5XS2 as transports for the nDAC.
But I have compared the DigiOne Signature to a Sonore ultraRendu (also powered by the JS-2) + MC-3+ Smart Clock USB (the ultraRendu has only USB outputs): I could hear some differences but could not say which one sounded better.
Unless the ND5XS2 is a very significant step-up against the old ND5XS, I would expect the DigiOne Signature + nDAC combo to sound better than the ND5XS2. Price-wise they are quite similar.
As an alternative to the DigiOne Signature + Shanti you could also consider the Meridian 210, see the “Meridian 210” thread in this forum.
You have the Allo I guess…
Even if I value more the Nd5xs2 transport, I have tested some combos with the Ndac and I am aware that its much better vs the Nd5xs2 inside dac.
So it’s not impossible that Allo signature / linear ps with the Ndac is on the same level as Nd5xs2.
However if you want to have Naim sound signature, it’s probably better to have an all Naim source, transport and dac from Naim.
Visually they are a match as well. I’m biased on this naturally.
Many users of Naim DACs and streamers do not seem to believe that non-Naim sources and transports from Allo, Melco, InnuOS, etc. have a negative impact on the sound signature of their Naim components. Quite the opposite, in fact!
The obvious advantage of the ND5XS2 against the Allo as a transport is that the former is a one box solution and a better aesthetical match for the nDAC.
But the OP is not asking for a comparison between the ND5XS2 and the DigiOne Signature as transports for the nDAC.
His interest is in comparing the ND5XS2 alone (as an integrated transport + DAC) to the DigiOne Signature + nDAC combination.
Personally, I don’t think that Allo products are runner-ups in any Hifi beauty pageant… However, aesthetically, small has a certain appeal in my book. For instance, an Allo streamer could share a shelf with a Hicap, or it could be easily hidden in a media unit. Obviously, if one is into the beauty of “black towers” an extra shelf level with an ND5XS2 might appeal…
Just my two pence, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder…
Absolutely. My Digione+USBridge Signature is tucked away out of sight and connected to my nDAC by a 1.5m Gotham BNC to BNC digital interconnect. Just three slimline boxes on display: nDAC, NAIT XS, Flatcap XS. No issues with non-matching components or additional boxes to house and display
I suppose it depends upon whether one considers the “Naim sound” to derive primarily from the digital bit stream, or from the conversion of said digital bit stream into a wiggly waveform.
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