nDac to a NDX an upgrade or a lateral move

Hello Everyone,
This is my first post here. I have recently started my journey into the world of Naim HI-FI.
I acquired a supernait 2 with a Hi Cap DR from the original owner and a used nDac from my local naim dealer. I have been using this set up for about 2 months and am still getting the feel of what it can do. I also switched speakers and have spent most of that time trying to get them dialed in just right. Recently my dealer called and said he had a trade in NDX w/ an xp5 xs that I could get for a reasonable price. My Question is given the older streaming technology is this a worth wild upgrade ? Would getting a xps2 or something similar be money better spent ?

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Hi, the NDAC is one of the potential upgrade paths for the NDX, so I would think carefully before you get rid of it. Putting an XPS or 555PS is a good further upgrade for the NDAC. It also benefits from a good digital transport to feed it, and an NDX or ND5XS via its SPDIF output is a good option here. These are old streaming products though, and they lack many of the features that the Mk2 models have, so again, think carefully about whether they will satisfy your long term needs.

As a general note I’m often not really sure when a thread is best suited to Hi-Fi Corner or to Streaming Audio, since the Streamers are also Hi-Fi gear, and DACs are usually added to streamers by now, which are different tech from CD and analogue, and so on.

ps: and welcome to the forum Milspec1 !

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Thanks for the input. That is what I figured. I will keep a look out for an xps to pair with the ndac.

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Good choice! An even better choice would be a 555PS if you can find one at a reasonable price. Older non-DR versions of either will be fine with the NDAC. Just steer clear of very old XPS from before 2003 which is not compatible. Also budget for a recap on any older PSU.

There are no incompatible XPS PSUs for the nDAC.
Olive XPSs must not be used on streamers.

Well spotted, I meant to say that this would apply if using it with an NDX although I think we have talked him out of that now!
It’s not only the Olive XPS that you can’t use with a streamer. Some of the early Classic models are also incompatible. You need to check the serial number to be sure.

I believe all classic XPSs are compatible.

Please note: only new classic series XPS units are compatible with the NDX network player, not ‘Olive’ versions. The old ‘Olive’ XPS is still compatible with CDX and CDS model CD players, the HDX hard disk player and the DAC digital to analogue converter however. Please consult your Naim Audio retailer if you are unsure of compatibility.

The advice from Naim is that an XPS with a serial number below 188015 cannot be used. Don’t ask me why, but apparently did not exactly match the cgange from Olive to Classic casing.

From NeilS

This issue has puzzled me too, so I got some clarification on the subject today.
The problem is that when the original (olive) XPS was conceived, the current draw on one of the 15V rails was minimal when used with a CD player, so the Supercap transformer could be used. Even though the particular windings were outputting over twice the regulated output voltage.
When a more significant load is placed on that regulator (a streaming unit), it gets hot. So hot that it will reach the threshold whereupon it will shut down.
This is why an XP5XS with a smaller transformer is perfectly happy powering a streaming unit, as its windings have a lower output voltage.

Hope that makes sense.
Neil.

Edit: Probably should add that the XPS-2 has a dedicated transformer, not a SC.

Going back to the main question, it should be noted that there are a few people on both this and most on the old forum site who preferred a NDX/XPSdr to a NDX/nDAC. Just bringing up old remembered comments, a few felt the NDX/XPSdr was, if less detailed, smother and more natural sounding than the NDX/nDAC (with or without a power supply).

I need to be clear, that view appeared to be in the minority but it certainly existed. As such, I would suggest that if at all possible (and it might not be) to compare before committing to anything. An NDX/XPSdr fed with a rock solid wired local streaming NAS is a really good source. Especially now they can be had second hand for not much.

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Thanks guys for the info on XPS . I think that I will look at doing a more modern streamer like the innuos and adding power supply if I can find one at a reasonable price. After playing the Supernait with and without the hi cap I can definitely hear an improvement in sound quality

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