NDS ground/earth setting with a Xerxes X

This is the first topic I’ve created and I know that grounding is a bit of an old chestnut, so I hope this is the right way of raising a variation on the subject.

Following @Richard.Dane 's recent post including the HiFi Critic reviews of the ND555, I read with interest the experience the reviewers had with the ground setting of the streamer. My NDS was set originally to chassis and I hadn’t really thought much more about it. I wondered after reading the article whether my turntable might also be providing a signal ground, even though I wasn’t hearing any sort of hum. I trawled various posts on the subject and couldn’t see any suggestions relating to the Xerxes as the other source. So I just tried setting it to floating anyway. The results were immediate and marked, and were similar to those that mentioned in the review, albeit with the alternate setting. A wider, deeper, airier sound stage, more detail and with a little more of an easy pace. So that’s how the setting has stayed since. I am very fond of the NDS and this feels like a bit of an upgrade!

I’d be interested to know if this is the result that others that either have a Roksan turntable or just understand the subject more than I do, would expect. I use a Vertere SG-1 motor drive psu for the Xerxes. The NDS and the Xerxes are the only sources that I have and they are plugged directly into my 52 preamp. I have no external phono stage. There is an earth cable as part of the arm cable which is attached to the earth screw on the 52. All of my naim equipment is powered using a Grahams Hydra cable and the Vertere psu is plugged into the other socket on a double wall socket. I have played the turntable since and I haven’t detected any adverse effects. Thanks

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I am also interested on this issue. I have my NDS set to chassis though I have other components connected to the 252. I have a second tube DAC, more forgiven than the NDS, just to listen Boleros from the '50s. The other thing I have connected is the AV receiver to drive the main speakers with the 300 amp. Thus, should I set the ground to floating in the NDS or keep on chassis?

As ever, the best thing is to listen and then decide which ways sounds best for you.


yep, that’s what I ended up doing and glad that I did!

Thanks for starting this post
It’s certainly something I will be looking at / listening for now with my NDS to determine the best setting

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Not having a NDS I can’t comment on the issue you raise but I do have a Xerxes with the Vertere PSU. Great TT combo.



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I was using an Ndac with my LP12/Armageddon and found that floating the earth gave a much more airy and balanced sound.

I usually find that earth issues with Naim kit tend to show up as a slight phasiness of the left and right channels that sounds unnatural to me. A lot of people can’t hear this or are just not sensitive to it but to me it’s as noticeable as when something is not horizontal or veticle. It just grates!

Thanks Geko, it’s good to know that there is someone else with just a turntable as the other source that prefers the floating setting, though I can’t say I detected the issues you mentioned. To me it sounded great set to chassis, it just sounds better set to floating!

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Thanks Lindsay, It is! The vertere psu is quite a recent/significant upgrade from the xps I had. I’m reacquainting myself with the turntable after it being c. 14 years in storage - young family and all of that. It sounds amazing, better than ever and as much as I like the NDS, once I put some vinyl on I rarely swap back in the same sitting (that’s another thread I think). Next is likely to be the SG-1 tonearm to replace my tabrizi!

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Boker. The SG tonearm is special but why not go for the SG TT?!

That’s probably where I’ll end up, in fact if all goes well that’s the plan. So far I’ve changed psu and the isoda arm cable for pulse-r, all on the advice of my dealer. I’m keeping the original pieces so that when I come to change the turntable I can pass the Xerxes on as complete unit. I’m enjoying each of the steps and I like to think I’m in no rush as it sounds so good already.

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Good plan. I think I’d find it hard to give up my Xerxes now!

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