NDS or NDX2 ? Dilemme

Hello everyone.

That’s my problem. I have been experimenting with dematerialization for 3 years and I am very satisfied. I started small and very simple to “tame” the thing being a non-geek and not wanting “headaches” during use and installation.

I currently have a BS Vault 2 with NDac/XPS. I am very satisfied with it. I optimized the network with an Uptone Etheregen + Paul Hynes psu + external clock, but also good quality RJ45s.

But, I want to evolve and I think it is possible to go further in the SQ…

I was recently able to test a Qute at home, then an NDX as a streamer on my NDac/XPS, no photo, it goes further in all areas. But for its price the BS is an excellent streamer coupled with the dac. I could have gone on like this for a long time…

After this experience, I want to change streamer. So I hesitate between an NDS, and used NDX2. The NDS is certainly exceptional but the fact of not being able to exploit it to the max with a 555 PS, that Qobuz is not native on the app puts me off.
While the NDX2 is certainly different, a notch below, but where everything is integrated. I was thinking of coupling it to the NDac.
I really like the Naim Dac for its PRaT, and its very analog character. The NDX2 /NDac/XPS should be very similar to the NDS due to the use of the same D/A chips for the digital conversion circuits. What do you think ?

Otherwise do you think that an ND5 XS (1 or 2) as a streamer can reach the same level of quality since I will only use the streaming part? Or is there a gap at the SQ level compared to a bare ndx2?

Complicated huh?

If you could help me in my thinking.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

To me the obvious choice would be an ND5XS2 if you keep the NDAC. NDS/XPS may be on a very similar level in terms of sound quality and it’s one less box but it’s also old tech, may need expensive servicing, and lacks native support for some services.


I’d take ChrisSU’s advice here. Hell technically I did… :grin: Speaking from experience with this setup, it’s fantastic.

1 Like

Yep, go with what Chris says IMO, and I have an NDS …

1 Like

For sound quality I used to have ndx into ndac/555 which sounded great. I then tried nds/555 and it was a massive step up in sound quality. Therefore I kept the nds and have been very happy with it for the past 8 years. They are also very good value now and can usually be bought for around £2500/£3000.


If you upgrading I would not chose a device that’s already 5 years superceded. Get one using the latest streaming technology as you will get a longer life with it and it supports way more services.


The NDS deserves really a 555 dr. So +1 here to recommend Nd5xs2, as you have already the Ndac/ XPS. Eventually service the XPS if it has more than 10 years.


I found you liked the NDAC/555PS then tread carefully with moving to the NDS/555PS… although ultimately similar SQ, the character difference between the two is quite marked. The NDS gives the impression of providing slightly more detail given its better electrical and mechanical decoupling… but the NDAC to me gives the impression of being organic or ‘analogue’ … horses for courses. I owned or used both… and I did prefer the NDAC/555PS mostly.

As far as the NDS as a streamer, then as said above, it’s old technology now with respect to Naim, and things are significantly improved in terms of consistency, improved service interoperability, more versatile and reliable with the new streamers of whatever level, compared to the Naim first gen streamers.

So as far as a transport feeding a DAC… you need to ask yourself what you want from a transport. If you don’t mind being tethered to an iPad or similar or control and visual feedback/status then the ND5XS2 is a good choice. If you want distance yourself from that paraphernalia and rely on the transport directly for control, like I do, then the NDX2 with its superior control electronics and seperate remote control and visual cue and feedback over the ND5XS2 makes a great choice. They both offer reasonably similar ‘quality’ of digital signal output via the SPDIF.


If someone like me uses only online streaming, I doubt that Nds is old technology. A lot prefer it to Ndx2/ 555 dr for online streaming.
But of course, as you said, for streaming services like Tidal or Qobuz and other functionalities, the Nds is old technology. In my system, Innuos switch and Melco server, I find the Nds very propulsive and organic sounding.

But as I said, for the OP, the Nd5xs2 is a better choice.

1 Like

Thank you all for your feedback and advice.:wink:

I really like the organic and fluid side of the Ndac, and if, as you say, the NDS, as excellent as it is, plays more on the “hifi” side than the emotional side (so to speak), then my choice will be simplified.:+1:

On the one hand, to fully exploit it, I would need a 555PS, difficult to find, especially in France, and moreover its application where Qobuz is not native, and that it is necessary to pass by a third application like upnp, mconnect etc… I’m put off.

I am left with the choice of Nd5xs 2 or NDX2.

Although one of them has a colour screen and a remote control to control it (it’s still nice the visual feedback) what do you think justifies the price difference between the two? It’s not just the screen!

If you look closely at the internal design of the circuits, they are not the same. Whether it’s the streaming part or the power supply.

So I think that technically, as well as musically, the NDX2 must be superior to the Nd5xs, even if it is only used as a streamer. Reality or just a mindset?
Maybe the gap is not so big between the two, if you don’t use the digital conversion part!
That is my question.

In any case, the idea of being able to make an important qualitative leap, to take advantage of a high level source approaching the NDS, of an improved ergonomics of use (the idea of leaving soon the excellent BluOS hurts me). I’m looking forward to it…:crazy_face:

If you search the forum for NDX2 or ND5XS2 with nDAC you will find a few who have compared these options. In any event, the ND5 as a transport into your nDAC/XPS DR should be very good if you don’t need the screen or remote and is a visual match with the nDAC. The NDX2 with the nDAC may be a bit off a duplication. As you like the sound of the nDAC, just adding the cheaper option may be best?


I have a NDX and XPSDR . I recently bought an NDAC and added the XPSDR to it using the NDX as a transport . I wasn’t that impressed . It took away a lot of detail and the bass sounded really overblown. I thought it made my hi fi sound like an expensive midi system. This is all subjective of course. A lot of folk on here clearly love the nDAC but I’m not one of them. I have a ndx2 on order and will be selling the nDAC and NDX to help fund the purchase.

Did you prefer the NDX/XPS to the NDX - nDAC/XPS?

Have you tried reverting to the former?

Both of them (and the ND555) use the NP800 streaming board.

So digital out the signal will be very similar (as SiS mentioned above).

You can’t use an external psu on the ND5XS2 - but you don’t really need to.

(The only bad thing about the ND5XS2 as a digital source is its name, which sounds like the password of a nerd from the IT dept).

1 Like

Yes, I much prefer the NDX/XPSDR which is what I’m currently running. The power supply is a substantial upgrade for the NDX, I think it was wasted on the NDAC.

When using a NDX or in my case an ND5XS it’s best to turn off the analogue output, also ensure that the digital output is set to ‘native’ and use a good quality 75 Ohm BNC digital cable.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.