NDS or NDX2


#1

Hi. Looking at where to go next, speakers were my first thought but due to the fact I’m building a new house and currently have the system in storage it’s probably best I sort them out when I have a room to put them in. :grin: However with all the reasonably priced preloved NDS’s around at the moment i’m tempted to snap one up… What are peoples thoughts on the NDS vs the NDX2? Allas I think the 555 is a step to far at the moment.

Current system:

NDX
XPS2
252
Super cap DR
300 DR
Fraim
B&W 805 sig
Nac a5
Standard cables

Thanks, Neil


#2

I have heard the NDX2 but not against NDS (have heard both in separate dems agains ND555) - I have an NDS (got 18 months ago) and long term hope to get ND555. If you think you would be happy stopping at NDX2 then that would be a rather nice place to be, I think. But if you are aiming longer term as nd555 then going via NDS is potentially a lower cost and more sensible route. Otherwise there’s no substitute for your ears telling you the answer!


#3

If the majority of your listening is via local UPnP, and you use the streamer audio outputs, then the NDS will give you more refinement…
The NDX2 is a major jump forward in terms of streaming capability, noise mitigation, Ethernet noise issues and robustness compared to the NDS and has a re engineered streaming engine… so things like Tidal work significantly better, supports AirPlay, Chromecast and Roon RAAT… it’s DAC is good but is in some ways surpassed by the NDS’s DAC… which is ultimately a more capable DAC and implementation.

So that is your choice… or you can as I do, use a none Naim DAC fed by the NDX2… all the benefits of Naim’s new advanced architecture and transport and noise mitigation with the benefit of the sound performance that you want… for me you see the ND555 didn’t offer me the performance I now prefer…


#4

I made the change just before Christmas from an NDX to NDS and couldn’t be more pleased.

I did this on advice from 2 dealers who felt that the NDS was ahead of the NDX2 in terms of sound quality.

You do need to balance this against the extra functionality of the NDX2 that may or may not appeal. I decided that sound quality was the main priority so went the NDS route. I also use an XPS DR.

The only other advice is if you proceed with an NDS find out if the screen has been replaced as they are prone to failure (the NDX too). I went for a model that was fresh back from service with a new display and warranty. You won’t need to look too far to find these, else I would look for a nearly new one as the display component has apparently changed so may not have the same issue.


#5

I listened to them both and the dealer and I were in total agreement that the NDS was streets ahead.


#6

I also tried them both back to back and preferred the NDS as so went home with it.
Both sound great but the NDS slightly warmer and full of detail. The NDX2 is also a great streamer and if you need the extra features it has over the NDS, its not a bad place to be, but for out right sound the NDS is only beaten by the ND555 and thats a whole new ball game and has the price tag to go with it.
I used my NDS for quite some time with an XPS and it was ok, but now have the 555ps and it has made a hig big difference and that is what you want to aim for really


#7

Hi Dunc. What was the huge difference you noticed when moving up to the 555?


#8

Interesting stuff, Simon! Thanks


#9

It just opened up much more with a much bigger sound stage than before, much more detail, fuller sounding, basically it uplifted the lot and before it i was more than happy with the xps that i had from my last naim streamer
The only downside was running in the 555ps but that has now sorted itself out and all is well
If you get a NDS your goal will be adding the 555ps as they are ment for each other


#10

Neil.H,

There is the issue that you have an XPS, and the NDS benefits from the dual Burndy 555PS.

Charlie


#11

Lots of interesting responses. I generally only listen through UPnP and for me sound quality takes precedence over the extra connectivity so the NDS looks better in that respect.

If I went that route I’d definitely want to add a 555ps at some point in the future so good point on checking it comes with two burndy’s, also I didn’t know about the screen issues so will find out about that too.

Interestingly I had a chat with a dealer yesterday to arrange an in store demo (unfortunately there’s no way to do a home demo anytime soon) and we got around to talking about speakers, I mentioned that the Kudos Titan 707s were on my listen to list and he said that he had an ex demo pair in store… :thinking:


#12

If you are considering a 555PSDR then I would listen to NDX2 with PSU if you haven’t done so already. There is a significant jump in SQ with the 555PSDR added. Another benefit with the NDX2 is Tidal works seamlessly with no dropouts, whereas I had issues with NDS not connecting when I trialled it. Also, I find the screens on the older streamers look very dated now. I’m loving the colour screen & artwork displayed on my NDX2 :relieved:


#13

Havent heard them side by side. Still, if its worth anything to anyone, I cannot remember my former NDS presenting music with such “presence” as NDX2 does.

S


#14

Stover, you sold your nds to buy the ndx2?


#15

I sold the NDS as a downgrade, purchased a 272. Had the 272 for about two years and purchased an NDX2 and a s/h 282/hc lately. I have no regrets :slight_smile:

S


#16

Having looked at a side by side comparison of NDS to NDX2:

I’ve laid out where they compare equally spec wise and where one is superior to the other. Subjectivities as to how they sound depend on the equipment paired with, cables, power and speakers and what you prefer, but there could be a feature which helps with how you will specifically use it that can tip the balance one way or the other.

Equal capability:
Digital Out (S/PDIF)
Ethernet 10/100 Support
External Antennas
SHARC DSPs

NDX 2 is superior:
Audio Inputs : More inputs and native support for Chromecast, Airplay, Spotify Connect, APTX HD, Roon, Airplay.
Network Support : WiFi support for 802.11 b/g/n and ac
Multiroom support for streaming
Audio File Support - WAV to 32 bit / 384kHz instead of 24bit / 192kHz and higher frequency support on FLAC, ALAC formats. Also DSD 128 support.
Support for higher quality PS upgrades (Such as 555 PS DR)
Improved Zigbee bi-directional remote control (new gen)
Over the air updates through device
LVDS Low noise network card (next gen NAIM network card)
Colour screen with Album artwork etc.

NDS is superior:
Burr Brown PCM1704 DAC (NDS) versus Burr Brown PCM1792A DAC in NDX2)
NDS also has all the brass sub chassis with steel-sprung floating suspension system in the same way that the ND555 has.


#17

The NDS also has all the brass sub chassis with steel-sprung floating suspension system in the same way that the ND555 has.


#18

Well, that`s great. They are both great players imo, I prefer the new design over the old though and others may think otherwise.
S


#19

Depends what you mean by equal capability… the SPDIF and Ethernet engines are quite different … although the connectors and physical interfaces are the same. You strangely had them as the same capability… they are not. The NDX2 is very much more advanced.
The NDS converter and its analogue filter, current to voltage converter and physical isolation are superior to the NDX2


#20

Hi Simon,
aye. Thanks for pointing that out and the more info you have on how a feature is implemented the better. In fairness, I was comparing the presence of a feature on one product versus the other not it’s implementation.