Hi mates,

My system : CDX2(without digital)/XPS/likely 282/300/ ProAc D20R

Just got rid of my Nac n272 & schedule to pick 282/hicap + streamer.

I have an offer of €1750 for a demo piece ND5XS2 or second hand NDS 2016 at £1800

If I am only stick to Tidal and prefer Roon/MQA (expecting a better streaming/ decoding quality hassle free) should I give up Dac quality ie. NDS ?

Pleased to hear

The general consensus is that the NDS and NDX2 are not too far apart in sound quality, so with that in mind I think most would agree that from a pure sound quality point of view the NDS would be a better option than an ND5XS2 and a more natural fit with your 282/300.

However, only you can decide if you need the extra features that the new streaming platform brings on the ND5XS2.


If you add an MScaler / Qutest to the ND5XS2 its a different story, this to me is probably the best digital playback I have heard.


Yes that is what that I’ve learned, however love to try with chromecast, Roon, MQA that’s the question

If merely use Roon for decode hi-res music then we count on DAC quality or decode (source) ?

Hope you are with me as I am a freshman from greenfield !

Oh boy, the upscaler cost another £3400 mate !

NDS is considered a better category, in terms of the quality of its DAC compared to the 5XS2.
If you intend to stream media on your home network, based on your CD library, then you will definitely get better value for your money from NDS.
However, as you wrote you want to focus on streaming media from TIDAL / QOBUZ, hence the new generation of NAIM media streamers will be better suited for this purpose.
You can also apply for a quality and reasonable solution in terms of financial expenditure on the subject:
Purchasing the 5 XS2 and finding second hand NDAC in good condition plus second hand XPS2 p.s after service.
Together with the DC1 cable, this combination will satisfy you.


If that is not a typo £1800 for an NDS is an absolute bargain. Don’t forget though that you will need an external power supply for it. As a minimum an XP5XS, but more realistically an XPS-2, XPSDR or 555 (with or without DR) which will bump the price up considerably, but then you are buying a streamer in a different league.

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I’ll stick to my CDs. Streaming comparatively a cheaper exercise & one could surf for a wider range of music at a cheaper cost 24/7.
Still prefer something simple & one piece !
Thanks for the adv

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No joking at all
That’s why ! & the good thing is I have a XPS 2003 to power my CDX2 that could pair with NDS as well

Awful chouce

I don’t think an olive XPS will power an NDS unfortunately. One of the supply rails doesn’t have enough current capacity. There is a minimum serial number In the XPS line that you will need but I think it coincided with the introduction of the XPS 2

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Oh that’s the headache
Forgot this point !
Mine 192xxx

You’re in luck. I just checked the NDS use manual, it says

Important: XPS power supplies with serial numbers below 188015 are not compatible with the NDS and should not be used. Contact your local retailer or distributor for more information.


There’s a school of thought that argues that the main factor driving the quality of stream music is the DAC and that the network transport/bridge element is less of a critical factor. If you want to use the NDS and still make use of services such as Roon perhaps you could make use of a pure network bridge device which is supported by Roon such as a hifiberry to feed into the NDS (looks to have digital inputs) ??


I agree with most of what is said here. Whatever is most important to you is ultimately what matters, but I can tell you a quality outboard DAC with the ND5 XS2 brings it to the level being compared/discussed here, but it seems functionality is another important factor to you. If, however, streaming from services as has been said is the top goal here, then it becomes simple, IME. I have a Chord Qutest (with a LPS) and ND5 XS2 combo, and it is simply stunning what it achieves (even without the MScaler, which…oh, someday…).


Yep, I‘m thinking of that direction as well.
Although I am a bit old school, still happy to play 24 bit SACD than normal one.
Anyway, Streaming is a differnt animal and technology govern. Will pursue the Nd5xs2 route and Chord Quest will then be my next step !

Cheers everyone
Nice weekend.

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You mean Ndx2 and Nds not far from each other, but the Nds is still better. The Nd5xs2 is not at that level, in any way.

I cannot imagine you’d be disappointed with this pairing within the context of the discussion. I marvel at the sound capability these two achieve. I also am with you on the 24-bit SACD over regular comment; that’s where Qobuz comes in handy should you go that route for services. Lots of Hi-Res options there for you, and more come in every day.

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Yes, the NDX2 and NDS are not that far away from each other which is one of the reasons that Naim discontinued the NDS line. Hence it goes without saying that the NDS would sound better than ND5XS2.

ps. I do agree that when I’ve heard them the NDS sounded superior to the NDX2 but the gap wasn’t massive.



But I count on streaming efficiency at this stage and realise ND5XS2 no room for upgrade !

Counting on my impulse purchase mode, guess I will move to NDX2 by then - as long as my job remain secured… finger crossed

Cheers !

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You can’t upgrade the power supply, but you can upgrade the DAC, which is another traditional Naim source upgrade option that has been popular with many streamer owners. No use for your XPS, though, which I guess would be spare if you’re not going to keep your CD player.