Been listening to the NDS/XPS2 now for the last two weeks. 2-3hrs each night. It has not disappointed. I thought I would be writing a comparison with my NDX but I’m not. It’s a completely different beast. To try and described what it does better in terms of individual elements of the sound would be doing both an injustice.
I’ve had the NDX that the NDS is replacing for about 18months and in that time I’ve listened to more new music than over the last 12 years of vinyl. I was totally comfortable with it and would still be happy to live with it. The XPS2 gave a noticeable uplift in detail but would not for me be an end in its own right.
The NDS presents music differently. Every layer of the mix is distinct yet comes together as a coherent performance. Bass is awesome but totally under control. The soundstage is wider, higher and deeper. Voices are more real, you can hear every breath around vocals. Guitar chords can have an attack almost as intense as more percussive events like drums and reverb effects continue into the inky blackness seemingly never to end. The fact is that many familiar tracks can sound like you are listening to a different track.
I’m no hifi reviewer so I will spare you from any more of my inadequate descriptions of the sound.
In summary, the NDX is for me most of what I’d need for simply listening to music. It’s up there with my LP12 but not quite. Closer when streaming the same master that was used to produce the vinyl. The NDS however is a quantum leap above it and is everything I hoped it would be and even a bit more. Im not even sure I was ready for what I heard and it took me a couple of nights to adjust. I would argue it’s a step ahead of the LP12 (my spec) and it has made me consider in future years whether I should take that to the next level as well or simply focus on digital. Not right now though.
Does the NDS need a 555PS? Many would argue you can’t get the best out of the NDS without one but I would say no because of the cost. I wouldn’t even consider one unless around half the current used cost. The XPS2 is more than up to the job of taking you into another world of streaming. You can read about DR vs Non-DR in other threads.
What it cost: NDS - £1850 (Inc. 6mth warranty from top NW dealer). XPS2 (NonDR) - £1200 (Serviced Jan by ClassA). If you knock off what I’ll get for the NDX this has got to be one of the best bargains you can get. Should you get one? Absolutely.
Now the caveats. The old platform lacks many features compared to the new. I’m not going to list them. For me they are almost exclusively “lifestyle” features or Quobuz. I stream from Spotify by choice. If there are any issues with this in the future I am prepared to purchase a Core and rip everything I want to listen to by buying cheap used CDs. This is worst case scenario. Let’s face it, even newer digital platforms will eventually become out of date and unsupported so it’s good to have a plan B for your investment.
Really happy right now and looking forward to my new Hifiracks podium reference to arrive in the new year. Have a happy Xmas and play nice with the other kids in this forum
Great summary which mirrors my experience when I changed from NDX/XPSDR to the NDS. It’s really now one of the bargains out there.
On the 555DR upgrade I would respectfully disagree! I made that change later on and the difference was easily as large as the original NDX to NDS.
Spend a bit of time ‘Roonifying’ the NDS with a bridge and the legacy aspects of the old platform are removed.
NDS owner here too with XPS2 and as you say it’s very good. I did try a 555PS and as trickydickie said I did find it a significant upgrade compared with the XPS2 but I decided to stick with XPS2 at the time which still gives you a great sound experience. The 555PS is significantly more expensive than a XPS2 and at the time I decided not to proceed. Personally I dont think the NDX2 is an improvement on the NDS although still a great streamer and I wont be going for a ND555 so if I buy a 555PS now then I’m sort of stuck (in a nice way) with the NDS…not sure that’s where I want to be though longer term so a few things to consider
The 555PS is definitely a future consideration. I’ve been watching the NDS prices creep down over the last year and will keep an eye on the 555. Let’s face it, I do need something to look for on eBay now
Mirrors my experience to but I never heard the NDX with an extra power supply and jumped all the way to NDS/555DR. The difference was substantial. I love what the NDS does. It’s just so right.
I wonder how NDX2/555PSDR is vs NDS/555PSDR. Seems like there is some magic in the NDS/555PSDR partnership that is hard to replace.
Would be interesting to find out and compare the difference in SQ to the difference in cost.
NDS/555PS DR - £6500 (Used)
NDX2/555PS DR - £8500 (Used)
NDX2/555PS DR - £14500 (New)
Welcome to the NDS Club.
Mine was an upgrade from a ND5XS/NP5XS, so a jump over the NDX, and probably a bigger step. However although there was a significant improvement to everything - timing, width, depth, attack, separation I was still using the NP5XS with the NDS. This was replaced with a 555DR again jumping over the XPS step. This blew the improvements out again, and the NDS came alive.
Next improvement was to be able use Roon with the NDS, keeping fantastic WAV based UPnP stream, but fronted with a great interface and support for any format, etc.
Next was to networking side, with an EtherREGEN and then improved power for the EtherREGEN - but I would rather do this, as the value return is greater than the jump to a ND555.
I keep saying, I would love to hear a NDS/555DR playing Roon with a UPnP bridge against a ND555/555DR playing Roon natively.
The Naim demonstrations I have attended, the ND555 wasn’t playing Roon but via UPnP from a UnitiCore and with twin 555DR PSUs.
Hi all, another fan of NDS here. I use a non naim PSU, a cheap one, still the sound that NDS delivers is amazing. I moved from ND5XS and I found the improvement incredible. I would say the sound is analogical, full, detailed. Moreover it is much faster than ND5XS that sometime was freezing.
One day I will also look for other PSU, but not this year as I already made too many changes.
To use all the amenities that streaming allows I kept my bluesound node ND5XS should have replaced 4 years ago: 500 € and reads everything, it automatically updates itself and as a pure reader of strange things is good. I connected it tho the NDS with a Naim DC1 cable and works great.
You should try to hear the NDS with the new Nordost QNET switch. I understand they sound amazing together playing Spotify.
Hi. I’m a!so using the T-power supplies while I save for a 555PS. You should really get the T-XPS Plus as well. The NDS really needs the analogue and digital sections powered separately. The 555PS powers both sides separately by itself. Makes a huge difference.
And yes, the NDS is an exce!!ent piece of kit.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if running an NDS with two XPSs was possible. Would it be better than a single 555PS? Doesn’t look to be an option though as far as I can see. With used equipment prices it would be a serious consideration.
My system is in a log cabin at the top of my garden. This is fed by a tp-link powerline hard wired to the back of my broadband router fed via the mains and hard wired to the back of the NDS. Would a network switch be relevant in my case?
in Naim NDS page is written that usage of 2 555PS is an upgrade, but quite expensive! which XPS are you using?
I’m using the XPS (Non DR).
someone prefer XPS non DR vs DR, did you ever try the difference?
I prefer the non DR.
More balanced sound in my system.
I think the non DR XPS better suits my Olive amps and it’s a few hundred quid cheaper. Not looked any further than that so far. If I had other Classic components I would most likely have gone DR.
No, twin XPSs not possible – I asked the same question here a few months ago.
I’m also looking at used 555PSs online: they seem to get snapped up pretty quick!
IMO the most cost effective upgrade for you would be to try out Qobuz through the NDS. Various options for doing this, including the MConnect app which requires no extra hardware.
Interesting. Might be worth a go on Quobuz in that case. MConnect Lite is free so as long as it supports HD I can try for 30days. I’ve tried Tidal but it didn’t blow me away and I immediately went back to Spotify.