NDX 2 - leave powered up or standby?

ok thanks, good to hear

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Ha ha, speaking for myself, i certainly do not wear a marketing hat! If I did then I suspect that I would be proclaiming the benefits of the ND555 plus power supply for £20k! I am sure that there would be a performance boost with the 500 series gear. In reality could I appreciate the difference and warrant a small mortgage to pay for it? No way.

Back to the point about the NDX 2 improvements compared to the ND5 XS 2, the NDX 2 is appreciably better in the SQ stakes than the ND5 XS 2. This does not mean that the XS is an ‘inferior’ product to the NDX just that it sounds a little different. I choose the word different because not everyone may see it as an appreciable improvement, after all everything is subjective and the majority of people cannot afford to buy on SQ alone. If this were the case then the 500 series or even statement range would be the only items offered by Naim on a sort of ‘here is the best - buy it or don’t buy it’ basis.

Thankfully, they offer a range of products that give an element of their ‘signature’ sound at varying price points and complexity. Remember, not all of us want complex multi box solutions with lots of cabling. Some want all in one units, others a maximum of boxes, complexity and cost plus everything in between.

My own personal experience using my own ears, equipment and music determined that the NDX 2 sounded better. I will point out that I am in no way trained or have a ‘musical ear’ (I am not a musician) but use my Oppo 105 music playback as a reference (I did not do a direct comparison between the ND5 XS 2 and NDX 2 in my system). The ND5 XS 2 gave me slightly better performance than my Oppo when used with my Nait XS 2.

When I changed for the NDX 2 and SN2 I did so as a combination and this pairing sounds a lot better in my opinion than the ND5 XS 2 and Nait XS 2 pairing so I am very pleased with the result. Is it a night and day difference? Of course not. If it was then that would point to there perhaps being problems with my first pairing. No, the sound is appreciably more controlled and I notice improvements in timbre of some instruments plus musical elements sounding a more ‘real’, but not massively so.

I am trying not to concern myself with which of the NDX 2 or SN2 is giving me the greater performance boost - I am just happy with the result. After all I do not listen to either of them separately.

That said, I could not resist playing music through the Oppo again and found that the sound was also more controlled. This is conclusively down to the SN2 as the NDX 2 is obviously not part of this process. When I play the same tracks through the NDX 2 I notice the improvements to timbre and realism. My own conclusions are therefore that each of my current pairing does indeed add improvements to the SQ individually and I am very happy with the performance.

I was never dissatisfied with my first pairing and if I was not in the fortunate position to be able to upgrade to the second pairing, I would be none the wiser. However, having used the new pairing in my own environment I am very glad that I made the move.

Just to speak non-Naim for a moment, I am still amazed at how good my old Oppo 105 performs - great value for money.

In summary, I would recommend either of my Naim pairings but would always be in favour of the NDX 2 and SN2.


Have to agree David, and then the addition of an xpsdr or 555ps, takes up a further level. A great piece of kit.


If it bothers you, just ensure either server mode is on or you set standby to never.

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Thanks Obsydian, it doesn’t bother me at all, I am just canvassing opinion before deciding what to do in a month or so once it has run in.

I do have it in server mode anyhow but am still able to select standby in the app. Yes of course if I decide to keep it on permanently I would set sleep to never.

Ahh run in, i’d leave it on and speed up the process.

Hmm actually server mode i am not 100%, i thought it stay on.

With the standby set to never in the Naim app, then just the display dims (that was prior to the new display off).

Simon mentioned what i recall Naim saying key circuitry is keep cooking in standby.

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Thank you for the update Obsydian. I use the display off all the time as it is not required. It does appear that due to key circuitry being kept active even during standby means that standby should not have a detrimental effect on SQ.

Yes I will certainly leave it on for the next month or so but thereafter it is good to know that either option will be OK.

I have always left amplifiers on regardless of which manufacturer but have never been too fussy about source equipment. I am just being cautious and asking questions for this device because it is a massive outlay and investment for me!

If you have server mode enabled, when you put it in ‘network standby’ mode, the main transformer remains powered up in order to ensure that the server is discoverable to other devices on your network. You’ll probably be able to hear some transformer hum. Turn off server mode, and only the standby smps runs, allowing you to wake the streamer with the app.

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Many thanks @ChrisSU, excellent explanation. Even when I put it in standby mode I can still wake it with the app - I think. Damn, I will have to check it when I get home!

Unless you put it into deep sleep mode when only the power button on the unit will wake it.

I would never trust leaving my stuff powered on all the time. Thunderstorms, people crashing into utility poles, high winds causing branches to dance on the power lines, power company changing the meter without warning.

All these things have happened to me in the last couple of months. Those spikes on the power are scary even with power protection devices. No thanks. I’ll just power my stuff up 30 minutes ahead of time.

You’re only really safe from that if you not only power off, but also unplug everything from the wall. For me life is too short and I don’t worry about it. That’s what home insurance is for.

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Thanks @Crispy, I didn’t know this.

Yes indeed, everything gets unplugged from the wall.

I had a lightning strike about 15 years ago that destroyed everything. Don’t forget you still have a deductible to pay. The worst part was the disruption until everything got replaced. It took months. Not worth it. I also have vintage gear that is irreplaceable. Life is too short to live without it.

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Now in my 4th week of ownership and although it is on almost 24 hours a day at the moment I have decided to permanently leave it on. Not a scientific decision but a very convenient one!

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