NDX, nDAC, XPS Upgrade

My current system includes an NDX > DC1 > nDAC (XPS non-DR).

The rest of my system is a NAP 200 (PowerLine) and a NAC 202 (NAPSC, HiCap DR) and a HiLine interconnect.

My source is Tidal HiFi controlled by a Roon Nucleus.

I also have a Cisco Catalyst 2960 ethernet switch and a Chord Epic streaming cable.

I would like to upgrade my streamer. Should I…

(a) sell NDX, nDAC, XPS, DC1 and buy NDX 2?

(b) keep the XPS and sell the NDX, nDAC, DC1 and buy NDX 2?

© keep the nDAC, XPS, DC1 and sell the NDX and buy ND5 XS 2?

I would like to upgrade for two reasons: sound quality and Roon integration.

I am not worried about box count or the streamer having a display.

My Naim dealer does not stock both the ND5 XS 2 and the NDX 2, so auditions are not possible.

My speakers are Graham Audio LS5/9 BBC Monitors.

My first thought is the Powerline should be on the Hicap. :blush:

i would keep the xps and buy second hand nds. Cheaper and better than new ndx2. Personnaly, of course.

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frenchrooster, thank you for your suggestion.

Sadly, the NDS is not a Roon endpoint.

My only source is Tidal HiFi controlled by Roon.

I am using a UPnP Bridge with my NDX, but this is only a temporary solution.

so option 2 would be nice too

I’d DR the XPS and find a 282 to be honest. There’s more to be had from that source in my opinion.

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feeling zen advice is perhaps the best finally. It would be the best first upgrade. Ndx/ ndac vs ndx2 is probably not night and day.

Guinnless, thank you for your suggestion regarding the HiLine.

I moved it from the NAP 200 (non-DR) to the HiCap DR, and, in my room, with the type of music I listen to, it added too much presence in the midrange for my liking.

Since I had the HiLine unplugged, I thought I would try it on the XPS (non-DR) connected to my nDAC. Wow! I really like what I am hearing. The HiLine on the XPS offers even more depth and insight into the music, and it offers more air around instruments.

Thanks again for replying to my post.

If you are satisfied with the sound quality of your system and you are looking for a transport that can act as a Roon endpoint, as a first step I would replace the NDX with a DigiOne Signature.

This would give you (among others) a high quality Roon endpoint with a S/PDIF BNC output that you can directly connect to the nDAC via DC-1.

Currently pre-amp is your limiting factor.

NDX into nDAC is a very, very capable source. With a power supply on nDAC it is even better.

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I agree with the NDAC/xps2 being very capable. The area I would focus on is the streamer. The NDX and NDS are capable but quite long in the tooth now and very much surpassed by their next generation streamers … in fact the NDX and NDS sound and feel crude in comparison… no doubt it’s all that electrical noise which Naim have largely tamed in their redesigns and was holding back the first gen products.
So I would be tempted to get a ND5XS2… state of the art Naim transport with many of their latest developments, Roon end point… no display and a price that is attractive.
Analogue output wise it’s top notch too, but different from the NDAC/XPS2… so you can still retain that as an option driven by the ND5XS2… and if you prefer the streamer sound you can then later sell the NDAC and possibly XPS2 as the ND5XS2 is optimised to and can only work from a single PSU, it’s own… so you have options… and possibly the funds to upgrade to a used 282 driven by that HiCapDR.

Your music enjoyment should take a big step forward, I can’t over state how much better the new streamers are compared to the old in terms of versatility, refinement and audio performance.

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Simon-in-Suffolk, thank you so much for your insightful thoughts.

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