NDX (original) with XPS-DR vs ND5 XS2

It will more than “suffice” enjoy

Discontinuing the nDAC was a logical step given that they were not offering any transport and that, after about 10 years of production, the demand for the nDAC was likely to be low.

The innovative bit in the second generation streamers is the streaming platform which I understand comes from StreamUnlimited. StreamUnlimited also supplies dCS and many other manufacturers, thus I am not sure that Naim are not actually following the herd in this area.

The innovation that is due now is a new DAC architecture. This might or might not profit, in terms of sound quality, from having the DAC and the streaming boards in separate units.

From the point of view of functionality, separating streaming and DAC concerns certainly make sense, as owners of the first generation of Naim streamers have learned the hard way.


Thanks for your thoughts here guys. @nbpf & @trickydickie. I’m probably a bit out of my depth here but it’s interesting discussing these things all the same. Everyday is a school day. :slightly_smiling_face:

For me personally - my biggest uplift came from adding the XPS DR to my NDX 2. Bigger than going from CD5si > ND5 XS 2 and from ND5 XS 2 > NDX 2.

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I’m running a bare NDX2, it begs the question of whether I would get a better bang for my buck spending €4500 on a DAC rather then on an XPSDR?

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Hi Hollow,

maybe you can discuss this with your dealer? Personally i wouldn’t Frankenstein your NDX 2, the DAC inside it is good enough. Maybe you can home demo a XPS DR? I think that a NDX 2 combined with the XPS DR is a formidable source component indeed, world class, way beyond our integrated SN3’s capabilities, even so it’s still sensational, even with the SN3 next in the link.

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I don’t think it’s quite that simple.

The NP800 card inside the new Naim streamers is unique to Naim, and it not the same one that DCS, Cambridge audio and Arcam are using.

As you well know, it’s also about implementing things like power supplies, and galvanic isolation…


Boy, do I agree here. Thanks guys. This is somewhat intimidating and enlightening at the same time.

This was always my conundrum as well until very recently. After having both available for my NDX, I felt the DAC for that particular legacy streamer benefitted the streamer more than the XPS-DR.

Sure, I know that the NP800 is not an off-the-shelf product and that Naim and StreamUnlimited have been closely collaborating in designing the card.

I m also aware of the importance of PSUs, having invested in the JS-2 and in the LPS-1.2.

It’s exactly because of the fact that putting together a good Ethernet to SPDIF transport is not so easy that Naim should have offered the NP800 in a pure transport.

This would have sent a positive signal to owners of nDAC and NDS, avoided significant losses of value in the second hand market and prevented users like @trickydickie to move outside of the Naim ecosystem.

Of course nDAC and NDS owners can upgrade to new protocols and technologies by buying an ND5XS2 and many have chosen to do so.

Still, I believe that nDAC and nDS users deserve something that is better suited to their needs and that Naim have failed to deliver, in this respect.


… “that could be used to empower Naim’s legacy gear (like my NDS, and the OPs NDX, and all the 272s out there).”

You must have read my post a little too quickly.
There’s a ton of slightly annoyed Naim customers out there whose digital products have been made obsolete. All the NDX’ers, and 272’ers could just add it to their unit. they love their 272’s.

Spot on!! I have exactly the same components as you, so a new-tech, streamer-only, is what we need.
And I’ve read so many quite annoyed NDX owmers, who purchased just before the NDX2 was released. Naim could win all these customers back, and anyone with the excellent nDac or 272, could add streaming to it.
Cheers. I hope they’re reading this!
Hey, I gotta go answer the phone … it might be them …

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I don’t understand. Why are are they obsolete?
Why is my CD5i from 2006 obsolete? or Sharp getto blaster from the eighties obsolete? Can you please explain?

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Please read @trickydickie 's post above. #29.
That was all that I meant, td just said it better.
I apologize for using the word ‘obsolete’.

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One thing i will say - most of it is in the PSU - in my experience.

There are some aspects in the new streamers that are the same as the original NDAC, such as the low pass reconstruction IIR filter using Analog Devices SHARC assembler… but some of the biggest advances with the new streamers has been better control and management of interference and digital noise which had ultimately had held back the performance of the NDS… and prompted the development of the ND555 streamer that subjectively was to sound at least as good as the CD555, which Naim felt the NDS didn’t achieve apparently.
The NP800 streaming front end module boards along with use of LVDS helped with some of this whilst improving network performance and interface limitations of the first generation streamers.
It’s telling to see the NP800 streaming modules are common across the current streamers, albeit the shielding and decoupling of them improves through the range.


please check the market, hi-end streamers aren’t cheap.

Look at the prices of Auralic G1, Moon Simaudio, and DCS network bridge

The auralic doesn’t even offer Chromecast, and only works with an Apple device. Unless you switch it to pure UPNP mode and use Bubble Upnp. Not something I want to pay 1900 GBP for.

I think you will find the ND5XS2 is fairly priced, and besides, the audio board switches off when the digital output is enabled

The only regret you may have is why you invested so heavily in the streaming solution you are using, as I find the Nd5XS2 so much better in all aspects.


For instance they can’t have Qobuz. And the new platform is better as streaming platform, because an Nd5xs2 is at the level of the Ndx now.
However obsolete is perhaps not appropriate ( just perhaps for Qobuz ).


This is where I originally came from in thinking as well; it’s what made me start looking into the new streamers. Initially attempting to ‘get’ Qobuz on the NDX was a real drag for me. I really enjoy Tidal, but feel after all of the sifting through comparisons, I get the sneaky suspicion I would enjoy the SQ better with the Qobuz offerings. As I read it, there’s, of course, trade-offs, but lesser of two evils and all…

I have a NDX 2 and do not use Qobuz - it’s too limited. :thinking:


I know the streamer market and I agree that the ND5XS2 is well priced. I do not regret having bought the JS-2, it’s very well built and aesthetically appealing.

I am not really after ultimate sound quality, my system already sounds better than I actually need. But I think that I will demo a ND5XS2, I am curious to see how it works in my system as compared to the DigiOne Signature. That should be a lot of fun, just need to find a free weekend and a dealer with a device that I can borrow!