NDX still relevant?

Hi All,
I have a XS2 amp with bluesound streamer that doesn’t sound as good as the turntable and CD… should I buy used NDX? Is it still relevant?

For streaming ripped CDs or downloads it’s a great streamer at current used prices. For web streaming services there are workarounds, but I would probably look for something more current.

I’m v happy with mine. It’s not got quite the streaming flexibility of the NDX2 (Qobuz, Roon etc), but it’s outstanding value for money now. I moved from an ND5XS to NDX and SQ improved to a more open, organic sound. The app can be glitchy with Tidal, but I gather that’s similar with NDX2. I use it mainly for Tidal streaming. Have to admit, I’d like to work out how to set up a uPnP bridge to use Roon etc, but every posting I’ve seen on that here seems to require a PhD in coding to make it work.

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Just get a Sonore UPnP Bridge feom Smallgreencomputer and you’ll get Roon onto your NDX with minimal hassle.

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Since you have a streamer/transport, I would rather suggest a Naim DAC — not only cheaper but also better sound quality.

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You’ve started two virtually identical threads simultaneously, which will waste respondents’ time and lead to duplication. Maybe @Richard.Dane could merge them.

Hi……I have had a NDX (DAB module) since launch. It was updated by dealer with the 192 board about year later, and has then performed excellently with ripped CD’s via a networked NAS with Asset UpNp via my iMac. Tidal & Spotify all work as well as the newer Naim Streamers.

I did want to try and use Roon, and although I had amazing help from many on this forum, I do agree on the PhD bit! I did eventually find the best solution was a Raspberry Pi 4 with RoonUpNp (which creates a squeezebox device) connected to the same network as the NDX. Overall cost for this including Raspberry Pi & licence was about £60 from memory. Almost plug and play with easy to follow instructions.

As mine is so old, it has a serial port for updates, yet I had no problems going to 4.8 using my iMac.

So for something with a second hand value of around £1,000 (if that) I am happy. Of course a NDX2 would be nice, but for me I probably better looking at Napsc & Hi Cap for 202/200 and possibly for the NDX too.

Happy to expand on the RoonUpNp if anybody is interested.

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Hi Meaculpa, would definitely be interested in hearing more about the UPnP solution. How did you set up the RoonUpNp?

I just bought an NDX for a second system. Mostly play ripped CDs off a UnitiServe, but can also stream hi-rez Qobuz via my iPhone. Great sounding player for the money.

If you want a streamer that’s on par with its successor wrt SQ, lacks the convenience of the current streaming platform, but comes at a significant discount it’s still relevant. The work around for streaming lossless radio stations and Tidal/Qobuz is not too difficult if you’re inclined.

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Still relevant!

And certainly no PhD in coding required to get Qobuz hi-res running on the NDX, or even any extra boxes if you go the Audirvana route (assuming you have a PC or Mac available).

I went a step further with a late-model used NDS as I already had an XPS in the rack. Both streamers now represent great value IMO.

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The NDX still represents hreat sound quality and if in a very stable controlled home NAS streaming context or simple web radio, it is superb.

If you need new functionality a newer streamer will be better. But you can add an ifi Zen Stream to an NDX to extend it’s functionality. But if going down that rout, a Zen Stream + second hand nDAC would cost less and probably beat a NDX2 for sound quality.

@Naim_The_Dragon makes a great point.
You mention the amp and the streamer.
Are you using the streamer as your DAC as well?

While Bluesound makes products that are great VFM I was shocked at how disappointed I was when I tested the Node2i DAC functionality a year ago (It’s just not optimized for that.)

You may be better off keeping those items in your setup and adding in a stand-alone DAC that meets your aural needs.
That way you will improve sound quality significantly and you will get to keep your streaming functions as well.

So I will do the following:

  1. Separate the boxes
  2. Buy a seperate DAC, because I love the node functionality and its Paradise radio MQL sound
  3. Consider the hicap for the XS2 upgrade- you can’t go wrong with less than $1000 Hicap from a store

Promise to update
Ron

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I think the Naim NDX2 designers would be deflated if you said that to them. A lot of effort, refinement and new tech went into the NDX2 to improve SQ performance over the original NDX.

Being and having been both an NDX and NDX2 owner I found the latter was appreciably more refined in terms of its analogue outputs irrespective of what you were feeding the streamer with.

Don’t get me wrong, the NDX was good for its day, just like the Ford Anglia was, but I think it’s churlish to suggest it’s audio performance is equivalent to its modern current successor.

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I am being offered used NDX for the money of new Chord Qutest DAC… so it is either buy the NDX and use it also as a DAC for the node (if it is possible) or to buy a new Chord for the node.

Some would regard the Qutest as a potential upgrade for an NDX, so it could be that you would prefer this option. You really need to hear it and decide for yourself though.

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Rannochlad

Apr '20

I have both having started with the NDX then upgrading got the better of me. I think the rest of the set up determines whether it’s a worthwhile step. For example I ran the NDX2 powered by a standard psu and it wasn’t that dramatically different to the NDX - but when I powered it with a 555PSU the difference was ecstatically uplifting. The 555 on the NDX less so.
Conclusion would be the NDX2 is significantly worth the step but only if it’s powered by the expensive psu … chicken and egg and frustrating all in one go. I’d try and find an old 555psu and link it up with the NDX2 ( bit like the premium level before with the NDS I might add)
Good luck and enjoy​:ok_hand::pray:

As I have posted in a separate thread … I disagree. My NDX was / NDX 2 is powered by an XPS-DR and whilst I struggled to notice much difference during the first week of ownership … the last few weeks has seen me (and my wife) appreciate the clarity, depth, and pure involvement of the music much more. Not all NDX 2 facilities are to my liking … but the SQ (as compared with the NDX) proves it is a much better source.

Just to clarify, it was a post of @Rannochlad , not my own findings.
I have read similar post as the one I copied recently, someone having compared both for local streaming and did not noticed night and day difference.
Can’t say who is right, but it’s worthwhile noticing opposite views.