Used to be an active participant on the old forum for many years. Got married and relocated three houses in 10 years and the naim gear was disconnected for a few years due to horrible acoustics in one of the houses.
Recently decided to go back into the hobby and bought an NDX2 to keep up with the times. This makes the current system NDX2, CD5x (flatcapped), NAC 122x (flatcapped), flatcap 2x, NAP 150x. Speakers are Sonus Faber toy floor standers and center. AV duties are handeled by the Onkyo TX-NR5008.
Comparing the NDX2 to the CD5x sound wise is interesting. Better, but not a day and night improvement and not leaps and bounds ahead. The NDX2 brings in more bass extension and more details, however the blacks are less black (higher noise floor) in comparison. I am assuming this is due to the CD5x having a flatcap and the NDX2 relying on its internal power supply for now.
The biggest improvement is the ability to access and discover all sorts of music through spotify, Tidal etc. I ripped all my CDs to a synology NAS and that is that for CD playback.
So glad to be back in the game and did order a NAC 282, hicap DR and NAP 300 DR which should be a welcome step up from current setup.
Welcome back……nice system when it all arrives. The NDX2 to my ears sounds so much better with an Xpsdr or 555 psu, just saying😉
Welcome back. The 282/300 will be fantastic but as @Gazza says an XPS2 or better on the NDX2 will be a game changer.
Having experienced the difference the flatcap did to the 122x and cd5x I have no doubt that the XPS DR will be a very appreciable upgrade. I decided to upgrade the amplification side of things because I am in a larger listening room than previously and I obviously need larger and better speakers and I doubt the 150x will be able to drive larger speakers apropriately.
Once new speakers are in the XPS DR will be ordered for sure.
With the 300 in place the bare NDX2 will certainly be out of its depth. A 555PSDR would probably be more appropriate, given the 300. Maybe you could find a nice used one, as they are very expensive new.
Hold on HH certainly the 555 does more on the NDX2 but prior to the 555PSU being available the CDS3/XPS was the front end to go with the 552/500. An XPS will be fine and even without an external PSU won’t be shabby albeit not optimised.
It’s merely a thought for the OP, and saying that X used to be the best is really not a convincing case for not choosing something better that’s now available. I’ve done both 555 and 300 upgrades and the source improvement was more significant, as you’d perhaps expect. I’m not bothered what the OP does but my suggestion is valid and shouldn’t be belittled.
Hardly call it belittling
I have a NDX 2 with the XPS DR and it really is a very funky source combo. I’ve heard it with the 555 DR also, albeit into a 500 Series system. WoW!
Xpsdr should perform at 80% of the 555 dr. Of course the 555 dr is the best choice, but it’s very expensive. The problem.
But if you invest in a 555PS, you’re part way to the next, ND 555 upgrade - you ‘only’ need buy the ND 555 head unit then!
You make it appear so easy Clare
Interesting thread. OP buys an expensive streamer and expresses a little disappointment over SQ in comparison with his 10 year old and theoretically lower grade CD player. OP is then told he needs to spend nearly the same again or possibly considerably more on an additional box. They were clearly expecting this and I don’t disagree with any of the recommendations, but I do wonder how someone contemplating a move to Naim and less familiar with the brand would react to this thread. Perhaps it gives an insight into why all-in-one systems are selling so well.
To the OP: that’s a very fine system you’re assembling. Enjoy!
The whole system upgrade was intended from the beginning but I did have to start somewhere and the streamer side of things made most sense with the popularity of streaming and access to so much music so easily.
I would not say that I am at all disappointed in the NDX2 at all. It is certainly very capable and practical but I was conveying my overall experience that I felt it less smooth and a bit noisier than the CD5X. It is superior to the CD5X in soundstaging, details and bass depth and impact.
Let us not forget that those impressions were made when A/B testing during the first couple of days of ownership so break-in could be a significant part. Due to the gradual upgrades and careful listening over the years, I could also tell that the lack of an external power supply is also a reason for the slightly higher noise floor.
I got into Naim when I was a med student with minimal funds available to me. Now I am a practicing plastic surgeon and I see the new gear as a well deserved gift to myself for all the hard work that went in over the years.
Speakers are likely to be the Sonus Faber Olympica Nova 3. Not planning to get them until after I get the new pre/power amps and enjoy them for a few months first.
Hi, @flame_rose .
Glad you are enjoying your evolving system.
You are not alone in appreciating what the CD5X does well. I only cautiously traded mine for a CD5XS to get the digital output, and was pleased that the XS does the same trick for me, now attached to a Uniti Qute2.
Both are a real sweet spot in the lineup — keepers. Not really “modest” at $3K original retail, after all.
For what it’s worth an XPS2 or XPS DR used could be a very worthy consideration. I have the XPS2 serviced on my CDS3 and a 555PS on the NDS.
Could be a good step up before a 555PS DR or stick with the XPS2 or XPS DR.
With a 282, HiCap DR, 300DR and NDX2 the XPS2 is a minimum in my view.
A 555PS DR is worth the extra money if you can afford it.
I run an NDX2 with XPSDR in my system. My well spec’d LP12 is better but the NDX2/XPSDR is by no means shamed by it.
As we are spending the OP cash the 300 really shines when the 282 is powered by a SCDR, just saying
2 hicaps is plenty. Otherwise you are well on the road to a 252. And that’ll leave you disappointed and wanting/needing a 552.
A 282 with 2 hicaps is where its at!
I don’t know about your NAC, but the 252 is such a hissy little beast that the noise floor of the NDX2 hardly matters. I’m in love with my system and the music it makes, but if anyone is more interested in silence than music, I’d recommend they stay away from Naim