Just taken delivery of an NDX2 and wondering if I should go to the trouble of cabling up the CD5XS into it via the digital output. Anyone experienced using the NDX2 DAC instead of the onboard one? Any views
Well, I’d be giving it a try if I were you, and report back. I guess it’s what you thinks that matters. You’ll just get differing opinions on any forum.
For what it’s worth, I hooked up a real cheapo dvd player to my chord qutest yesterday, and ended up playing all sorts of CDs. What impressed me was the sound that came out if the combo. No doubt 99% down to the chord DAC. But, if my cd player were to die tomorrow, that’s the combo I’d use to listen to my CDs. It was a lot more than " good enough".
I can’t answer your main question but from memory, Naim’s manual for the CD5XS says turn it off before flicking the S/PDIF switch at the back.
Thanks I’ll give it a go. useful info. The NDX2 is stupendous. Can’t believe the difference out of the box from the NDx
I used my CD5 XS as a transport via Naim DC-1 BNC to BNC in to a ND5 XS2 for a short amount of time.
They were then feeding in to a SN2, not a lot in it overall, if I had to pick I’d perhaps lean towards the CD5 XS standalone but they both sounded pretty good. The logic for me was to utilise a DC-1 cable I already had and to have two sources effectively over a single Hi-Line DIN IC.
It worked fine but in the end the CD was redundant and came out meaning one less shelf and one less box to power although of course I now have a Mac Mini as the source for the NDX2 I now have which needs powering and networking.
I still have the CD player but haven’t felt a need to unbox it again and set it up.
I found a DC1 cable in my box of stuff and have tried it. Not much in it to be honest.
I did it mostly out of curiosity, probably much like yourself. Having had that CD player for a while and used it quite a lot as a main source I felt reluctant to let it go and felt that may have been a way of keeping it in the system.
I did use it as a transport for a while but ultimately having gone back and re-ripped my CD’s all to WAV files and tidied up my local library to an extent, I found myself just listening to the same CD’s directly via the ND and have continued to do so.
I also did the same thing on the output side using a Chord Hugo2, not as a long term solution but to try it out as I had the things required to do so. I know this is the subject of extensive debate and it’s fair to say that using a Chord DAC in the chain external to the ND source does make a difference to the presentation but overall I didn’t want to have the clutter and extra cabling and the Hugo2 lives quite happily elsewhere between my Mac Mini Roon Server and my AV amp which is where it was returned to after a few days of trying it out.
I find the NDX2 as a standalone source does a very good job and fits my needs adequately. I had a thought to add a turntable to the setup as having a SN3 now I have a MM phono input. I’ve not tried it yet and probably won’t tbh as I’m finding that running it as a 2 box system is really delivering a compelling listening experience and if I had any regret it would be not having got the NDX2 earlier!
I ran an ND5 XS2 with a SN2 for about a year and enjoyed it but found me hitting its limitations sonically on occasion and to my mind and ears, the SN3 and NDX2 is a very good balanced pairing.
I also moved that system to a full Fraim rack at the same time and have been able to put an empty shelf between the SN3 and NDX2.
I’ve got a desire to add a 555PS to the NDX2 eventually but for now I’m really getting a lot of enjoyment from the system as it stands.
I’d say in your case adding a PSU to the NDX2 is a logical enhancement be that either an XPS DR which is the logical choice or a 555PS, which in my mind pushes the NDX2 to the limits of it’s performance and allows for a path to an ND555 later down the line although I anticipate they’ll hold their value well but would be a very good longer term option and match well in your current system.
Thanks for that. Food for thought. Yes, a power supply prob next step, but more than happy with the presentation as it stands. Having read the reviews and comments I had to listen to it and as soon as the first track played it was clearly in a different league. Now working through those old favourite tracks and hearing new life in them. Also, the speakers (PMC Fact 8s) are singing properly for the first time. 252, 250 DR, Supercap Dr by the way is the rest of the gear. V happy.
I’d say you’re at a very competent level in the Naim hierarchy and have a sensible balance of components. The thought process required to consider system synergy and the interaction of components to create a cohesive whole is a key part to getting the very best from your Naim system.
The pairing between the source and the preamp are the very heart of a system from which you build out optimisations and the separation of power supplies where AC becomes DC to fuel your systems engine also require thoughtful consideration especially when you find yourself at a level that your system is now at.
The majority of my main systems have been built around a NAIT integrated but I spent a lot of time in the last few years overly focused on the amp itself and trying to solve system resolution limitations by adding in a HiCap DR whilst to an extent neglecting the source. Certainly moving to the NDX2 and pairing that with a new SN3 has lifted the enjoyment of the system to another level, refining that with cabling and adding a full Fraim helped to ensure it was functioning at its best whilst being mindful of the constraints implied with an integrated amplifier and a digital source that is designed to perform optimally with an external PSU.
I’d also add that my experiment with adding IsoAcoustics Gaia feet to my PMC’s has proved broadly positive, adding dimension to the sound stage and more definition to the bottom end, so they’re keepers in the current setup.
I also spent a few days trying different speaker spacing and toe in and found that was worth the time and effort to get the presentation and soundstage to open up within the constraints of the room itself.
You’ve got yourself a very capable system there with room for experiment as time and funds allow, certainly driving the NDX2 with an external PSU is a worthy addition and one to factor in to your longer term system evolution plans.
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