NDX2 or NDS/Roon to stream Qobuz/Tidal - which gives best SQ?

nbpf - on a different topic.
Perhaps the quote above is describing a Sonore UPnP Bridge?

But then there’s this thread about problems with that such as “The issue is tracks skipping (the whole time, not just occasionally).

Oh - also this thread by a Naim Community member and 272 owner:
I have another issue . . . two actually.

"Every time I start to play music, i.e. a new album this volume goes to maximum on my streamer. Roon is set to Fixed Volume. I don’t want to control the volume through the Roon app as its too easy to go too loud or too quiet. My hifi has a remote control which is much better to use.

The second issue occurred as I was trying to debug the above. Roon refused to play any music and kept repeatedly skipping to the next track. Selecting a new album or playlist would also keep skipping to the next track without playing any music. I had to restart the Roon Core to stop it. After the restart, the Sonore UPnP bridge has now disappeared from Roon altogether so I am now sitting in silence. :cry:

JimDog
Not exactly what you are asking, but I used to own a 272/Xpsdr/250 DR. Comparing the 272/Xpsdr as a source only (using BNC out) to an NDS/Xpsdr (using BNC out), I find the NDS to be far superior. I have Dynaudio XD 600’s which take the digital input directly. I have also tried both sources this way into my non Naim system (Cary Audio), and the NDS is far superior. I suggest that in your demo, use both with the 555DR attached into the same (alternate) preamp, whatever the dealer has available. Use the analog output of both, this will tell you which is the better source/DAC. You could also try both Units digital outs to an external DAC that he may have available, I use Chord TT2.

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Before Qobuz integration on the new streamers, like ndx2, people were using additional software to stream Qobuz. ( nas with bubleupnp, sonore…). Then when Qobuz was added, they found Qobuz integrated sounding better than before.

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Ah, yes, I see what you mean.
Yes, this suggests that it sounds better (as well as being easier and simpler) to stream Qobuz native.

What it doesn’t tell me is whether the NDS will sound better than the NDX2 if they are both streaming from Qobuz.

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So the Innous Zen servers do not have their own app yet (there are are rumours of one in development) but they recommand iPeng for iOS or Orange Squeeze, for Android. I use iPeng. I found it a bit clunky at first, compared to Roon. But it’s grown on me and It’s actually very good. You get song lyrics, artist bios and loads more info right inside the app. Including RP FLAC stream with metadata and cover art. Which I don’t remember even Roon being able to do.

You can also use Roon as the controller app. If you enable Roon core on the innuos.

To me, streaming Tidal via the innuos Zen Mini server is a set up in sound quality, compared to streaming Tidal via Naim app. Just as it was when streaming via Bubble Upnp on my NAS.

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Thanks Tom
That’s really useful to know.
The Zen Mini then does sound like an affordable way to rip, store and deliver upnp streams from Tidal/Qobuz - and also to get a Roon Core and Endpoint in one box on older Naim streamers (if one wants that).

And in your case it hasn’t led to any of the compatibility issues that are mentioned with the Sonore upnp Bridge (as mentioned in those threads I linked to above).

And there are numerous other very happy Zen and Zenith users on the forum, like Dave and Phil - so I will have another look at that as a way forward.

Using Roon and a bridge and an NDS/555DR QoBuz sounds identical to local UPNP files whether these are streamed through the Naim App/Asset or Roon.

Studio masters streamed from QoBuz sound better than local CD rips (16/44), not a surprise. For me I have now replaced my local rips with QoBuz studio masters in my Roon library, archiving the rips.

Given that the NDS is Naims second best streamer behind the ND555 I would expect an NDS to outperform an NDX2 streaming QoBuz.

I’m not sure that your demo is going to be conclusive given that you will be downgrading the 272 in order to demo the NDS.

If the speculation that a 272 replacement is imminent is true then if I were in your shoes I’d sit tight and wait and see what happens over the next month or so.

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Jim
I assume your 555PS will be on your NDS… so I think the NDS will be quite ahead of the NDX2 with whatever powersupply if using a UPnP bridge in terms of SQ.
However I would be reticent buying old technology, especially given the streamers (excluding analogue boards) have changed so much…and the performance is much improved.

So I would really suggest either go and bite the bullet with the ND555 if you like that pcm1704k based sound… or get a NDX2 and drive your preferred DAC…

BTW I didn’t actually own a NDS, but I had it on long term ‘loan’ driven by my 555PS.
I did quite like it… it was more detailed and resolving than my ndac/555PS setup… but the latter felt more organic and on many genres (though definitely not all) it sounded more enjoyable.
It wasn’t until I got my rather good sample Hugo… that I felt it bridged the two and brought the show forward with lot less real estate… and several years later, despite a few false starts, I am still with the Hugo having felt I wanted to return to it after a while when trying other DACs

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Hi NQ

Thanks for this useful input.

Yes, I would expect that the NDS would clearly beat the 272’s streamer (digital out) and the 272’s streamer/DAC on SQ.

It should do when you think about the engineering of the two items and their cost.

That’s why I’m interested in it.

If that was the only question, I’d obviously just buy the NDS over the 272.

But in reality, with a 555DR, my 272 is not just getting a very good lift to the streamer/DAC, but also to the preamp section.

So if I buy an NDS and sell the 272, I then will also want to get a Naim preamp and psu.

That makes this an expensive way forward.

But it still may be the right way forward.

I will compare 272/555DR and NDS/555DR on a Naim preamp of the dealer’s (preferably with an psu) - and that should give me a picture of the end state I’m aiming for that I can compare vs what I have today.

It may be that the dealer can also let me hear one of the other current Naim streamers (if he doesn’t have an NDX2 to demo) which would also help me decide whether to go down that road.

So it should be an interesting day, if the dealer will conduct those tests with me.

(It is a Naim dealer.)

I’ve asked about those tests but haven’t managed to get a definitive confirmation either way, so it’s going to be a bit of an adventure.

Do you only stream locally from your Naim Core, or also from Tidal/Qobuz or Roon?

thanks
Jim

If you’re comparing NDS/555PSDR I would also compare NDX2/555PSDR so you can decide on merits of both (in terms of SQ with analogue out and connectivity of the NDX2 with Qobuz)

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Yes, that’s a good idea - and may or may not be possible on the day.

And I’ve asked the dealer if they have an NDX2 I can compare the NDS to.

So far I’ve had a dusty answer on that question - so if I go there tomorrow, I’ll have to see what current Naim streamers they have available to demo, if any.

A practical problem is that if I’m there with my car I will either take the NDS away on the spot or not.

I really don’t like sending such excellent machines around via courier, so if I do not buy the NDS tomorrow I will probably never get one.

But even if I don’t buy it, I will learn quite a lot I think.

JimDog if you’re going to be at a dealers, demoing, you should give the Zen a try as well, if the have one in. My dealer was happy to give me a unit to demo at home. There a few ways to set one up. I didn’t know I could use it in bridge to UPnP mode until recently - I found out myself. So be sure to ask a lot of questions. Enjoy your demos.

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Thanks Dickie

This is also useful input.

Given that the dealer hasn’t confirmed whether I can compare the NDS with an NDX2, there is an argument to say that I shouldn’t make a very long drive because the crucial test will probably not be available.

So therefore I will probably not have the information I need to make the right decision (in one of their demo rooms).

So, yes, I could just wait and see whether a ‘372’ appears in May.

On the other hand, maybe a Zen Mini/NDS/555DR/SH 282 would beat a 372/555DR anyway (at the same cost).

But these things cannot be compared in practice.

Certainly a new 372 would be a whole lot of a simpler and easier way to get Tidal and Qobuz streams in one go, PX for my 272.

Good idea.
But the dealer who happens to have this 2018 NDS is not an Innuous dealer.

Sorry to hijack. I am trying to figure out how to install the Logitech plugin so I can remotely control my 282 volume. I am very confused how to do this given that my Roon core is on my Zenith. Can you let me know how you did this. Most of what I find in line might as well be in another language. I am somewhat of a novice at this but can follow directions well. I am also a Mac user (not sure if that will be an issue) I also have a Synology NAS .

Hi Scotman1973, I have the zen mini set up as a uPnp server, not as a Roon core. When you do this you have Logitech media server as the server software. Using a web interface you need to find the LMS server (I can’t remember the address off hand but you can google it) and once in the LMS settings menu you have option to download and install plugins. There are many and you’ll need to go through them to find the LMS-to-UPnp bridge plug-in. Tick the button and save setting. Restart the zenith. I’m not sure if this will work in Roon mode. But one to test and see. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. If I had Roon I’d give a try and see if I can get it to work. But I’ve finished my trial a while back.

If you can wait till the weekend I will try and write down a step-by-step guide on how I got it to work.

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I only stream locally from my Core, I have over 2,000 albums between my rips on the SSD in the Core, and a WD hard drive plugged into it. I live in Canada, so they do not have Qobuz here. I do not use Tidal either, but listen to a lot of internet radio for casual background music. I am not really a fan of renting music, and see no need for Roon, the Naim app works fine for my needs.

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I can wait. Look forward to your reply. Thanks for taking the time. Greatly appreciated.