Okay, I’ve taken the decision and ordered a replacement for our NDX. But what should I do?
I presently feed the NDX into nDAC, powered by XPS-DR so the question is: should I simply replace the streamer, or remove the nDAC and power the NDX2 with the XPS-DR?
I know that when the time comes I can try out the alternatives but it does take time to disassemble / re-assemble the Fraim and it’s not possible to change cable connections in situ.
Also, perhaps it would be a good idea to run the NDX2 bare for a month or two so as to appreciate the uplift when I re-introduce the XPS-DR (with or without the nDAC) - but I bet I won’t.
Decisions! Anyone faced this choice?
All I can say is I used my NDX 2 for more than a year bare. I loved it. When I added an XPS-DR, I was amazed at the uplift in sound quality.
I don’t believe the “old” nDac will be needed.
Agree what Daniel said - no need for nDAC, but XPS DR defiantly to be reused. Sell the nDAC and free up funds ready for next upgrade
My bet is that you’ll get better sound quality by keeping the NDAC/XPS and just changing the streamer - but if you were going to do this you could achieve the same thing for less cash with an ND5XS2.
That’s good to read, thank you. Not that I can consider another upgrade ( for a while) but the dealer made it plain that our speakers are the next step. I was thinking of a second HiCap for the 282 but he advises that my 12 year old £2k speakers are not sufficiently good for the set-up
Good idea … I’ve got to cross that bridge of selling something - usually I junk/give away
I did consider the ND5XS2 but the price differential was too much … i.e. it being priced at less than half that of the NDX2 I feared that ND5XS2 + nDAC/XPS-DR would not be as good as our existing set up, so whilst the NDX2 does cost a lot of money I preferred to go this route than risk kicking myself that I had chosen the cheaper option.
The dealer did not have an ND5XS2 to demo … indeed, as demo’s go, it was limited because this was bare NDX2 with a SuperNait 3 which was not as good as our current set-up, notwithstanding (probably) better speakers.
Are you saying the NDX2/XPS don’t produce better SQ than a ND5XS2/XPS/nDAC? I’m not sure I understand your statement.
Having spent a good while at my dealers comparing them, I concluded that when used via digital out into a separate DAC there is no improvement in sound quality from an NDX2 vs an ND5XS2 so unless you really want the screen and remote I would go for the cheaper option. Put the savings towards upgrading the XPS to a 555PS for the NDAC if you really want to improve things. An older non-DR 555 is preferred by many with the NDAC, so this might even be cost neutral.
I agree with @ChrisSU. These were my personal findings as well.
Ah well, as I opted for the NDX2 that decision has already been made. Had I had the opportunity to demo in the way you have maybe I’d have gone for the cheaper option. My opening post was what I should do now that I have ordered the NDX2 … I don’t think cancelling it is something I could/should consider.
Don,t worry its a great piece of kit.
I wouldn’t, either. Enjoy the NDX 2 with the XPS-DR. It is an outstanding combo; and even better in that you could sell off the nDAC for extra funds.
People who say this never seem to make the comparison between ndx2 with XPS dr or 555 dr and nd5xs2 + dac.
I don’t know why that is but just remember you can’t use a power supply with the nd5xs2 and this does need to be factored in I feel.
I’m not saying that adding a PSU to an NDX2 is a bad choice as an alternative to adding a separate DAC, although I wouldn’t do both, which is all the more reason to stick with the much cheaper ND5XS2 is you add a DAC.
Ultimately these choices are best made by listening for yourself, as there are lots of permutations and personal taste will dictate that we don’t all prefer the same setup.
For me, box count is another issue that influences my decision. A 3 box source is a step too far for me, so that rules out the NDAC/555. Once I discovered that I could use my Chord DAC as a preamp the decision was made.
Of course you will also get rid of a box in your stack, so slicker look possible - or a gap to add something else in the future.
You may find your dealer will buy the nDAC off you, if not try eBay. I’ve sold and brought a lot of Naim kit that way. Just look up other nDac’s that have been sold for ideas on what words to use.
Yes, the dealer offered me a way to sell the nDAC … and the NDX (to which I could add SuperNait 1 - unused for nearly 4 years) or I could sell privately. Or gift to family / friends.
As for space on the Fraim, I’m already doubling the HiCap on top of the XPS-DR, but I’m considering re-introducing the CD5X which has been with our AV set-up for a few years. The SQ has not been up to standard!
It’s a different thing comparing a ND5 XS2 into a NDAC with a NDX2 into a NDAC than it is to judge the NDX2 bare, against the same into a NDAC. The former is just comparing streaming boards, which are identical IIUC, even if the NDX2 has a bit better isolation. And I’m not surprised the difference was marginal. The latter is comparing the onboard DAC of the NDX2 vs the DAC in the NDAC. I wasn’t sure if everyone was talking about one or the other of those above!?
I guess if the NDX2 is inbound regardless, then all the variations can be tried.
I’d sell the XPS and nDAC and get a 555PS for the NDX2…
What Svetty said. Order before 6/12 and save a grand!