NDX2 overkill?

I’m consider taking the typical upgrade path from a Nova to SN2 & NDX2. I’ve been wondering if the NDX2 is justified in my situation & should I just opt for the ND5 and if so, is that a worthwhile upgrade from a Nova? I have no desire to get in to psu upgrades down the line and although I’ve quite a few ripped cd’s, most of my listening tends to be just Tidal and Radio. I would like the screen & remote though but in many ways they’re unnecessary considering the cost difference. I’ve no doubt the NDX2 is the better source but does it really only come in to its own when using a psu and feeding a good pre? Thoughts welcome!

Hi @Hollow, I don’t have experience of the Nova but last week I upgraded from ND5 XS 2 and Nait XS 2 to the NDX 2 and SN 2. Like you, I have no intention of going down the power supply upgrade path - yet!

The change for me has been incredibly worthwhile as you would expect for an £8k source and amp. If you take this path you will not be disappointed. I am not concerned which of the two devices gives me the greatest performance increase, I am only concerned in how they perform together. The performance is superb!

I am happy that my money is well spent (I am not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination) and I can now concentrate on listening to music or rather getting my Roon trial off to a good start!

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I have a SN2 (using HiCap DR) + ND5 XS 2
I listened to both the ND5 XS 2 and NDX2 quite a bit before making a choice, I went through a similar though process myself, I would have made the stretch to the NDX2 financially if I felt having demoed it that it gave me enough of an uplift vs an ND5 XS 2.
The conclusion I reached was that it (NDX2) was more capable overall but for me it came down to cost vs value in the end and now having had my ND5 for about 3 months it’s settled down and to my mind sounds very good for the money I’ve spent, I certainly don’t feel I’ve ended up with an inferior solution.
I may swap in a used NDX2 in a few years as they start to trickle out in to the resell channels but for now I’m very happy with what I have. I also now have some funds to play around with to replace my Naim CD player with a music server/Roon Core, whereas with an NDX2 I would have had a longer wait to add that part to the ecosystem.
I’d imagine you won’t chose an ND5 for the reasons you highlight, screen and RCU and PSU upgrade options, If I’d have had the extra funds when I got my ND5 I’d have bought an NDX2 without hesitation, if you can justify the cost get an NDX2, if like me you need to balance the real world with an expensive hobby, the ND5 is very good for the price it sells at and not far off what a bare NDX2 can deliver in a well setup system.

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I wondered about whether the NDX2 was too much but for the SN2 and would need the separate power supply, but no, it is a sublime match. Not thinking about PS’s too much at the moment (don’t have the cash anyway). The consensus is that the NDX2 is a step up, but either will be a great match as @Mr.M says. If you need a remote and screen though, you only have one choice!

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@Mike_S Sums things up nicely here, The SN2 + NDX2 will be a significant step up from a Nova and a system you can settle in to and live with as a very capable 2 box solution. You do have the tinkering options on both boxes of course but they are both so well put together as is that even without additional PSU’s it will give you the smile and foot tap moments you are now looking for beyond your Nova system today.
If like me you have to balance things out a little and make compromises then the ND5 will do a very admirable job, I’ve heard the NDX2 on a SN2 enough to know what potential lies ahead but having bedded the ND5 in over a few months I’m just enjoying all it gives back every day, it may be something of a make do product in my case but we’ve grown to be friends quite quickly!

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Go for the NDX 2 :japanese_ogre:, you won’t regret it! Like me, if you go for the ND5 you will always think ‘what if…?!

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@Bjm If @Hollow has £2700 sitting idle in his pocket then I tend to agree!
I had the funds for an ND5 but not for an NDX2, even that caused a “not another black box” conversation on its arrival in to our family :slight_smile:
I figured I’d give it 12 months and see if I could
live with it and move it on and look at options if not. It’s been running for about 3 months now and continues to impress me.
I previously had a NAIT XS and ND5 XS (Gen 1), I got rid of that and explored Chord and iFi alternatives, I later swapped out the integrated and put the SN2 in, I had toyed with getting an NDX back then a few years back but glad I held out till the new range of streamers was released. Certainly compared to the old ones they are an improvement across the board and with the ND 5 XS 2 they really focussed down on audio quality to hit a tangible price point, things which the original ND5 missed the mark on and which showed in its performance. The gaps that exist in the current streamers are there and apparent but more subtle than in the previous generation.
You have valid inputs here from people living with both system types you are evaluating, I think it’ll mostly come down to budget, even in my case, had I had the funds a few months back I’d be talking about an NDX2 now, even so I’m still happy and either choice, budget permitting will be a nice step up from the Nova.

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Hi @Mr.M, I should have qualified my view better, I had the ND5 XS 2 and moved to the NDX 2. I am so glad that I did.

I got the impression that @Hollow could stretch to the NDX2 in which case I think once spent it is done! :japanese_ogre:.

This gets closer to the end game sooner but obviously the ND5 XS2 is a superb player. If you don’t try the NDX2 then you are blissfully unaware of the difference and quids in!

The major advantage of the ND5 XS 2 is the value for money - no display or remote means all of the money goes on SQ!

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I started with an Nait XS 2 with a ND5 XS, moved to a SN 2 with a NDX and for me this was a worthwhile upgrade. A year later I traded in the NDX for the NDX 2.

I do believe you would be happy with either one of the streamers.

I do like the idea of a balanced system and you may want to give the Nait XS 2 with the ND5 XS 2 a listen prior to making the decision on the SN2. This would also be easier on the budget with less spending on both the amp and streamer.

The Nait XS 2 is a tremendous amp and there are a couple of active threads where you can read the praises of the amp, as well as the amp matched with the ND5 XS 2.

There are a few threads over the past few months that also speak highly of the SN2/NDX 2 classic match.

Currently I do not use a PowerSupply with my NDX 2 and thoroughly enjoy the combination. If a windfall comes my way I may spring for the $6595.00 PowerSupply and the enhanced sound it may bring, but for now I will sit back, relax and enjoy my current system.

Hopefully you have a dealer that can let you hear the different combinations in the store and have a home demo as well.

Good luck with your decison and look forward to reading about your future choice.

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@Bjm No worries on that, I do recall your journey from another thread and for sure the SN2 + NDX2 is something of a sweet spot 2 box system. I’d be surprised if I don’t end up owning an NDX2 at some point in the next few years. I tend to shuffle kit out to a second room system as I change/upgrade so the ND5 has a place at the table for a while I think!
If funds allow for sure it’s a no brainer and will get you where you know you want to be in one hit.
I think also in the case of @Hollow moving on from a one box Nova system this will be a very nice change of system. I do recall hearing the current Uniti range during a roadshow at a local dealer when they came out and thinking what I’d be giving up moving from a NAIT based system. Needless to say despite the Nova being a decent one box system, I never went that route and wound up building around a SN2, no regrets there, regardless of streamer, having owned a fair few NAIT’s through 3’s, 5’s, XS and Super (1 and 2), the SN2 ticks a lot of boxes and really packs a punch in a very composed manner. Get the volume pot up around 11 o’clock and you see what all the fuss is about :slight_smile:

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This is great advice and your speakers should be in that match. The SN2 will get more out of better speakers, maybe to? Both options have natural pairings, so speaker matching could be a factor to.

I eagerly awaited the NDX2, plan was to pair it with a SN2, to replace my Nova.
For me it was a major letdown as an “upgrade” was more a sideways step.

What have you ended up doing? Were the speakers holding things back? The SN2 is a sledge hammer over the Nova in my system.

Focal 1008be2, i stuck with the Nova.

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surprising to hear, maybe it was all a bit fresh and needed more time to run in?

Hear it a few times and well run in, was even with Kanta 2’s at the dealer.

…as long as your happy and enjoy the music that is all that matters!

Leaving behind 20 years of braun/brains stacks, i can say i am with 1 box.

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