I’d suggested that it’s a case of either/or for the PS and Qutest, not both.
All these upgrades are expensive and you really should try them at home. As Richard said above, it can take time to appreciate what they bring to the party. It’s often about making music more real and engaging - ‘nicer’ if you like.
I have a 555 on my NDX2 simply because I had it spare when I sold my previous 272. I added it to the NDX2 and liked what it did.
I understand where Mike is coming from in terms of it being perhaps over specified but it really is a case of listening. Theory and practice often don’t align.
If it were me I’d just get the SN3 for now. Use it with the NDX2 for music and see how it goes. Maybe you’ll be perfectly happy without power supplies. I don’t have a Hicap on my SN3 and don’t intend to get one. I’m quite happy with the amp as it is and if I got a Hicap I’d need to lose my FM tuner, which I’m not going to do. So what if the Hicap makes it a bit better - though many find they prefer the sound without? People say that the 282/250 walks all over the SN3. So what? The 552/500 walks all over the 282/250. The Statement walks all over the 552/500. So what? There is always better and the secret is to enjoy what you’ve got. How many people are fortunate enough to be able to buy a £10,000 stereo? Not many.
How about a XP5 XS Power supply with the NDX 2? I have seen comments that the sound benefits from it, yet marginally. Which Burndy cable should one use? I have seen a reference to SXPS. But 11 pins, or 13 pins? Thx for your suggestions!
There is only one S-XPS burndy, and that’s what’s needed.
Thanks, sounds like something to look into in more detail. I have seen it discussed in various topics so I need to go and read them properly.
@Mark63 Researching on what to buy is 1/2 the fun!
I found the XPSDR to be a significant step up when I added it to my NDX2/SN2/Hicap. Not mind blowing from the first note but certainly a noticeable improvement-more than adding the Hicap to the SN2. I purchased as a dealer demo and had experience with adding external power supplies to a different system so maybe my expectations weren’t too high.
Another option you could consider is the Xpsdr (most would say its a significant upgrade) and 282/200.
This is a compromise of sorts, but reduces box count to 4 large (and the small napsc can be tucked away elsewhere).
It wont be as good as a 282/hi/250, but should outperform Sn3/Hicap.
It would allow you the superior performance of the 282 pre-amp , although it would rely on the shared ps of the 200 power amp, so not as good if used with a hicap and therefore compromised.
It would actually take you over budget , but with some careful viewing of deals on websites, will bring you under budget.
Its just a half way house option to consider, but demo all options first and sorry if i have confused you any more.
Upgrading step by step does allow you to enjoy each upgrade in turn, if you have the patience to wait. The Ndx2/Sn3 could blow you away as it makes a superb two boxer and maybe thats all you need. If there wasnt an upgrade path always available, you might live happily ever after with that pairing.
Enjoy the ride either way.
Absolutely. I agree here. It’s only when one takes out the XPS DR does one realise how much it has contributed to the overall performance. Also, how one installs the S-XPS Burndy cable can play a huge part as well. When i first got my XPS DR and plugged it in i could hear an improvement but not much, it was only when l played with the Burndy like a weirdo did everything snap into place.
Odd to not hear much of an improvement on adding an “upgrade” but only to hear a change on removal.
To remove can only mean one doubts what they have done.
I personally can’t say I have ever thought to “go back” and listen to how it was “before” but then again I have only ever purchased upgrades, clearly with audible improvements generally evident within the first 30 seconds of listening.
If that being the case then a quick A & B testing would work, which it doesn’t. Sometimes it takes a while for the brain to adjust. Same as an instant ‘thought’ improvement can sound impressive at first then only to become fatiguing and unsatisfactory further on down the line.
With the XPS DR time to seems to slow down where the decay of the music is just so much more effortless. One tends to find themselves more immersed in the music where playing with the volume control or track hopping becomes a thing of the past. Everything feels less rushed and more organic. Something of which one may not pick up upon first hearing.
I am not convinced by this, the brain is incredible and can detect minuscule timing issues for example.
Maybe what you refer to is the case with very small upgrades and not large upgrades.
Having listened to @Peter_R’s full 500 system (just prior to his S1 delivery) upgrades are most certainly audible from the outset.
I had the CDX2 before, then added the XPS / 2 once year later. It was an instant upgrade : the sound became more organic, open, effortless, fluent, and better focused. It was really transformative.
I really can’t see why it could be different for the Ndx2.
The external power supplies were designed for that era, and the CDS3.
I only had this conversation with my well regarded dealer several weeks ago. His opinion was that the the external power supplies have been encompassed with the new range to hold true with ongoing philosophy and that they exist to many long term existing Naim users but that the new streaming platform is so good it doesn’t have the same performance benefits.
I cannot comment for the 555DR but I would agree having based on my own personal experience of the XPSDR on the NDX2.
I personally feel the NDX2 doesn’t get enough credit at just how good it is bare. It is most certainly better than the NDX that I owned prior.
I believe your experience Popeye, however there are so many users here of xps dr with Ndx2 and they all found a very clear uplift, as Seakayaker, Mike S, Stephen Tate and others. ( JosquinDesprez, Gramaeh…)
I wonder if the XPS you tried was not faulty, or a problem with the burndy, because you seem to be really the only one to not have heard an immediate improvement.
Steven only stated just here that it seems to be more apparent on removal that a difference is apparent.
I have a NDX2 on a home demo, into my 282/250dr, single HiCap. No additional power supply on the NDX2.
I am trying different DACS - my TT2, a loaner Qutest, and the internal DAC on the NDX2.
The TT2 is way ahead of the Qutest, which in turn is ahead of the internal DAC. For example details of individual instruments in complex tracks that are audible (and have a wow factor) via the TT2 are much less so with the internal DAC, the Qutest ‘in the middle’ and less dynamic than the TT2. Reflecting the cost profile as one might expect, but price does not always equate to value…
. I have never heard any Chord DAC’s but have toyed with the idea of listening to either a TT2 or Dave to compliment the NDX2 as I would love a nice headphone amp/setup also.
“I love you, NDX2”
“Ooh, you are so svelte”
“That purposeful materiality is making me hot”
I’ve been running NDX2/Dave for a while now, and it’s a great combination. The headphone output is excellent, although I’m told the TT2 has a more powerful headphone amp, so maybe worth a look if that’s a priority.
I am very impressed right now with NDX2(bare), into TT2, into Grado SR325e ‘phones (I.e. £300 level) for tonight’s late night listening. Certainly better than my previous streaming source in this case.
The NDX2/TT2 combination is worth a trial for headphone listening, obviously headphones are a very personal choice and many people go to the level of Focal Utopia, Meze Empyrean; and/or use a separate headphone amplifier.