Ndx2 vs nDac

Interesting but that’s not my experience. What is you setup precisely? I too have a Chromecas audio connected to the nDAC via optical. Compared to the DigiOne Signature, the Chromecast sounds rather flat and boring to my ears + system.

In my system, the DigiOne Signature is hosted by a RPi 3B+ and powered by UpTone Audio JS-2 (RPi side) and LTS-1.2 (clean side). With these power supplies, I have found the sound quality of the DigiOne Signature to be comparable to that of the Sonore ultraRendu (also powered by the JS-2) connected to the nDAC via a MC-3+ Smart Clock USB. I have not tried other streamers or servers recently.

I have used for years a minimal Raspbian Lite distribution (headless, no HDMI output, no internal sound card, no USB bus and wired Ethernet) running upmpdcli as a renderer.

Since a couple of weeks I am using GenTooPlayer, also running upmpdcli. I find GenTooPlayer to sound perhaps a bit better than my dedicated Raspbian Lite distribution.

I do not know GMrender but I find MPD (upmpdcli is just a front end for MPD) to be rock solid. I understand that MPD is also what most manufacturers of network player use: Bryston, Sonore, Antipodes … not sure what Naim, dCS and Melco actually use.

I never actually felt that using the DigiOne was an hassle. GenTooPlayer works out of the box. And it typically takes me about 20 minutes to install and setup my own Raspian Lite distribution from scratch (I have a few RPis at home and I have done this for some of my friends) on a fresh SD card.

After that, the devices runs very stably for years and without any maintenance. In fact the Raspbian Lite RPis are the most reliable devices in my household: more releiable than my wife’s iMac, iPhone and iPad and than our Sony TV. If I pick up my phone and open BubbleUPnP or Linn Kazoo, both myserver (an RPi 4 running MinimServer) and the RPi + DigiOne Signature renderer are there, ready to use and very responsive. The two Chromecast audio devices are also very reliable.

And expensive too.

Anyway I would say that I had the opportunity of doing all these tests as I already hold the nDAC.
In my opinion if you listen to a NDX2+555PS, you don’t feel you need something else. his sound is great.
Doing the comparison I found little better basses with nDAC (which I love, as I was a bass guitar player). It’s not a huge difference.
My initial objective was to sell the nDAC and maybe I’ll do it anyway in the future!


I don’t think so, NDX2 + 555PS partnered with ND555 + 2 * 555PS should sound even better!

But, given one NDX2, one nDAC and one 555PS, I think that what PPT has found out to sound the best for him is also what one would expect to sound best from the specifications. From this perspective, no surprise but an important confirmation.

The obvious question is whether a pure transport (for instance, in the same price class, the dCS Network Bridge) in place of the NDX2 wouldn’t sound even better. But this is a question for another thread, I guess.

I use Chromecast audio with my Chord Mojo and Chord Dave which it does a fantastic job.

I am struggling with dietpi - I am not an expert in pi stuff and cannot install raspbian lite on my own and then install UPMPDCLi later on… is there an easy way to do this?

Installing Raspbian Lite and upmpdcli is really straightforward (just follow the respective instruction) but, if you do not feel comfortable with that, you should probably use a turnkey solution like dietpi, Volumio, GenTooPlayer, etc.

If you have a spare SD card, I would suggest that you give GenTooPlayer a try. It has a very flexible web interface and the developer (antonellocaroli on audiophilestyle dot com, search for the GentooPlayer thread) is very supportive.

If you have troubles with GentooPlayer or Raspbian I might also be able to help you, in this case just send me a pm on audiophilestyle dot com.

I use mainly a qute2 to feed my ndac/xpsDR, the sound is acceptable and qute2 offers many digital services but i feel it is holding back my system. Now i am trying the rpi/digione signature option. I am not impressed by the sound: a bit little less enjoyable and hard compared with qute2, maybe a little more extended though. I use basic power supply for rpi side and a battery pack fro clean side and i know i can improve on that front and get better sound. I ordered an Uptone lps 1.2 to experiment further.
The main problem for rpi solution is that is not for everyone but for very few people (1 in 100 or less): i am using Linux OS as my main desktop for more than 20 years and it taked many time to understand and do a basic setup for this system, even easy “all packed in” audio distributions are a big hurdle for most people.

thanks, I installed Gentoo player on another SD card and made it work, not sure if it works for wi-fi otherwise it would be ideal for me.

I reinstalled dietpi 6.18 and all works normally, but this has been the 5th reinstall of dietpi, which is cumbersome

if gentoo allows wifi usage then it’s really good solution. thanks for your help

Give the NDX2 time to break in before making any decisions or listening critically. I prefer the NDX2/XPSDR over NDX2/555DR. It just makes for a way more balanced sound. The NDX2 has a nice lush warm sound, compared to the nDac. The nDac might be ‘better’, but I really like the NDX2. nDac has been sold off.


In GenTooPlayer, you can setup the wifi under System Base > WI-FI Configure. It is very straightforward and should work flawlessly. I use wifi all the time and a wired connection only for testing purposes.

Once wifi is up and running reliably, you should check that HotSpot is disabled under System Avanzate > TWK various. In the same menu, I have also set
HDMI = disable, Force Turbo = enable, ARM Frequency = 1000 and Core Frequency = 400.

I think you’re being a little unfair to the Allo Digi One. I worked in IT and have written code in the past- but a long time ago (20 years). For the last 20 years I’ve done next to nothing ‘technical’ involving computers.

The AlloDigi One I bought came as an assembled box and all I needed to do was plug it into my system and follow some fairly simple instructions- I may have had to check on my router’s console what its IP address was, not much more. The only slightly tricky thing is remembering which of the two power supplies to connect first.

I agree it’s not for everyone but I’d think it works for a lot more than 1 in 100.

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I would expect the Qute2 to provide a reasonably good feed for the nDAC but I never tried it. As I wrote above, I am very happy with the DigiOne Signature powered by JS-2 and LPS-1.2 but I never compared it to dCS Network Bridge, NDX2, etc. I use the LPS-1.2 to power the clean side of the DigiOne Signature but I think that the JS-2 might be better than the LPS-1.2 for this purpose. A battery pack of the kind suggested by Allo should be fine. Many DigiOne Signature users have reported very good results with Allo’s Shanti PSU. That’s a very convenient solution as it can be used to power both inputs. But I do not like it aesthetically and I never tried it. It might be a better (and cheaper) solution than the LPS-1.2, though.

I stream FLACs from a Synology NAS with an Allo USBridgeSig+DigiOneSig+Shanti+Moode via DC-1 into my nDAC.

I set up the Allo with a static IP on Ethernet. I also run Moode on another couple of RPis (wired and wireless, again with static IP). Just had an update to the software.

No fuss, no bother. It just works, and sounds pretty d@mn fine.

You are right: i was a little unfair, Allo has done a very good job and really you can start using the product quickly and easily. I was more referring to the possibility to start exploring all the options and settings available when you buy a diy product. There are many available distros,settings, programs ,servers, control points, power options and documentation is unofficial and scattered all over the internet… There is a real headache if you start experiments for the ultimate sound quality.

thanks, figured it out, was actually quite straighforward.

I am quite pleased about this, I am hoping this operating system will be very stable and will not require any further maintenance, so far so good !

not sure how upmpdcli works though…?

I wanted to say thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I got a fresh SD card and did another install of Gentoo on it, and not sure why, but it does sound considerably better than the previous installation of dietpi…

@Analogmusic: great, I’m glad it worked out. I am typically very critical about software (I am myself a software developer) but I have to say that these folks (Antonello/GenTooPlayer, Piero/AudioLinux, Simon/MinimServer etc.) have really done a great service to the audiophile community. I have been regularly supporting these development with small donations and I have found this much more rewarding than spending money on products of companies that produce lesser software and do not even reply to bug reports from customers!

really interesting this was thinking of selling my NAIM DAC but will hang fire now (have similar set up of DAC with XPS DR > NDX > 282 > Hi CAP DR > 250 would get a 555 DR at some point too)

thinking of upgrading my NDX to NDX2 any one notice much difference in performance boost running it in this set up?? seems quite an expensive way to run the NDX2 curious if people felt worth the outlay???

I upgraded my original NDX to an NDX2, having used both with an offboard DAC. I use Chord DACs rather than an NDAC, but still using the SPDIF out on the Naim streamer. However, I would strongly recommend that you consider an ND5XS2 rather than spending the extra cash on the NDX2. It has exactly the same streaming board, and having listened to both, I was very hard pushed to tell the difference between them into a Chord Dave. That might sound a bit hypocritical, and I admit that I cracked when my dealer offered me an extremely good deal on an NDX2, but the sensible option would probably have been for me to save the cash and go for the ND5XS2.


hmm wondering if better if upgrading my DAC first to maybe hugo 2 TT would be a better way to go and keep ndx for a while longer then look to upgrade that later to Nd5XS2 or pre-loved NDX2
(so many decisions and damned difficult without shops open for listening tests)

For me the NDX2 had clear gains if using in digital output mode over the ND5XS2 … so I bought it instead of the ND5XS2 to use as a transport. The benefit is the added control via Zigbee and visual feedback via the carefully isolated colour screen, as well as a small but subtle advance in the transport quality, I assume through the slightly larger NDX2 PSU. I guess this is what you are spending most of your extra money on over the ND5XS2.
To be honest compared to what I am used to, the NDX2 when running in analogue output mode, is somewhat lacking, so I don’t use that mode of operation, but it’s digital output mode is cracking. The visual alignment showing NAC input with the Naim automation controlling my 552 is another plus.

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