This is what I have and is a very enjoyable combination
@gav_sw20 any the wiser yet?
Bang for buck you say?! Well if you like the look, then vintage gear is the best bang for the buck. Of course it may not suit your decor. Or you may not like the compromises such as no remote etc.
Just off the top of my head NAC 32.5/Hicap chrome bumper and chrome bumper NAP135s will easily be in your budget.
Of course picking up good clean examples and servicing each unit ads some money on top.
I concur wholeheartedly with all of the SN2 & ND5 XS2 combo advice. This is where I went after auditioning lots of other Naim options (the SN2 was purchased just before the SN3 came out) and also going by memory of other Naim kit I’ve owned in the past. I originally dove into streaming with an NDX and XPS power supply combo, but ultimately wanted native Qobuz and planned on using the XS2 as a transport, so figured sound- and performance-wise (sans screen, which I didn’t want anyway) it might be close to the NDX2. I marvel every day at the musical joy these two boxes provide.
Yes, with appropriate leads, you can use the CXN as a preamp, the ‘digital’ preamp in the CXN, I did try it, isn’t too bad, but I would advise, if you went down that route, a nice pre as soon funds allow.
Older kit: servicing is well advised, & I’ve used Darran at Class A - excellent service. Don’t be afraid to check dealers who have nice priced ‘preloved’ kit, & you’ll get a bit of warranty
I did have the SN2, ND5 XS2 with a pair of B&W CM6 S2 and they worked really well together. Can’t comment on separates but that the SN2 is a lovely amp.
Also had the Qutest with the SN2 & ND5 XS2 and that combination was also very nice. I do love the finish of B&W CM6 S2’s!
Have had a think about this and am probably going for the following:
- SN2 - purchasing this side of Xmas
- Hi-Cap DR - to be added next year
- NAP 250 DR - to be added in NN years time
- NAC 282 - to be added in NN years time and SN2 sold
This way I start off with a one-box solution which means I haven’t got to faff around moving equipment the other side of the room or add any additional shelves to my existing Atacama unit.
There’s a few used SN2’s available by auction but I may just got for a new one for £400 more with 2-yr warranty.
Hopefully I see an improvement over my current Cambridge CXA60.
The only concern I’d have with that approach is that you are throwing everything at the amplification and leaving the source (what you listen to 90% of the time) behind. I think what you are proposing for the amplification is overkill for the CA streamer.
There will be some here that will say that the Chord DAC will surpass the Naim streamers. Certainly the Chord DAC does sound excellent but I don’t like the way it presents music but can see why some will like it.
I would suggest that the OP works with a dealer to establish this for themselves. An ND5XS2 won’t cost a great deal once the existing streamer and DAC are traded so it’s worth exploring this as a possibility now.
Well, he has a Chord Qutest now which is a very good DAC. However…
I think it would be a good idea to demo a SN2 with a ND5 XS2 at the dealers and also take along the Qutest DAC so they can feed it from the Naim Streamer. This will help decide which presentation / style of music they prefer the most and, as a result, make the long term upgrade plan a little easier to develop.
Prefer Naim = sell Qutest and it will help fund the ND5 XS2.
Prefer the Qutest, maybe go for an Auralic Aries G1 or a Meridian 210 streamer that @MrUnderhill recommends highly with the Qutest!
As well as this excellent advice you could always gather some thoughts from James at Tom Tom Audio - new as well as well looked after second hand Naim. He’s never let me down over the years and he normally has a good stock.
The CXN is a great source
Had one and it took a NDS/555 to seriously better it
Just choose a nice used SuperNait 2 or 3 and be happy
The sn3 already has a built-in phono-stage, so not only would that cover part of the extra expense over an sn2 but would lower the box count. If you already have a phono-stage, selling it would further reduce the cost difference between the two.
Hopefully going for a SN3 demo now the retail world is open.
Have found a few used models for just over £2.5k but will enquire about ex-demo’s when I audition.
I can then worry about separate power upgrades in the future.
Certainly not where I’m from is it. haha
I’ve just went through the SN2 vs 3 debate. Opted to purchase a SN3 to pair with an ND5 XS2. Since you’ve already got a streamer, I say put your dollars into the SN3 demo (your #2 option above) if you can get it. Sounds like a good way to go. I can’t speak to Qutest. Lots of folks on the forums know the Chord products well though and seem to have had luck integrating them with Naim.
Possibly a way down the road but, if you are going to use the phono stage of the SN3 instead of the CP1, you might want to put the CP1 in the cupboard so you can use it with the future 282…
Have reached out to him and he is on the case Appreciate the heads up.
I must say this is a top community so far, full credit to whoever deigned the UI / user experience too.
Fyi It’s essentially off the shelf software