Poorly ND5XS = NDX2 on order!

Hi folks,

Long time reader here and first time poster on the forum. I have been really impressed with the insights and experiences shared by the members here and have certainly learnt a lot, so I thought I would briefly share my recent streamer audition experience.

My Naim journey started around 6 years ago when I pressed the button on a SN2 amp and said ND5XS which I have been delighted with until a channel dropped out one evening which I traced back to the ND5XS. A couple of calls to Jack at the AudioBarn later and I thought it rude not to check out the latest streaming options whilst I get my ND5XS fixed!

After becoming accustomed to the lovely room, SN3 amp and Spendor A7 speakers with my ND5XS listening to Tidal, we moved on to the ND5XS2. First impressions were impressive; brighter, more detail and overall, a familiar but quite exciting presentation. However, I found it a little tiring after digging into a variety of music so moved onto the NDX2. Listened to the same 4 or 5 initial tunes and instantly, things sounded more natural, more involving and actually more engaging. Sounds a little “hifi review” but really did hear things not heard before in very familiar recordings and found I was just listening to the music (and more music!).

Unfortunately, there is quite a wait for my new toy (circa 20 weeks I think!) so whilst I was there, I treated my SN2 to a HiCap DR which I would absolutely recommend to any SN2 or SN3 owner. Instant lift in dynamics, timing, punch, separation and depth!

I fear that this is the start of my next adventure in hifi and next on the list is a proper speaker audition against my trusty Audiophysics Classic 10 floorstanders. Loved the Spendors, but another recommendations from the members are very much welcomed!

Thanks again to Jack at the AudioBarn for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!

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Good to hear - I had an nd5xs for a while until I got an NDS, but have since had an NDX. The ndx with sn3 was very enjoyable (sold both to finance upgrades elsewhere and I have regretted it a bit) so I can imagine ndx2 being great

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Welcome to the forum Paul. Others have said this but before but ‘enjoy the journey!’ You’ve found the secret sauce that Power supplies can bring a nice uplift. Let your NDX2 settle in a bit before exploring other options. If you have an extended demo with the XPSDr be prepared for another uplift in SQ but a hit to your wallet. Speakers I’m afraid are a bit personal. I’d say for a biased opinion, check out the ProAc line…

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Welcome Paul, speakers really need a home demo. I demo a few speakers at my dealer and then whittle it down to a couple for home demo……i have PMC 25.26

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Many thanks for the warm welcome! I must admit, the power supply was quite a positive surprise and came right at the end of an afternoon of toe tapping! I was going to wait until I returned to collect the ND5 but I am glad I did try it; the improvements being instantly noticeable even with tired ears!

The XPS power supply for NDX2 will be a while off I think - speakers will be the next upgrade after falling for those Spendors.

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Thanks Gazza, yes absolutely agree that home demoing speakers is critical and will be able to do exactly that. The Spendors were lovely and I do recall enjoying PMCs when I heard them a while ago. I was eyeing up the Kudos Titan 505 in the showroom but the price maybe slightly prohibitive!

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With my SN 2 and now 282/250 DR, I run a pair a pair of ProAc D30RS speakers.

I attended a Spendor demo night and on a separate occasion a ProAc demo night at my dealers. I also spent time with the A7 and D30RS speakers in the dealers demo room. For me the D30RS had the sound I enjoyed more. I may have been slightly biased since I had owned a pair of ProAc D2 speakers previously. I did have the D30RS speakers for a home demo as well prior to purchase.

As often said on the forum, demo at dealers and at home if you can to insure they work in your room.

I started with a ND5 XS, moved to a NDX and then on to a NDX 2 and it is worth the wait…

Good luck with your decision on your choice of speakers.

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Thanks for the speaker recommendation. I have no experience of ProAc gear but will certainly them to the research list! I bet the 282/250 combo is a bit of a step up from the SN2 and certainly my plan for the future! #geargoals

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It’s all part of the ‘enjoy the journey’ IMHO. Nice thing with the ‘journey’ is you can stop wherever and it’s all good!

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I’m running a NDX2 into a SN3 with Spendor A7’s, no psu’s as yet! It’s a pretty good combo, the A7’s are quite revealing and can be a bit hot in the upper mids I find but it’s probably room related. I previously ran the A7’s with a Nova but they showed up the Nova and the current combo is a lot more listenable.

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Natural, involving and engaging are exactly the sort of words I use, and indeed look for in a system. It’s far more important than the bollocks about inky blackness and pinpoint imaging that all too many use. Stick with it, it’s what music is about.

I bought an NDX2 last year and it’s a wonderfully capable box. I have a PS555DR on mine, and use it with a Supernait 3 and a pair of ProAc Tablette 10 Signatures. So that’s a £12,000 source with £1,500 speakers, and it works brilliantly. Don’t think you have to get carried away with enormous flashy speakers would be my advice.

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Exactly, the journey is absolutely part of the fun and the great thing is, I loved the original set up so no mad rush to get to whatever the end destination may be.

Been spinning vinyls all day today to warm up the HiCap and loved every minute of rediscovering my record collection in the absence of the streamer.

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That’s the set up the dealer was demoing the steamers with and it was quite a system! Obvious caveats being I am not that familiar with the speakers, room and of course the cabling, so will be interested to hear them against my current speakers to properly assess. The detail and space in the soundstage was most impressive though!

You must try the HiCap when you get a chance to see how you find it as I was surprised with the impact!

Good advise indeed - follow and trust your ears! I think it is all too easy to fall into the trap of improving certain elements of a set up to reveal the full potential of other elements etc, so good to hear your thoughts and feedback. I must admit though, after not being following hifi advancements over the last 5 or so years, the last couple of weeks have been extremely educational. Roon, network switches, ethernet cables and new (to me) speaker brands to name a few and certainly very enjoyable to hear the latest Naim steamers.

Instead of new speakers try changing the speaker cables upgraded to Teliurium Q black, many shops loan out cables my cables changed the whole dynamics of the system.

Hi enjoy your NDX2… and congrats… resist the pressures you may read on these pages and elsewhere to quickly adjust with PSUs, cables etc… get comfortable with your system…and your new streamer. You describe you hearing it and it was the presentation you wanted… not sure at home or in a Hi-Fi shop… but that is good start…

After a while you may notice something that irks on certain familiar recordings, especially with new equipment that might have a different pass band frequency response with real signals, and I suspect unless you listen in a treated studio, that will be down to speaker room reflections … try adjusting speaker positioning or move things around. Domestic settings are almost always a compromise… you choose where to make that compromise.

But the key thing, familiarise and enjoy… once you get it right for you the urge to tweak and ‘upgrade’ starts to diminish… although of course I think it helps to keep a healthy curiosity of other equipment … at least you will have a good reference… and you will appreciate differences in musical replay and engagement… as opposed to chasing your tail trying to find something that isn’t there.

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Thanks Simon and yes the audition took place at my dealer’s lovely demo space.

Absolutely agree with allowing plenty of time between tweaks, changes and upgrades and only if you feel the need (or in my case, curiosity as apposed to anything else). In fact I had no intention of upgrading anything until the ND5XS developed a problem as I enjoyed it partnered with the SN2 so much. However, the NDX2 is clearly in a different league and I have a lot of music to reacquaint myself with before further purchases.

Before my Naim gear, I spent far too much time listening to boxes and changing cables almost every month, rather than enjoying the music, which I find my Naim gear (and cabling!) allows me to do with aplomb!

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Indeed, I suspect a lot of so called SQ ‘improvements’ one hears from enthusiasts are not SQ improvements at all… just changes to what is familiar, such as eq response affecting room reflections directly leading to ‘I haven’t heard that before’ or exaggerated foot tapping moments so one assumes it must be better… but it isn’t necessarily … so the best thing is to aim for a performance that you enjoy rather than what you believe is to be ‘better’ through social media and indirect or direct advertising pressure and that way satisfaction is more likely achieved and the so called upgrade urge is diminished.

Exaggerated foot tapping makes me smile… I am no doubt it can be there if in the recording… but it shouldn’t be there if not… I remember a Highend Hi-Fi demo once in an old mill house in lovely grounds… a beautiful location, with beautiful Hi-Fi. In the main room a track was playing… not particularly imspiring but it was playing out on something large and expensive… and yes the audio sages were there all foot tapping rigorously … I couldn’t hear strong timing at all… and on closer inspection those feet appeared to be all tapping to different times!.. it would have made a great video.… when I left that day I laughed out loud on reflecting of that moment….

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Exactly! All the more reason to ensure you demo new gear at home in familiar surroundings and acoustics.

I was back at the AudioBarn last week checking out more speakers as well as picking up my now repaired ND5 and listening to the NDX2 again really was very enjoyable - the detail and realism in the midrange is very impressive and I can’t wait until my unit arrives!

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