Pulled the trigger on an ND5XS2

You may remember my thread “Pulled the trigger on an nDAC”…great thread and great piece of kit.

I learned a lot about the digital side (having spent about two years working on my analog), but one thing that I became aware of was that I had a “mullet” system because I was streaming from Spotify using my TV and Toslink.

It became apparent to me when I used high quality Spotify vs high quality Tidal with NO difference on the TV. This is what confounded me because I’ve enjoyed the current system so what might possibly be coming out of a streamer?

I was actually not aware of the fact that a streamer could do a better job so I was intrigued and wondering what I could be missing so I want to try the streamer. Since this is the source we are talking about, it could be a major deal.


  1. System will be: ND5XS2 → nDAC → NAIT XS → HiCAP → NACA5 → Naim Credo

  2. I could not swing the DC1 and would have had to order it anyway so I’m temporarily using a Chord Shawline BNC digital cable and will eventually upgrade to DC1. Streamer and interconnect will arrive next week.

  3. I’m running out of room, so I will have to put my RP6 power supply and my Stageline down on the bottom level with my HiCAP

  4. Next upgrade will be the DC1, and maybe 2 more Powerlines.

  5. After I get a full loom of Powerlines I want to trade the NAIT XS, HiCAP, and Stageline for a SN3.

SNAIC in the grass


Get a power supply onto that nDAC! You won’t regret it.


I’ve used a couple of different twenty quid coax cables which were every bit as good as a DC1 in my system. So my advice with cables is never to assume that more expensive always equals better.


Sounds like a good system about to get better! How long do you have to wait for it to turn up?


As you have a top shelf dac have you tried feeding it via an iPhone using usb? I found the sq using the iPhone as a steamer to be superb, apparently it streams unadultered files, I reckon it will sound same as using the ND5 as a streamer and would save buying ND5… save to even better ndx2 or used nds and ps instead?

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Dont be so silly! You must be aware of the old adage that the more an audiophile spends on gear, the less convincing they need of any improvement.

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In time…I want to experience the difference with a streamer and the XPS DR ain’t cheap.

Also I tend to ride the wave of used gear as it comes in so its semi-random.

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It’s not about the cost, as I buy nearly exclusively used or recapped gear, its about using Naim gear in the entire system. My goal from the beginning was to experience the Naim House sound and not a Frankenstein system.

So far I’ve liked the sound more and more as I add/replace each piece with Naim…I like the sound.


We recently ran NDX2/nDAC/555PSDR into a SuperUniti!

Opened our eyes to source first, it sounded splendid at low volume.

DC1 is easy to get used, if you’re patient.


Fair enough, but I’m on a budget and buy usually used/recapped gear. It’s about mixing Naim with Naim and not other things to me.

Also its the luck of the draw since I buy as used gear comes in.

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Ships Monday so probably by the end of the week.

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Its here and I’m listening…

Sounds cleaner, more sparkly. Hard to describe yet…certain parts of the song I expected to be harsh weren’t harsh.

Will take some time and listening to tell…I did fire up Tidal and re-subscribed…running both Tidal and Spotify…

It sounds like my amp got “bigger” i.e. it feels like a more expensive amp now, also when I leave the room I can hear it way better than I used to.

I’m using less volume now…more sound coming out…bass is stronger…I don’t need as much amp to get the loudness I want it seems…

Update 2:
I’d say it reminds me of releasing a kink out of a water hose, like more music is going into the amp now. I may need to move my Credo back from the wall some to deal with new energy in the room.

When I first got my Credo, they were as close to the wall as physically possible to get the bass I wanted. Adding the nDAC I had to move them out from the wall. Adding Powerline and HiLine I had to move the Credo out from the wall some again. Maybe a third time I move them out with the addition of the ND5XS2.

Update 3:
Moved the credo up about 3 inches…omg the music is IN the room now and scary almost. So much more power in the room, like I was standing on a water hose and took my foot off.

The room itself sounds bigger when the music plays if that’s possible. I didn’t think my little XS could push out sound like this, what an amp it has been through so many changes.

Update 4:
Listened to quite a bit of stuff and I’m in uncharted territory; it’s a different system that will take me awhile to wrap my ears around. Hard to explain its just a different animal now.

I’m hearing a common thing happen with the system because I’ve heard this happen before…the system hasn’t broke in yet…in a couple months I know it will “gel” together better and sound way better…just have to wait. Every time I update a major piece there is a “hot” period where it rough around the edges; this always goes away in a few months.

I find myself having to turn the volume down often, especially on very new techno stuff.

My normal techno/trance/dance stuff is not impacted as much as stuff like Jazz, Rock, etc…its got a more natural musical quality now and I REALLY like acoustic guitar stuff.

Everything sounds like I’ve never heard it before, and am experience the songs newly, some stuff is amazingly different from what I remember.

Most music I listen to sounds good to me, whereas before, some songs just didn’t sound good or musical to me. Once again, everything I listen to just sounds like decent music…I even listened to some rap and the system brought out some good sounds from it!


Wife and I listening to “Mother” from Pink Floyd - The Wall…I asked her what she thought and she said:

“It really sounds peaceful”

Her exact words…usually she says she can’t tell a difference.


So here is the layout of the system with the ND5XS2:

Horrible shot with old phone lol…

You can see I ran out of shelf room so the Stageline and the Power Supply for the turntable is up on the Vinyl boxes; they don’t have long cables so they must stay up relatively high.

I wasn’t sure if I should have the nDAC on top or the ND5XS2 or if it doesn’t matter…

The next move I was considering was turning in the XS, HiCAP, and Stageline for an SN3; this would free up a shelf to add a power supply for the nDAC…thoughts?


While a SN3 is undoubtedly a (subjective?) step up from the XS, you would be downgrading your phono stage from Stageline/Hicap (is the Hicap powering the Stageline or the XS?)

If vinyl is a priority, an alternative might be to use a Rega phono stage and lose the Hicap

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HiCAP goes to XS, I’m working on the digital end right now.

That’s Naim.

They tune it to reproduce acoustic instruments played live, so it leads you to that type of music.


WOW it sure smoothed out the last 24 hours OMG…

Its like I’ve never heard this song before…the ND5XS2…nice.

I have an entirely different and new favorites list, its mostly real music and not electronica now.


Aaarrrrrgggghhhh. Don’t say that! I love my electronic music, and plan a ND5 XS2 eventually :joy:

Glad it’s turned out so well! Going to plug in to some unashamed electronic music this morning… Maybe Moby’s Reprise… in protest :wink:


It should continue to get even better. Hawthorne has a used Supernait 3. They are good about home demos