Recommended streamer upgrade from Node 2i for nDAC

I am aware there have been a whole lotta threads on this…but none of them really dive into this exact question.

When I set up my streaming system, the Node was just a quick interim solution, but here it’s been several years now. I know the nDAC is great, and I suspect the Node is a constraint. I don’t really want to spend the coin for an ND5 XS. Anything solid in between folks would recommend?

The Streamer is an essential part of your audio source.

Yes, the BS Node is compromising sound quality in your system.

(I had one into my Naim DAC for a couple of weeks.)

You need an ND5XS2.

Any other ‘bland brand’ streamer will not get you what you want.


Hello b-lilja,

I recently added an Innuos Zen Mini MK3 to my Dac V1 and the improvement was great. Very comfortable and easy to use with the Sense app, looks good and has a very good visual match with Naim systems. You can look at options from their product range to suit your budget.

Holo Audio Red

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I agree with @JimDog

The nDAC needs a good source to shine. ND5XS2 (or NDX2) would be a good choice.


No doubting that is true, but both are DACs with a streaming board. I bit of a waste to buy one and only use the streaming board.

I’m using a Primare NP5 and an Ifi power supply with my ndac. Total cost £600 and I’m very happy with it.

I will be contrarian

I have the node and I think, as do others, it’s a very fine streamer. I use it through the DAC of my marantz SACD player and I humbly suggest the DAC in it surpasses the NDAC which is a bit long in tooth. Maybe keep the node and get a DAC upgrade

Let the flogging begin

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I think you have heard the limitations of the Node into the NDac. If you would hear it with a better streaming front end , you probably think the long tooth isn’t that long.


Well said @jmtennapel without being offensive at all. No need to flog lol

And then again, if he would prefer the sound of the Marantz DAC over the nDAC, that would be totally fine, but then just say it like that.

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I’d concur with this finding, too.

I have a Vault 2i, and use the DAC in my Marantz SA8005 to stream. Earlier this year I bought an NDAC, and I found it to be inferior to the DAC inside the SA8005. Or as said above, I preferred the Marantz sound.

I’ve since sold the NDAC.

For another streaming option, the Innuos Pulsemini is brilliant for the price.


Did you use an external power supply on the Naim DAC?

ok ,then
buy this :slight_smile:


use a good usb cable between something like this and a pc :


and your done!

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No, just as it came.

what is the first box?

d/d converter
usb to spdif

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We have that SMSL box with iPad pushing Tidal max into naim devices (NDX2/SuperUniti).

iPad → Apple Camera adapter → SMSL → SPDIF

For the cost it’s an absolute smasher.

What does that mean?
Also, how do uou deal with jitter before SMSL?

Ndx2 is a fine source but you need proper streaming cables and a very good switch unless listening off-line ( preferred method)

Smasher means “great” in my local vernacular. For £40 the SMSL is fantastic.

We have DC1 from NDX2 to nDAC.

Like others here, we can hear no benefit of an extra switch or fancy ethernet streaming cables once streamer and DAC are decoupled into separate boxes.

We use a simple good quality ethernet cable from ISP hub to NDX2.

Not really fussed about jitter as the nDAC reclocks everything after buffering. There are however measurements on ASR which does show the SMSL is a good performer in terms of jitter and other electrical measures.

Once naim provide Tidal Max via firmware for our NDX2 we will keep SMSL around to do Tidal Connect for SuperUniti in hires. Listening to that today, sounds excellent. Just posted on another thread about Eagles remasters at 24/192. Awesome!