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?
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.
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
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.
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!