Second hand NDX or new ND5XS2


Ok only one day to make up my mind
Which way do I go …
Running on Supernait 2


Never heard an ndx, but nd5xs2 works rather well with a supernait 2. You would not be disappointed.


Your preferred upgrade method also comes into play. The NDX can be upgraded by an external PSU or a DAC. The ND5xs2 only by external DAC.

I doubt you’d be disappointed in either. If you can’t listen before buying it will be tough. If you do lots of internet streaming, the ND5xs2 with the newer streaming tech would be a no brainer. But if it is all domestic UPnP then the decision might be harder. If anything like the NDX2/NDS comparisons, then the NDX would be slightly better but that might be true at all.

My NDX is 5 years old and has never let me down feature-wise.


For what it’s worth I thought the ND5XS2 sounded more convincing than my NDX… and there is simply no comparison in streaming performance and capability with the new gen streamers over the old… a definite case of genuine product evolution.
I have not looked back (apart from one little niggle) since I upgraded to the new architecture.


I had a demo of the old NDX and the new ND5XS2 yesterday with a friend at a local hifi dealers, and for £2000 I can have the ND5 or £2700 the NDX. Upon listening to both over the period of 2hrs using a Supernait 2 and a pair of £10,000 Focal Sopra’s, listening to loads of music from TIDAL, I have to say that the ND5 won hands down. We both felt that the soundstage opened up with the ND5 and the mid more defined. I know everyone prefers different sounds, but I felt that the ND5 was the better option, even thought its a entry level unit. So its done, and paid for …Maybe I can get a NDX2 or 555 later on in the future. Who knows !!


All I do now is basically stream music (90/10) now. Curious about @Simon-in-Suffolk experience with the new streamers and a 3rd party DAC. Anyone try the ND5XS2 with a 3rd party DAC(Qutest) vs NDX?


Haven’t tried Qutest… but in presentation into a 552, I prefer NDX2 into Hugo mk1 (using SPDIF and level appropriately set) over a PCM1704K based DAC such as the ND555, but this is down to preference… and how I listen to music. The method of audio reconstruction is quite different between PCM1704K compared to the Hugo custom DAC… both are compromises and you choose what works best for you…

Listen to a DSD recording and the benefit to me becomes clear… listen to a well recorded PCM track the differences are often less marked. We are however talking nuance, subtleties, insight, intonation, ebb and flow … effectively I think what some call ‘musicality’… as opposed to crude subjective measures like imaging, tonal balance, brightness, PRaT etc. So it’s about appreciating how a drum set is played or recorded, the bite of a cello bow, the acoustic reverb from a Cathedral choir, the feel from a well mixed vocal, or vocal duet… the energy and pace and rawness of a grunge or punk track leaving you breathless, the exposing and appreciation of deliberate clipping and distortion in a master, the interplay in an orchestra led by the conductor… etc etc… in other words it’s about the audio sounding more natural and less artificial so our brains subconsciously work less hard to listen and decode it…so it sounds more real in terms of the cues we get from the music… we can listen into the audio as opposed to simply letting it wash over you… what I call the Mandelbrot effect… to me this is what appreciating recordings is all about… it’s like reading a book.

But in answer to your point, the NDX2 gives you the same transport, streaming and presentation capabilities as the ND555.
Having said that I have found the ND555 a worthwhile uplift over the NDS… and I suspect is getting as close as one is going to get with PCM1704K perfection and optimisation…and I think Naim really squeeze every drop of goodness they can get out of that converter.


Thanks Simon I appreciate your response, and for articulating my feelings which I struggle to put into words.


There is a link either from the Naim home page or from their Facebook page to a review of the ND5XS2 in Gramophone magazine. They like it…punches above its weight.



Thanks for that…looks good.