Given that the streaming board is the same, I would expect the differences between ND5 XS 2, NDX 2 and ND555 as transports to be determined by the differences in their respective power supplies.
The ND5 XS 2 looks like a great, straightforward, one-box streaming solution . But, for the purpose of feeding a Hugo, I would rather use a dacless transport.
There are many solutions available, ranging from the Allo’s DigiOne devices up to the Hugo M Scaler and the dCS Network Bridge. Some of these solutions can be further upgraded via external power supplies and/or master clocks.
The Naim streamers have hardly been compared, as transports, to any of these solutions. Thus, it is difficult to say where they stay in terms of sound quality: they might be at the lower end, at the upper end or, perhaps, somewhere in the middle.
Without knowing the full internal workings of Naim streamers; is this correct? I understand that the recent issue with Tidal streaming affected the older Naim models and the new ones work differently and are (or were) unaffected by the Tidal issue. Which suggests the streaming boards do differ.
Note this is a genuine question, not a point of dispute.
We know that the buffer size is much bigger on the new kit to allow a full track to be captured; is the streaming process the same too? I’m sure I read that there had been a number of other improvements to the ND555, NDX2 and this one.
Sure, Simon-in-Suffolk has flagged the advantages of the new streaming board against the old one many times in the old and in the new forums. You’ll have to search back in the old forum since the new streaming platform has been first introduced with the Uniti Series, I believe.
My dealer was wanting me to pay more, we tried loads of music between the two and the final decision was that the ND5 had the edge. Maybe its our hearing, but the sound stage was more open and defined with the ND5. I will eventually go for the NDX2 but not yet.
Quite a few of the most recent answers are answering a different question to the one the OP actually asks, which is the advantage of NDX2 or ND5 XS2 as a transport over the ND5 XS he has at present… He isn’t asking about the NDX2 as a transport compared with ND5 XS2 as a transport.
For what it’s worth I think the ND5 XS2 as a transport will give a substantial improvement over the ND5 XS as a transport and spending the extra to use a NDX2 as a transport probably isn’t going to give so much more than the ND5 XS2 as a transport.
The most fundamental differences between the old and new streamers is the transport, decoupling, EM interference management, clock stability and interfacing … the DAC implementations are largely the same with some optimisation… the network interfacing stage, transport inc DSP engine (which is used for the digital out mode as well as feeding the DAC for analogue mode) and display, is significantly re architected and re engineered, and boy do you notice it!! The sonic differences and reliability are marked with the new streamers in either its digital mode or analogue mode… but please note you have to configure one or the other in the new streamers such that the internal systems are optimised for the task. Unlike the legacy streamers, you can’t run concurrently digital and analogue.