Separates, Streaming and Films!

Hi all,

First time poster and hoping for some advice on a system I am looking to build.

Currently requirements are as follows:

  • Living room set up (5x6m)
  • 50% streaming, 40% TV/Film (Sony A80J OLED), 10% CDs
  • £5k ish

Proposed system (all second hand / ex demo as am limited on budget):

· Naim XS3
· Bluesound Gen 3
· DAC (Denafrips Ares ii, Chord Quetest or similar)
· Speakers (undecided but likely MA Gold 200, Dynaudio S40 or similar)

Having spent lockdown at my Dad’s place with his Atom, I have been amazed at how well it sounds, reliability of app and ARC with the TV etc. Just lacking a little power for my room.

The Nova sounds great but don’t want to commit £4k to a single box. I want to get into Hifi and am keener to go down the separates route. I enjoy tinkering and will look to upgrade the units over time.

Can anyone offer any opinions as to how well the above separates systems would interface with a TV & films? (I don’t want to go Home Cinema AV receiver route).
Do any DACs work better with a TV or for Film / Cinematic sounds?

Any opinions or advice would be well appreciated.


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You might be better with an ND5XS2 and feed the TV into that rather than Bluesound gen3 and Qutest DAC, would cost about the same, maybe £500 more for the ND5XS2, unless you buy used.

Personally I would get a different set up and look at a Supernait 2 or 3 and go for NDX2 if you can afford it.

Other option is something like a NAC 72 or 82 preamp with HiCap and NAP 250 power amp Olive or Chrome Bumper with the ND5XS. You said you wanted separates so there it is. This is the equivalent of a 282 HiCap 250DR, albeit with older technology. You could get an 82 HiCap and 250 for around £2500.

The Bluesound will be very good with the Qutest as well.

Maybe a mix and match of these suggestions could work for you.

You get alot more for your money will olive and chrome bumper Naim gear. Factor in a service for older equipment over 10 years. Darran at Class A is best bet, authorised Naim service agent. Very reasonable prices, and good turnaround.

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Thanks for the response, Dan. Much appreciated.

I will have a look into those options.

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If movies are important so is a centre channel. Why not get a receiver and use the av bypass on Naim apps to good effect


Just be aware the older Olive preamps don’t have the AV bypass feature. You would need a Supernait or 202 or 282 and upwards for AV bypass. Personally I use a Beresford switch TC 7220 Mk11. I have my main speakers connected to it and the AV amp and 2 x Naim Nap 135s connected to it. Then I have a secondary set of speakers in another room connected up. That way I can switch between AV amp and Naim power amps with 2 sets of speakers. More cables but it means I can use my main speakers with the AV amp and Naim system. Plus the benefit of listening to music in another room when required.

Be interested to see how big a difference having a modern Naim preamp with AV bypass used for left and right channels affects a surround sound system.

I don’t have that facility so researched things and came up with a good solution and using older high performing Naim amps for music.

Get a good quality sound bar.

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