So, I’ve been living with a mild mullet for a while, in the shape of an ND5 XS2, and 82 with Hicap and a NAP300 non-DR (having both this and a 250DR, I’ve been swapping between them on an almost weekly basis). I was happy enough in mullet world as I kind of figured that streamers are likely to be more ‘similar’ across the range than analogue components. Anyway, after a recent near miss with another brand, I saw the opportunity to upgrade my ND5 XS2 for an NDX 2 at very reasonable cost, so I did.
I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I think it sounds really quite a bit better in the context of my system. It’s just more ‘balanced’ and right. I was hoping to be able to come on here and say ‘pah, all I got for the extra money was a screen and a full height case’, but it just ain’t so. So you live and learn.
So, next steps?? As far as I can gather 82 > 282 is really a sideways move for most people? Would I be likely to get more bang for my buck with a 252 upgrade (at quite a lot of cost as I don’t ‘even’ have a 282 to trade in) or an XPS-DR for the NDX 2? Thanks, Mr Unmullet
I would go for either a PSU upgrade or a DAC upgrade on the streamer next. (Although with the latter option, you could probably have stuck with the ND5!)
No of course the NDX2 will be an improvement over the ND5. However, I still wouldn’t blindly follow the source first mantra. What speakers do you use?
I would go for a NDX 2 & XPS DR - Monk Fish.
I’m using PMC Twenty 24. They are in a moderately large room - about 6m x 8m so I do wonder if something with bigger cones, or even a 3-way design might work better?
A 252 needs a SC so its not cheap and be sure to listen first. If you enjoy your 82, and it is a great pre, I’d look for a 52/SC which in my experience really makes a 300 shine.
Otherwise I’d stay stick with source-first. Say XPSDR for the NDX2 and/or a SC for your 82. Boring boxes to buy but pushes the music through like nothing else. And an olive SC will later work with a 252 (or a 52).
Takes a brave man to admit this here!
Thanks @jan - those are some wise words. I like the supercap idea as a ‘bridge’. I know its possible to have 82s adjusted to make use of more rails of a supercap but I’m not sure if we can talk about that here?!
I’d be recommending the XPS DR on the NDX2, it just does wonderful things.
Thanks Mike - that’s an easy option to A/B demo too - so it can’t hurt to give it a whirl!
It will hurt your pocket, because I’m betting you won’t take it out…
Save for 555dr for the ndx2
I’ve had ndx2 with xpsdr and 555dr
The ndx2 with the 555dr will be a huge upgrade - source first still rules. I know others will question this but since I’ve upgrade my source I have never felt so satisfied with my system.
I agree about getting a PS on the NDX2 first, whether or not you go 555DR or XPSDR depends on your budget. I’m likely going to skip to the 555 unless a deal l I can’t refuse for a XPS pops up. I’d at least go with the XPS before addressing your control and amp. If you have the budget I’d go SCDR then 252. Then DR the 250/300 depending on which you keep. I skipped the 282 and went straight to the 252 and was glad I did.
@andybee I used a 282/HCDR with my then 300 non DR plenty of music
I too have an LP12 but NDX (2014) only use the NDX to play FLAC and I radio - it still has plenty of music to offer, so I can believe the NDX2 will add a lot more
then the classic route of 300 to DR and then SC for 282 before the 252 entered my system a few years ago the R upgrade really does add to the 300
I would want to improve source if you are thinking of moving up from 82 with either options - to me the 282 with SC or DR is one great Pre and shows what the 282 can offer before DR on the 300
what a can say is the 252 is one stunning Pre when matched well -
Depending on your speakers, good options might include an XPS-DR for your NDX2 or a NAC52 + Supercap. One of the Naim dealers in the Biggleswade area might have a decent 52 soon.
I’d be inclined to go for an XPSDR or PS555DR. I have the latter on my NDX2 and it makes for a brilliant source. I’d certainly do this before thinking about amplifier improvements.
Thanks everyone. Based on the general feedback above, and my slight mullet-based shame, I think I’ll embrace ‘source first’ for a bit and go for a PS for the NDX 2. You know, I sat down at about 9pm last night for a bit of a listening session and was still rocking out at 2am (quite unintentionally!) - so that’s a pretty good indication of the effect the NDX 2 is having. I’m not sure I have the budget for a 555DR at present, so I’ll probably look for a used XPS DR and then upgrade it in the future. Cheers, Andy
Good choice! I doubt very much that you’ll be disappointed. Do try to get a demo though, as we all hear these upgrades differently.
I would go for a 252 with Supercap DR if you can afford it. Failing that then a 52 with Supercap would sound fantastic as well.
An NDS with 555PS will give the best sound vs NDX2 with XPS DR, but the NDX2 has the advantages of the most up to date streaming platform.
Or stick with the 82, add a Supercap to start with. And then choose the streamer/ power supply of your choice.
I have the 82 with Supercap 2 and NDS 555PS combo. Sounds incredible.
Maybe go source first, and do things in incremental stages. Then add the Supercap 2 or DR. Then look at pre.