Sonic Quality difference between Nova and NDX 2

I understand both Nova and NDX 2 uses 1792A chip. However, Nova also houses power amp which must be creating extra noise (and that cannot be switched off if u r not using the same).

So the Qs is how much better Sonic Quality one can expect from NDX 2 compared to Nova.
Or is the only way to get substantial improvement in Sonic Quality is by adding the XPS DR (which makes the cost almost double) ?

Regards,
Sourav

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I have both and the NDX2 is unquestionably better, but they are both excellent at their price point. Off course, you need to factor in the amps(s) with the NDX2 - I use a SN2, but it would be well at home with any of the higher end separates - especially with the XPS DR added.

System balance with the speakers and room will also be significant factors in choosing between the two.

I have a Nova and ND555/555x2 there is a difference in presentation and detail. The Nova is fantastic at making music. If you need more than the Nova then audition the NDX2 but as stated above an NDX2 plus SN2/3 will be double the cost of the Nova!

If I had to live with just the Nova I would have no problems. I use a Powerline and EE switch into ATC SCM7 speakers btw

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Right now I’m using Nova with my McIntosh Amps (C2300, 2x275 Monoblocks). Sounds great. No complaint. No plan to move to Naim Amps.

Even Nova directly driving my Sonus Fabre Cremona M sounds pretty decent.

The curiosity about NDX2 is because of its Digital Out (which Nova does not have) - so that I can also sometimes use it as only streamer with my PS Audio Direct Stream Dac (which is a fabulous one in my experience). But not sure whether it would be worth spending that extra money by trading off Nova if the SQ differenceis not that great. Probably the difference would be large only if I use NDX2 with XPSDR.

Surely audition is the only way to figure out.

Regards,
Sourav

Only thing is I’m not sure how much sound quality improvement

If you’re going to use the digital output of a Naim streamer, I would go for an ND5XS2 rather than an NDX2 for twice the price. Same streaming board, and to my ears, more or less the same sound quality.

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Sure that’s an option.

But not feeling like sacrificing the vibrant 5" display (which can be also put off if needed).

I wish Naim would have created just a Streamer (without the DAC) with all of these features of their NP800 streamer platform. IMHO no competition in the market today come close to this offering given the breadth of the inputs it covers, supports for majority of the file formats including DSD upto 128, the display, the App (which is now pretty good) and on top of all these the sound (and brand) of Naim.

Regards,
Sourav

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I demoed an NDX 2 at home against my Nova soon after the NDX 2 was out, and there was to me a significant improvement at the time and I was planning to get one.

A few firmware updates later I demoed again, and the gap seemed to have narrowed, NDX2 definitely better but I personally felt it probably needed an external PSU to make it really sing - as you say that significantly increases the cost. If I were buying new now I’d get the NDX 2 as I use the Nova as a ‘source’ for my older Naim active system which was in storage, but I always figured that I’d potentially just have the Nova as another system in bedroom or other room.

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I’m not sure there’s enough redundancy in the DAC chip and analogue output to justify the expense of carrying a standalone streamer range. Others object to the internal PSU because they just want to use an external one. Personally, I could do without the WiFi module, Chromecast and SPDIF inputs. I’m sure Naim could build us all bespoke units to fit our own requirements if we were prepared to pay 3 times as much for the privilege.

Similar experience here. I bought Nova back in 2017 as soon as it came out for the second system. Did not hear it that regularly last 1 or 2 yrs. Listening it back to my main system last few days as a source and it appears that it has improved a lot in SQ.

But at the same time I don’t think any of the Firmware updates were geared towards SQ improvement. Or even if so it should have gone to NDX 2 too.

May be someone from Naim can confirm if there were Firmware upgrades aiming SQ of only Uniti Series.

Regards,
Sourav

Yep … I’ve recently done exactly that!

I wonder if in the future, Naim might not bother with screens … just like my ND5XS2 :grinning:

Unfortunately, the green display gave up on my first generation ND5XS (extremely dim and unreadable). Seems like the colour screens have their issues too :disappointed:

With the new ND5XS2, I definitely don’t miss the screen and the Naim App works great for settings etc.

Considering that I’m using it with the original Hugo, there seemed little point going for the NDX2… a screen “version” to use solely as a ‘transport’ wasn’t for me and not much point paying for something I didn’t need (colour screen … at more than double the price!)

The option for adding an external PSU didn’t influence me either.

When I’m ready to upgrade, I’m sure Naim will have released a newer model to add to their range of products… which incorporates their latest ‘know how’ :grinning:

You are right. But many companies are doing both or just Dac,

Say dCS has both Dac+Streamer and Streamer too. MSB has Dac with optional module for Streaming. Pacific is only DAC, PS Audio.

Regards,
Sourav