Two boxes only - best SQ wins

Ok steel-cage deathmatch fans… If you could only have a 2 box setup, ignoring price, and SQ is the only factor - do you get

a NAC-N 172 with a NAP 155


a Nait XS2 with an ND5 XS


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NSC 222 with NC NAP 250


Surely ND5 with Nait.

Especially if you are mainly streaming from Qobuz.

Streaming only - no headphones, no analogue inputs used

NDX2 + SN3 for the win.


Wow, I’m glad I reread my post… I slipped an accidental “2” after writing ND5 XS

Subconscious desire perhaps….I can see why some people would think I’m crazy for even posting that matchup.

Basically a NAC172 and 155 vs Nait XS2 and ND5XS

Somebody must have contemplated this combo at one point

Atom HE + NC NAP250 :slight_smile:


I suspect I’d go for the ND5XS and the Nait XS2, mainly because it would be easier to improve, should you later want an ND5XS2 or an NDX2. The later streamers have much better functionality, and sound better too. Another alternative is a SuperUniti, which has more power for more challenging speakers or, even better, a Nova.

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You think the SQ on a SuperUniti beats an XS2 and ND5 combo?

The ND5XS and Nat XS2 will do you proud. While I’ve never heard one the 5 series streamer preamp was not highly regarded.

That said, outside of the choice provided, I’d probably favour a streamer/pre and power amp over a streamer and integrated. In my opinion that is where the market is going.

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Indeed. Though I’d suspect that the ‘source first’ brigade would say that the ND5 is the leader by that logic

Auralic Altair G2.1 and Burmester 036.


I had the NAIT XS2 > ND5 XS > NACA5 > ProAC D2R as my first NAIM system and it was fantastic.

I have never heard the NAC172 > NAP155 XS combo so cannot comment.

CD5 xs. SN 2…along with a flatcap xs powering the CD5 xs and a Hicap DR powering the SN2. OK…4 boxes…but stuff happens :laughing:

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Brinkmann nyquist into nsc 332 (into active ATCs) or is that cheating :wink:

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Vivaldi one, just add your amp and speakers, doesn’t really get any better.
Simply simple but stunning


This is becoming a great social experiment to see who reads the title of the thread only and then immediately post a response vs those that read the post and then respond.


I compared these two systems at my dealers some time ago and bought a Superuniti. I felt that sound quality was pretty similar, so I chose the simpler and slightly cheaper one box solution.
I think the ND5XS was nothing special, and the ND5XS2 was a great improvement on its predecessor.


To answer the detailed question in the OP: Neither!
ND5XS route allows more future flexibity, but to know which sounds better I’d need to audition - and choice may depend on the speakers.

NAIT 50 and NAT-02.