Upgrade advice needed, ND5 XS2 or Nova

Yep, IIUC they should be able to tell you if it has been back for a service in its lifetime.

Thank you, I did not know that. I’m old school and back in the day, the CDX2 matched the NAC202 or SN, and the CD5x matched the NAC122x or its forerunner, the NAC112x. Sorry about my mistake.


No apology needed, it isn’t exactly a mistake and I think there are more than a few on here running a NDX2/SN3 combo.

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I’m not sure where you see that. All I can spot is a wiring diagram in the quick start guide. To me, the logical partner for the ND5XS2 is the Nait XS3, while that for the NDX2 is the Supernait 3. It just makes sense, as the are in the same series and are the same shape and size. That’s not to say that mix and match in either direction won’t work, and some of Naim’s suggested systems have always been a bit odd and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Incidentally, when I was getting my NDX2 in 2020 I asked a dealer about the 5XS2 and an nDac - they had an nDac for sale - and the unequivocal advice was that the NDX2 is better. That was good enough for me.


You already have the Supernait, so that is certainly something to weigh against purchasing another device containing an amp/preamp, but I absolutely love my Nova. It is so simple, elegant and easy to use, and sounds fantastic. I mostly just use the Naim app for Qobuz, Tidal or a 2 TB hard drive that I have plugged into it, but I have tried using Audirvana on my computer as a uPnP server and that works great, too, as does the occasional bluetooth connection or Chromecast from my phone.

I am actually thinking of buying a SN3/ND5 XS2 combo for my main system and moving the Nova to my home office, so I totally get all of the arguments in favor of multiple boxes, but if one of your priorities is to simplify things, I am not sure you could do much better than the Nova.

Which was also what Jason Gould told me. And that was a bare NDX2 against an nDAC/XPS.

From the ND5 XS2 page on the Naim website
Screenshot 2022-01-24 191259
From the manuals

Screenshot 2022-01-24 191407

Screenshot 2022-01-24 191436

While I’m sure the NDX2 sounds great with a SN3 I think its more natural partner is probably a 282 as there’s nothing in the Naim range between a NDX2 and a 555.

All this is a bit of a moot point though, the question was is a ND5XS2 good enough for a SN3 and in my opinion absolutely it is


Fair enough, but I wouldn’t use an ND5XS2 with a Supernait 3. It has a little too much of the mullets for me.

I have no idea what you mean by that :joy:
Anyway, I’m a happy ND5XS2/SN3 user, even more so now that there’s a HCDR in the mix. Sure a NDX2 would be better but alas I don’t have a spare five and a half grand burning a hole in my pocket right now


As per Forum form, things are made more complicated than they need to be. You have a SN1, wisdom is that a HiCAP will improve that significantly. The NDX2 is the natural partner, and it would be a very nice system of 2.5 boxes and utilising the SN1 that you already own.

A ND5 XS2 will work, it will be cheaper, there is no screen or remote, and the SQ will be below what the SN1/HiCAP is capable off.

If you want simplicity and a single box, the Nova is a great option. But SQ will be below the above options, but still very good.

It’s all very relative and with Naim, you generally get what you pay for. I’d go with the SN1/HiCAP and NDX2 personally.

Good luck.


Before there was : Cd5i, Cd5x, Cdx2, Cds3 and Cd555.
Cd5i was the natural partner of Nait 5, Cd5x was recommended with SN, 112/150 and 202/200.
Cdx2 with 282/250. Cdx2/ xps2 with 252/250 or 300 , as Cds3.
Cd555 with 552/500.
So I would say that the Nd5xs2 is the natural partner of SN3 and 202/200.
Ndx2 with 282/ 250. Ndx2/ XPS dr with 252/300.
Nd555 with 500 series.

A bit of speculation of course.

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The CD5i was the natural partner of the Nait 5i.

The CD5 with the Nait 5 or NAC112/NAP150.

The CD5x with the Nait XS or NAC112x/122x/NAP150x. The CD5xs with the Nait XS2 or NAC152xs/NAP155xs.

The CDX2 was the natural partner for the NAC202/NAP200 and then the Supernait. If we were demonstrating a Supernait it would always be partnered with at least a CDX2.


Quite. And that’s why the natural network player match for the Supernait 3 is the NDX2. Both are part of the Classic Series. Both are the same size. It’s really pretty obvious.

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There’s 5 CD players in that list. There’s only 3 streamers in the range. Would anybody suggest a 555 with anything less than a 552? If not that leaves 2 streamers and the 282 and 252 as well as the three integrateds. If the NDX2 is the natural partner for a SN3 then there’s a bit of a gap for the 282 and 252. I’m genuinely curious as to what Naim would say here.

I think a 555 is quite a feasible and reasonable option from 282/250 level onwards. And you forget the XPS DR and 555PS upgrade steps for the NDX2.

If you’re curious what they would say then probably best ask someone like Jason or Mark at Naim.

Thanks Mike for that.

I think I have a number of options. The best sq wise seems to be out of my limits at the moment. I understand that the Nova won’t be as good as the separate route. But if it’s better than my current set up that could be enough. I intend to hide my kit away going forward if I stick with separates so a mismatch aesthetically doesn’t matter so much.

I’ll check stuff out over the next few weeks


So what was recommended with 282/250 and 252/300?

CDX2 + XPS or CDS3.


Perhaps two other options which I think have not been mentioned yet:

First, in a recent demo I found the Nait XS3 quite impressive, much more of an upgrade to the XS2 than I imagined beforehand. IMO impressive enough to forget a SN1 especially one that’s not been serviced yet.

Since your PMC Twenty.24 speakers are 8 ohms and 90 db/W sensitivity they likely shouldn’t require SN-level currents.

So you could also include a Nait XS3 with ND5 XS2 combo in your demos as they go great together. Perhaps add some Naim extras like a Powerline or FraimLite, and see what it brings versus a Nova or other possibilities mentioned.

Alternatively you could demo an Atom HE with a preloved NAP200 power amp, a recent DR one or a serviced non-DR version. I was also quite impressed with that combination. And as a bonus the headphone amp is steps above the one in the XS3 which is pretty decent already.

Good luck with your Naim journey!



I wouldn’t use twenty.24s with anything less than a 250DR. Neither Nait XS3 nor any Supernait is really up to the task.