Upgrade advice: Source (ND5XS) or amplifier (Supernait2)?

Hi all,

I am new to the Naim community but enjoying Naim sound since 9 years now.
Currently, my humble system consists of Supernait 2 as amplifier and ND5XS and CD5XS as sources with the network player as current main source, followed by the turntable and the CD5XS.
Now I am - as many others might do - making plans for 2020, and I wonder what would be the next step:
Upgrade the amplifier with a Hicap DR, or rather adding PSU to ND5XS or even exchange the ND5XS with an NDX2, which might be (even with ND5XS to trade in) probably the most costly move?

Many thanks in advance,

@mikegs i have always worked on the source first approach in my NAIM journey, so for me I would look at that route first

enjoy the journey

If the network player is your main source then it probably makes sense to move from ND5XS to an NDX2. Maybe you could demo an NDX2 at home first to assess whether the lift in performance is worth the extra cost?

@PSAN, @Antz: Thank you very much for the super quick response, the source first approach definitely will help me with my most used source.
The home demo is a very good hint, I could ask my dealer for it and, when it fits, I might even have the chance to trade in the ND5XS.

Trade in your ND5XS & CD5XS and purchase a NDX 2 & XPS DR and you will have a wonderful source upgrade. If you do not have a NAS, buy one and rip your CD’s and all your music will be at your finger tips. After that you could look for a HiCap DR for the SN 2.

Good luck with your decisions and hopefully you have a trusted dealer to help along the way.


@seakayaker Thank you! I am not quite sure about getting rid of the CD5XS, I guess it is just being used to CDs for quite a while now… But it is a good plan to start with the source first AND then upgrade the amplifier, so it is rather a question of timing and not a decision between two alternatives :slight_smile:

Mike, when I gave up a CD player and went to the NAS I found I played more music. Finding what I wanted to play was easier and at my finger tips via the iPad. It also cleared up a lot of clutter and saved time from picking out and putting away CD’s. For me I found this to be a plus. I realize others enjoy the tactile experience of opening a CD case and putting the CD in the machine, etc. and I respect whatever works for the individual.

Once again, good luck and have fun on your upgrade journey!

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Can only add to what others have suggested - source first makes sense and the NDX2 is worth an audition - it will also enable further improvements via an XPS and then 555PS later.

You will regret leting the CD5XS go. A nice system for playing music you have maybe the best idea is to leave it as it is.

I miss my CD5XS, it looked so nice on my rack :blush:

It made sense to sell it though and I have an ND5XS/nDAC/XPS now.

Hi all, thanks for the many replies. I also value very much the different opinions on the CD5XS. So I might try a home demo for a NDX2 and make then the decision.
@Guinnless: You just put a spot on another idea, since you are using the nDAC with your ND5XS
-> Would be great if you could share how the nDAC improved SQ for you

The nDAC adds scale and detail. The ND5XS sounds small in comparison.

Don’t forget that the nDAC was an official upgrade to the NDX and is a top piece of kit :+1:

@Guinnless Thanks for sharing! That is indeed an interesting thought, since not only the ND5XS, but also the CD5XS could benefit from it… and it seems quite affordable as a pre-loved unit as well…

Indeed I ran both streamer and CD player through the nDAC for a while.

Another vote for the NDX2, followed by an XPS DR and HiCAP if desired and an interconnect upgrade. This thread may be useful:

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@Mike_S: Thank you! I haven’t seen this thread yet, it looks very helpful.
Being tempted to try the nDAC, I recognise the majority votes for the NDX2 to start with.

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If you are happy with the way your ND5XS functions, and just want a sound quality uplift, running an external DAC from the SPDIF output can be a very cost effective way to go. Especially now that the cost of the discontinued NDAC has dropped, although that opens the door to PSU upgrades later. Lots of non-Naim DACs would work well here, too.

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Thank you all for your advice. So I will focus on the source first, depending on funds available and keep you updated on my decisions. Great to see the support of forum members.

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