Upgrade HDX-DAC-XPS to NDS-555PS?

Autumn is coming and Update time is also on its way.

Thinking about an update in the digital path.
Currently I have HDX-nDAC-olive XPS (into 52/135/SBL)

Could get a NDS and a 555PS (PS would go for recapping first)

I am happy that the 555PS is non DR as I read, that the non DR also matches good with nDAC. So I have the chance to test HDX-nDAC-555PS as well.
What I really like with nDAC is it’s full and dominant bass as the bass presentation is a bit a problem in my room (with SBL :)).

  • how will the overall presentation improve with NDS over HDX?
  • will the bass be more accurate (and less „fully“ sounding) with NDS?
  • how will be the improvement adding 555ps to nDAC?
  • will NDS-nDAC-555PS be also an option?
  • is there a chance that DR upgrades will be available again in the future?

Completely other idea… Add ND5XS2 and 555PS → ND5XS2/nDAC/555PS ???

I currently do not use streaming services - only HDX server and NAS.

Thanks for any thoughts and sorry (again) for strange questions :slight_smile:
Best regards

For me the NDAC and NDS, when used with the same power supply, are on a broadly similar level of quality but with a slight difference in character. The NDS is perhaps smoother and more refined, whereas the NDAC rocks. If anything I would probably stick with the NDAC although I could happily live with either.

Remember that the NDS is dated and has limited streaming options. In this respect an ND5XS2 with your NDAC would be a better option. You may think that you only want to stream from local storage, but with an increasing number of quality streaming and iRadio services available you might change your mind if you have it at your fingertips - or not.


Yess - when its on my fingertips … you might be right. Same with Netflix and so an… now heading for the 4th streaming option :slight_smile:

But is not all sound is coming from front end - and NDS has way better streaming front end, than ND5XS2?
I really love my nDAC for its rocking sound - being a bit harsh from HDX, when compared to vinyl - which I like most to be honest.
Maybe I will go 555PS first.
Will nDAC keep on rocking with full bass fundament when updating XPS olive to 555PS?
Will ND5XS2 outperform the HDX in SQ?

It’s the other way around. The ND5XS2 has the superior streaming platform, both in performance and the streaming services it can support. As Chris says, using the ND5XS2 as the streamer, S/PDIF coupled with the NDAC, should give you a very nice solution.


But despite from its very nice new platform (which I do love in my Muso2) the complete setup in NDS is top range - the decoupled boards and so on.
It should sound better in streaming from nas - on the other hand DAC is in separate box with nDAC solution.

Sound quality is very most important! As older in age and with collector genes I am fine with buying music and storing it on NAS.

But… a great advantage with this setup.
I can compare both setups very easy.
HDX-DAC-555PS (or XPS olive)
ND5XS2-DAC-555PS (or XPS olive)

Both fed in DAC :slight_smile:

Indeed. The NDS at present pre loved prices is a performance bargain, but as you already have the Naim DAC…

Best compare the options and see what you find works best for you. You can’t really go wrong with either option.

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I think you will find that the differences between the streaming boards in the NDS and ND5XS2 are relatively small. The NDS was of course Naim’s highest level streamer in its day, but then the ND5XS2 benefits from the much improved new streaming board of the 2nd generation streamers.
Ideally you need to get hold of the 555PS and use it to compare the two options.


Drago, the streaming board from the ND5X2 is essentially the same one that’s in the ND555 (and others). FWIW I run this combo and it’s fantastic


Yes, this is was is tempting me… with the NDS.
555PS + ND5XS2 will be a bit cheaper as 555PS + NDS - but similar. NDS is from 2016 and in good shape.


Thanks - but ND555 will sound much batter as for the mechanical things done - as it is done in the older generation with NDS.

Will have to give it an ear - or two :slight_smile:

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If I was sure I wouldn’t try/like Internet Radio(I love it) or streaming services for convenience then a NDS with the older streaming board is fine. It still sounds fantastic. For me I’m young I suppose, streaming is the way to go. The SQ is pretty darn close IMHO and having thousands of tracks in the palm of my hand is worth it.

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To be honest - not having tried does not mean, that I would not like zit in the future.
I still buy 4K Blu-ray’s - but much less as I stream a lot via … you know what.

When it comes to music, this can also be the (my) future. I love radio paradise !
But mainly I listen to MY CDs - ripped on my HDX.

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searching in the Forum makes me a bit confused…
There is so much written about the different streamers.

What do you think…
For the planned upgrade costs I can get (coming from HDX/nDAC/XPS olive):

ND5XS2/nDC/555PS (nonDR)
NDX2 (with nDAC/XPS olive if better)

lets say … from SQ perspective!

Or doing it stepwise … adding ND5XS2 first … 555PS later.

I am really interested how the difference is between HDX and ND5XS (first and last streaming generation)

The Nd5xs2 is the new platform, however the streaming board of the Nds is much better decoupled and isolated from noise.
Even if some prefer the Ndac, the dac inside the Nds is generally considered as better.
It also depends if you prefer local streaming or online, like Qobuz or Tidal.
For local I would choose Nds/ 555 ps. For online, Nd5xs2/ Ndac/555 ps.
Ndx2/ olive Hicap is not in the same league. With a 555 dr, it’s on the level of Nd5xs2/ Ndac/555 ps.

I would not insist with the HDX. If it fails the cost will be around 500 euros to repair today.

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I currently have a HDX/nDAC/olive XPS.

Now it is 100% local streaming - but I am a bit tempted with HD radio and Quobuz.
Some say that Nd5xs2/ Ndac/555 ps is equal to NDS/555PS - but it its hard to believe as the NDS has its own suspension, which is in the TOP line only.

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One further question…
Can I select the volume via naim App when using the ND5XS?
As there is no stop button - can I mute it in the app?

You can use the app to stop or mute.
With the current Naim amps you can use system automation to control volume and input selection via the app, but the older preamps can’t do that.

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You need to listen to these combinations yourself. Personal preference, system and room matching and other factors will affect your choice.


I have a similar system to you, Drago.

I have never heard an NDS.

I can say that the 555DR is a good upgrade to the nDAC - although the bare nDAC also sounds very good.

But when I once removed the 555DR I really missed it.

The ND5XS2 is a great streamer into nDAC.

Please do let us know how the NDS compares to the nDAC if you buy it.

I would love to hear ND5XS2, NDS/555DR in my system, and plan to try that one day.


I have a NAC 52.
So I can select a 8 or 9 o clock volume on 52 and use the app for fine tuning of volume? I can not as you wrote :frowning:
I hava a qute and a unitiLite (from a friend) - both can do volume via app - but both are amps as well.
As NDX5XS2 has no remote, I think via App you can only set the streaming to pause.
For security reasons (switching channels with different output volume) I really like to stop (or mute)