Hypothetical Question -
Is a transition from a system consisting of
ND5XS2 / NAC52 / S.C / NAP 135
To a system based on -
SUPERNAIT 3 / H.C DR / NDX2 / XPSDR
Does that make sense in terms of musical quality? Apart from the advantage of reducing boxes, cables, shelves in FRAIM …
(Cables-HI LINE / POWERLINE on all devices)
Hypothetical Question -
I have the later, though SN2 and full loom Superlumina and it’s lovely. It’s certainly source first based over your first option.
The NAC52 will have a different presentation over the SN3, so would need a comparison I think.
You could use the NDX2 and XPS DR with the 52?
While both of those systems may work well, neither of them are well balanced. The 52/135 deserves a better source than an XS level streamer. The NDX2/XPS is capable of holding its own with a 252/300, which is the modern equivalent of a 52/135.
There’s also the question of speakers. A good source with lesser amplification is easier to justify if the speakers are an easy load, just as a better amp is more important if they are harder to drive. But in the latter case, more powerful amps and more demanding speakers are also likely to be more revealing, so demand a better source.
If it were me I would keep the 52/135s as they are superb and can easily be your last amplifier. The real issue here is a better source, and it really should be top quality. A high spec LP12 or an NDS would both fit well. The Sondek would be my choice if you have a lot of records.
But this leads to a multi-box and cable trail
From my profile: NAS > XPS DR > NDX 2 > Hi-Line > HiCap DR > SuperNait 2 > NAC A5 > ProAc D30RS. Also use AV Options TibiaPlus12 Deep-Cryo AC power cables.
I find the four box system to be very well balanced and does sound mighty sweet! My source is from the CD’s ripped to my NAS along with Qobuz and Internet Radio.
I recommend you go to a dealer and listen to a demonstration.
I have your four box solution and can confirm that they sound very good and are well balanced.
I would say “ downgrade “ because 52/135 are much better vs SN3 and the difference between Nd5xs2 and Ndx2/xps dr is not so big as the former.
But only hypothesis…and it will be difficult to find someone who has compared both. Just my feeling, but may be wrong.
Perhaps if 52/ 135 has not been serviced since more than 10 years, another system could be considered as Ndx2 bare/ 282/ hicap/ 250 dr, more than SN3 / Ndx2/ Xps dr. IMHO.
I don’t think I’ll be rushing to take the XPS DR off my NDX2 to make room to swap the SN2 for a 282/250 though, I find my system very well balanced as it is.
Just saying that because the OP wants to reduce boxes, but going from 52 ( ~252 olive) / 135 ( ~ 300 olive), to SN3 , would be a downgrade I feel strongly.
I think the main issue is that the old range presents different to the new black box classic range. I’ve a friend with a 72 based system that sounds wonderful and my SN2 with a high end source sounds wonderful - but they have different presentations and people will have preferences to that. The 72 has a lot of punch and is very natural, but I find my system too be clearer with a wider and more distinct sound stage. Of course, there are lots of other variables as well. A lot of chopping and changing of boxes often results in differences in presentation, but not necassirly more enjoyment of the music.
When I said that NDX2/XPS/Supernait/Hicap was unbalanced, I certainly wasn’t suggesting that it wouldn’t sound good, or that it wouldn’t be a good choice for some people depending on budget and box count tolerance. Still, there’s no getting away from the fact that that a source that costs twice as much as the amp has a lot more to give if you have the cash, and the space, for a separates amp such as 282/250 or 252/300.
I think this is an advantage of this approach, lock in a good source and enjoy it, and there is still more to gain with better amplification later on. Often there is the opposite approach where people go for better amplification that doesn’t achieve its potential when the source isn’t optimised. I’ve taken the approach of getting the most out of the amplification. Speaker matching is obviously a big factor too. It’s never easy with so many variables and limited opportunities for demos for some of us.
One thing for sure is there is a clear difference in the sound between a ND5XS 2 and the NDX 2 with the XPS DR.
US retail pricing for the NDX 2/XPS DR at the time of purchase was $14095.00 and the cost of the SN 2/HiCap DR was $8290.00.
If I was to have gone with the ND5XS 2 the retail cost would have been $3490 and $8290.00 for the SN 2/HiCap DR.
With your reasoning it would have been an unbalanced system if looking at price alone.
Cost alone can not determine a balanced system. The combination of Hi Fi components which sounds best to an individual in their room with their ears has the greatest weight.
JMHO - YMMV
In general terms I agree with you. However, I find that Naim are generally very accurate indeed when it comes to pricing their products accurately according to their relative abilities (despite what some 272 owners would have you believe, but that’s another matter ). But yes, system synergy trumps all that.
Here’s an NDX XPS2 with a 52/SC/135 system. I wouldn’t change the amps - Naim’s flagship system until a few years ago. A Supernait is fine, but not in the same keague.
Get a secondhand NDX and XPS2 and you’ll be fine. The XPS2 doesn’t add all that much anyway.
Thank you for your insights on the subject.
It seems to me that I will start testing my source upgrade so that the 5XS2 will serve as a digital platform for thenetwork streaming -transport. And for sonic improvement use its digital out to NDAC Which will be connected to an XSPS DR power supply.
I base my assumption on the fact that NDAC has the same chip and an analog filter, identical to the one in NDS / ND555
Sounds like a similar plan that I’m executing on. My last step is the XPS-DR. I don’t want to audition it as I’m afraid if I hear it, I’ll have to buy it immediately as @seakayaker has mentioned somewhere.
I have an 82 with 2x135s, Supercap. I had the ND5XS and then changed to NDS with 555 PS. Wow, made such a difference!
With a quality LP12 and CDS3 and XPS2 my system is well balanced.
A better source is the answer. NDS is available at good prices now and you should be able to pick up an XPS2 DR for reasonable money.
If you want to reduce box count go 282 or 252, Supercap DR with 250DR.
But for me the 135s serviced are very special. You get more for your money with CB and olive if you don’t mind the slightly different presentation.
I am curious, to read, from the experience of forum members, who have taken, such an upgrade. Thank’s.