Upgrade or not

My system which I have had for a good few years now consists of Supernait 1, ND5 XS driving a pair of Spendor SA1s.

I like the sound of my system but thinking that an upgrade is due,

Maybe Suoernait2 or ND 5XS2, what do you think would be the first logical step for improvement in sound quality, I would be interested in your thoughts.

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Would a SN2 or ND5XS2 be that big an upgrade on what you have now? I think I’d be looking at speakers before either of them.

Source first IMHO. No issues with those speakers unless you want more low bass.

If you’re happy with the services that run on your ND5XS, then upgrading it to an NDX or even an NDS might be worth considering now that used prices have dropped considerably.
On the other hand, the current streamers such as the ND5XS2 are not just a hardware upgrade, as they give you access to better sounding music sources, specifically Qobuz 24 bit streaming, and lossless FLAC internet radio services which an increasing number of stations now offer.

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Yes, maybe upgrading the speakers might be a consideration.

I just wondered whether after a good few years without change that technically things have moved on, I listen to different kinds of music but mainly classical.

Thanks for the reply, I think that you are correct in saying small increments in quality sometimes only apparent on instruments is probably not worth the change.

I have been listening to my set up this afternoon streaming FLAC files from my computer and was very happy with it, I’m not really interested in streaming services as such. If I like a piece of music I usually buy the CD second hand and rip it into FLAC file and stream it.

The best cost effective upgrade would be Naim Ndac, to connect to the Nd5xs. Some have even found that the Ndac improved their Ndx2.
However if online streaming is a priority, like Qobuz, better go for Nd5xs2.
Reading this forum, and others, some prefer SN2 vs SN3, some SN3, and some even SN1.
An Hicap dr can be considered too, but more expensive than Ndac ( less than 1k).


Well worth consideration thanks.

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How about trading both boxes in for a Nova? Latest streamer, very good sound, one box, only cables are speaker cables and a mains lead (Powerline is good on a Nova) an alternative option.


( because you already have a good integrated)

That’s an option too, I will look into. Thanks

Yes, I agree, Supernait is a good integrated just wondered whether the 2 version was an improvement.

Theoretically, yes. But ,as always , depending the personal taste of the listener.

If you are listening mainly to classical music, then the most obvious question is which server do you use. One that supports tags that are meaningful for classical music would very much improve your listening experience (against one that does only supports tags that are suitable for pop music) but not the sound quality of your system, of course!

Hi, I use Asset UPnP.
Would another one more suitable?

I do not know Asset but if you are fine with it, then you are fine with it. My music collection consists mainly of classical music and a little bit of jazz and pop music. As a UPnP server, I use MinimServer (2) because it allows me to see in the control point all the tags that I have filled in with values: Composer, Conductor, Work, Ensemble, Period, Genre, Form, … What I was trying to say is that you shouldn’t be obsessed by sound quality alone. Sound quality is of course important. But also important is that you are able to open in your control point the booklet of the currently playing album ( even if you do not have an internet connection), that you can transcode .flac files to .wav files (and vice-versa), that you can see the albums of your collection that you have introduced more recently, etc. This is quality, even though it is not sound quality!

Thanks for all the advice guys, much appreciated.
What I got from that is that the rule of diminishing returns apply which I can understand.

After installing the latest firmware on the ND5 XS ( bit of a faff ) and playing Elgar’s symphonies 1 & 2, I am very pleased with the existing system, so, for the time being, I think I will keep my powder dry and re-evaluate at a later stage.
Thanks again.

Hi I auditioned an ND 5XS2 but was disappointed l. The NDX 2 on the other hand was a huge improvement (over the XS level streamer) but tnot f course at a price.
It was installed this morning, and is running in nicely, so thank you to the boys in Salisbury :blush::blush:


Well done :+1:. Enjoy, you have made a good choice.

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