Upgrade or placebo?

I had trouble connecting to my ND5 XS2 last night perhaps due to the firmware update so for the first time in 9 months I turned it off and unplugged it.

When I got it rebooted it sounded as if the sound had changed. Not good at describing these things but a more pronounced mid range which I enjoyed.

Am I going mad? Would the firmware update or reboot change things? Or is this all placebo?

This not unusual, occasionally power cycling components can kind of ‘refresh’ their sonic performance. It’s often more noticeably in power amplifiers, but no reason why it can happen in a source.
So if a well run in systems starts to dull and loose a little life, power cycle it and it may well return. In your case unplugging and replugging leads and plugs might also have helped as the process of resetting plugs can scrape away thin layers of oxidisation.

Firmware upgrades often can subtly change the sound of a system. This is achieved by changing the noise floor and profile of the device when executing the code. Typically the firmwares are ‘tuned’ to provide the best subjective sound performance before being released.
The effects are not dissimilar to the effects of comparing WAV vs FLAC on some streamers, or connecting different Ethernet patch leads to the streamer.

Finally there can be the placebo effect as well, this is more in my opinion to do with subconscious cognitive expectation bias… probably less likely here because you were surprised and not expecting the heard change.

Yes, updates can and do change the sound. There was one a while ago that completely changed the sound of my then streamer. You’ll have to forgive me but I can’t for the life of me recall if it was the ND5XS or the 272. The sound was radically changed by the update, for the better.

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Glad i am not going mad.

Will be taking delivery of a Supernait 2 in late December to replace my ageing XS 1. Cant wait to hear the upgrade in sound that will bring.


And many years before that, an upgrade to the nDAC that substantially improved the SQ, at least to my ears. But other upgrades seem to be more controversial, with some owners preferring the new version and others wishing to downgrade back to a previous version.


Cannot recall whether it was you but one said after the 4.6 firmware on nd5xs : where is all the bass gone ?
Never have I agreed so much

Devialet do it all the time. But it for one sound. Get another. Then another.

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