I am mainly a vinyl person but I do have an HDX (2Tb, not SSD, mainly bought for the kids to use and also a source for all my old CD’s) . My amplification is 282/250. I have been playing with the HDX more and more recently and bought a powerline for it that improved its sound more than I was expecting.
So my question is (I cant find anything in the FAQ’s) is there an obvious upgrade path for it ? I was thinking 555PS but seen threads regarding separate DAC, and then a PS for that … I don’t really want to go to 4 boxes for something to play my CD’s …555PS is a fair chunk of change more than a separate DAC as well. I can demo a 555 to see what it brings, but DAC I can only find second hand now so demo-ing one is prob not going to happen. I have no idea of the difference between a naim DAC and nDAC but I see the still available new V1 has a headphone socket as well … Is there a perceived path for an upgrade or is it a “suck it and see” kind of thing ?
I have no interest in streaming as the internet where I live is just not good enough
The Naim Dac is available for sub £1k right now and represents a bargain. If you keep an eye on eBay and use the completed listings you could grab a bargain (poor ending time, bad description and photos etc) and if that does not bring the uplift you would expect you can resell with a decent listing and photographs and get back most/all/more than you paid
The 555 is the ultimate upgrade to many components including the new streamers so grabbing one of those if achievable would give you an end game P/S that can be used with the HDX/NDAC and a multitude of other items which you may or may not want to try in the future.
The Naim DAC (also known as nDAC on forums) is a great upgrade for the HDX but has been discontinued now. However, as Steve mentioned, you can pick one up a 2nd hand for under £1k to try out. You will easily be able to resell for a similar amount if you don’t like it so wouldn’t lose much money.
The DACV1 was a cheaper half-width DAC that sounded inferior to the Naim DAC. The DACV1 also could not be upgraded with external power supply so I would stay away from the V1.
It is a while since I had a HDX, but I wouldn’t bother with an XPS - not much difference to my ears.
When I had mine, the 555 second hand (this was before DR) or a DAC was a bit of a dilemma. Adding the NDAC was a “better” result in hi fi terms, but the 555 did much to enhance what I always found to be a very enjoyable sound from the HDX.
Now, at second hand prices, I think you’d be daft to look anywhere than a second hand NDAC (which I did not know had been discontinued). Good advice above about the cost of giving it a try - or lack thereof.
I use my HDX as a ripper / streamer these days, but when it represented my source, playing ripped CDs, I bought the nDac, (which, as others have mentioned, is something of a bargain second hand at the moment), and it was a worthwhile upgrade.
Later, I got a 555 PS, and found that adding it to the nDac, rather than to the HDX, was a massive boost, though I do accept that you don’t really want a four box solution.
As an aside, Naim will service your HDX at a fixed price in the region of £350, and when mine came back, the CD mech had been replaced, together with all the capacitors, two new 2Tb drives, a new Naim logo, several of the internal cables, and a complete update of the firmware … well worth doing, if only to prolong it’s expected life, imho.
I concur with Dave. The nDAC, even without an external PS, is a major improvement over the analog-out on the HDX, and if you were to acquire a 555PS, it sounds best connected to the DAC, not the HDX. Currently I am using my HDX streamed into ND555, and its WAV rips sound superb, better than computer rips streamed from my Synology NAS.
There is/was no 2TB twin drive variant of the HDX, so your machine will not have any internal backup.
Not wishing to tell you how to suck eggs - just didn’t want you relying on a backup drive that doesn’t exist!
The original HDX had twin drives but there were only 500gb.
Subsequent models were fitted with single drives of 1tb or 2 tb.
There is however someone online offering drive upgrades to the HDX and fitting 2 drives of 2tb, but this is a non Naim source and a risky option way of upgrading the original HDX models.