Upgrade yes or not

Hi all,

Would like to know your thoughts on the following issue.
My current loved setup is:
Sn2 + HCDR + Nd5xs - - speaker Proac D2 ribbon.
I Heard many times in my setup a ndx and i recognize that ndx is more suitable with sn2 then the nd5xs.
The first upgrade i want should be passing from nd5xs to a ndx and indeed I’m selling my nd5xs.

After putting up for sale the nd5xs many possibilities have opened.

First scenario:
Selling nd5xs for a Good ndx. ( I’m finding many problem to sell the nd5xs…)
Scenario 1: SN2/HCDR/NDX - - Just to saving money and when possible buying a ndx2.

The second scenario:
was to sell nd5xs and buying a nac 272 using it with the Sn2 untill i could sell the Sn2 to get a 250.
Scenario 2: 272/250

In the meanwhile I also put the Sn2 to sell and before the nd5xs i have a person who want it.
This put me in a confusion as i dont know how to move.
A possible scenario 3 is
Sell Sn2 get a 282 (old,2004) a final, nap 200 and for now to keep nd5xs. Nd5xs later to be sold to get a ndx.
Scenario 3: 282/NAPSC/HCDR/200/ND5XS
The 282 I found is a 2004 not recapped version in excellent condition.

Having so many pieces is not a real problem, but it would be better (for my wife avoiding divorce) to not exaggerate.
Thanks to all who will reply and help me.


Would be my suggestion. Keep things straightforward and balanced.


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I would try to look at what system you want to end up with. Otherwise you are buying and selling and loosing money at each stage.

I had the 82 with Supercap 2 and ND5XS and it was unbalanced. Added an external DAC and it was much better. Ditched the ND5XS and went for NDS with 555PS and it sounded spot on. Had 250CB and now 2 x135s.

System balance is important. Had same issue with CD5Si. It just didn’t sound as good as ND5XS with DAC. Then followed CDS2 and now CDS3 with XPS2.

To save money,

I would go Olive 82, 250, hicapDR and get an NDX.

Later on get the NDX2.

Depends if you can live with Olive!

Personally I love the mix of Olive, CB and black boxes!

All used, would sound better than what you have and achievable with selling the SN2 and ND5XS.

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I used a NDX with a 82,Supercap and a 250 all Olive and it was a nicely balanced system.

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Hi Dan.

Thank you for your reply.
So you think it is unbalanced my current setup, and i agree with you.
The problem is that the nd5xs, which I found not very engaging and poor for the Sn2 + HCDR.
I’m sorry but olive doesnt match with my plan.
If i well understood your choice will be scenario 3 but selling in a second time the nap 200 and getting a 250.
So finally, step by step:

  1. Sell Sn2, buy 282
  2. Buy nap 200 ( i cant buy a 250 soon)
  3. Sell the nd5xs, buy a ndx

First setup: 282/HCDR/200/NDX

Then, later ditched the 200, got a 250.

Final setup: 282/HCDR/250/NDX

As others have mentioned
You need to think about where you want to end up system wise…and be realistic about your actual budget to get there

I think what you have at the moment is a nice balanced system…but could be improved by a better source

Your dealer should offer you a fair price for the nd5xs in trade for a better or newer streamer.

If you are going “pre loved” then take the hit on the nd5 and look for a nice ndx or ndx2

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I’ve owned that ‘final set up’ and an NDX SN2 HCDR before it.

I stand by my view that your system 1, aiming for the NDX2 before anything else is changed, is the way to go.

Ime the NDX2 might even warrant an XPS2 before changing anything else. It’s a wonderful player.



Difficult decisions ahead. If you don’t want to go Olive, which I quite understand, perhaps buying an NDX or ideally NDX2 first would be best bet and keep what you have. I don’t think you’ll get a huge improvement from ND5XS to NDX. So perhaps leave things until you have enough funds to get to what you really want, an NDX2.

The 282 and 200 will bring things on alot. But will show the inadequacies of the ND5XS further.

As others have said it’s about balance. Often the source first approach works best. If you buy the 282 and 200 the ND5XS will make you upgrade it.

At 282 level you need to think about Fraim as well to get the best out of your kit.

Have a demo if you can. If you can try an NDX see if does anything for you versus what you have. And then the NDX2.

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Throwing my pennyworth in, the 282/hicap/200 is a great set up which I am currently using with an HDX. Although I have not heard an NDX I understand the nature of the sound is similar to the HDX.
I have an NDX2 on order to arrive shortly. A 250dr is probably my next step after that or maybe even a 300!!
Best of luck whatever you decide to do!

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You have three of the pieces, just add the NDX2.

I ran the ND5XS with a Nait XS 2 with the ProAc D2 dome speakers and thought it was sweet!

I currently have the XPS DR > NDX 2 > Hi-Line > HiCap DR > SuperNait 2 > NAC A5 > ProAc D30RS. A lovely four box solution which sounds wonderful and works to keep domestic tranquility in the household. :wink:

Good luck with your decision…


Great setup! Now with ndx2 + 250 your system will litteraly fly.
282 paired with 200, is fine for you? 200 isn’t so light?

Nothing to say with %0 your setup! Ndx2 is a beast, +/xps it becone unreachable. Keeping domestic tranquility is a good point of interest. :smiley:.
Dont you find naca5 a little bit dark?

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Except for a short period of time when I first ran an inexpensive pair of Chord speaker cables I have used the NAC A5 and enjoy the music quite a bit!

There may be something better but I am quite happy with the system synergy and I’m happy to let sleeping dogs lie…

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Your SN2 / HiCap amplification will respond very capably with a better source, the NDX2 would be my recommendation, and adding the XPS DR later if you wish will get even more from the SN2. Unless you want seperate pre and power, that would be my recommendation - add a better source to what you have. Improving the amplification will show more limitations with a lesser source.


As your ND5XS is proving hard to sell, my advice would be to keep it, and run it with a used NDAC. I reckon this would sound better than an NDX.
Doing this first gives you a source that is good enough to match an amp upgrade later if you choose a 282, and if you want to take it further, you can upgrade the NDAC with a PSU (XPS or 555).
There are plenty of other DACs you could use in this way too, so you are not limited to the NDAC.

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My ND5XS did sound alot better with an external DAC. But then if you want an NDX2 you have to sell the ND5XS and the DAC.

Not sure why it’s proving hard to sell. Should go for the right price on eBay.

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You have very capable amplification , good speakers but the source is slightly out of kilter with the other parts.

Not surprised as the amplification is ( at replacement prices) about twice the cost of your source.

I would replace the streamer with equipment of a similar price grade to the amplification or as Dan M says get a better quality DAC for the streamer.

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Just add the NDX2 then a PS for it İn the long run unless you want to Upgrade and upgrade and Upgrade…


Thanks Mike.
If I choose to separate pre and amp the source (nd5xs) could be changed as soon as I will find simeone who want it. Following the sell I would get a ndx (always to wait saving for a ndx2).
The journey in this way should be so long.
On the other side instead I could stay like now, waiting for a ndx and then when possible a ndx2.
Later also an xps.
Nobody mention the fact that 282 which I found is a non recapped 2004 model.
And in my mind to sell a Sn2 (late 2016) for a 282 (2004) is very dificult.
Am I wrong?

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I’ve got a friend (partners in crime for HiFi) who is owmer of a nd5xs too but he bought also AN xp5xs for it.
Result is impressive.
I didn’t do this because I’m finding many problem to sell one piece, it would be much more dificult to sell two.
This @Dan_M would be suitable also for a new dac.
Nd5xs with the xp5xs has got an authority and an incredible engagement. Sound begin to be structured and with a musicality never Heard.