Used Naim DAC

Hi everyone,

first post on the forum here after lurking for a long time already.
I am contemplating buying a used Naim DAC and was wondering if it is still a valuable product considering that it was initially launched over 10 year ago.
Apart from that, is there anything to consider when buying a used Naim DAC? Where there different versions of the product or was there no update to the hardware apart from the firmware updates? Just wondering if I am missing anything when buying an older unit vs. one of the newer ones?

Thanks.
Marco

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Are you planning to use this with your Unitiqute, as in your profile?

The nDAC is a great product and uses the same DAC chips as the NDS and ND555. IIRC :slightly_smiling_face:

Well worth buying. Adding a PSU gives it another boost and you can use an Olive XPS as I have done.

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Excellent question!
I am thinking about replacing the Unitiqute with a dedicated integrated or pre/power amp but need the digital inputs for connecting e.g. the TV and my Raspberry-based Roon endpoint.

Use the UnitiQute digital output to feed the nDAC.

That might be an option as well.
But since I am hardly using the streaming part of the Unitiqute anymore (I am mainly using the RPI4 Roon endpoint at the moment), I was rather thinking of going for a DAC and dedicated amplifier instead and hopefully see some sound improvements as well.

An early Naim DAC can be updated through firmware. AFAIK there’s no difference internally otherwise.

It’s a great bit of kit whether used on its own or upgraded with a power supply.

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NDAC performs best with a 555 of accounts. An ND5XS2 would get you digital inputs and the Roon end point in one. Probably a neater option and I am guessing you are thinking about a Supernait3 for future if mentioning an intergrated pre/power.

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Thanks for the suggestion which would indeed be a cleaner option, but I was hoping for something a little more „cost efficient“. Hence the interest in the nDAC and maybe a Nait XS with that.
I feel like there is a streamer option missing at the si-series level. But that is a differen discussion.

If you do go down this route watch out for the DIN / RCA output selector switch on the rear. It’s easy to knock it when you are fiddling about with cables and then wonder why your preamp / amp isn’t working!

I’ve been using one with a SONOS box for years.

Remember to factor in a decent cable like the Naim DC1 if you want to retain some of that performance.

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Thanks Richard. I just looked at the instructions for upgrading the firmware. Do you happen to know if reading out the firmware version works with the current iOS version or do I need a device with an older iOS version (just wondering since the age of the nDAC)?

Valid point. Thanks.

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How would you compare the nDAC v the internal DAC on ND5 XS2? I currently have the latter (which I am enjoying immensely) and am considering whether adding an nDAC in the future would be an (worthwhile) upgrade? Thanks.

The nDAC paints a bigger picture full of detail. :slightly_smiling_face:

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The DAC is better…

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Thanks. And compared with NDX2 internal DAC?

… but will also suck you into the world of ‘will a better power supply make it even better?’

Ultimately, cash and rack space run out.

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I’ve not compared, but if I had to make a bet then I reckon the DAC would probably edge it.

Would be an interesting comparison.

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