Am about to start into the streamer world and would welcome some advice.
By way of background, (and you may laugh) I recently had a 4 month test subscription to TILAL (Hi/Fi -Master) and simply plugged my iphone into the front panel of my Naim DAC with very decent results. (Feeding my Hi-Capped DR’d Supernait2 into EPOS 22s)
I am looking at either an ND5 XS (used) or perhaps making a major leap to a new ND5 XS2. [costing maybe 4 times the price of the second hand ND5XS).
Since I own a Naim DAC, I am wondering if there is really a need to consider the XS2?
I expect that the newer XS2 will likely have greater functionality than the older version but it is very hard to find anything on the interweb on like for like comparison of features beweeen new and old.
I am also expecting that given the associate Naim app, there may even be very little functionality difference?
Also it seems that the older version has a 1) basic screen, 2) Remote control and also 3) power supply upgrade potential? All not on the newer XS2?
I also will have a wired WLan connection so another advantage of better WiFi connection may be redundant.
My main expected usage it accessing TIDAL so is there really a case for the newer XS2?
Your nDAC and SN2/HCDR will give you the Naim sound, so do you really need a Naim box for streaming duties? The ND5XS was primarily designed for streaming local files and it is not entirely straightforward to use it to stream Qobuz, for example. Something like a Bluesound Node 2i used purely as a streaming bridge into your nDAC may be all you need at a much lower price point. I don’t have experience of it myself, but several forum members use it, so you might want to do a bit of searching.
Or get the 2nd hand ND5XS and use some of the rest to build a Roon environment to use with the Naim Network player.
This way you get better Tidal support, with support for Tidall Masters, Qobuz support, lossless Radio etc.
Plus with the balance you could get a XPSDR for the ND5XS to improve the SQ of the DAC.
+1 [or possibly USBridge Signature with DigiOne Signature hat, which some say performs better.]
Unless one has severe Naim Black Box OCD – soon to be recognised as a disorder in psychiatry textbooks… – or just far too much disposable income… Personally I don’t see the Naim app as a selling point…
I have no experience of using the ND5XS, but have recently bought a ND5XS2.
I’m using it ‘digital out’ into NDAC/XPS2. It replaced a Sonos XP90 (and then Port) which I was very happy using for the last 12 years. Yes, it works well using a third party streamer, and considerably cheaper (and in the case of the Sonos multiroom integration, so I still have it connected), but the difference in sound quality, even with the NDAC in the chain, is not inconsiderable.
The 2nd hand ND5 XS is available at a very favourable price so it may infact turn out to be almost a free test to have it for a few months and see how I go. (I have bought and sold much Naim stuff over the years).
The option of a new XS2 will always be there and I am still smarting after the last time I bough brand new Naim technology (DVD5). Buying brand new Naim Pre/Power/Power supplies will always make good sense but when it is (potentially transcient) technology, I’d need to be 110% sure. I’d definitely need the full Dealer experience.