I currently have an ND5XS2 and nDAC and the local dealer has both a demo NDX2 and Preowned XPSDR available
Would you just add the XPSDR and deal with the 3 boxes and 3 power cables or Would you bite the bullet for the convenience of the NDX2/XPSDR with only two boxes and 1 power cable?
Currently have Powerline and Hiline on the nDAC
Needs a dem. It could go either way.
I’d go for the two matched boxes. Less signal and mains cables, less connections, less boxes and everything DR’ed throughout. Plus it will all look neater and tidy.
Will definitely see if I can borrow both to decide. With just adding the XPSDR I also need to get another powerstrip and potentially another shelf just depending how happy my Entity 1.1 is next to the Radikal.
Leaning that way just for the simplicity and less cables but it does double the cost
I’ve never heard an n-DAC but when i went from ND5 XS 2 to NDX 2 alone it was a firm improvement in every area. After then later adding a XPS DR, it was streets ahead from what i remember of the entry player that i’d owned for a good 10 months prior. Had this classic pairing for over two years now. Fantastic. It’s probably also worth bearing in mind that one can later chop in the XPS for a 555 DR and then head towards a ND555 with very little paraphernalia.
Why not try the used PSU on the nDAC. Significant uplift.
Huge amount of forum posts on whether NDX2/XPSDR sounds better than transport (ND5XS2/NDX2) into nDAC/XPSDR. Lots of opinions.
Some forum members use ND5XS2 with exotic kits like mScalers/Dave. ND5XS2 seems to be a quality transport.
I think that you would want the XPS DR either way, so it’s the cost of the demo NDX2 versus the sale of the nDAC and ND5XS2. I’d agree with Stephen that the NDX2/XPS DR would be the best overall long term option.
Seconded (or third-ed?), I started with ND5XS2, then added nDac and then XPS2. I then bought an NDX2 and personally found the NDX2 with the XPS2 to be my preferred option (I had a couple of weeks of flipping between the different options at home). There wasn’t much in it on purely SQ grounds, but ultimately the NDX2/XPS2 edged it on SQ for me. Bonus being it was one less box, two less power cables and I actually like the screen too (although that’s a personal thing obviously).
Similar level, one with 3 boxes, the other one much costlier. Difficult choice. Personally I would keep the Nd5xs2 / Ndac, add the Xpsdr, and improve the cables or powerblock, or switch, with the money saved.
I remember reading on the Lejonklou forum that ‘Radikal and Entity are friends’ and the only thing not recommended was siting the Radikal on top of the Entity
Odd question, value or box count… How about sound quality, which may be sound quality vs cost…
I’ve heard that both options are quite similar but with different presentations. NDAC/XPSDr darker with more bass and the NDX2/XPSDR more relaxed and analog sounding. Will be trying out the NDX2/XPSDR tomorrow.
I saw that as well. After playing around with it, it’s a bit happier on its own Fraim shelf and makes cable dressing a bit easier as well.
Get it near a big Naim transformer and it’s really noisy.
It appears that your brain has already made its mind up about what it will be hearing.
So I’d wager that you will hear that the NDAC/XPSDr is darker with more bass and the NDX2/XPSDR has a more relaxed and analog sound.
That could be very well be true. Pre-conceived notions are strong indicators of what we hear/expect. But then again everyone told me the Dynavector XX2 was much better than the Linn Krystal and I found the Krystal connected me with the music much better so I bought it.
Going with what you enjoy is a pretty safe strategy.
Decision was easier than anticipated. The DAC in the NDX2 is quite a bit different than the nDAC. Both are great options. The XPS DR on the nDAC is excellent and was to my ears more detailed, refined and a hair brighter than the NDX2/XPSDR. The NDX2/XPSDR is excellent as well. Not quite as detailed or refined but the music held together better for my ears and was more engaging of a listen. I could feel it more in my body if that makes sense. Luckily my dealer gave me what I paid for the nDAC and ND5XS2 on trade so it wasn’t as painful of a price as anticipated.
Great to read you auditioned and let your ears decide!
Your experience mirrors what our dealer told us before we started upgrading - both combinations are excellent and choice would likely come down to personal preference and might depend on whether a 282 or 252 was used.