I had an NDX2/252/SCDR/NAP300DR and was constantly thinking/reading that I needed a Frame for optimal SQ, to upgrade interconnects (of which there are a lot with so many boxes) and should add a dedicated PS to the NDX2 …
After some research and demos I traded everything but the 300DR for a TAD DAC which connects directly into the power amp, hooked up an iMac mini running Audirvana, and to me, the new system sounds so much better … with far fewer boxes, fewer interconnects, and no need to keep upgrading!
It would be possible to do the same with NDX2, right? Did you compare?
I’m no authority on this, but when I looked into it, everything suggested that the NDX2 needs a separate Pre Amp. I believe it relates to the line out/volume control of the NDX2, it isn’t of sufficient level to be able to connect directly to a power amp. The TAD has in effect an inbuilt Pre…
I’ve always subscribed to the ‘more boxes the better’ school of thought, then one (horrible) day my wife said can’t we get all that in one box? Which resulted in the purchase of a Unitilite, superceded last year by a Nova (so all is not bad), Still had to have a CD player though, oh and a new record deck!
And for all of you who went from multiple Naim boxes down to 1 or 2, how much of a sound quality sacrifice was it? Still longing for what you had or totally fine with where it ended up?
I think the question meant had you compared NDX2 that you already had into TAD DAC (also presumably with a NAS), with the Mac Mini/Audirvana into TAD DAC (no NAS needed).
Or was the result equal or even better sound quality?
Yes, the NDX2 needs a separate preamp if you want to get the best from it. Its inbuilt digital volume control is a requirement of Chromecast I believe, rather than being a proper volume control.
Over the last year I’ve gone from this…
Honey, I shrunk the stereo.
You did an excellent job of reinstating the wall after removing the TT wall shelf, I must say
In my case the nd result was a significant increase in all round quality, the purchase of my first, but not my last, Naim product!!
Gyproc Easifill. It’s wonderful stuff. I was introduced to it my my builder friend. For years I used Polyfilla and it’s so hard to get a good finish. Now I fill the hole with Polyfilla, leaving a few mm unfilled, let it dry, give it a quick water mist, then cover the area with Easifill, leaving it about 1mm proud of the surface, let it dry, rub with fine sandpaper, then a mist coat, then the emulsion. It’s so easy and you’d never know that there had once been holes.
Went via a Rega Aethos to a Naim Nova from a five box 200/202, HiCap, NAPSC Stageline, mostly happy with results . I also have a tuner and a turntable so all in all at one stage it was a seven box Naim system
The caveat being I also went from PMC FBI to Harbeth P3ESR . Sometimes the sound can sound “thin” definite improvement in areas such as the top end coupled with poorer bass
If I were to start with a "clean slate " , it could be SN3/HiCap or XS3/Flatcap and speakers that were easier to drive
Conclusion from a practical solution I am generally happy with the Nova and don’t regret the move from so many boxes and such heavy speakers - but aware that the system can be fine tuned with perhaps small floor standers or maybe ProAc /Dynaudio
I’ve down-sized from Neat Motive SX2s to n-SATs - probably the best downgrade i’ve ever done. Sensational.
A downsize but also an upgrade. A win-win situation I’d say.
I didn’t try the NDX2 into the DAC for a number of reasons:
- I wanted to reduce the number of boxes (or replace with smaller as was the case by going from NDX2 to Mac mini
- I found Audirvana into the NDX2 far superior SQ than NDX2 native Qobuz connectivity
- I didn’t have the interconnects available to test
- I didn’t want to have £4k (2nd hand resale value) invested in the NDX2 when only using a small part of its capability
- I was always underwhelmed by the NDX2, I probably needed a dedicated PS and Fraim (as the feet on the NDX2 are rubbish for isolation and I needed mine to sit in a standard A/V cabinet) so really had no interest in keeping it
- the SQ from Audirvana directly into the TAD is a significant improvement over what I had before, a different league altogether
That said, Audirvana Studio is very buggy, so I may still consider a dedicated streamer, it just won’t be an NDX2
Redundancy. I needed the money for my new business.
I rebought further down the hierarchy: CD5XS, FCXS and NAIT XS. Then when the new business picked up, I put it right and replaced the Nait with a NAC152XS and NAP155XS. Wonderful.
Matched with the right speakers, Naim’s ‘entry level’ stuff is anything but in my opinion. Very happy.
Spot on, had a entry level and moved way up.
Lots of practical reasons to downsize as I got older and the knees decayed (making getting behind the system - very difficult) though I think from my Naim journey , my favourite was a NAC92, NAP 90 and Flatcap . All starting with a Nait 3
I recently retired my Mac mini, Dacmagic, CB 32.5, Hi-cap, 2x110 system. The initial reason for this began when my mac mini from 2012 began to play up. It developed a whole series of ‘sign in loops’ which kept recurring and meant that each time I tried to play music I had 20 minutes of computer maintenance.
I had also noted that my hearing, despite wearing Aids was deteriorating.
Now semi-retired at 67, I felt that this was a good time to organise my music playing for the next 20 years (if I’m lucky)
I now have a Nova and a Core. There were some early problems with my music library but now with everything on the Core I can play music in a few seconds. Choosing what to play takes longer!
I cannot say that my system is very tidy as I still have two turntables (LP12/Ittok/Adikt) and 401/Jelco/103) which I play through a Denon SUT into a TrichordDini/Dino+. My wife would like me to get rid of my Acoustic Research AR3 speakers but when we tried alternatives she admitted that a small bass speaker is no substitute for a large one.
My old CB systems (I also have a CBNait2 and a 42.5/Hical/110 are used by my three boys. My daughter preferring the Linn Classik)