What will adding a Ndac to an ND5XS2 bring


Agree HiFiman

I have both the Nait 50 and Nait 2

Although the Nait 2 is pretty good ( but a tad underpowered for me) , in my humble opinion the Nait 50 beats it hands down , the Nait 2 shows its age in comparison

Give it a few weeks and it certainly comes into its own


Thanks HiFiman and Bevo! Right now,I prefer the sound of my recently recapped Nait 2.
But I will certainly give the Nait 50 a couple of more weeks to come into full bloom!
I also acquired a pristine Nait 1,which is a story on it’s own for another day! All this going into an ndac.


In which case you might end up preferring the Nait XS3 over Nait 50, as I did after the CB Nait 2.

To bring this back on topic, do I understand correctly that you’ve just acquired a nDAC to go with your Bluesound Node, and given your posting here, that you’ll be replacing the Node with a ND5 XS2?


About a year ago,I sold my Supernait 3 cause I enjoyed the Nait 2 more,just to say.
For me,right now,the Nait 2 is the sound I’ve been looking for so far. But I just had to get the 50 cause of all the great things being said about it.And I believe the XS3 is similar to the Supernait 3.
I’ve had my ndac for some time now,but yes,I am looking for a ND5XS2,which are hard to find in my neck of the woods.But I keep seeing the ND5XS for sale.Don’t want that one.But for now,the Node 2i will suffice.
Btw,what I just acquired is a Nait 1,which I will be keeping and plugging in from time to time,for fun.
Also recently got a DC-1 din cable which made an improvement over the Wireworld cable I was using,so really happy about that purchase!


Yes I can relate to many of your findings, some remarks there:

The XS3 is very much not similar to the SN3 though, just as neither one is similar to the Nait 50.

I can recommend the ND5 XS2 (if you can find one) with the DC1 into nDAC, that combination has some special synergy, which I like very much with the Nait XS3.

On the Nait 2 I preferred the ND5 XS2 on its own, and many forum members use the Node (2i, 130, X) with the Nait 1 & 2 for a second system, but I haven’t heard the Node with nDAC into Nait 2.

Which part of the world is your neck of the woods if I may ask?

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Thanks daddycool!
Yes,i saw that video,very interesting to say the least.
I keep reading about the synergy between the ND5XS2 ,DC1, and nDac,so my search continues for that trio.
Hmm,when I do get the ND5XS2,I will try it on its own first,just to compare then.
Should be fun!
My neck of the woods? Montreal,Canada!


Hi @GlenJ I have swapped between the BNC cable between ND5XS2 and Ndac. Previously I had been using my Audioquest Carbon digital (with BNC adapter on one side). Now I bought a Neotech NEVD-1001 UP-OCC Silver RCA KOAX 75 Ohm with Furutech BNC FP-3-117 R connector. The plugs are solid and rhodium-plated copper. It was recommended to me by Robert (Audionirvana) and costs about 200 euros (1 metre). The differences are audible. I have the impression that the Neotech is more neutral and has better treble resolution. However, it doesn’t have any sharpness, as is often claimed of silver cables. It’s new and I don’t know whether digital cables also have a burn-in time). I wasn’t able to hear the Naim DC1 in comparison because my dealer didn’t have a demo cable.

@Simon-in-Suffolk mentioned above: „If you suffer from common mode RF interference or currents from your source - you might find different cables ‘sound’ different. I find the key thing is not strain the cable at the connectors“.

I guess that would mean that BNC can have different effects in different systems.
In my system the Neotech/Furutech had a positive effect. It is very solid in construction and has a positive price-performance ratio. I can therefore recommend it.


Nice, congrats Wilfried

My NDac has now been in operation for some time with the ND5XS2 as streaming transport and the Audiolab CDT6000. Compared to the ND5XS2 bare, the NDac has opened up the soundstage considerably more. Instruments can be located more precisely. The tones sound longer and finer. This is especially noticeable with classical music with orchestras, big bands, etc. Voices also sound finer and more pleasant. So it’s a really big difference and an improvement that I quickly got used to. But I’m still surprised by the change in the sound signature. For example, I compared the Uniti series devices at the dealer. They offer an improvement with increasing price. However, the sound signature is very similar and the relationship is audible. The change from the ND5XS2 alone (with internal DAC) to the combination with NDac is different. While the sound of the Nait50 with the ND5XS2 alone was rather thin in the fundamental tone and bass range, this changes fundamentally with the NDac. The NDac is really powerful and fills the room massively. The sound signature is significantly warmer, much more upper bass and bass, but more restrained in the upper mids and treble. This creates a powerful, almost boomy sound in my small room (17 square metres) despite the room acoustics. I was unsure for a while whether I should keep the NDac or try a Chord Qutest. But at the moment I have discarded that idea.
I have now placed the speakers much further away from the rear wall and also moved the seating area more towards the centre of the room. The distance between the speakers (tweeters) has been reduced to 1.75 metres. They now also have more distance to the side walls. The distance between the tweeters and the listening position is now also 1.75 meters. This has made the sound stage more transparent and precise, and the booming bass has been significantly reduced. In addition, my dealer offered me a Chord Anthem 2 Din-Din cable (second hand) for a home demo. It has improved the resolution compared to the standard Naim cable (lavender) and is significantly stronger in the upper mids and highs. This has positively balanced out the tendency of the NDac. The Chord will stay. The sound is no longer so overwhelming and unnatural. And @Simon-in-Suffolk I have removed the foam cable lifters - it looks better and I had no degradation in sound.
And I had some wonderful listening hours today.


I think you may mean the speaker cables lifters but noticed your DIN - do you not find the cable to pull down when unsupported? I use a similar cable and I am concerned if this pull might transfer to the pcb or internal mounting? So not for anything to do with SQ but I keep mine supported, just to be on the safe side? (tried to show the difference but may not be so obvious on this photo as it is in reality?)

I have the Anthem 2 connecting the Qutest to the 252. It was originally a pair of RCA to RCA interconnects but was modified to RCA to DIN for me by Chord. Everywhere else I use Chord Signature and Signature X so had been thinking about replacing the Anthem 2 as I felt it might now be a weak link - but your post has changed my mind

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Thank you for this, it helps me understand some things I now hear after upgrading my LP12 with a Radikal. That transformed and cleaned up its sound whereas previously analogue had more or less the same characteristics as the streamer side just less powerful and resolution (hence the upgrade).

I suspect that would be a benefit of the generally recommended higher-level PSUs on the nDAC, cleaning up the sound like the Radikal does on the LP12. I find adding another box currently not desirable so I appreciate the mention of the Chord Anthem.

Generally not a big fan of using non-Naim cables as tone controls, but it might be worth trying out a Chord Company in this case. Please keep sharing your findings!

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Great it’s all coming together.
If I may say as you are open to trying things, in my opinion the NDAC takes a major step forward with additional powersupply… in my experience best with a non DR. If you can find a non DR 555PS with original regulators… I am sure you will be delighted.
As far as interconnects… I generally find the Naim Hiline a fantastic match … and seems to compliment Naim sources well… see if you can try one. The beauty of the DIN Hiline is that much effort has gone to decouple cable from connector… which I note you were concerned about.
BTW in your picture above I would recommend if not done already, those collars on the DIN plug are loosened or undone, so you can let the pins in the DIN plugs float over a short time to their natural position. You may well find the audio opens up a tiny amount… we are talking subtle, but all these ingredients together can make a great cake.

I think you mention your bass boom is improved, which is great but suggests you might have some traits. I have found bass absorbers at boundaries and near speakers of at least 9 to 12 inches in depth. I have found cylindrical absorbers effective … and can absorb other frequencies too… I have recently used GIK Turbo traps to some effect that replaced my old corner bass traps. The turbo traps can be used as platform shelves, stacked or what ever and can look rather pleasing with a good choice of materials… and seem to work much better than acoustic foam size for size.

naim cables can also be used as “tone controls” as you put it.

On our old system (272/XPSDR/250DR) we changed to SuperLumina speaker cables because they added a slight sparkle to the top end.

Now that we have nDAC the pairing works very well in terms of the frequency profile.

Adding a PSU to the nDAC initially sounds like it changes the tonality a little, but once you get used to it you realise there’s just more midrange and treble detail.


Thanks very much for the tips @garcon @Simon-in-Suffolk. I have now supported the Chord DIN on both sides (at the Dac output and at the Nait50 input) with foam so that there is no longer any downward tensile load. I have also loosened the collars on both sides. I had no previous experience with DIN connections. They are a Naim speciality for sound reasons. But they seem delicate and sensitive to me. I hope they now work without a risk of damage.

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Good stuff- I think DIN plugs are quite a robust format, we are talking tweaks here to decouple the cable vibration from the plug which reduces microphony. With the collars - you may find if you loosen but still keep them catched - they will still prevent the plug being pulled out if tugged hard - subject to your connector design - but most do this in my experience.

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I came across the Chord Anthem 2 by chance because my dealer recommended it to me. It has not been produced for a long time, but at the time it was a high-quality cable from Chord. I didn’t find many entries in the forum either. There are probably better cables available today from Chord (Signature or Sarum) or Naim (Highline or Super Lumina). I haven’t tried them yet and they have a high price tag. If you have the opportunity to hear alternatives, I’d be very interested to hear your impressions. I’m sticking with the Anthem 2 for now.

There is another cable that work very well with Naim in my opinion, and their cables are also natively DIN but are quite affordable (unlike their electronics :grinning: ) They are DNM cables … I use one such cable between my DAVE and Nait50, Eichmann RCA connectors to non metallic cased DIN. It provides a very natural sound with huge detail without highlighting or increased treble (ie it sounds real and immediate), and also superb timing and stereo information, the bass performance is detailed and extended without being bloated or lumpy. They also handle dynamics and compression well with no apparent glare. I use the High Frequency Termination versions which clamp down on RFI which I would recommend. Denis Morecroft of DNM introduced me to the effects of high (non audio) frequencies in hifi 20 years ago. . Certainly worth a look if you are using high quality sources.

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Thanks for the reference to the DR 555 PS (non DR). As far as I know, the analogue and digital sections of the NDac have separate power supplies and the sound takes a big step forward. But it’s a big investment (4k at least used) to supplement a 14 year old NDac. It also needs an additional Fraim level and another power block with more slots. Then a high-end Dac (e.g. used Chord Dave) would almost be within reach.
I am not a technician. But I was wondering whether a good (noise reduction) power cable might not already have a positive effect on the NDac in a similar direction to the PS555.
And many thanks for the reference to DNM Din cables. That could be an option.

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Kind of… the digital audio clock, DAC, i2v and analogue output filter can be powered by a separate aux power supply, and the inbuilt power supply powers the digital audio inputs, DSP and automation.