Where should I go next?

Hi Naim Folks,
I’m looking for some collective advice on where to go next with my system.

I’m currently running NDX, XPS2, 52, SC, 135s, SBLs from Roon on a MacMini using Qobuz & Synology local files. The Black boxes are fed by a dedicated spur & sat on an IER - IKEA Equipment Rack :grin:

So my quandary is in which areas do I spend my money first…

Equipment support - Fraim or Quadraspire
Cables - Naim or Witchhat
Power Blocks - MusicWorks
Go Active - More Black Boxes

So many options but I’m not sure which gives the best return on investment.

I’m very happy with the sound I’m getting - but upgraditis has struck & I fancy getting even better results.

Many thoughts here.

You have great amplification with 52, Supercap and 135s. Are they all serviced? This is first port of call.

The NDX and XPS2 is a good source. Have you considered NDX2 with XPSDR or 555DRPS?

Other options are NDS (cheaper but old streaming platform) or ND555 with 555DRPS. This will give you a much better source.

If you want to improve amplification go pre 552DR first and keep 135s. Then go 500DR. I would hold off on this until you have a better source.

Better rack is needed and Fraim is my choice. It’s good but expensive. I spent around £4k on my Fraim but that’s two base units plus 8 shelves bought mix of new, used and demo.

Cabling improvements can be made too so look at interconnects, speaker cable and mains leads. Naim powerlines, hilines, super lumina, or alternative brands such as Chord, Witch Hat, etc.

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Go for NDS/NDX2 with the best powering option possible and this will give a new life to the system. My happy experience. Other options will help too :roll_eyes:. I would review the cabling right after.

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I also had ndx2/xpsdr/52/135s using kudos Titan T88s- so same system except speakers.
From the above system I slotted in a 555psdr. Awesome move complete uplift to everything- a complete transformation.
As of 3 days ago I changed 52 for 552dr. Even MORE amazing!
After that you will be very happy.
Would upgrade streamer first before getting 552…. Or just stop after adding 555psdr. I was happy at that level, very happy.
Now I’m happier😏
Trust me get 555ps. A good dealer will give u a good trade in on your xpsdr.

For significant benefit at significant investment? The NDX has to go.
As David has indicated above, aim for NDX2/555PS-DR.

For a lot less but still well worthwhile if you have essentially finished with black box upgrades? Witchhat Morgana cables. Simply superb and relatively sensible value with our then 52/SC/135s.

An Innous Zenith server and a better rack for the electronics will also improve affairs. We opted for Simrak instead of FRAIM for reasons of width and aesthetics, after years of owning Quadraspire Q4 which is a fine mid-priced product.

Happy auditioning & deciding!

Best regards, BF

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I ran SBLs actively for 15 years or so with a 52 and 135s. In those days my sources were NAT01 and CDS. Now I use a NDS instead of the CDS, and I changed the SNAXO and speakers. I also changed the Mana stands for Fraim. Speakers are now Ovator 600s.

I would recommend a service / DR (although I’ve not DR my kit yet) then consider a NDS as @Dan_M suggests. Then I would go active if you like what the 135s do, and appreciate the benefit of active SBLs. It’s a great sound.

Thanks everyone, really helpful advice.
To add more clarity to the question, both 135s have been serviced in 2016 by Witchhat & I plan to get the 52/SC serviced soon. Not sure about the NDX/XPS2 - will need to check.
I’ve always wanted to go Active, but box count may be an issue with the boss :flushed:. The same applies to changing the “IER” for Fraim etc (which I like the look but the boss hasn’t seen it yet).
If I go Active I need more shelves than I have at present anyway.
My concern I suppose is, am I getting the best out of what I have? So furniture/cables/power etc that will benefit now & in the future. Or just get more/better boxes & ignore the other stuff?
1st world problem I know!

@Lerxxst hi.

As said you have a great system. I think there’s couple of things would help immediately. Noting that you have a dedicated spur do each of your black boxes have their own socket? If not I appreciate that that involves a bit of plaster work but it’s preferable to Musicworks. With individual sockets powerlines are a significant upgrade.

Equipment support? Quadraspire, Isoblue, Fraim (lite or full fat) are all options, I went from Quadraspire to full Fraim and was very surprised at the improvement but comes at a cost.

XPS DR or 555 DR, the latter is superb on my CDS3. Your NDX is great, a NDS will offer some improvement but in reality the big step is a ND555.

Amps - what you have is already at a very high level. Frankly only a 552/500 will take you significantly further, start saving!

Cabling - ask a dealer if you could borrow a Hiline or SL, make your own judgement.

Good luck.



I would upgrade the NDX as a minimum to NDS. NDX2 with 555DR PS will offer you the latest streaming platform. NDS sounds a bit better and is cheaper but not as good as modern Naim streamers for Internet services.

The NDX with XPS2 is going to limit you.

An XPSDR is very good but the 555DR PS quite a bit better and at your level of system you will benefit. Believe me.

I have an 82 with Supercap, 2 x 135s, NDS with 555PS, CDS3 with XPS2. And I have tried the 555PS with the CDS3 and it is alot better. It is clearer, more dynamic and more natural sounding. It effectively takes a film of fog off the sound.

If you can afford it go for ND555. Big money here.

So first port of call get the 52 and Supercap serviced.

2nd look at source, recommendation NDX2 or NDS with 555DR PS.

3rd look at rack.

4th look at cabling (icing on the cake)

I have gone through this process and Fraim made a huge difference. The NDS with 555PS was an amazing transformation. It blew me away.

The source change was bigger than Fraim, but the Fraim brought everything together. Cables and interconnects give additional improvements but subtle and incremental.

Remember the diminishing return for your outlay as you upscale more and more. Focus on what will be bring the biggest returns first. Good luck :+1:

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