Which DAC in NZ?

Auralic Aries 2.1 + Vega 2.1 DAC or Chord TT2 DAC?
My first post to the forum, forgive my ignorance here! My current system is a 272/282+SC/250 going into Focal Kanta 2s. I have a separate NAS server for UPnP input into the 272.
I’m looking to upgrade my digital source from my current 272. For some time I was focused on going for the NDX2 and doing PS later on. Two things have happened to change my perspective!

  1. I live in NZ, and for reasons not worth going into here distribution of Naim into NZ is changing so that my usual Naim dealer, in fact my preferred Naim dealers based in NZ no longer have product access.
  2. The forum raises some interesting viewpoints on the alternatives to the NDX2, particular regarding DAC capability, that’s got me interested in the mindset of buying a streamer and a DAC separately, and then upgrading in time using an upsampler/clock as and if wanted.

My dealer has recommended the Aries 2.1 + Vega 2.1 DAC combo which I’m going to audition in the next week or two. With a population of only 5 million it’s difficult to have a dealer providing multiple streamer/DAC brand choice, and certainly not ones that enable me to compare and contrast DACs for example with the same source. So Auralic is available, and so (via separate dealer is the Chord TT2). I can’t do a listening ‘test’ with my system easily, so am relying on this forum for insights. Sound preference is for overall musicality, rhythm and presence, dare I say warmth and involvement over analytical detail?? Musical tastes cover most genres.
So, with all that context and limited comparibility, what DAC to pair with the Aries? Bartok off the agenda BTW – same comparison problem with dealer choice/location.


Hi and welcome to the forum from a fellow Kiwi. The Aurelic’s are nice products. The Aries is a transport only, so requires a DAC to play into your 282, unless you use the 272 as a DAC. The Vega is a transport, DAC and pre-amp - an equivalent to your 272, so wouldn’t require the 272 or the 282 or the Aries (as I understand it). I’m not sure how the Chord fits in with your options.

Ideally you should home demo the options.

Getting the NDX2 would be the natural for if you like the Naim sound. I got mine without a home demo as part of a Naim system. It might be better to wait it out until they are available in NZ if that is your first choice.

Thanks Mike!
Yes I’d replace the 272 as the source with the Aries 2.1. Then the question is which DAC to go for with the options available. It would be great to audition the TT2 against the Vega 2.1, but I don’t have a dealer nearby that sells both DACS. Hence my question. I guess I could keep the 272 as a source and maybe even go for the DAVE, but don’t know if anyone else has tried that! Not sure how easy it’s going to be to get hold of an NDX2 for the foreseeable future Down Here. Love the Naim sound but Naim seem to be missing a trick with supply and distribution.

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Welcome Caenis. As a comparison, if you wanted to listen to an NDX2 (and you happen to be in Wellington), I’m happy to set up a listening session.

I’ve had a brief listen to a couple of the transports you mention at the Wellington dealership, and they were nice.

If it helps I have an NDX2 and found an Auralic source to be better than the bare NDX2. It gets more complicated when you add a power supply to the NDX2 though. However, you will be surprised how well the Auralic works with the Naim amps. Just chose the right Auralic for your purposes.

Another interesting thing to consider is that overnight one of the new Naim Classic dealers in NZ is displaying NDX2 at considerable better price than the outgoing dealer. Available at the new dealer from July. Same situation with all other black boxes. To my pleasure the XPS is also just become a much more affordable PS.

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The new dealer does have some products listed at good prices, though not all, plus those prices are probably in line with what I could have got from the outgoing dealer.
The big unknown in all of this is after sales services. In NZ we were fortunate to have a respected and capable technician to look after our equipment locally. My understanding is that from 1 July this is unlikely to be the case and our components will most likely need shipping to Australia, where the standards are far from guaranteed, not to mention the cost and time delay involved.

For now at least I would say it is very much a case of “buyer beware”.


No 250 listed (I’ve one on order with the exiting dealer). The 300 is listed $3K cheaper with the new dealer :flushed:.

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