Why would I want a streamer/network player...?

I’ve got all of my music ripped onto a Mac and backed up. I don’t use Tidal or Quboz, I’ve little interest in using Spotify/Amazon Music etc.

My Mac (which is standalone for music) runs Roon (which I really like).

I have an Allo DigiOne Signature feeding an nDAC. The Allo box is a Roon end point.

So… what more would a network streamer give me? Would it just be a neater solution with less boxes (e.g. combines the Allo box/PSU and the nDAC)


The Allo DigiOne Signature is a nice piece of kit, especially if you bi-power it (battery and PSU).

The nDAC on its own or with a power supply is an excellent DAC.

So yes, why would you want a streamer?

Well, the streamer part of the ND5 XS2, NDX2 and ND555 is undoubtedly better than the Allo DigiOne Signature (the ND555 in particular) But you probably already know that.

I used the nDAC/555PS in a similar setup. I used the Audiophilleo 1 MkII SE with Pure Power and a Roon Endpoint.

It was good, very good! I believe your own set up sounds very good as well.

So why did I change?

Well, the ND555 sounds much better, really much better :smiley:

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Indeed, why would you?

Enjoy the music.

P.s. Yes in your use case it would simplify boxes.

Also, consider a streaming service. Especially for new music discovery. Then a whole new world opens up and that’s when the brilliance, convenience and just out and out synergy of a Naim network streamer comes into its own.

The basic point is that a Naim streamer preserves the quality of source that a Naim system deserves. There is a verve - a joy - an excitement about the way a Naim streamer goes about its work. Hard to put into words - easy to hear.

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I have a very similar setup: a DigiOne Signature into a Naim DAC. The server is MinimServer though, not Roon.

The DigiOne is powered by an UpTone Audio JS-2 (RPi side) and a LPS-1.2 (clean side).

With the nDAC, that makes 4 boxes (two of which are rather small) and total costs (with cables, DigiOne, etc.) of about 3200 EUR.

The ND5XS2 would be just one box at about the same cost. The NDX2 would be one or two boxes at an higher cost.

I do not know how these sources compare to my current one in terms of sound quality.

I would not mind upgrading to a better source but I do not fully trust the Naim software system and their application software support.

I have tried replacing the DigiOne Signature with an ultraRendu (also powered by the JS-2) + Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock USB combination: the differences in sound quality, if any, were marginal.

I am located in Germany and here it is not so easy to demo potentially interesting devices like the dCS Network Bridge or Chord DACs. I also would not want a DAC or a streamer with much less inputs than the Naim DAC.

Thus, for the time being and unless something interesting comes up, I will stay with my current system and invest my money in live concerts and good wine!

Nothing. But a better DAC - of whatever character turns you on - may be the key to sound quality enhancement, whether Chord DAVE or incorporated in NAIM ND555…

He has a nDAC . . . so a power supply might be a better option than a “better” DAC. :wink:

I have an XPS supplying the nDAC.

Nothing if you are happy with your system and it’s performance.
Streamers are more for people that want to maximise SQ without focussing on specialist digital audio computing hardware, and simply want to enjoy their recordings with the convenience of a CD player.


Ah - did not see that you specified that in your original post.

To echo others, from what you wrote you don’t need a streamer. Similar space to me, so I’m glad you posted the question!


I live in Germany and today, for want of something better to do, I cycled to a nearby dealer who I haven’t been to before and demoed a Chord Hugo 2 and a TT2 with headphones. So am wondering where in Germany you live and why you can’t demo these products. For the record I was unimpressed by the Hugo 2 but blown away by the TT2.

@William: I live in Berlin but my Naim dealer is in south Germany. Not so easy to demo Chord and dCS here but, to tell you the truth, I have not tried very hard!

Hi Stephen,

As others have stated, if you are happy then just stop.

In my case I dissappeared down the rabbit hole trying a few of the better considered streamers & NUCs, and associated LPSUs & widgets. The SQ I achieved was superb, costing just less than 50% of the cost of dCS Network Bridge …but, LOTS of boxes, wires and complexity.

When I borrowed the dCS NB it was as good and in a nice compact neat box.

In the event I ended up with a Linn Klimax DS/1 Renew, for about the same price as my multi-box setup that I thoroughly enjoy. I DO miss the AudioNote 2.1 DAC, but that is in the loft for later.

If you are curious I would borrow a dCS and see what you think; you may well think the VFM is not great enough. Either way I would be interested in your thoughts.


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You might want to check out or at least consider a music server like the innuos Zen. Apparently it will sound better then using a noisy computer like a laptop or MacMini.

I have the Zen Mini mk3 so can’t comment on the Zen’s sound quality, but the Mini does sound very good. It will rip all your CDs and run either in UPnp server mode, or as a Roon core or end-point (or both)

For low box count all roads lead to Linn. Running for cover…

Strange that. I live in Munich but my Linn dealer is in Mainz.

To the OP I would like to say that you have one of the best value for money kits there is. If that is your thing stop there and enjoy the music. If you feel you could be doing better you are going to have to get your wallet out and acquaint yourself with the law of diminishing returns.

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Thank you everyone.

My conclusion from the responses is that if I want a single box solution I should look at a streamer/network player. If I want one of these from Naim it will cost a considerable sum if I want to better the SQ I have at the moment (nDAC/XPS-2/Allo DigiOne Signature with dual Linear PSU/MacMini with Roon). Downside of what I have is the number of boxes and cables (five boxes…)

Think I’ll stick with what I have (for now) and spend the money on more CDs that I’ll rip and put on the server!

To get really better, you need at minimum 3k for a second hand Naim nds. Or 6k for a new ndx2.

@frenchrooster: Do you think that NDX2/XPS-2 would be “really better” than DigiOne/nDAC/XPS-2? That would be an interesting comparison!

One problem of comparing nDAC combinations with more modern alternatives is that the nDAC (and the NDS) is relatively sensitive to the quality of its SPDIF input.

Thus, a meaningful comparison between NDX2/XPS-2 and DigiOne/nDAC/XPS-2 would necessarily have to entail the PSUs that are used to power the DigiOne.

If the NDX2/XPS-2 turned out to be significantly better than the DigiOne/nDAC/XPS-2, that could be a meaningful way of reducing the number of boxes, albeit by giving up some flexibility in terms of software and number of inputs.

Nbpf, I agree because after my post I was thinking that finally ndx2/xps2 would finally, perhaps, not be a big uplift vs allo/ Ndac/ xps2. Better yes I think, but not proportional to the money invested.
I would personally more go for a second hand Linn kds3, for around 7/8 k. It’s on the level of ndx2 or nds/ 555dr. And one box.

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