Wich streamer around 2000€ in second hand

I’m looking for a new streamer (+ DAC) to replace my old (but not so bad) UnitiQute v1 and go with my 72/HC/140.
this what I have listed yesterday :

  • Naim ND5XS2 (my preference)
  • Lumin D2 (best for money ?)
  • Auralic Altair G1
  • Bel Canto e.One Stream
  • Cambridge CNX v2

it will be my only source.
to read Flac on my NAS, and maybe Qobuz if I take a subscription.

any other suggestions ?

I have noticed in my head “Bluesound Node 2i + NDAC” for a ridiculous budget, but I really want an “all in one”, Streamer + Dac.
but I’m not totally closed :smiley:


Right. So I have just sold my cxnv2 ( for more than I paid new) and have an ND5 xs2.
So, vfm the cxn would win. Easy contest. Good sound, easy to use and a half decent app. ( I had issues, but they could have been down to my network/WiFi)
Roon ready, Tidal and Qubuz integration. And a really decent easy to use internet radio.
I had the chance to home trial the Naim. At first I was not convinced. But as the Naim burnt in I became hooked. I even like the Naim app on apple, less so on Android. Lack of a screen is not an issue on the ND for me. Could be for you. Dunno.
But, the Naim is four times the price of the Cambridge.
And yes is it 4 times better. No. But that’s how these things work. And yes I bought the Naim. Helped by the sale price of the Cambridge.
And just to complicate things, I’m trialing a Chord Qutest on the back end of the Naim. And that is growing on me too.
What does all this tell you. Nothing really.
If you’ve got £2k to spend you will not be disappointed with the Naim at all. If you have only £600. Buy the Cambridge.
But, trial both. Going to be hard ( especially now) with a dealer that stocks both. Actually nigh on impossible unless Richer Sounds is now a Naim dealer too!

Nd5xs2 went for £1700 on eBay last week. Naim dealer too. Most likely a trade in for an NDX2?

You could get a second hand Linn (Klimax) Renew DS/1 (2nd gen) on Ebay for just under £2,000 - not quite sure of the currency rate into Euros at the moment.

The Renew will be very nearly as good as the much more expensive Linn Klimax DS/1. It is basically the electronics for the full Klimax in a less expensive box. You would have to use the Linn Kazoo software rather than the Naim app (unless you are a Roon subscriber), but the Kazoo app I find to be very slightly better, and unlike the Naim app, it’s also available as a Windows 10 app in addition to supporting IOS and Android.

I use the Klimax DS/1 in my main system, and it’s significantly better (to my ears) than either the Sonore microRendu/Mytek Brooklyn+ combo or microRendu/Chord Hugo that I use in my 2nd system.

The Renew & the Linn Kazoo app provides integration with Tidal, Qobuz and Roon.

I used to have a first edition ND5XS. It wasn’t in the same league as the first generation Klimax Renew DS/0 that I had at the time. The 2nd generation DS/1 is very significantly better than the 1st generation DS/0. I feel that a second hand Linn (Klimax) Renew (especially the 2nd gen DS/1) is superb value for money, although a little austere in appearance.

EDIT: It’s just occurred to me that the Linn streamers don’t support DSD (only the most recent generation does), so if you plan to use DSD files then you should probably look elsewhere.


no I mean NDS5XS with the 2 :smiley:

thanks all,
I add Linn to my list

I presume you wouldn’t consider a 172?

I paid £1775 for a Nov 2018 ex demo ND5XS2 from a Naim main dealer just last week, gets delivered tomorrow :slight_smile:


I bought an 18 month old nd5xs2 for 1600 … they are about

no I would’t buy a new pre-amplifier 'cause I have the NAC72

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bargain !!!

An alternative to buying a streamer is a separate renderer and a DAC. This presented as food for thought:

I started streaming, essentially only my own locally stored music, with an ND5XS and a (cheap) NAS. It was fine: sounded as good as the CD it replaced, and was easy to set up and use.

Then I was persuaded by the dealer who sold me the ND5XS (ex dem) to try an XP5XS power supply as an upgrade. I did - and was disappointed with the very marginal uplift for such cost (even though the PS was also ex-dem). I returned it, and instead tried a Chord Hugo DAC (less cost), using the ND5 as renderer feeding it. That gave a marked step up in sound quality, with a more natural sound. It stayed!

But my NAS was annoying, physically noisy, and I wanted to replace it with a silent one. And that coincided with my learning of a different approach, With the result that I replaced the NAS with a Mac Mini (secondhand, upgraded by me with twin 1GB SSDs and maxed out RAM). I installed Audirvana rendering software, effectively putting my music store and renderer in the same box, with no need to stream across a network (so none of the fretting that some do about which ethernet cables and switches to get best sound). Fully optimised, and dedicated running ‘headless’ with no monitor or keyboard, the MM is just like a small hifi box, and is controlled by an app just like other streamers. Using a dedicated USB bus output all the non-hifi Mac electronics and drivers are bypassed, however, a computer being riddled with RF, and Hugo being very susceptible to RF as it does not have galvanic isolation on its electrical inputs, it needed an isolator in between, for which I used the excellent and inexpensive Gustard U12, The NAS+renderer change allowed me to sell the ND5XS, the NAS was moved and relegated to a music backup store plus other non-music duties, and the result was not just a silent store, but an additional uplift in sound quality (albeit not major). Overall the net cost of Mac Mini (secondhand) as modified, Audirvana, Gustard and Hugo was about the same as ND5XS (ex dem) plus a QNAP silent NAS - and significantly better sound quality.

Now of course there is the Qutest from Chord, which would negate a need for an isolator.

includes Tidal, Qobuz & Hiresaudio integration though I don’t use them. I do sometimes use Spotify -for which I just switch to that on the MM in place of Audirvana. Ditto if I wanted internet radio stations, or uTube, or anything else.

If you have a Mac of any description you can have a free trial of Audirvana - whilst possibly not quite as good as when on a dedicated Mac Mini it would let you see if you can get on with the software (and it can happily source your music on a networked NAS so no need to move music to try), and you might be able to get a demo DAC to try at the same time to assess.

There are other alternatives to using Audirvana on a Mac, some more ‘DIY’ than others, which may similarly match or beat commercial streamers costing a lot more. As just one example, some people use the microRendu as renderer - and some of those people pair it with Raspberry pi to effectively make their own NAS. Unfortunately for the most part the chances are you are unlikely to be able to hear that sort of setup before you buy - however there have been numbers of posts on the forum over time giving a lot of insight.

It’s your money, of course but you should be aware of the fact that investing into an integrated streamer, no matter whether it is a lot of money or a bargain, does entail certain risks.

A DAC with USB and/or SPDIF inputs is a device whose firmware requires no or very little maintenance. It relies on basically no application level software and rarely needs any upgrade.

A DAC with a streaming board, on the other hand, is a device that typically relies on a full fledged OS (very often a small, dedicated Linux distribution) and a substantial amount of application-level software. This application-level software implies complexity, frequent upgrades, potential compatibility issues and software bugs.

As a consequence, if you buy an integrated streamer, you make yourself completely dependent of the willingness (and of the capability) of the manufacturer to maintain, upgrade and keep up-to-date the system that you have bought.

These are facts that many people who buy an integrated streamer for the first time do not realize or that they realize too late. In my view they imply that, if the choice is nevertheless to go for an integrated streamer, it is better to buy from a company that you fully trust to provide software support, maintenance, updates and bug fixes over the life time of the product.

By contrast, investing in a DAC with USB and/or SPDIF inputs is a decision that implies low risks. Today, one can buy a 1TB micro SD card for about 300$. For 2000 EUR one can buy a great new or second hand DAC . Front end it with a Raspberry Pi running something like GenTooPlayer and you have a very flexible and cost effective server + transport solution. If your DAC only has SPDIF inputs, like my nDAC, just add a DigiOne Signature on the top of the RPi and a decent PSU and you are done.

Or you buy something like the Chord 2go and pair it with a 2yu or directly with second hand Hugo.

Would that be less cost with a MM+2nd hand Chord Hugo?

Right now there are deals. Good deals. I’ll not say what I paid for my new nd5xs2 albeit a very lightly used ex demo.

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I do not know but, apart from the cost, there are other important differences between a 2go + Hugo solution and a MM + Hugo solution that needs to be considered, in my view.

Again, with 2go + Hugo, one has to rely on Chord to maintain and update the system. With MM + Hugo one has direct control on the system. And also more responsibility, of course.

But why would you front end a Hugo with a MM? An RPi4 costs a fraction of a MM, is easier to set up, more flexible and can be complemented with very good I2S to SPDIF transports like the DigiOne Signature.

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oh my god, lot of stuff to read and clearly understand :smiley:
thanks all

my NAS is Qnap HS-210 (Fanless) with 2 x 1To (SSD) inside.
I will soon by a ZeroZone Power supply to power NAS and Netgear GS108 switch

Mac mini, why not, all my device are made by Apple :smiley: (iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook) but I’m not sure to tweak it as good as it can be.
I prefer an all made solution, but I keep it in my head.

I think there is a number of members here using MM into Chord DACs (Dave, Hugo, etc.).
You can get away with a NAS if your (SSD) hard drive has sufficient space for your music library, plus you can choose Audirvana or Roon or generic native music app players (iTunes, Spotify, Qobuz, Amazon, etc).

A good point.

Naim and Linn both offer very reliable support and fairly regular software and firmware upgrades for their streamers and amps. The Linn firmware update process is particularly easy - no USB sticks or manual processes required. A simple on-screen ‘Yes’ in reply to the offer of a firmware or software upgrade is all that is required. Select ‘Yes’ and the upgrade is instantaneously and seamlessly applied.

It’s as easy as that.

It’s only easy if you have no issue! There was a time I had to do hard reset and restore, but that was a long time ago, and it happened to me just once, finger crossed.