30 posts / 0 new
Last post
Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 488
Naim Streamers

Happy New Year to all

I am still unsure on a choice of Dac and have been looking at streamers, I have heard the M1 Clic which used as a dac is for me the best I have heard so far.

My other considerations at this point would be Linn Majik DS /M and from Naim the ND5XS or NAC172XS which brings me to my question.

The 172XS seems to offer a lot more functions, inputs, higher sampling rates than the 5XS but the 5XS is nearly £500 more, am I missing something out here, I may be starting the new year by displaying more than my usual stupidity if so my apologies, but why would I go for the 5xs over the 172 XS.

Also out of curiosity has anyone heard any of the three streamers together, (Naim, Linn, MF) any thoughts, comparisons, I think it will probably come down to personal taste and I will be on tour soon to find out for myself but any views hugely appreciated.

Thanks again for reading and any input is welcome.

jjbomber's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 22/12/2006 - 00:42
Posts: 796
RE: Naim Streamers

Or for similar money you can use the Naim UnitiLite to stream and act as a DAC. That then gives you a CD player and integrated amp.

 

Ketan Bharadia's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 9 hours ago
Joined: 07/06/2007 - 14:20
Posts: 226
RE: Naim Streamers

I've heard both Naim ND5 and 172XS and prefer the way the ND5 sounds. To my ears it is more expressive and detailed. The 172XS is cheaper, of course and has more in the way of features. The basic sonic character is similar, though.

Linn  makes terrific streamers. The ones I've heard have a more analytical sound than the Naims. The choice does come down to taste.

acalex's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 13/09/2011 - 11:48
Posts: 1592
RE: Naim Streamers

Ketan Bharadia wrote:

I've heard both Naim ND5 and 172XS and prefer the way the ND5 sounds. To my ears it is more expressive and detailed. The 172XS is cheaper, of course and has more in the way of features. The basic sonic character is similar, though.

Linn  makes terrific streamers. The ones I've heard have a more analytical sound than the Naims. The choice does come down to taste.

I have a Linn Akurate DS and can say that the Linn Majik is the best value for money...especially knowing it can be had for less than 15oo euro second hand. I personally don't think it sounds analytical but I haven't compared to Naim to be honest. For me is the most analog sounding piece of kit I have experienced so far

But all the Linn DS streamers left me a bit cold whenever I heard them within a full Linn system (not active). 

BigColz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 18/06/2012 - 14:57
Posts: 304
RE: Naim Streamers

The ND5 XS is a stunning bit of kit IMO.. The most analogue sounding bit of kit i've heard, couldn't believe digital files could sound so natural.. I like to keep my source and amplifier sections seperate.. I believe the Linn DS's don't have any digital inputs so you couldn't add a CD transport/TV/Mac/Xbox etc. They seem a pain to set up with different software etc whereas the Naim just works out the box and sounds amazing. They both get rave reviews in magazines, on websites and by people on here... Go and audition both as it will come down to taste  :cheers:

Ambrose's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 7 hours ago
Joined: 19/02/2008 - 12:48
Posts: 333
RE: Naim Streamers

jjbomber wrote:

Or for similar money you can use the Naim UnitiLite to stream and act as a DAC. That then gives you a CD player and integrated amp.

 

Just something my dealer commented when discussing Uniti 2 and Unitilite was "Is Uniti 2 better"? Has more power and go but the lite is more agile sounding. Andrew also raved about the Lite I believe.

A chap when I was a dealer was apparently agonising over which uniti to go for!

However was suggested that seperates still give a bit more than the uniti's and power supplies were mentioned as a factor.

I have never really heard the Uniti's myself however.

Ambrose

acalex's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 13/09/2011 - 11:48
Posts: 1592
RE: Naim Streamers

BigColz wrote:

The ND5 XS is a stunning bit of kit IMO.. The most analogue sounding bit of kit i've heard, couldn't believe digital files could sound so natural.. I like to keep my source and amplifier sections seperate.. I believe the Linn DS's don't have any digital inputs so you couldn't add a CD transport/TV/Mac/Xbox etc. They seem a pain to set up with different software etc whereas the Naim just works out the box and sounds amazing. They both get rave reviews in magazines, on websites and by people on here... Go and audition both as it will come down to taste  :cheers:

I confirm there are not digital inputs on the DS which I don't think is too bad as I will only use this kind of streamer to stream my lossless files to my reference system. I won't use any of the 2 channels equipment for home theater so not a big deal for me. 

The set-up of Linn was flawless, up and running in no time. 

BigColz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 18/06/2012 - 14:57
Posts: 304
RE: Naim Streamers

acalex wrote:

BigColz wrote:

The ND5 XS is a stunning bit of kit IMO.. The most analogue sounding bit of kit i've heard, couldn't believe digital files could sound so natural.. I like to keep my source and amplifier sections seperate.. I believe the Linn DS's don't have any digital inputs so you couldn't add a CD transport/TV/Mac/Xbox etc. They seem a pain to set up with different software etc whereas the Naim just works out the box and sounds amazing. They both get rave reviews in magazines, on websites and by people on here... Go and audition both as it will come down to taste  :cheers:

I confirm there are not digital inputs on the DS which I don't think is too bad as I will only use this kind of streamer to stream my lossless files to my reference system. I won't use any of the 2 channels equipment for home theater so not a big deal for me. 

The set-up of Linn was flawless, up and running in no time. 

 

Yeah all depends on what the OP is after and which sound he prefers.. Eventually i'll have a Listening/gaming/movie room 2.1 so I wanted the inputs.. Good to hear it was setup quickly  :cheers:

acalex's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 13/09/2011 - 11:48
Posts: 1592
RE: Naim Streamers

BigColz wrote:

acalex wrote:

BigColz wrote:

The ND5 XS is a stunning bit of kit IMO.. The most analogue sounding bit of kit i've heard, couldn't believe digital files could sound so natural.. I like to keep my source and amplifier sections seperate.. I believe the Linn DS's don't have any digital inputs so you couldn't add a CD transport/TV/Mac/Xbox etc. They seem a pain to set up with different software etc whereas the Naim just works out the box and sounds amazing. They both get rave reviews in magazines, on websites and by people on here... Go and audition both as it will come down to taste  :cheers:

I confirm there are not digital inputs on the DS which I don't think is too bad as I will only use this kind of streamer to stream my lossless files to my reference system. I won't use any of the 2 channels equipment for home theater so not a big deal for me. 

The set-up of Linn was flawless, up and running in no time. 

 

Yeah all depends on what the OP is after and which sound he prefers.. Eventually i'll have a Listening/gaming/movie room 2.1 so I wanted the inputs.. Good to hear it was setup quickly  :cheers:

Makes sense indeed.

I think I might just use the speakers probably with home theater and buy an AV amplifier where I will connect also iphone/ipad docks for casual listening/parties (as SQ wouldn't matter so much in these cases :D)

BigColz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 18/06/2012 - 14:57
Posts: 304
RE: Naim Streamers

acalex wrote:

BigColz wrote:

acalex wrote:

BigColz wrote:

The ND5 XS is a stunning bit of kit IMO.. The most analogue sounding bit of kit i've heard, couldn't believe digital files could sound so natural.. I like to keep my source and amplifier sections seperate.. I believe the Linn DS's don't have any digital inputs so you couldn't add a CD transport/TV/Mac/Xbox etc. They seem a pain to set up with different software etc whereas the Naim just works out the box and sounds amazing. They both get rave reviews in magazines, on websites and by people on here... Go and audition both as it will come down to taste  :cheers:

I confirm there are not digital inputs on the DS which I don't think is too bad as I will only use this kind of streamer to stream my lossless files to my reference system. I won't use any of the 2 channels equipment for home theater so not a big deal for me. 

The set-up of Linn was flawless, up and running in no time. 

 

Yeah all depends on what the OP is after and which sound he prefers.. Eventually i'll have a Listening/gaming/movie room 2.1 so I wanted the inputs.. Good to hear it was setup quickly  :cheers:

Makes sense indeed.

I think I might just use the speakers probably with home theater and buy an AV amplifier where I will connect also iphone/ipad docks for casual listening/parties (as SQ wouldn't matter so much in these cases :D)

 

I have a 10 year old Cambridge Audio 540a + 540c in my living room.. You could prob pick up a 540a for under £100 and it has a great sound entertaining sound for partys etc.. I'm thinkin of gettin a sonos connect eventually.. Need a NAS first! For now I just use CD player or iPod cable :grin:   :rockout:

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 32 min 20 sec ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12075
RE: Naim Streamers

acalex wrote:

Ketan Bharadia wrote:

Linn  makes terrific streamers. The ones I've heard have a more analytical sound than the Naims. The choice does come down to taste.

I have a Linn Akurate DS and can say that the Linn Majik is the best value for money...especially knowing it can be had for less than 15oo euro second hand. I personally don't think it sounds analytical but I haven't compared to Naim to be honest. For me is the most analog sounding piece of kit I have experienced so far

But all the Linn DS streamers left me a bit cold whenever I heard them within a full Linn system (not active). 

This would coincide with my findings.

In a Linn System, or probably any more analytical sounding system it can come across that way (nb. analytical in the way of clean and detailed, rather than forward). Certainly, in a Class A or Valve set up, imo it sounds far from this.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

acalex's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 13/09/2011 - 11:48
Posts: 1592
RE: Naim Streamers

BigColz wrote:

acalex wrote:

BigColz wrote:

acalex wrote:

BigColz wrote:

The ND5 XS is a stunning bit of kit IMO.. The most analogue sounding bit of kit i've heard, couldn't believe digital files could sound so natural.. I like to keep my source and amplifier sections seperate.. I believe the Linn DS's don't have any digital inputs so you couldn't add a CD transport/TV/Mac/Xbox etc. They seem a pain to set up with different software etc whereas the Naim just works out the box and sounds amazing. They both get rave reviews in magazines, on websites and by people on here... Go and audition both as it will come down to taste  :cheers:

I confirm there are not digital inputs on the DS which I don't think is too bad as I will only use this kind of streamer to stream my lossless files to my reference system. I won't use any of the 2 channels equipment for home theater so not a big deal for me. 

The set-up of Linn was flawless, up and running in no time. 

 

Yeah all depends on what the OP is after and which sound he prefers.. Eventually i'll have a Listening/gaming/movie room 2.1 so I wanted the inputs.. Good to hear it was setup quickly  :cheers:

Makes sense indeed.

I think I might just use the speakers probably with home theater and buy an AV amplifier where I will connect also iphone/ipad docks for casual listening/parties (as SQ wouldn't matter so much in these cases :D)

 

I have a 10 year old Cambridge Audio 540a + 540c in my living room.. You could prob pick up a 540a for under £100 and it has a great sound entertaining sound for partys etc.. I'm thinkin of gettin a sonos connect eventually.. Need a NAS first! For now I just use CD player or iPod cable :grin:   :rockout:

Yes but with a good AV amplifier I could also connect my TV through HDMI, get a center and create a surround system for home cinema. The only problem I need to solve is the cable switching to speakers. I still haven't found a good solution for that... 

Shanka's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 10/01/2011 - 17:44
Posts: 488
RE: Naim Streamers

Hi,

Thanks for all the replies.

Have been trying to get demos organised today which has flagged up a few points and to ask a few more based on responses.

I have been advised that the Naim products won't give their best performance as I am not using other Naim equipment and not using the best path by not using their din plugs, is this a fair point ?

The 172xs gives me the better options regarding overall connectivity so I may be missing out a little bit from the 5xs but it would integrate all the components I wish to connect ( NAS,Virgin, SBT, dvd/bluray),the MF Clic also has the connectivity I need.

For me to get this with the Linn DSM it will be out of my budget.

I have booked a demo with the Naim and MF for later this week and have been offered a very good price for a Clic so again I am leaning this way.

Unfortunately I can not demo the Naim products with my equipment but am currently working on that.

Thanks again for all your help.

jerry klinger's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 10 hours ago
Joined: 26/06/2010 - 10:13
Posts: 350
RE: Naim Streamers

I've had some experience of Naim streamers (but by no means exhaustive!).

The ND5XS and NDX are a serious level above the 'all in one' streamers I've heard - the Uniti and the Qute, and I would expect the 172 to be on that lower level too. The stand alone streamers can be upgraded in various ways which is where owning Naim becomes very expensive. I found the XP5XS added to the ND5XS sounded better than the NDX on its own. I also didn't like the DAC in comparison.

One little known fact is that Naim are the only streamer to provide Radio Paradise at 320kbps. Sounds great.

I tried the NAD C446 and would rate it about 75% as good as the ND5XS on most sources. But of course that 25% could be worth paying 3-4 times the price for you! Law of diminishing watsits.

Bear in mind that Naim DACs and streamers don't provide USB-B inputs for laptops etc. Also you have a Caspian M2, a great amp - getting a 172 will take you down the Naim amp route, also very expensive!

BigColz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 18/06/2012 - 14:57
Posts: 304
RE: Naim Streamers

Shanka wrote:
Hi, Thanks for all the replies. Have been trying to get demos organised today which has flagged up a few points and to ask a few more based on responses. I have been advised that the Naim products won't give their best performance as I am not using other Naim equipment and not using the best path by not using their din plugs, is this a fair point ? The 172xs gives me the better options regarding overall connectivity so I may be missing out a little bit from the 5xs but it would integrate all the components I wish to connect ( NAS,Virgin, SBT, dvd/bluray),the MF Clic also has the connectivity I need. For me to get this with the Linn DSM it will be out of my budget. I have booked a demo with the Naim and MF for later this week and have been offered a very good price for a Clic so again I am leaning this way. Unfortunately I can not demo the Naim products with my equipment but am currently working on that. Thanks again for all your help.

 

Naim fan boys will tell you Naim works better with Naim and the DIN sockets are superior, which they may be with other Naim components but you have to ask yourself if you want other Naim components.. It works extremely well through the phono outputs to other amps. I've heard it with several. If you were to get the 172xs would you be using it as just a streamer/DAC? Or using the Pre amp section too? Personally I'd connect the NAS through the Network and SBT and TV digitally.. 

BigColz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 18/06/2012 - 14:57
Posts: 304
RE: Naim Streamers

jerry klinger wrote:

I've had some experience of Naim streamers (but by no means exhaustive!).

The ND5XS and NDX are a serious level above the 'all in one' streamers I've heard - the Uniti and the Qute, and I would expect the 172 to be on that lower level too. The stand alone streamers can be upgraded in various ways which is where owning Naim becomes very expensive. I found the XP5XS added to the ND5XS sounded better than the NDX on its own. I also didn't like the DAC in comparison.

 

 

I agree 100% on everything you've said here..

Pages

Log in or register to post comments