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Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

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harry_t's picture
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My name is Harry and I’m a newcomer! I would be grateful if anyone could help me concerning the purchase of a music streamer. My hi-fi system consists of a pair of Celius Triangle 202, an integrated amplifier Primare A30.1 and currently i use the Primare cd player CD21. I'm thinking very seriously to upgrade my system a little bit or if you like to come closer to the digital era by replacing my cd player and buying a network music streamer together with a NAS. Two options i came across on the internet were the Stream Box DS by Pro-Ject and the NAIM ND5 XS. Regarding the first one i didn't like the fact that it has received not very enthusiastic reviews. About NAIM its price of course is a critical factor but i really liked it. And now my queries: 1. Can i find a quality network music streamer for my hi-fi somewhere in between (in price and characteristics)? 2. Should i wait 1 or 2 years and purchase any used NAIM? 3. Do you thing that buying the NAIM is above my amplifier capabilities or am i good to go? 4. i) Since i use also a multi channel amplifier to support a home cinema system, in the case i decide to buy NAIM music player can i connect my bluray dvd player with the NAIM (through s/pdif) in order to take advantage of NAIM's dac for superior sound quality through my Celius? ii) But then again can a movie of 5.1 dts sound, be supported that way? (In that case i suppose i will keep the connection between the dvd player to the multichannel amplifier through hdmi but i will have to terminate the connection between the two amplifiers?) Thank you in advance!

 

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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

OK this is quite an involved question but I have some experience of much of the above and I'd like to answer it at more length but haven't got much time now, so have patience.  I also have a tendency to forget about things like this so if I forget feel free to mail me and remind me.  Address below Smile

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harry_t's picture
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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

Thanks John i appreciate it! Waiting for any suggestions...

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

harry_t wrote:

My name is Harry and I’m a newcomer! I would be grateful if anyone could help me concerning the purchase of a music streamer. My hi-fi system consists of a pair of Celius Triangle 202, an integrated amplifier Primare A30.1 and currently i use the Primare cd player CD21. I'm thinking very seriously to upgrade my system a little bit or if you like to come closer to the digital era by replacing my cd player and buying a network music streamer together with a NAS. Two options i came across on the internet were the Stream Box DS by Pro-Ject and the NAIM ND5 XS. Regarding the first one i didn't like the fact that it has received not very enthusiastic reviews. About NAIM its price of course is a critical factor but i really liked it. And now my queries:

1. Can i find a quality network music streamer for my hi-fi somewhere in between (in price and characteristics)? 2. Should i wait 1 or 2 years and purchase any used NAIM? 3. Do you thing that buying the NAIM is above my amplifier capabilities or am i good to go? 4. i) Since i use also a multi channel amplifier to support a home cinema system, in the case i decide to buy NAIM music player can i connect my bluray dvd player with the NAIM (through s/pdif) in order to take advantage of NAIM's dac for superior sound quality through my Celius? ii) But then again can a movie of 5.1 dts sound, be supported that way? (In that case i suppose i will keep the connection between the dvd player to the multichannel amplifier through hdmi but i will have to terminate the connection between the two amplifiers?) Thank you in advance!

Hi Harry, and welcome to the forum.

I think the first thing to do is to go and listen to 3 of the major contendors - Naim, Linn and Cyrus........ie. to see which you prefer and whether you think they are worth saving up for.

Linn has the Sneaky that can be got for as little as £750. 

You have an excellent system that would certainly be good enough for a £2k streamer.

I will let JD talk about the Naim, but with Linn, nothing can be connected to a DS....for that you need a DSM, which has an amp built-in. This amp is good value if you use it, but is a bit expensive if you disable it and use it as a source. Have a nosey on the Linn website, which has a lot of useful info.

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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

1). Consider a UnitiLite from Naim. That will handle all your streaming and you can hook it up to the speakers. The AV amp will probably have pre-amp outs and the UnitiLite has a unity gain, so that's fine. They are £1650 new before discount.

2) No. More things are lost by indecision than bad decision.

3) You can always sell the amp if you're not happy. UnitiLite has a built in amp.

4). Not really, though you can send a digital signal for any CDs played through it. It would be interesting to compare that with the CD21.

5). You don't specify a budget, but a second hand UnitiQute could handle the streaming duties.

harry_t's picture
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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

CnoEvil thanks a lot!

harry_t's picture
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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

jjbomber UnitiLite seems a good value for money but in terms of sound quality what do you thing as best solution for my system ...UnitiLite or ND5 XS ?

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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

I would recommend not taking anything you are told as gospel without checking it out. We all have our favorites and tend to promote them. I prefer Linn Streamers and would rather have a Primare amp than a Naim one. Then there are those that prefer Cyrus.

I am not saying the advise is wrong per se, only that you should take it under advisement.

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harry_t's picture
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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

Thanks again all of you guys for your prompt responses! Probably i would go for the NAIM ND5 XS (after i sum up a lot of cash of course!!!) and sell my Primera CD21. I suppose that 95% of the time i would listen music from the streamer-NAS combination and 5% from cd discs using my dvd player (after i connect it with the NAIM streamer through s/pdif cable).

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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

harry_t wrote:

jjbomber UnitiLite seems a good value for money but in terms of sound quality what do you thing as best solution for my system ...UnitiLite or ND5 XS ?

 

When I purchased my ND5, I listened to the UnitiLite (amongst others) at the same time.

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ND5 sounded significantly better.

 

harry_t's picture
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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

whoam1Thanks i need all the help from the experts!

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Hi Harry, As already

Hi Harry,

As already mentioned by others we all like different presentation so you can't beat a demo of different streamers to hear what suits you, but for me I have always prefered the Naim way of doing things, but we are all different so it is very difficult to advise.

It is actually a great time to get into streaming now though, as over the last couple of years it has been a case of refining software and operational issues but now all the big manufacturers have ironed out all the little bugs and problems. The Naim n-Stream app is absolutley fantastic now, they have been adding new features steadily but now it really does feel complete, especially with the inclusion of Rovi so you get a multi page digital leaflet that you can flick through on your Ipad with live links to more information, like similar artists etc, So for me I would say jump in now as once you've come over to streaming you'll never look back.

For me, as good as the UnitiLite is I would go with the ND5 XS as it is a superior streamer, the Lite is amazing value for an all in one unit but the ND5 XS definately has a cleaner presentation with greater transparancy and overall detail.

Enjoy the research Smile  

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harry_t's picture
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RE: Hi Harry,As already

Paul thanks a lot for you suggestions and useful info! As i mentioned earlier i will go definetely for the NAIM ND5 XS as soon as my budget allows me! Smile Meanwile do you think it's a good idea once in a while to use my pc for music (i have a good sound card) without an external DAC? I've heard that for better results you need to buy an expensive usb DAC probably more than 1000 euros. They told me that for cheaper usb DAC solutions it's usually a total waste of money since you cannot feel any differences in sound. Nevertheless i don't intend to invest in an expensive usb DAC. I don't know why but i'm not fond of this solution for digital music...

 

 

Thanks again,

 

Harry

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RE: Hi Harry,As already

Paul@HiFi-Lounge wrote:

Hi Harry,

For me, as good as the UnitiLite is I would go with the ND5 XS as it is a superior streamer, the Lite is amazing value for an all in one unit but the ND5 XS definately has a cleaner presentation with greater transparancy and overall detail.

Enjoy the research Smile  

 

But it's a ND5 XS into a 10 year old amp against the UnitiLite and that nakes it a close call. The ND5 XS is superior and will win easily with, say, a NAC252 and NAP 300. However, that's not what we are comparing here. If the ND5 XS is above budget at the moment, then it is going to be with the  Primare for a long time. The 252 and 300 will have to wait for the lottery to come up.

As always, an audition is needed before parting with money. But the audition has to be the ND5 XS with the Primare against the Unitilite. Too close to call and I'd love to know who wins.

 

harry_t's picture
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RE: Hi Harry,As already

Ofcourse  i will save a decent amount of money with the uniti lite option. Besides it's an all in one solution...But all in one and at the same time economic...? I suppose i will have to test rigorously my options before i decide! Personally i think primare a30.1 is an excellent integrated amp and i will find it very hard to sell it! Smile

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RE: Help! Is NAIM ND5 XS the right choice?

Just for Chebby. Number 5.