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Article: Naim NDX Network Player / DAC and XPS Power Supply Review


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Nice review, I have an NDX but no external supply, but have demoed both the XPS and the much more expensive 555 PS which was stunning. Can you tell me please what the Roon remote is you have on the MacBook ?

Hi rogerdn - I'm using Roon, seen here - Computer Audiophile - Roon From Roon Labs - A Video Run-through

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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Started my audio life with Naim gear, using all their unique (for those days) connectors and system heirarchy. The music was just involving and utterly enjoyable.

It is very interesting to me that most, if not all, of Naims ascertions from those many years ago have been proven to be absolutely correct....BNC connectors, amongst their many other wiring choises and strict attention to outboard power supplies. All the boutique audio that has passed under the bridge and Naim is still there and making great audio gear...

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I can't help but notice that the power supply costs more than the main component.

Just saying.....

Jon

Innuos Zen Mk 3, Shunyata alpha usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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I am saying that because of the huge cost of the power supply relative to the DAC, I look forward to a quick follow-up with regard to the difference in sound quality with and without the XPS and whether adding the XPS doubles the sound quality or improves it significantly to the point of justifying paying for it.

Jon

Innuos Zen Mk 3, Shunyata alpha usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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I am saying that because of the huge cost of the power supply relative to the DAC, I look forward to a quick follow-up with regard to the difference in sound quality with and without the XPS and whether adding the XPS doubles the sound quality or improves it significantly to the point of justifying paying for it.

Hi Jon - Thanks for the clarification :~)

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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I'm not sure I know what double sq sounds like but having demoed the XPS with my NDX I can say it's significantly better. And the $11500 (or so ) 555 PS transforms the sound like I've never heard before, too bad it costs so much. Hearing the externals is all you need to convince you how important the ps is to sq.

rogerdn

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I'm not sure I know what double sq sounds like but having demoed the XPS with my NDX I can say it's significantly better. And the $11500 (or so ) 555 PS transforms the sound like I've never heard before, too bad it costs so much. Hearing the externals is all you need to convince you how important the ps is to sq.

 

What would be interesting is if someone got a hi-quality 3rd person PS that costs significantly less and compared it to the very pricey NAIM one.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I'm not sure I know what double sq sounds like but having demoed the XPS with my NDX I can say it's significantly better. And the $11500 (or so ) 555 PS transforms the sound like I've never heard before, too bad it costs so much. Hearing the externals is all you need to convince you how important the ps is to sq.

 

Hi rogerdn,

After the demo with your NDX, did you purchase the XPS or did you move up to the 555PS?

 

The high cost of these power supplies shows that the cost of parts for the PS far exceeds that of the DAC. Logic would have it that the design and implementation of a primary component such as a network streamer/DAC would be more labor-intensive than that for a PS. But of course, I stand corrected.

 

Jon.

Jon

Innuos Zen Mk 3, Shunyata alpha usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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firedog,

+1.

Jon.

Jon

Innuos Zen Mk 3, Shunyata alpha usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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What would be interesting is if someone got a hi-quality 3rd person PS that costs significantly less and compared it to the very pricey NAIM one.

 

The Teddy Pardo's are popular alternatives if they have model you need. I compared the best Naim p/s against the best Teddy Pardo p/s for my Supernait 2 (now sold) and it was a draw.

“Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Steve Bannon

 

Chief Strategist for President Trump and attendee on United States National Security Council.

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Thanks, Bryan for the heads up. How much are the Teddys going for?

Jon

Innuos Zen Mk 3, Shunyata alpha usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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PSUs for Naim | Power Supplies | TeddyPardo

 

Cool prices from the TP website.

Jon

Innuos Zen Mk 3, Shunyata alpha usb cable, Esoteric N-05 dac/network player, MBL N11 preamp, Bryston 28B SST2 monoblocks, Vienna Acoustics The Music speakers, Kimber Select 1126/1130 ic's, Kimber Select 6063 sc, Shunyata Triton, Shunyata/PS Audio pc's, Shunyata Dark Field Suspension System, Harmonix by Combak footers, Shun Mook Pendulum stand

Industry Affiliation : None

 

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Hi rogerdn,

After the demo with your NDX, did you purchase the XPS or did you move up to the 555PS?

 

The high cost of these power supplies shows that the cost of parts for the PS far exceeds that of the DAC. Logic would have it that the design and implementation of a primary component such as a network streamer/DAC would be more labor-intensive than that for a PS. But of course, I stand corrected.

 

Jon.

 

Nether actually, I have a second DAC in the same price range which after upgrading the sw I liked a bit better than the XPS, and didn't want to spend that much for the 555 although the sq is superior.

rogerdn

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The Teddy Pardo's are popular alternatives if they have model you need. I compared the best Naim p/s against the best Teddy Pardo p/s for my Supernait 2 (now sold) and it was a draw.

 

Of course the Naim warranty is void if you use another manufacturers power supply.

David

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Chris,

 

Great review!

 

Were you able to hear differences in the different UPnP servers that you used?

 

Also, have you, or anyone else on this thread, tried the digital out from the NDX into a 3rd party external DAC instead of spending big money on the powersupply? I'm wondering if it makes sense to use the NDX as streamer and one flavor of DAC, and also use a second external DAC for variety.

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Hi Chris,

 

Another question: with so many Naim components and combinations out there, why/ how did you choose the NDX/ XPS? Did you consider NDX / Naim DAC connected to powersupply, or NDX with Naim Unitiserve UPnP server/ ripper, or others?

 

Thanks

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Boogie said..

Also, have you, or anyone else on this thread, tried the digital out from the NDX into a 3rd party external DAC instead of spending big money on the powersupply? I'm wondering if it makes sense to use the NDX as streamer and one flavor of DAC, and also use a second external DAC for variety.

 

 

Yes I did that with my PSA DirectStream but did not have the XPS then so had to do a recall of how it compared, but was not that impressed, and the DS costs the same anyway.

rogerdn

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Boogie said..

Also, have you, or anyone else on this thread, tried the digital out from the NDX into a 3rd party external DAC instead of spending big money on the powersupply? I'm wondering if it makes sense to use the NDX as streamer and one flavor of DAC, and also use a second external DAC for variety.

 

 

Yes I did that with my PSA DirectStream but did not have the XPS then so had to do a recall of how it compared, but was not that impressed, and the DS costs the same anyway.

 

Thanks, Rogerdn. So just to make sure I understand, are you saying the PS Audio Directream DAC sounded worse when using the NDX only as a network bridge for the Directstream vs. using the DirectSream as a DAC via another bridge or via a computer?

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You know it was some months ago and honestly I don't remember exactly how it sounded but probably not worse, just it had minimal sq improvement, and I quickly decided for double the price it was not worth it. Btw I was also interested in using the very nice Naim iPad control app with my DS because mconnect is not all that good. Sorry I can't be more definitive. I run my DS with its Bridge connected via LAN using a Synology NAS server.

rogerdn

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