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Offline Simon Briggs  
#1 Posted : 27 August 2021 20:38:12(UTC)
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I am thinking about dipping my toe into the world of streaming, nothing fancy as I can't afford much.
One I am considering is the Naim ND5xs (BT) Bluetooth version. Bearing in mind my limited budget, I will be looking to buy one second hand.

I gather that they are fetching about £800 at the present time.

As an absolute maximum I might be able to stretch as far as the NDX (Bluetooth) at around £1300 s/h.

The advantage with the NDX is that it can facilitate the XPS DR or even the PS 555 DR so offering a possible for future upgrading in the future should funds allow

I would welcome any thoughts?

Thanks,

Simon
Offline en1omb  
#2 Posted : 28 August 2021 19:08:45(UTC)
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Simon, what’s your current set-up? If it is very well established, then I wouldn’t expect some miracle performance just because you have removed some moving parts. I have been predominantly streaming for several years but recently reintroduced my CD player. Despite my streaming front end costing much more, it can’t match the CD player for flow(although the player is particularly good for that). If flow isn’t a big concern, then streaming may prove a good option. I don’t have experience with your considerations but if you just want to try the convenience of streaming, they will be a solid start. What is your motivation for trying streaming?
Offline Simon Briggs  
#3 Posted : 30 August 2021 14:30:53(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: en1omb Go to Quoted Post
Simon, what’s your current set-up? If it is very well established, then I wouldn’t expect some miracle performance just because you have removed some moving parts. I have been predominantly streaming for several years but recently reintroduced my CD player. Despite my streaming front end costing much more, it can’t match the CD player for flow(although the player is particularly good for that). If flow isn’t a big concern, then streaming may prove a good option. I don’t have experience with your considerations but if you just want to try the convenience of streaming, they will be a solid start. What is your motivation for trying streaming?


Really depends upon what I am doing, I am in the middle of developing two Loudspeaker systems.
I have 2/3 systems on the go, but the main one is fluid
Currently an LP12/Heavily modded CDPs /TVC Pre and various power amps and my own Loudspeaker designs
Streaming will be very much a third source as it is just not good enough yet as a digital source at the level I can afford, not close enough to the non-commercial specialist built CDPs I am using.
Simon

Edited by user 31 August 2021 13:30:03(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Togil  
#4 Posted : 31 August 2021 11:31:53(UTC)
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Interesting that the original complaint about CD was that the sampling rate wasn't high enough and now it is claimed that CD is better than hi res streaming ...
Confused ...
Hans
Offline en1omb  
#5 Posted : 01 September 2021 08:59:48(UTC)
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I suspect that the NDX would be worth the extra investment as it stands much more of a chance of being satisfying than the ND5xs.

I did try and NDX2 at home with an XPS DR power supply. The power supply definitely made it more refined, so keeping that option available to you would be wise.
Offline Simon Briggs  
#6 Posted : 01 September 2021 10:36:12(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Togil Go to Quoted Post

Interesting that the original complaint about CD was that the sampling rate wasn't high enough and now it is claimed that CD is better than hi res streaming ...
Confused ...


Probably isn't high enough but that was the restrictions set by the use of late 70s tech.

As I collect early press CDs and particularly search for the best masterings of recordings that tend to be pre LOUDness wars and those that do not use no-noise in production of the mastering.

Taking hardware comparisons aside for the moment, I'd sooner listen to a well mastered good recording or transfer at 44.1 played on my CDp rather than a stream of poorly LOUD mastered no-noised recording / transfer in Hi-Rez.

Of course others prefer the modern LOUD style of mastering. I don't.
Offline Simon Briggs  
#7 Posted : 01 September 2021 10:37:51(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: en1omb Go to Quoted Post
I suspect that the NDX would be worth the extra investment as it stands much more of a chance of being satisfying than the ND5xs.

I did try and NDX2 at home with an XPS DR power supply. The power supply definitely made it more refined, so keeping that option available to you would be wise.


Yes thank you for the reply, kind of the conclusion I am coming to Smile
Offline Pete_w  
#8 Posted : 05 September 2021 20:17:22(UTC)
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Having switched completely from CDs to ripped'n'streamed music (while still playing LPs), I could offer an opinion. It's the internet, so everyone has an opinion, here's mine :-)

I don't think it matters a damn where "the bits" are coming from. Sourced from CD or a streamer, all you want to start with is a reliable source of bits. Now, I was around in the Usenet audio wars of the early 90s, so I am emphatically NOT saying "bits are bits" in the way that it was used back then. But there's certainly an element of that, bits don't have intrinsic magic properties depending on whether they're coming from a streamer or a CD player, they decode to the same old zeros and ones representing a PCM datastream. I know that the late and lovely Alex K would have disagreed with me on that, but there y'go.

What matters very much indeed, by contrast, is the electrical noise that accompanies those bits. Most DAC devices (both chip-based and hair-shirt discrete) are incredibly sensitive to electrical noise, and that can include good old fashioned power supply noise, clock noise, phase noise (AKA jitter) on the bit stream itself, etc, etc, etc. It's a nightmare. It is probably easier for a designer to create a cleanish environment for the DAC when there are no external interfaces (running at data speed, s/he obviously has to have a power supply and an analogue output). Which suggests that a CD player *should* be easier to get clean.

A streaming DAC, by contrast, has a greater range of high-speed interfaces. We're grown-ups, so let's not even think about Wifi, but the average Ethernet port is a nightmare. There's all sorts of perfectly legitimate noise going on there, as well as your bit timing clock there'll be a 4B5B word clock, a packet clock, and so on. Plus loads of random noise injected from everywhere else. I believe that Andrew Everard of this parish runs his last meter over fibre; that'll get rid of lots of conducted electrical noise from upstream, but it won't be a wholly magic bullet as his streamer will still be picking up the self-generated noise from the final optical/electrical converter. Deffo worth a go though; easy [for some values of easy...] to do and should get good benefits. But the designer still has the problem of isolating that Ethernet port within the streamer.

And so it goes on. It's really all about noise. I run a separate streamer and DAC ('cos both are very old, rather than as a specific design choice) but it does at least keep my ethernet away from my DAC, the connection between the two is high speed USB, which is itself a bucket of noise, but I have at least been able to insert full galvanic isolation betwen the two.

Pete
Offline Martin Colloms  
#9 Posted : 07 September 2021 11:42:57(UTC)
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Every system differs in the details. I can now live without a CD player but is has been hard work.
Will try that optical link for the next issue….

My last link is a S/H Cisco 2960 on cone type isolators where I tried DC 48V and preferred the internal supply, but only when a spare decoupled NAIM mains cable was used! I was surprised how microphonic the Cisco was and it now enjoys its own level on the NAIM FRAIM system plus some anti vibration feet. With inexpensive , but preferred BJ cable CAT6e, from the Cisco to NAIM ND555-DUAL DR , I put some vibration dampers ( blu tack loaded with brass nuts) near both terminations.

With this stage optimised it was quite easy to hear all the other effects up the network chain and thus optimise them too.

Take nothing for granted,
sometimes there will be no change of significance, so go on to the next….

I have been trying out a Nucleus PLUS, and as it is still connected, I will report for the Autumn issue.
Martin
Offline hectorhector  
#10 Posted : 15 September 2021 14:41:14(UTC)
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Hi Simon,

I decided to dip my toe into the streaming world last year, but decided it would be fun to try to do it on an extreme budget. My cd player has a digital input so I decided to see what kind of result I could get out of a £35 Chromecast Audio puck fed by my phone. It all started out as low budget fun (if I recall my cabling and power supply cost less than £15!). However, since the Chromecast Audio only has optical out and my cd player only has electrical in, I was forced to use an optical to electrical converter (which, in view of the comments above, may be a good thing), which I then inevitably upgraded when I found something better. It soon became clear that upgrading each part of the power supply and digital signal chain stripped away jitter. I have now spent WAY too much on this mini streamer setup, but it was great fun to construct and it sounds great!

Richard
Offline Pete_w  
#11 Posted : 16 September 2021 19:16:16(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: hectorhector Go to Quoted Post
use an optical to electrical converter (which, in view of the comments above, may be a good thing)


Spot on! Glad it's worked out for you. And welcome to the forum!

In my last house, we had no surround set-up, so we put movie sound through the stereo. DVD/BR player was a little Sony which has an external DC power brick. It had only a copper coax SPDIF output, so I fed that through an amazon-cheap E/O converter. Blimey, you could hear the noise floor drop when playing music. So an SMPS brick feeding very low power into an only-on-standby Blu Ray player which in turn had a copper connection to the back of my DAC was audibly degrading the music that I was playing through the DAC. Break that "unused" copper connection - use the E/O converter and feed the resulting TOSLINK into one of the DAC's optical inputs - and the music got so much better. Granted my DAC is a few years old, I suspect that the designers were just happy they got 24/192 working at all :-). But I seem to remember that when I had Chord DAVE on dem, I did the experiment again and it reacted just as badly. So I suspect that there's just not enough design time being spent on isolation....



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