Audio T Reviews
A terrific new product from Naim that truly delivers fabulous performance and has the option to upgrade with the addition of the DAC and a power supply.
James, Tunbridge Wells
Well, what can I say! for me the Naim NDX is one of those products that comes along from the team at Naim looking like any other Naim box and you may take a quick look at it and say to yourself "So what does that do to make it worth the investment?". Don't get me wrong I am a big Naim fan, it's great to deal with such pleasant people who care about the product and the musical enjoyment it offers. I have been so impressed by the musical performance and flexibility of the Naim NDX that I am soon to purchase one myself! I have been waiting a long time for a digital streaming product that offers performance alike to that of my favorite CD players, plus it's great to have a bit of touchscreen convenience, and this does both. Using the latest iPhone/iTouch APP to fully operate the Naim NDX is a joy, yet to mention the new look iPad interface. If you opt for the additional FM/DAB module then you are rewarded with ear pleasing radio performance as well as the internet radion that both models offer. It's worth mentioning Naim's new exclusive high bit-rate stations that have just come online and I can confirm that performance is equal to if not better then DAB! For those wanting to utilize the on board DAC, no problem - the NDX provides optical,coax and BNC digital inputs allowing you to plug in other items with a digital output such as a CD player. The performance of the Naim NDX whilst playing back digital content varies largely upon how and what you use to rip and store your music. This is something that I have spent many hours experimenting with over the months that we have had our NDX and have discovered some very interesting methods of ripping CD's. With the right methods I think our NDX sounds similar to a Naim CDX2 and Naim XPS combination! if you think that the Naim NDX is about half the price then all of a sudden this really proves itself as a bit of a bargain! To put it into perspective I have found that ripping a standard CD using iTunes set to "lossless" using your average laptop or desktop computer will only release performance levels similar to that of a Naim CD5XS and depending upon the quality of the DVD drive maybe CD5XS with a Flatcap. That's still nearly a £2.5K combination but I wanted to let people know that to get the most out of your NDX there are a number of variables that need to be taken into consideration. A question that crops up at my store more often then not is "what about using a Logitech Squeezebox or Sonos digital output or even Naims own UnitiQute into a Naim DAC, how does that sound? surely because the source is digital music on a hard disk it sounds the same?" My response is usually let me play you a piece of your favorite music and see how you feel about it after each system, even Naims formidable UnitiQute and DAC combination don't come close to the NDX! (Sorry Naim) Anyway, if you love your music and want it to sound like REAL music and like the idea of your most treasured albums available at the touch of a button, come down to our store and we can show you just want it's all about, we only serve proper coffee too! I nearly forget to mention the usual array of power supplies and DACS that can be added to the Naim NDX to reward you with even more musical bliss.
The NDX is the latest in a line on streaming products to be released by Naim Audio and is the first specifically designed as a ‘source’ component as apposed to an ‘all-in-one system’. Being a Naim, it has to delivery when it comes to performance and the NDX really delivers! But as with all HiFi, the source component is the most critical in a system and before that comes the quality of the disc or in this case, the files that it plays.
Altough most of us use the now ubiquitous iTunes, it really doesn’t get the best out of the NDX even when you rip WAV. No, to really hear what the NDX can achieve you’ll do no better than to use Naim’s own UnitiServe. As one of our customers (a Microsoft employee no less) recently wrote of the NDX:
''I’m LOVING it and you will be delighted to know that the Uniti Serve will be staying. Anyone who tells you all rips are the same is wrong!''
The NDX is the perfect partner to any Naim separates system but is ideally suited to the NAC202/NAP200 pre-power and up in much the same way as the CDX is and these combo allow one to exploit the massive potential of this fabulous unit.
A fantastic high end network player which can take on even the best silver disc spinners, including Naim's, and deliver music of the highest quality to satisfy even the most critical listener. Adding a Naim Hi-Line, Powerline, DAC and XPS2 or 555PS will yield even better results.