Naim NDS Network Player


Naim Audio has introduced a new streaming network player, the NDS, at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show in the UK. The new NDS improves on Naim’s NDX.

The new Naim NDS features 24bit/192kHz streaming, Internet Radio, USB and digital iPod/iPhone/iPad playback, and control via either RF remote, front panel buttons, or Naim’s (free) n-Stream iOS control app.

The NDS must be used in conjunction with an external power supply, as there is no internal power supply. Naim’s XP5 XS, XPS, and 555PS power supply modules are all compatible.

The NDS uses three PCBs (Digital, Analog, and DSP) that are separated with further mechanical isolation achieved by independent compliant isolation of the Digital and Analog boards, similar to that used in the CD555. Each board is bolted to a large, heavy brass sub-chassis that is suspended above the case on steel springs, providing a mechanical resonance frequency below the audible range at 4Hz.

All data buffering is now done within the SHARC DSP chip itself rather than in the external RAM, reducing RF interference and optimizing the SHARC’s power draw, for improved sound quality. The NDS uses the same 16x oversampling filter as that in the Naim DAC. The chosen filter is a modified Butterworth filter to which additional poles are added to prevent too much phase shift occurring within the audio band. The filter runs as efficiently as possible, using only five lines of assembly code.

The NDS utilizes Burr-Brown PCM1704 precision laser-trimmed sign-magnitude ladder DACs (an older but highly coveted model), rather than the NDX’s PCM1791 delta-sigma chips. Shielding cans have been added to the streamer module, DSP power supply, and DAC chips, reducing RF noise. Rather than the high quality op-amp ICs as used in the NDX, the NDS’s current-to-voltage (I2V) and analog filter/output stages use through-hole discrete circuitry throughout. And finally, the NDS does not offer an optional DAB/FM module, in order to optimize layout.

Other Key Features:
• UPnP streaming up to 24bit/192kHz with gapless playback
• Internet Radio with vTuner 5* full service
• Three S/PDIF 24bit/192kHz digital inputs
• Apple Authenticated for digital iPod/iPhone playback/control
• Formats supported: WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, and MP3
• Front panel USB port for USB stick playback
• Ethernet and Wireless connectivity
• No internal power supply – several choices for an easy upgrade path
• SHARC 40-bit DSP for jitter removal and oversampling
• Naim proprietary 16x oversampling and digital filtering
• Optical/galvanic isolation of all key elements
• Buffered digital output on 75? BNC connector
• Ground selector switch
• Relays powered from constant current source
• DSP control lines optically isolated
• Suspension isolation system for analog dual layer and digital 6 layer boards
• Burr-Brown PCM1704 sign-magnitude ladder DACs
• Isolation cans on critical areas
• Through-hole analog output stage with quiet rooms and I2V stage similar to CD555
• Dimmable OLED display
• British design and hand-built in the UK

The Naim NDS will have a MSRP of $10,995 U.S. ($1,495 U.S. for optional Burndy kit for use with 555PS).

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