Ethernet/USB cables and Streaming Endpoint

I’m quite new regarding streaming, however I’m not new into High-End music setup. My setup is the following:

SME 10 recordplayer, which is my main music player
McIntosh MCD1100 CD-player, which I also uses as DAC, when I’m watching movies through my Oppo UDP-203, and when I’m watching TV
Ear 868 valve preamp with RIAA with valves
OVC valve poweramp
Rockport Chara speakers
M.I.T. cables all over, except powercables from devices to powerbar, here I’m using Cardas
M.I.T. powerbar with M.I.T. powercable

After being at a friend and listening to his NAIM 555-setup, I decided to listen to NAIM streamers, considering one of them taking over for my +1500 CD’s. I already has a Sonos system used in bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and so on, but that won’t do it for me.

I did a lot of research and decided to go the ROON ROCK way, before deciding for a streamer. Bought an Intel NUC I7-8559U, installed ROON ROCK on it and added a local 4TB SSD-disk for my musicstorage. I’m waiting to receive and connect a Melco D100 CD-transport to the Intel NUC, to rip my CD’s this way, using ROON’s CD-ripper. I connected both the Intel NUC and my Oppo UDP-203, which I for a start, will use as a streamer. The Oppo is connected with M.I.T. coax-cable to my McIntosh MCD1100. The Intel NUC and the Oppo is connected to my Cisco Catalyst 2960CX-8TC-L switch, which is only used for that, using standard CAT6A-cables. The Cisco is also connected to my router with a CAT6A-cable.

First of all, I was really surprised how good the sound was…

Second…Ethernet and USB-cables…considering bying two good ethernetcables from the Cisco to the streamer (Oppo for now and maybe NAIM in the near future) and to the Intel NUC. I’ve been looking at Chord C-Stream and Cord Shawline (expensive), but also Audioquest Cinnamon. How big a difference do you think it will make, what are your experiences? Regarding the USB-cable between my Melco D100 and the Intel NUC, I’m considering the same Chord or Audioquest cables…any thoughts of that?

Additional streamer-endpoint questions…

My vinyl-collection and my recordplayer, will always be my main source. However, ripping a cd and playing it through ROON, really makes me think, this could take over for my CD’s. New music can be bought this way, streaming the music from Tidal and others, before buying the best on vinyl and/or in high resolution…a lot of opportunities.

So I asked for a testsession at my local NAIM-dealer, where I brought my McIntosh, so we could compare it with the NDX-2. Long story short, both my dealer and I came to the conclusion, that my McIntosh is better in any way, even though the NDX-2 was not bad at all. I don’t know how the files was stored and ripped at my dealer, but also with downloads of high resolution music (Dylan’s Oh Mercy and Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms) compared with my SACD’s, the McIntosh was a better player. What we didn’t do, unfortunately, was to connect the NDX-2 to the McIntosh, to check out if it was the DAC, that made the difference.

We didn’t have the opportunity to test the NDX-2 with the XPS or the 555PS DR power supplies. What do you guys think? – would it have made a difference?

First I thought of just bying the NDX-2 and sell my McIntosh, but that will be a step back for me in soundquality, which is a no go…so here is my opportunities, shall I…

  • Still buy the NDX-2 and use it with the digital-out to my McIntosh?
  • Buy the NDX-2 with the 555PS DR (after what I’m told, the 555 really makes a difference to the XPS) and sell the McIntosh to finance some of the 555PS DR…
  • This is getting more and more expensive…buy the NDX-2 with the 555PS DR and still use the McIntosh as a DAC
  • A couple of guys I have talked to, recommends the NAIM NDS, but with or without PS and which one of them? And even though it might be better soundquality, it’s not as futureproof as the new models, NDX-2 and ND555…
  • Should I go all-in, wait for a while to have saved up enough money, and go for the ND555 / 555PS DR - and sell my McIntosh…
  • Most important…do you think the NDX-2 or the ND555 will fit into my other components? As I read it, a lot of you NAIM-owners, are also having NAIM pre- and poweramps, and my friend too, and I must say, it really sounds great…
  • If I’ll go further on with NAIM, will the NAC 252 and a SUPERLINE RIAA be better than my EAR 868?
  • …and will the NAP 300 be to much of a compromise compared to my lovely OVC…
  • Any thoughts of CHC-555PS powersupplies? Really good reviews and a lot of money saved. I have also looked on TeddyPardo’s, even more money saved, but I’m not sure I’ll get the NAIM sound right…
  • Last…Any alternatives to the NAIM streamers are also welcome.

I think that’s all for now, but it’s also a lot :slight_smile:


… short answer then… stop now!

If you prefer the analogue output of your current DAC to the Naim, using any of the Naim boxes as a streamer only (note the NDS is not Roon Ready) will do nothing that the Oppo doesn’t do now. Your Ethernet data cables are fine. Any standards compliant usb cable will be fine for ripping.

You might try optical rather than coax between Oppo and McIntosh; it would provide electrical isolation between the two which might make a difference.

(and yes, I know there will be many who disagree… )


Ethernet cables: I’d suggest Blue Jeans Cable or Pangea.

USB cables: Really depends on your budget. You can usually find discounted Wireworld. Pangea and AQ also make good cables.

1 Like


Ethernet: I went for the Blue Jeans - a long one from router to Cisco, and two short ones, one from the NUC to the Cisco, and one from the Cisco to the streamer. All of them CAT6A… Not only you, but a lot of users here and on the NAIM forum, is talking very nice abouth them. Receiving them monday, then some burn-in for a week or two, and then let’s see :slight_smile:

USB: First tried to order a USB 3.0 at BJC, but out of stock and they were not sure they would have them back. Has been very much in doubt here…I’m only going to use the cable for ripping from Melco D100 CD-drive to my ROON ROCK (NUC), so should I buy an ‘audio’ USB-cable or not? All ‘audio’ USB-cable I could find, was USB 2.0, Melco recomends a USB 3.0 cable. However @rrwwss52, at one of your recommendations, Wireworld, I finally found an ‘audio’ USB 3.0 cable. If it’s necessary with an ‘audio’ USB cabe just for ripping, I don’t know, but for around only £50, I think it’s worth bying this…

1 Like

You can shorten the burn in period by imagining they are already installed… :wink:

(And I’d still suggest a bog standard usb cable will be fine for rips)

1 Like