Naim NDS

The new pre-production Naim NDS ($13,000) was on active duty in Québec-based distributor Plurison's suite. The NDS is Naim's newest UPnP/DLNA streamer and offers vTuner service, up to 24/192 on all inputs including 3 S/PDIF, USB and Ethernet as well as Wi-Fi capabilities. There's also a front-mounted USB input for playback from iOS devices or a USB storage device. File formats supported include FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF, AAC, Windows Media formated content, and OGG Vorbis (and yea MP3 but do we really care?) and the NDS can also handle gapless playback. There's a traditional (soon to become extinct I hope) remote and an very nice (and free) iOS app, n-Stream iOS, so you can operate your NDS from your seat without forgetting about important stuff like album cover art.

The NDS does not include an internal power supply so you'll need an external one from Naim. The 555 PS ($9,600) was in use at the show.

Perhaps most important of all, a special thanks to Doug Graham, Naim Audio's International Sales Manager, who played some truly kick-ass music (you know real music, not that awful overly polite muzak'd pablum that's meant to make a hi-fi sound like its worth buying) including a Prince track I'd not heard before that sounded like a tribute to many of my favorite guitar players including Jimi Hendrix after having been sent through the amazing purple paisley mill. Bravo.