AMP: Out with the old, in with the older. SOURCE: time to move on from CD?

Just wanted to provide an update on the comings and goings of my audio gear as of late…

So I had traded my XS2 integrated for an XS as I like the sound of the original XS. Well, it sounded better than the XS2 in some ways, but not in others. To me, I preferred the fuller/rounder mids of the XS, but the XS2 has better control and depth of bass. I also noticed a touch of glare to the highs on the XS2 that I did not hear on the XS. I returned the XS from where I traded it and I explained these subjective findings. They recommended the 72/140 they had in stock and I decided to give it a whirl. The 140 was recapped in 2018 and these separates are from the olive series from what I have researched. I don’t have the gear yet, but should be here soon.

On the source end of things, my CD5i2 that is currently at Focal-Naim is dead in the water. Due to the costs and issues with shipping and covid-related delays, they cannot fix it. I had bought it used from an audio store, so they already refunded my purchase price. So not I’m without a cd player. This has me thinking of going full-speed ahead on streaming or perhaps getting a newer CD5si. The audio shop I’m getting the 72/140 from has a CDX in stock too. However, I’m not sure how it compares to the current CD5si and whether it would mate well with the 72/140.

If I would decide to go full-stream and finally let CD’s go, what are you guys using? I don’t use a laptop or anything like that. I use Amazon Music via iphone and ipad. I’m currently using an HRT iStreamer with an Audioquest Carbon Lightning-to-USB cable and AQ Jitterbug.

A buddy of mine recently picked up a Mytek Brooklyn Bridge and it sounds amazing. I plugged my iphone directly into it via apple camera adapter then USB-to-USB monster cable. I played a Tangerine Dream track from their 2015 release that was in ULTRA-HD via Amazon music and the Mytek display showed it was playing it at 32bit/192khz. It sounded so open, clear and dynamic I could not believe it. It there an equivalent Naim DAC that does this?

So, I had a similar issue after Xmas, and got it wrong?
I bought a cd5si and love it.
Then I bought a ND5xs2 and use it to pull ripped CDs from my Nas. As well as Qobuz.

What I should have done, is not buy the cd player. As 95% of my cd playing is via the Nas. And even better, the dealer told me I was " unusual " in buying a new CDP in 2020.

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Yep, definitely have to compared. My buddy is gonna bring it down sometime for me to demo on my gear.

Another option I had thought about is (if I don’t like the 72/140) is get a Superuniti. I can plug in my AQ lightning-to usb cable directly into the front usb input and be done. I wonder though… how does the integrated amp section of the Superuniti sound?

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I wouldn’t swap a 72/140 for the amp in a Superuniti unless you are desperate to save space.
The Superuniti USB input is intended to take a connection from an iOS device using iTunes. It can usually be coaxed into playing from non-Apple apps, but it’s not guaranteed to work. It’s a rather dated streaming platform and if you want to use streaming sources like Amazon Music I would look for something more recent.

I would keep the 72 140 combo. I have had a CD5Si and it sounded good. The ND5XS sounded better. Therefore, I would look at going for a streamer maybe the ND5XS2 which sounds even better than the ND5XS.

You will need a NAS drive or CD ripping device if you want your CD collection on a hard drive to be accessible.

If you want to stay with CD then a CDX will sound better than the CD5Si but won’t be new or have the guarantees. Go for either or. Both are very good.

I had a CDS2 with XPS for a while and it sounded amazing. Purchase of the NDS with 555PS changed that and I had to make a decision and departed from the CD world.

Would love to buy another CDS2 with XPS one day or CDS3 funds permitting.

It’s all very exciting for you. The streaming world opens things up and will make you look at music differently.

Good luck with your decision

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The Superuniti is very good, but I recently sold mine and got an SN2 and an NDS, and it’s of course, much better.
But the SU is a great starting point, and it has plenty of power. I enjoyed it the entire time I had it; I just enjoyed the next step up a little more. And that’s always the case.



How does the SU (as an integrated amp) compare to the XS or XS2? Also, did you use the USB on the front panel? How was it? I’d be using an iPhone 8 and iPad Air with it. Music service is Amazon HD. However, ChrisSU noted above that it might be tricky ti use the app on the SU, as it’s geared more towards iTunes and Tidal. I understand the trick he mentioned in that opening itunes first, then going to Amazon might be a way to use it. It’s similar to when I connect my iphone to my car… it opens itunes automatically and begins playing the first track. It’s annoying, but once I open Amazon and begin playing something there, it’s fine.

Hi. I actually have never heard an XS or XS2, but even tho the Naim boys are very good at isolation (especially during Covid19), with all the extra things going on in the same box (SU), I’m sure the SQ is better on the XS and XS2. And the 72/140 will definitely sound better than the SU
I like to have less boxes, that’s why I went for the SN2.

The USB on the front of the SU and on my NDS works great, and I used it a lot on the SU. But I will be buying a Synology NAS to rip my 600 CDs to, so all I really use the USB for is to slide in a memory stick and play MP3s and Flac files from it.

I have the NDS already, but if I didn’t, I’m sure I would be perfectly happy with an ND5 XS2 feeding my SN2. That’s a setup that would probably satisfy your SQ senses for a long time, and the SN2 is discontinued now so it is cheap. But a used nDac is also very cheap right now, and sounds excellent. Then you could just stream to it from any of the cheap streaming units available, like your buddy has.
An nDac and SN2 will make anything sound good. And you can improve their SQ even more, later, by adding PSs to them.
Anyway, just some thots. Best of luck with whatever you decide.


The 72/140 arrived late Friday, so I got it up and running yesterday morning. Wow, that combo sound awesome! This is my first dip into classic Naim separates. I’m really enjoying the sound of this combo. I bet too as they continue to be powered-on, the sound will get even better.

This has me re-thinking about my next step, and I need some guidance. I’ve heard that adding the matching Hi-cap to this set takes it to a whole new level. I also need a CD player and was also considering upgrading my DAC. For CD players, I was thinking the CDX. However, is there a particular model that mates well the the 72/140? The other option is getting a DAC that I can use for both cd duties and streaming with my iPhone?

My current cdp is the original Rega Planet and my streamer is an HRT iStreamer. Given all this info, what would be your next move: cdp/Dac or power? Which will give the greatest sonic benefit?

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I would certainly look for a Hicap to power the preamp. The newer DR version might sound better, but I guess you would want a matching one.

Personally I would replace both sources with a decent streamer that covers all your options, but of course, that won’t be a cosmetic match. An ND5XS2 would ve nice. If you want a CD player I’ll leave others to make recommendations there.

That was gonna be my next question: Can ANY hi-cap be used, and, will they all sound the same? I was thinking primarily of the matching olive series, but I’m not concerned about having everything match. Same with the streamer DAC’s. Speaking of, how does the ND5 compare to the V1?

I haven’t heard the current HicapDR in an olive system, so I can only guess that it might sound a bit better than an olive Hicap. It will cost you quite a bit more though, as well as not matching visually.
Regarding sources, the V1 was designed to work with a computer, which it does very well, and that gives you a lot of versatility from a shoebox sized unit. A dedicated streamer frees you from the need for a computer as long as you are happy with the range of services it supports.

I have used both an olive and a hicap dr with my 72/140. They are both good. The dr is sonically better, but for me the visual appearance is important too. I’ve chosen to match Olive with olive and black with black as much as possible.

I did not feel that anything was missing using either the Olive hicap or the dr. I used a nap 200, but reverted to the nap 140. Just felt better.

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