Best Naim CD Player choice?

Hi
I’m looking to buy a Naim CDP. I’m not interested in streaming at the moment and, the way the market is going, I probably won’t be upgrading the CDP so I’ll be keeping it and it needs to grow with the rest of the system. I’m unlikely to be able to audition so some advice would be helpful, although I have experience with the following:
CDI - used to have one and really liked
CDX - a friend had one with a PS, something like NAP 200 and floorstanding Spendors I think (they had a grill on the bottom front side). I thought it had a detailed and spacious sound but without the “life” of the CDI.
CDS - heard one at The Audiofile and was impressed. Got one on loan and found it totally lifeless. My dealer put this down to the rest of the system - NAP 180 with equivalent NAC (I don’t recall the exact model) and Epos ES14s.
On my list - CDX2 with PS (although I’m unsure about that given my experience above). I’ve read good things about CDS3 and am drawn to that. CDS2 - would it be better to go straight to the CDS3? CD555 would be the top of the tree and no need to go any further but I suspect it might not be at its best until I got the equivalent partnering equipment - which may be a long way down the line.
I expect to run whatever I get with NAC282/HiCap/250 (nonDR)/Epos ES14 for a while. I listen to a wide range of music, I like detail, I don’t like sharp brightness but above all it’s got to be musical/communicative.

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Morning,
I think a CDS3 will meet your criteria.
I ran mine with an an XPS2 power supply. A super combination.

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Thanks. That was where I was going.

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For me if i was going to have just CD’S as my source, then i would really want a player that could handle SACD, as after hearing a few of these against the regular CD, it was a far nicer experience.
The only problem there is that naim has never made one and so you would need to explore further, but certainly worth looking at.
The only other thing to worry about is, service parts etc, and that goes for anything you are buying

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Naim played with SACD for a bit. It could certainly sound nice, but there were some issues that meant they decided against going down that path. At home I compared some dual layer SACDs played on a very highly rated Sony SACD player against the CD layer played back on a CD5. In all the most important areas like perceived sense of timing and involvement, I much preferred the CD layer played by the CD5.

If you have a load of SACDs or you’re thinking of going mostly SACD then it probably makes sense to audition SACD players carefully. However, in addition to my own home tests above, having compared CD played by a CD555 against what was then generally considered the best player around (and an SACD player) playing the same CD, the CD555 was just more involving and satisfying. So, if you really want the best from CD then the CD555 is likely where you want to be.

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Thanks Richard. But how would it partner with my chosen speakers and amplification?

I’ve never seen any issue whatsoever with fronting a system such as yours with even the very best source such as the CD555.

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Check out the CD555 thread !

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I have owned a CD5XS, CDX2.2 and CDS3 and whilst I enjoyed all of them the CDS3 with XPSDR was absolutely lovely and grew with my system from Supernait 2, 282/200, 282/250, 252/250, 252/300 and 552/300. During this process it always sounded wonderfully detailed, sweet and utterly enthralling.
I have a CD555 on the way and that is the only reason it hasnow gone. It is great on all types of music and is very analogue sounding compared to other CD players I have heard.
Good luck with your choice. Find a recently serviced well cared for example and you are in for a treat! CD is my only source also.

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My system is quite similar to yours - 82 - HiCap - Olive 250 - and I use a CDX2 with XPS2… :thinking:

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Recaped CDS with any doubt.
And a second one in case there would be a problem with the mechanic of the first one.
Question is to find one which had « a good home » and normal use… :grinning:

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Or buy an house close to ex Philips engineers, they seem to keep the old CDMs running forever.

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Why not…

?? - Naim CD Players are not normally recapped. Naim’s own advice is to only service them if there are problems, I believe.

Well Richard if you really want the best from a CD?

Then try a dCS vivaldi dac and transport lol. Bit different price range and not a fair fight, so probably best to forget all about it now

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I’ve had the CDS2 with XPS and now have the CDS3 with XPS2 serviced.

Both players are formidable. The CDS2 I had was magical with a slightly warmer sound.

The CDS3 is a bit more modern in sound and is fantastic.

Depending on what style of sound you like then both these players are amazing.

To summarise the CDS2 is warmer, fluid and very musical. The CDS3 is slightly more detailed and clearer and more neutral in style.

For me, it’s a close run thing. I regretted selling the CDS2 tbh, as I went over to streaming. Then a while later bought the CDS3 which I am very pleased with.

Ideally I’d have both on two systems. With your system I would go CDS3 with a 555PS if you can afford it. I have used the 555PS on my CDS3 but it resides with the NDS for now!

I haven’t heard the CD555 but everyone raves about it on here as the best source Naim have made perhaps apart from the ND555.

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Like you I’m not interested in streaming.

My sources are a LP12 for vinyl and I listen to CDs with a CDS3/XPS2 non DR. I just love the music it makes on my 552/300DR system. I’m sure CD555 would be even better, but it’s over my budget and I’ve heard of too many reliability issues to consider upgrading (I never had any problem with the CDS3).

Claude

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If its got to be naim, then the cds3 is probably the sweat spot in the range

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Many thanks to all for your helpful advice, Yes I would like “the best”. But it’s also a case of what I’m used to, and I would hope that the CDS3 would be a step up in sound quality from my previous CDI.

Although I don’t subscribe to “source first” at any cost a CD555 with a good amp and speakers at any price range will be a great buy. Alternatively a CSS3 with either PSU is fantastic as well.

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