Best options for CD player into Nova

I’m looking at adding a CD player to my current set up. I’ve got streaming and ripped CD content covered but I’d like to improve my CD disc playback to better the Sony UHD X800M2 I use at the moment.

The Naim options often mentioned here are: a new CD5si or a s/h CDX2.
Others seems to like and rate the Audiolab CDT 6000, amongst others.

Any other thoughts anyone?

The Audiolab would be my first choice if I were you. I haven’t heard your ProAcs or your Kefs but I run an Audiolab through SL2s with a Qutest and it sounds great. You can buy through Amazon with a 30 day return window in case you don’t like it (here in the U.S.).


You only need a CD transport for a Nova, I have a CDX2 configured by Naim to digital only output .

That is the only reason I don’t have an Audiolab , I’ve heard it with my Nova and it’s a very good combo


Thanks to both of you for further Audiolab recommendations.

So am I to gather there’s not too much difference between a CDX2 (as transport) vs Audiolab into the Nova?

I have a CDX 2, the Audiolab was outperforming it, I nearly bought it, but the CDX 2 went back for a service .

It is better than the Audiolab . CD transports come at all prices .

The Audiolab is cracking value and offers good performance at it’s price.


You can buy a Naim CD5XS, CDX2 or better with confidence. Compare from there and sell off the units you do not like.

I love my CD5XS, FWIW.


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I’ve been looking around on the usual sites for a CDX2 (there are several) hoping to find a version 2 with a digital out.

Does anyone have any thoughts or direct experience of a CDX2 as player into the Nova’s RCA vs as transport into the Nova?

I should add that I have heard an Audiolab CDT 6000 into my Nova and I liked it, but I was only trialling a few CD players last year and I didn’t keep it or any of them. However, circumstances have now changed and I would like to add a CD player or transport.

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I running a Audiolab CDT6000 and can highly recommend it if your happy with a transport only.


Yes, as I was trying say the AudioLab is very good, the CDX2 .2 is better.

If I was having to replace my CDX2 , I would be happy with the AudioLab , with a good funds available (say £2000 ish, then it would be a Rega Saturn or my personal choice would be the top of the range ProJect CD transport.


The Rega gets great reviews if I was after a player (rather than a transport) I probably would have gone that way.


Likewise, at the moment with the Nova , I have no need for a CD players.

My dealer (Audio T) tells me they have sold the 6000 CDT to Naim owners with some very high end systems , and I’ve seen it on these pages going into some better systems than mine.


I played Jellyfish/Bellybutton today and rather than play it from a stored rip I played the CD, it was sounded wonderful.


you could be brave and try an older Sony es cdp with their lighting fast transports that are built like a tank…


Cambridge Audio do a good transport and Cyrus have two transport models, all depends on how much money you want to spend to get better CD playback performance.
As others have said Audiolab get very good reviews for their transport at that price point.


On a sound per pound basis , the Audiolab is a cracking product, rather like some Rega 3, Pioneer A400, and NAD3020

I’ve always quite liked the aesthetic appeal of these players, not all the specific models, but some certainly do look the part. The Audiolab isn’t exactly a high class design, with its more obvious utilitarian look leaving the SQ alone to sell it.

I had a serviced 338esd with tda1541 dac and it was staggering considering how old bit was. Instant track access and solid organic sound


Ive just put an old Arcam Alpha Plus CD player (circa 1990) in my system. I have recapped it and given the trusty old CDM4/19 a recalibration and lubed the tray.
It too has the Philips TDA1541A DAC chip. It sounds phenomenal.
Probably about £100 all in.
Worth considering an older CD player.

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Sony are to me - irritating

They drift in and out of the audio market, but when they’re good, they’re very good , I just wish they would be consistent


Does anyone here have any thoughts regarding the CD5si?

In comparison to the Audiolab or other players including Naim models higher up the cost ladder?