CD Player for Naim 500 system

Thank you for your suggestions, they will definitely be looked into. I’m shy about tubes, but will consider. Likewise will look into Marantz and Mark Levinson.

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Or sell your Nd555 twin ps and buy a Burmester 069, if a cd player is more your thing.


French Rooster,
Have you spent much time with Burmester. Years ago Burmester line was marketed like Rolls and not widely available.
Thank you for suggestion.

Hi, @Fallstaff .

In your shoes, I would look for a used CDS3, or CD555. CD5XS and CDX2.2 with digital-out are tempting alternatives, unless you are ruling out used gear and/or considering other brands.

I have both the CD555 and CD5XS. Both are great; but the CD5XS is brilliant for the money, with or without a separate DAC.



I had not the chance to hear one…but it’s considered among the best cd players available, and still made. Like the top Metronome or Gryphon also.

If the OP wants a Naim CD player and already has an ND555, the simple answer is connect a decent non Naim transport to the ND555. That’s almost certainly as close as you’ll get to a high end Naim-like CD player these days.


We have a far more lowly system than a 500, but we did recently try our old Micromega Stage transport into nDAC and it sounded excellent.

I would suspect any modern high quality transport into ND555 would sound magical.

The DAC is the important bit for the “naim house sound”, you just need a good low noise transport.

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I don’t think anyone has mentioned this as an option… but sell the UnitiCore and get a Roon Nucleus. Depending on the size of your CD collection, get the dealer to add an internal SSD and add an external USB CD drive.

(Alternative ROON core devices are available… but imo ROON (including the ripping) is a step up from the Naim app)

Or as others say, add a CD transport

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If it’s any help, a fellow Naim mate of mine bought a Rega Isis CD player (SS version) to replace a CDX2 after demoing against various Naim streamers to feed his 282/250 combo.


My CDS3 cannot be repaired and was sold on. I tried a Rega Apollo which was good but a bit lean. Cyrus CDI which was comparable to the Rega. Cyrus CDI XR which was significantly better but required repairs. I ended up with a CEC CD5 . I am happy with it as it compliments my active Naim system. Not as good as the CDS3 much but better than Naim CD5 si. I looked for a CD555 but out of my price range. Too bad that Naim does not produce a full line of CDs as they sound superb!

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Rega Isis?

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My CDS3 ceased to work a few years ago, and I struggled to find something that I liked as much. I now have a Pro-Ject CD Box RS2 transport, with its optional power supply. It runs through my NDX2 / 555 DR. Although it doesn’t have the same sonic signature my beloved CDS3 had, I think it’s every bit as good.

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The Isis is Rega’s top CD player, built like a tank and comes in either solid state or valve versions. If you buy either, Rega also allocate and store a spare laser mech for you in case of future failure. Check the details yourself however.

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They actually store two matched laser mechanisms for each Isis.


The CDS3 is a real gem and used to be the suggested source with XPS2 (before the 555PS came on the scene) in a 500 series system. I heard a couple of these with CDS3. Mine had a problem in 2021 where one of the DACs was faulty and replaced. The VAM1250 was given the OK by Naim UK. The player survived a lengthy period away, but came back fully functional. That said it has hardly been played as I prefer to listen to the streamer because of convenience. I fired the CDS3 + XPS2 today though and it does sound great, but would not miss it too much if the transport finally went.

I would wait to see what Naim brings out with new classic like the NSS333 and NPX300. The ND555 is possibly becoming out of date now, when seen in the context of new series developments, but can’t comment on how it sounds though

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I’ve read a lot of good things about the Jay’s Audio transports. They sure do look well built too.

A Cyrus XR series player or transport with external power supply is probably worth a look if your happy with slot loading mechanisms.

Cec TL2N

Really? I guess it depends on your understanding of what might be considered old (and that perception might be different for digital electronics), but the white paper, which says it was “written some time before the ND 555 is fully signed off for production” is dated March 2018, just five years ago.


I should change the phrasing then and only mean in the context of what the new classic series presents. Ok I edited what I wrote. Hopefully better

Just out of interest though here is part of the white paper concerning the DAC

The DAC chips in the ND 555 are Burr-Brown PCM1704U-K devices. This is the highest specification of PCM1704 but Naim grades them further and uses only the highest-performing in the ND 555. Although it doesn’t measure as well as more modern delta-sigma DACs, the legendary PCM1704 is regarded by many
– including Naim – as the best-sounding DAC chip ever made. It was listed by Texas Instruments as NRND (not recommended for new design) as long ago as 2004 and about a decade later was discontinued. Naim Audio acquired a stockpile of PCM1704s while still available, which has allowed this DAC chip to be used in the ND 555, perhaps the last commercial product to use this iconic device.