CD player

Hello, I have a 272/XPSDR (Qobuz sublime) with a 250DR and Focal 1028be… I still have about 500 CDs and I would like to buy a used Naim Black cd player to listen to them.
Which range should I go to? 5si, 5X, 5XS or CDX2 to have an equivalent quality. Thank you

Cdx2 is a wonderful cd player - good DAC !

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With a 272, surely you could just buy a CD Transport…?


You could rip them to a portable drive and plug it into the 272. £100 should do it.

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We had a 272/XPSDR with 250DR and tried our old Micromega transport into it - sounded really good.

If you get a CD player, rather than transport, then you’ll be at the mercy of the DAC quality in the player as 272 will be a pre only. The DAC in 272 with XPSDR is pretty decent.

Probably easiest and cheapest to get a good transport, or a CD player with digital out providing options.

Thank you for your answers. I would need the cd5xs then but I want to stay with the Naim Black because I like the opening of the drawer, it’s a bit like putting a vinyl on the turntable…


I have a CD5SI and very happy with it.
Don’t like the idea of chasing obsolete models due to possible inability for repair so I didn’t really penny pinch buying older.
Super box does the job nicely. :+1:t2:


would push forward be an option ?
As I would get a core instead

@IainO is right imho - a CD transport like those from Audiolab would be a great choice for SQ.

@Antonio1 is right too - a Core sounds very good, rips and stores and looks like a Naim.

To match fully the SQ of either of those with a CD player, you need something like an old CDS2 or CDS3 - until it eventually dies.

Sadly, none of those great SQ choices is what you have actually asked for. Of the ones you mention, CD5Si is good sound per £ and the CDX2 is just a very good player.


I have a unitiserv and have ripped all my CD’s to that. I am not sure if moving to a Core will be a significant upgrade.
I have conversed with others on this forum who say CD is dead and ripping to a NAS/Core will be better than any CD player - and sure the technical explanations make sense, BUT when testing on many occasions i cant ’ tell the difference - occasionly CD is worse (poor initial production when CD came out)- but other times CD is much better.
Something about the character of the player.
The 2 CD players I owned were marantz cd-63 mkii ki signature, now CS2 and while sometimes you cant tell the difference with ripped - a lot of the time it’s easy - just more oomph!

Your ears and your room in your system will be the best arbiter of course.

As discussed on other threads, we tried various options, often not telling which version was which. Without XPSDR, a Naim NDX2 streamer playing rips from a Core was to us less good than just playing the CD on a CDS2. With the XPSDR on the NDX2, a rip was no better or worse than the same CD in my CDS2 on each specific CD - none of us could tell the difference or maintain a preference consistently.

I don’t think my results were too unusual. However, they may simply show that a better DAC (and, at least with Naim, a better power supply for it) makes a lot of difference to SQ, and that exactly which CD or which stream (of the many on Tidal and Qobuz alone) is chosen matters more than whether you pick CD replay or streaming as preferred technology.

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Apples and oranges.

The best naim CD players have DSP targeted at 16/44.1kHz - optimised.

The best naim streamers have DSP which can handle all sorts of streams - HiRes -general purpose.

A good CD transport into an nDAC sounds excellent. Into NDX2 sounds excellent but different.

I demoed the marantz cd-63 mkii ki signature back in 1990s but in the demo room was beaten by the Micromega I bought back then. Added Micromega DAC.

Blown away by nDAC/555PSDR with even the most basic streaming source.

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I’m afraid the cd5si is a little bit right in front of the 272/XPSDR… if I can try one I will.
I’m going to go either to the cd5xs or to the cdx2.2 that I can plug in as transport if their DAC is less good.

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The Core has a built in linear power supply, instead of the external switching supply used by the US. If you were to use it as an SPDIF source you may well find that it sounds better than a Unitiserve: it did to me when I tried it some years ago, although whether it would be worth spending £2k on one is another matter.
When used as a UPnP server over the network I would suggest that it’s not going to make any significant difference.

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I’d agree with every part of that, except that I bought a Core with 2TB of Samsung SSD for £1000 on eBay about a year ago. A bit of patience may be your friend on this.

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I give you news! I found a CD5si recent, very good player… thank you all!


So does an HDX…


Just playing some Nick Drake on my CD5Si. I have to say it’s really rather good. An underrated bit of kit.


Just bought one, I also have a Pioneer Universal Player, it’s very good. Had it about five years , but now the drawer mechanism isn’t proving that reliable. The Marantz before that suffered the same fate.

Naim’s swing out drawer mechanism must have added longevity to every model

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It’s worth playing with the connections, Din vs RCA
Can’t make my mind up, but leaning towards an old pair of Chord Chameleon at the moment

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