CD Players

I had a look at Naim’s current product line up, and was very surprised to see that the comparatively low level (compared to what used to be available) CD5si is apparently the only CD player now being sold by Naim.

I may have missed something but, if not, I find this rather sad. Despite what diehard analogue nuts may think, the CD is a pretty good, convenient way to listen to music, Naim have produced some very fine CD players, and many of us have amassed large numbers of CDs which contain music not available elsewhere these days…

If I am right (and I hope that I’m not), where does this leave music lovers? Surely not just either digital streaming or vinyl replay?

Don’t get me wrong, I love what my own Linn/Naim/Dynavector record deck does with LPs, but I’m rater astonished that Naim appears to think that CDs are on the way out.

10 Likes

I think the Uniti Core is effectively the high end Naim CD player, though you need to rip the CD first then feed it into one of the network players. I’ve never looked back since going that route.

2 Likes

Don’t think you’re the only one, I’m staggered that Naim don’t have a better range of cd players. Feel like they’re abandoned their cd customers.

Also I’ve read that CDs are making a comeback.

12 Likes

Naim said when they discontinued their CD players that they continued making them for as long as there were enough sales to make it viable. A different approach to Linn, who stopped making them many years ago.

3 Likes

More fool them if Linn, as well as Naim, have effectively given up on CD replay.

We shall have to start relying on Japan (again!) for players.

And, to pick up Pete’s point above, and to reinforce the sentiment, I don’t remember CDs ever going away. Perhaps some kind soul will remind me when CDs did in fact go away.

2 Likes

Graham, the demand for CD players at the upper end dropped considerably, streaming network players having taken their place, making continued production and further development unviable.

3 Likes

I think Naim said that they stopped making CD players when they could no longer support in the future any more than those they had already sold. It was mechanism supply rather than lack of customer demand.

Cyrus and Rega still making them. 4 in each of their ranges (if you include transports)

4 Likes

Interesting divergence. Richard and David can’t both be right.

1 Like

Yes, sourcing decent quality examples of the Philips mechs had become a problem too. Naim had built up a great expertise in extracting the best performance from the Philips mechs, and so any change to a different mech would have meant a lot of R&D time and resource. Resource that was already fully committed to streaming network players, where there was most demand, and Naim saw most performance potential.

2 Likes

Trevor Wilson when he was Naim MD gave me that answer during a factory visit to my question of why they had stopped selling CDX2.

But I’m sure Richard’s answer is more generally applicable and is why there isn’t a CDX3 or CDS4.

1 Like

We can, as things are never completely straight cut. It is very often the culmination of different factors that come together. See my point above.

It’s a shame but there are some great CDPs on the market.

3 Likes

Strictly speaking the Star plays CDs.

1 Like

And that’s a good point, Naim have successfully integrated Teac mechanisms.

1 Like

Technics make some glorious kit. I felt zero qualms buying a 1200G turntable recently. Auditioned against UK made competition.

Technics also make a number of fine looking, and well reviewed CD player/network streamers too.

I think various manufacturers are making fairly context specific decisions about what they can market and sell based on their particular circumstances, history, skill set, etc etc. I wouldn’t feel short changed though, as @LindsayM says, there’s some great looking and sounding kit around.

1 Like

This is always a hot topic though! Not that I have any of the requisite skills, but I’d love to work in the Naim R&D department :wink:

There are good reasons for companies to continue making CD players. Firstly, while demand has dropped considerably, there’s still some demand out there, and with many manufacturers having stopped making players, others see opportunity there. Secondly, having spoken with some of those companies and asked why they were sticking with CD, they have said that it’s a lot easier to design and build CD players. Streaming network players are costly to develop and come with huge added costs for manufacturers, not least in the software and support side of things, and that’s something that’s beyond a lot of smaller manufacturers.

3 Likes

And vinyl is making a comeback but that doesn’t mean Naim should start dabbling in turntables.
Oh……

5 Likes

I feel confident in saying that if Naim made a CDS4, it would be eye-wateringly expensive. Something along the lines of ND555 + 555PS. £26k. I would not consider buying a CDP at that price (that’s more than the value of my ENTIRE system), and I’m sure the market for such a beast would be very limited these days. I can’t see Naim going down that road.

However, as has already been said, there are other fish in the sea. When, eventually, my CDS2 has to be abandoned, I have already committed myself to looking outside Naim for a replacement.

3 Likes