CD Transport or CD5si

Having read the recent long thread re: CD players…

Assuming coupled to a Supernait 3 / Naim NDX2 / PMC twenty5.24i, I see two “obvious” CD choices - either the Naim CD5si or the Audiolab 6000CDT.

My understanding is that the CD5si would be connected via the SN3, and the 6000CDT would be connected via the NDX2.

As I see it, the advantages of the CD5si include “matching” units, & one less remote to worry about. The advantages of the 6000CDT include being able to upgrade the DAC in the future should I wish to, and price.

Are these assumptions right, and any top tips re: which way to go? How does the internal DAC in the CD5si compare to that in the NDX2 for example?


I can’t compare the CD5si to the Audiolab.
I love my CD5si…
Can you audition them both to compare?

Are you sure you really need a CD player?
I used to use a Naim CD5 in my system and whilst it was not disgraced by the bare NDX2 I was using at the time, it brought nothing other than to play occasional rare CDs which were not available on Qobuz. A plug in Samsung USB SSD drive discretely hidden behind the rack now has all of our CDs on it. I don’t miss the CD player at all as a result and it is now mothballed.
The added benefit of a separate power supply on the NDX 2 raised the bar also.
However with a bare NDX 2, you can still have all of the music from those CDs available from the streamer alone, without the need for an extra box and without the decision regarding visual matching.
Just a thought ! :slightly_smiling_face:
If you went down that route I suppose you could if you wished, consider a HiCap for the SN3 or an XPS for the streamer at a later stage.
I can honestly say that whilst I loved my CD player, once the CDs were on the SSD, it simply wasn’t being used and sound quality from the USB drive is equal to the task.
It’s not often that you get somebody suggesting you spend nothing on this Forum!

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I would be pretty surprised if the DAC in the NDX2 wasn’t substantially better than that in the CD5si.

That said, it might not be about outright quality. I run a CD5 as well as a Hugo mk1 based streaming solution. The CD5 sounds just fine, though not as good as the Hugo, but then it doesn’t require a phone app or two and a silly dance on the volume control on the Hugo to play either. The CD5 is just lovely and easy to use.

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I’d hesitate.
The Chinese Audiolab is rather poor build

A Rega Apollo is cheaper than a CD5Si, listen for your own opinion.
Current Saturn is what I rate as one of the best in its class - outside budget.

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Thanks all - all interesting and helpful. If I went for a CD5si it would most likely be second hand, so that makes it difficult for me to ask a dealer to demonstrate it. Will keep thinking…

New Rotel CD players are also not recommended.


I would probably get a transport from either Cyrus or Project if box matching is something you are not too concerned with. Also worth considering how much time you are going to spend with different sources to define your budget. The 2 mentioned above may cost more than you want to spend. The cd5si has no digital out - for the same price you can get a used cd5xs2 and run it into the ndx2.

Roksan do some very interesting players, haven’t yet had a chance listening to them.

Unfortunately many of the higher hierarchy Naim CD players can’t be supported or no longer repaired as spares are scarce to non existing.

If that wasn’t the case I’d have kept my CDi amo. - it was a wonderfull player and cool looking too.

FWIW and for the time being, mechs for CDX2 and CDS3 are currently available (and CD555 has never been affected so far)

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I have a 6000CDT and it’s been a surprisingly great value. I have heard great things about the Rega Saturn R. It’s both a CDP and DAC. You can usually find a used one for $1,500. Rega doesn’t seem to have the repair issues that Naim does for their CD players.

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Rega guarantee their products for life against manufacturing issues - and the Naim ability to service is still pretty good. I had my cdX2 refurbished and altered earlier this year.

I do read more than one comment about Riga’s manufacturing , but all in all I would be happy to buy either over some other makes- if it is a simple question of longevity.

Came very close to buying a 6000CDT but had my CDX2 serviced. To cover for it, my Olive CD3 came down , and after twenty years of non-service was singing sweetly within a couple of hours.


I still listen to cd some of the time and ran Naim CD players for a long time. Originally a cd3 and then a CDI that I really enjoyed. When the CDI finally quit and was no longer serviceable, I decided not to buy another Naim CD player. My dealer recommended the Audiolab 6000CDT going into a Chord Qutest DAC. The Audiolab is quite inexpensive and I bought a 2nd hand Qutest from AV Options which was discounted nicely. I have enjoyed the combination quite a bit and like the idea that if I ever want to I can upgrade either the cd transport, or the DAC, or both. My dealer’s opinion when I asked him was that to better the Audiolab transport one would have to spend considerably more money.

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Hi @haffle,

Only you can tell of course, but FWIW:

n-DAC users seem 0% willing to give them up and seem often to add a PS costing more than the n-DAC.

NDX2 is a great player with lots of fans.

The Naim CD player I regard most highly (not having heard the CD555 in years) is my own CDS2. It’s olive, which tells you how old. Its DAC is vastly more primitive than that in n-DAC or NDX2.

If I had to pick a second favourite for sound, it would probably be the CDS3.

The transport mechanisms for these are no longer made by anyone, as I understand it.

All that seems to suggest that the bit you want Naim to provide is the DAC, with those in current streamers and n-DAC a lot more modern than those in the older CD players.

If all those seem right to you, then I don’t think a CD5Si is the answer but a 6000CDT might well be.

Does that look right to others?


For the price the 6000 build quality is surprisingly good. Sounds very nice into my NDX2/XPSdr.
Im sorry, i cant compare to the CD5. But it easily outperforms my rather aging marantz.
CDs are an occasional listen for me, but for the price of a second hand powerline, I dont think you can go far wrong.
You will struggle to find a bad word about it, especially at the price point.


its also about the cost of a naim repair(?) and would be new with a 2 year warranty so good plan!

Whose - yours, the player’s, the Earth’s, the Universe’s?


Probably until the Vogon Construction Fleet turns up


The 6000CDT is amazing value/sound for the money (obviously DAC dependant)…

got one a few months back for the occasional CD play…runs through the Klimax DSM/2 Organik…works well for me…