CD555 - Questions to former or current owners

Naim’s advice tends to be that you don’t send them CD players for service unless it’s really necessary, due to the risk of damage in transit. Maybe worth giving it a spin first.


@Steve - sounds like an excellent opportunity. Last year I too was offered the chance of trying a traded-in CD555 against my then CD set-up (CDX2.2/XP5XS to nDAC/555PSDR). I didn’t expect much but, gosh, the CD555 was superior is many ways. It stayed.

BTW - if and when you are tempted by a second 555PSDR, do give it a long and careful listen. I was initially impressed but after a few days concluded it was a bit too much and I reverted back to one PS. That said, I’ve heard another forumite’s system with 2 PSs on the CD555 and it sounded lovely so I think this is a system-dependent/taste thing.


Withe running the Second PS on the source, especially and particularly the CD555 I found it critical in my system to arrange the sequence of mains plug-in to be on a block : Mains-in, then Pre - then 555PS(A) Analogue - then 555PS(D) Digital. In fact I went as far as to move the digital 555PS(D) to the end of the 6-way block to have a gap of empty sockets so the Pre and first 555PS(A).

That sorted the problems ranging from over-opperssive/impressive, full-blown bass or harsh top-end.
People do not try this as they ‘know’ it makes no difference unfortunately, but in my system I could not have lived with CD555 with two supplies unless I grouped the Pre-555(A) and then let the 555(D) have a bit of stand-off (probably to lose some HF edge noise before finding the common mains connection - nothing to do with mains Earth) - then the two supply version was way ahead of the single supply version and an entirely different league of source IMO.

Possibly since the CD555 Naim have done some internal box work on NDS and ND555 to make them less sensitive, but I retained my ‘CD555 layout’ of mains as it immediately worked great with the ND555.

In any case - one or two supplies - the CD555 is a fine player and if you did not buy it new like me, then an obvious no-brainer ‘top-end bargain’ for CD replay IMO.
The service - when you do it - may surprise you as Naim upgrade innards with a lot of things they found improve the sound since it was launched, as they always do - mine returned after service a much better sounding machine - primarily it seemed due to an internal firmware/software update that reduced digital housekeeping noise.



Interesting @Darkebear. I can wholly believe that the plug-in order on a mains block matters. Indeed, my Musicworks Ultra G3 came with instructions on the optimal order.
I haven’t ruled out trying again a second PS on my CD555 one of these days. In the past I’ve found I have reversed my view on a ‘black box’ after something else in the system has been improved, eg I initially much preferred the non DR 555PS on my nDAC over the 555PSDR, but I later reversed that judgement when I had upgraded my pre from 282/SCDR to 552DR.

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Thanks for the detail @Darkebear do you mind me asking what mains block you were using? I have 4 double sockets behind my racks and currently use 3 plugs, one into each double and one double spare. My current order is Spare, 300DR, 552DR, XPSDR.

Happy to invest in a block for the CD player and Pre if its worth a sample.

Can I ask what your recommendation would be based on my current set up as that would be a fun play tonight/tomorrow! Your view is always respected and would I think be as good a starting point as anything!

Thanks in advance!

@Darkebear sorry couldn’t wait. Just had a quick change pre getting the kids to bed and 2 tracks is enough to tell that I was wrong before! Now I have 552 in far left, then CDS3 (XPS), space and then 300 in the far right socket (4 sockets from the CD player)

Anyway still interested in your reply as this has proved there is thought needed here. Love a free tweak :slight_smile:

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It is a 6-way Wireworld Matrix 2 block.
There are most probably by now far better blocks but this one worked in meeting my requirement that I could sequence the sockets - I wanted them ‘daisy-chained’ in the construction and not star-wired, which most other blocks are. I also tried it and preferred it to another far more expensive one I borrowed which gave a richer but more murky sound in my system.

Presently I have: Mains-in (via Powerline lead to block), 2x empty sockets, S1 Pre, 555PS DR(A), 1x empty socket, 555PS DR(D) at last socket.

When I had my 552 Pre the config with two empty between A and D was better, but with S1 Pre it likes itself to eat-up some more stand-off from the wall double-sockets where I have all my Power Amps plugged-in direct either side of the double-socket feeding the Dis-board, with the other wall socket feeding my Snaxo via Supercap DR.

Essentially I wanted all the high dynamic current stuff (the class AB amps) direct into the wall - and the Pre and source on its own ‘island’ away from that - it works in my system.
I think there are probably several good ways to implement it - but it does matter and you need to play and listen to get one to your taste.

I wanted the least interflow of large currents across the Source and Pre boxes plugged-into my mains and since the Dis-board only powers relatively low dynamic-current class A stuff (Source and Pre).


You lucky so & so! :sunglasses:

Wouldn’t mind trying a CD555 against my Rega Isis.

Anyone ever done a comparison?

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i compared the isis transistor vs cdx2/xps2. I found the isis a bit slow and heavy sounding vs the naim combo. However the sound was nice.
I feel the cd555 to be on another level.

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My CD555 head unit went back to Salisbury 2/3 years ago. The lid calibration refused to operate so it had to go back. The original gearing for the lid was plastic and now replaced by a metal drive. The Philips PRO laser unit was replaced along with some software components. Cost from memory, about £650 and a better CD player came back!
Naim hold a pretty large quantity of spares including the vital laser unit. Well worth it, even if mine had to be serviced.

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Hi Steve, if its an early unit there were some running changes made to the CD555 that improved sound quality. Might be worth talking to Naim, have your serial number handy and enquire if your unit is at final spec?

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@Darkebear I hope you don’t mind a couple of further questions on this subject?

Based on your answers above and detailed reasoning for how you overcame the potential problems a second PS could cause, I have jumped in and got a second 555 DR on order along with a service of the player. This will hopefully give me the ultimate in Naim CD replay. The network set up, ripping and paraphernalia relating to moving to streaming is not attractive to me right now so I accept a compromised sound quality for the convenience of just playing a CD! Another factor was that after looking at the cost of a ND555/Ethernet Cables/Music Server/Backup Drive the price of the CD555 seemed like pocket change!


1.) Do you have your mains block (for S1/555DR’s) attached to the wall? If not how are you siting it?

2.) An impossible question to answer accurately I accept, but compared to your current ND555 set up how close does the CD555 2x555PS DR with SL IC get (I assume you used SL with the CD555 also)?

3.) I am sure there is no reason for anyone to have done this comparison but do you think an ND555 with a single PS and more basic NAS would still be better than the CD555 with 2 power supplies. I ask this question because having just ordered 2 power supplies I could always just add a ND555 and use one and still keep the CD555 powered by 1 until the point came to fully move over to streaming. A very future based question as I will not consider the ND555 again until next year I guess but I want to ask the questions now while there is a CD555 ‘expert’ willing to consider my musings!

Thank you in advance and of course if anyone else has anything to add please feel free :slight_smile:

Should have replied to @Steve

@Gazza Thanks for this info, the unit is a 2011 but is already at Salisbury for a work over! With 2 new 555PS’s it made sense to get this player refreshed also. Hopefully they will add in everything that was missing and replace any ageing parts. I am interested to hear what Naims best CD player is capable off within my system!


Mine is c.2008. Could I ask that you post a precis of what improvements they make to it (if any). As my mech/door et al remain OK I’ve held off sending it back home.

As best I’m aware, a 2011 is quite a late version - no wonder it’s in such good nick.

Yours gratefully,

@HappyListener sure! It will be about 4 weeks off though I guess. Its a fixed price now irrespective of work needed so probably no need to rush if it all works ok. I was at that point with my CDS3. I think it needs a service due to age but I just didn’t want to loose my ability to listen to music so thats one of the reasons I bought the 555. No downtime!

No - just laying on the floor but lifted one end by a bit of card to prevent it being flat on the wood surface there, as it seems to like to be free.

They have very different strengths. I obviously ventured toward the ND555 after many years holding-back as I’d not been really convinced Streaming did what I wanted in terms of a fully-immersive deep listening I got my HiFi to give me. But the ND555 met the mark in that it has obvious strengths over the CD555, although it is fussy to get the best from it being a connected system relying more on other components.

The big advantage CD555 has is install it right and there is nothing more to do once you max-out the interconnects to the Pre. I do use SL cables.

SQ differences is that CD555 excels in authority and the feeling that you have a keen insight into all types of music played - nothing bothers it and that allows you to relax and go deeper.

The ND555 allows more subtle textures and presents a beautiful seamless performance that is just ‘there’ without any problems.

The ‘lack of problems’ applies to both CD555 and ND555 and may be more consciously apparent with me than many as I quickly dislike things moving about in the rendered performance in terms of resolution. Most sources of any kind have a tendency to be modulated by the music they are playing in terms of timing and coloration and it is fatiguing over time to me when that is happening and I don’t want it in my system - both the CD555 and ND555 remove that when used with two supplies.

No - I have done the comparison and if forced to choose I’d keep the CD555 with two supplies over the ND555 with one supply. It was one of my first tests - ND555 is much better than NDS straight away but the latter never hit the bar for me - very good and I could enjoy it for a long time but lacking the insight the CD555 had - the ND555 with one supply is probably overall better than CD555 with one supply, but not with two supplies.

If you are not bothered about stability of the presentation you could prefer it - we are all different. To be clear - apart from these to many subtle LF and HF effects the ND555 with one supply is better than CD555 with two in terms of all the usual HiFi stuff, but I’d gravitate to the CD555 with two supplies as more deeply satisfying and holding a greater integrity of presentation. Once you give the ND555 the same boost of two supplies it does the same and goes into different musical capabilities - it is an excellent source I’m finding.

With two supplies the ND555 cleared my bar in not wandering about in the LF with the music it was playing, which I personally hate but it seems almost nobody else consciously hears - but they do hear its effect.



@Darkebear thank you very much for your detailed responses. The information was far more than I had hoped for. This has been very helpful. I can conclude from your answers that in your mind the CD555 (2 x DR PS) is Naims second best source to date and for the cost I am very happy with this! Your opinion I know but still… To change to an ND555 and all of the related hardware, at a high level, such as you have done would be a £20k expense. Whilst not out of the question, the ease of setup of a CD player appeals massively to me so for now I will enjoy the CD555 knowing its still a very capable source and only just bettered in 2018 by the ND555.

For me music is to be enjoyed and to become engrossed within. I am not so interested in the HiFi details as such. I just enjoy and aspire to have a system that makes me want to listen to music every night when I get home. It sounds like you believe the CD555 is a real music maker and that is perfect for me.

Thanks again your insight, it has been invaluable. I am certainly far less knowledgable/experienced than yourself and your comments/reasoning fit with what I am after. I really have no great desire to move to streaming yet and your real world examples/experience has convinced me that the CD555 is enough of a source for me for the foreseeable future.


The change to ND555 was a big outlay - and I’m glad I had the two 555PS DR for both CD555 or ND555 use, so they remain in the system if/when you swap.

I’d had a great experience with the CD555 and rate it highly in terms of install and forget use for CD replay. Compared to ND555 it is less hassle. You are correct in saying that, IMO, the CD555 is Naims second-best source behind a well-commissioned ND555.
People have view on other contenders in what is best and personally I do hear things done well with other items - in the end it is what you like and want that matters and the CD555 exudes quality, competence and reassurance - it is a master of un-fussed replay. I’m certain it will give you what you want.