CD5XS as tpt to NDS/555PSDR vs CDS3 or CD555/555PSDR

Hi. This can be kind of strange but has anyone done a comparison of

CD5XS as transport to NDS/555PSDR vs CDS3/555PSDR or even a CD555/555PSDR.

My system currently consists of NDS/555PSDR/252/SC-DR/250DR/SL2 and also a LP12.

I wasn’t entirely happy with the performance of my system ever since i moved to my new place. My listening room was just too small for my then S400 and it just boomed. I went ahead and got a pre-loved SL2 and the boom issue was resolved but the NDS just sound kind of cold. The LP12 (which came after i switched over to the SL2) is totally a different animal, and had none of the coldness.

So an opportunity came for me to loan a CD5XS. The CD5XS/NDS (connected via a DC1) just seems to sound more engaging vs the NDS. Anyone with experience with this?

So it got me think if i should might as well get back a CDS3 headunit (or even a CD555). I used to have a CDS3 but that was in my previous listening room.

It just seem kind of ‘dumb’ to use the NDS only for its internal DAC. Of course it does give me internet radio and stuff and I can still stream if i want to but with the LP12, I hardly listen to the NDS anymore. But there is quite a lot of my music that i like that I cant find vinyl (mandarin and cantonese music mainly), so I cant go totally digital-less.

For a short time I had my CD5XS as transport into my then NDS/XPSDR. I did a little bit of testing with Tidal HIFI vs CDs from the CD5XS and figured Tidal sounded slightly better to my ears. All my Naim is on Fraim and I used the Naim DC1 cable. I decided to sell the CD5XS to create space on my Fraim. I kinda regret it though since the CD5XS is a beautiful player and I miss it. Although I would have hardly used it. I still miss it. I had a 252/SCDR/300 (non-DR) system at the time and Naim SBL speakers.

So my experience is the opposite of yours. But just wanted to share my impressions anyway:-)

I would be very interested in testing the CD5XS as transport into the ND555 though.

Before the NDS I used my CD5XS as transport into the nDAC/XPS and loved it that way. But I thought the NDS was a significant step up.

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You can buy a seperate non Naim streamer either with on board or seperate dac for the odd streaming session something like an Innous Zen (which will also rip your CD’s) or even a used older Naim streamer NDX 1 which will both cost much less than your NDS.
Then you can buy a CDS3 or CD555/555 you’ll then have a fantastic all round system

I have a similar dilemma but in reverse. I have a Qb as my 2nd system and really enjoy using Tidal and would like a streaming capability in my main system. I have demo’d a NDX2 it’s really good but not up to the level of the CDS3 - in my opinion. Betwixted and between!

When I bought my nds/555dr I found it more spacious and detailed but less urgent and engaging vs the cdx2/xps2 i sold. I was a bit disappointed.
But some months after, adding the cisco 2960 switch and audioquest diamond 0,75 m to it, the prat and involvement was back, adding to that more body and dynamics vs the past cdx2/ xps2.
These 2 components changed completely the sound of my nds.

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Always good to read of the mighty CD5XS in such elevated company :slight_smile:

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I may have misunderstood but I don’t think your plan with CDS3 or CD555 will work as neither has digital out.

Hi. Sorry for not making myself clear.

I was trying to ask if anyone has compared cd5xs used as a transport to a NDS/555PSDR



Or a CD555/555PSDR?

Too right mate, mine goes with an nDAC, and may add XPS DR very soon after several more pints of Dutch courage

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So I have had the CD5XS for a good 3 weeks or so.
I did a fair amount of comparison between the cd5xs as a tpt to NDS/555PSDR vs the same music from my NAS to NDS/555PSDR.

In hifi terms, I cant seem to pick up much differences between the 2. In fact, maybe the NDS sounds just a tad cleaner, more details.

However, while they sound almost the same, but the CD5XS route just seems to ‘sing to the soul’ more and gets me foot tapping.

Something not quite right here? How is your home networking set up? I guess that it is not optimally configured for hires home audio streaming?

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I have a synology NAS DS214play connected to my home router (that was provided by my local internet service provider). This is in my living room, while the hifi is another room. From the living room, it is wired up with Cat6 cables all the way to the hifi room. And from there connected to my NDS.

Cat6 cables all the way from your modem to your NDS? Seems good to me, maybe a cisco switch helps?

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Coincidentally, I brought home a CD5XS yesterday — a demo model with full warranty — to compare with my CD5X and with my CD555 non-DR. I am currently running the CD5XS through my Naim DAC 555DR. Not miles away from the CD555; both are satisfying, with bounce and that winning bass — I think it would depend how often you play CDs, which way you jump. I like the logistics of running CD through the DAC because I can use the Naim app to change from CD to the NDX without having to visit the NAC to change Record Out for remote zones.

I have always found the CD5X FC2X a real hero, for the price. Its built-in DAC is a peach. No digital out, though.

Not sure what I will do yet.


why do you have a CD5X and a CD555 at the same time? Just curious.

Also coincidentally, I have with me a nDAC now. With that I could try
CD5XS/NDS/555PSDr (current)
CD5XS/Ndac with and wo 555PSDr

but there is something wrong with the nDAC DIN output. Think there is a pin stuck inside and I just cant plug in my DIN interconnect.

Btw, can I use the existing burndy 1 on the 555PS to NDS to connect it to the nDAC?


Pretty sure the Burndy for Naim DAC is not compatible with NDS. Ask your dealer.

CD555 and CD5X both have their merits. The latter is so reasonably priced now, I keep it in my AV system. But if I keep the CD5XS, I will want to trade in one or the other, depending how the demo goes.


with a cisco switch and a high quality ethernet cable between your nds and the cisco, you will forget quickly your cd5x.
In most cases connecting the streamer directly to the router is a crap.
Even with a cheap dedicated switch as netgear you should have a real uplift vs your present connection.
I have the nds too. Was connected to my router before. My last cdx2/ xps2 was more involving in that case. But after i put a dedicated switch, then cisco 2960, then audioquest diamond ethernet cables.
I don’t regret anymore the cdx2/ xps2.


Actually, on advice of a friend, i got a CISCO ASA5505-BUN-K9 switch but in the end, i never figured how to get it working.

Not surprised you are struggling as rather than being a simple plug in and go switch, what you have there is an Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA), which is essentially a firewall router. It would be used to protect a small office from attacks from the Internet and usually installed by a network security specialist.

I’d be inclined to try a simple unmanaged switch and high quality rather than audiophile Ethernet patch lead to your NDS.

Something like a NetGear 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch (GS908). This is as easy to install as a mains extension block, it is silent (no fan) and you can switch off the annoying flashing lights on its Ethernet ports with a flick of a switch. You get change out of £20 too. For Ethernet cables, Blue Jeans Cables Cat5e or Cat6a and very high quality, but others brands are available. I like BJC because they test cables before dispatch and send you the test certificate (under £10).

I can’t guarantee everything will sound better with this in place, but if you’d like to try a switch then this will work nicely without any hassle and it’s inexpensive. You could use a HP, Cisco or TP Link switch instead of the NetGear. My preference is HP, but they are a bit more expensive.

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Anyway, I will send the CISCO ASA to a friend and see if he can get it working.