CD5XS/ND5XD2 into Naim DAC

Which machine, the CD player or the streamer, would be most enhanced by the Naim DAC?

I’m still a bit new to the whole digital audio connectivity, but couldn’t you connect the CD to the ND5 as a Transport and the ND5 to the NDAC to get the best out of both devices?
I don’t know if that’s possible🤷🏻‍♂️

Why not connect both to the nDac?


Both are likely to benefit from the nDAC and I can’t see why you shouldn’t plug them into it as different inputs.

Of course, that would mean switching from CD to streamer happens on the nDAC, not the amp, but does that matter?

Am I missing something obvious?


The OP lists neither CD5XS nor ND5XS2 in his profile. It’s possible he is asking the forum which one to buy.

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Thanks Chris. Yes, my question was partly based around the thought of which one to buy.

Apologies to all above for not being very clear.

Which unit would potentially most benefit from coupling with my Naim DAC?

Probably not empirically answerable, but that’s not stopping me asking for opinions!


I think the benefit will be much the same in either case, so the first question to be asked may be whether you do or do not need/ want a straight CD player?


Well, I would like a good option for a CD player (transport or player) to add to my current system. If it is enhanced by my Naim DAC that would be a good outcome.

The Naim options (CD5XS2) are a risk as I’d be buying s/h.

The Audiolab 6000CDT is an oft mentioned new player.

Be good to try it with my DAC.

It sounds like you will end up sooner or later with a CD transport (like the highly regarded Audiolab) and a streamer’s digital output as 2 input to your nDAC. The ND5XS2 is a great choice but it’s your call which you get first.


No more or less than buying any other Naim CD player secondhand.

Despite what the CD deniers here say, to the best of my knowledge this model is still supported by the manufacturer. Very pleased with mine.


Hi, @Charles64.

All good news from my humble impressions:

  1. My first CD5X knocked my socks off via analog only into NAC 112 and NAC 552DR alike.
  2. I “upgraded” to a CD5XS to gain the digital output to use it with my UQ2, which has no spare analog input (in my system). Also surprisingly satisfying.
  3. NDX-FM sounds wonderful through Naim DAC + 555DR.
    I clearly do not have all the data points; but I can heartily recommend all the items you list, minus the ND, which I have not heard.
    I hope this helps somehow.
    Best, Nick
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Hi Nick,

Thanks for the reply and breakdown of components and thoughts.
It’s good to hear.

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