CDS2 pros and cons

A couple of mint units have come up for sale near me. I still use CDs frequently. I prefer the convenience of streaming but prefer the sound quality of CDs. Wanted to think this through since these opportunities will probably continue to become more rare.

Am I missing anything in this list of pros and cons?


-Magical Naim house sound
-Built like a tank
-Synergy with Naim amps and speakers


-Mechs no longer available; head unit could become a doorstop
-Technological progress has made comparable hifi quality available at lower and lower price points
-Two boxes
-Shipping involves taking a risk on the buyer packing the head unit properly


Good evening,

Agree your pros and cons for the most part but not sure comparable sound is available for less these days.




NeilSNaim Staff

Aug 15

Hi Graham,

Yes, we can still fix the CDS2.


It looks like Naim can repair or replace mechanisms for the cds2


I had a CDS2 and XPS but to be honest I wasn’t sorry to see them go. I had to get a new puck about every 6 months to stop it skipping and it didn’t sound any better than streaming to my ears. This going into a 52/135s/Nsat/sub system.

I have had CDS2/XPS since 2001. It is an excellent player, I also have CDX also very good, however even with XPS remains a bit behind CDS2. For 2 months I had CDS3/XPS 2, it’s finer and more polished than CDS2; I stayed with CDS2 I like its style close to CDS1. I have the privilege of owning 2 new Naim vam 1205 mechs. I have not experienced any problems with the magnet, sometimes I orientate the little rubber drive washers differently.

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My CDS2 w XPS was very good, better than CDX w XPS. CDS3 w PS555 better still. Since Naim has laser mechs available now there is no reason not to buy one. Something comparable would be far more expensive and may not sound as good.


I have had my CDS2/XPS for 3 years and am still delighted by the music it pushes out. It simply draws you in. Yes, there are more refined players out there but for the same sort of money, the CDS2 is still hard to beat. Given that Naim seem to be saying they can repair them again, it makes the player great VFM. (I’m actually tempted now to buy another one as a back-up)

More modern players tend to be a little too refined, a bit too hi-if for my tastes, but we’re all different.

If possible, go and collect it yourself. I drove 250 miles (round trip) to get mine. I don’t trust sellers to pack properly, and I certainly don’t trust carriers to take proper care of it.

Can’t get away from the two box design in your list of cons. It’s two boxes and that’s that!


+1 for this. You say the units are ‘near you’ which, depending on your definition of ‘near’, sounds like it’ll be worth avoiding the courier/packaging risk.

That would be two of your Cons removed from the list and another one has been questioned. What are you waiting for?!


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You are right with 555PS, I know someone who owns both CDS2 and 555PS, the 555PS offers a lot of energy and sublime CDS2! 555PS alone, is unfortunately harder to find, the price is high. CDS2/XPS is already good.

Not being au fait with what the various power supplies do but having read some of the discussion around the NAC 52 PS and Super Cap, would anyone share insights into what makes a 555PS different/better to the XPS please?

A much bigger transformer, for a start.

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Ah, by “near me” I mean on the same continent! Definitely not close enough to drive.

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FWIW, I’d encourage you toward CDS2 as well - if you are going to stick with a straight CD player, it’s a great performer. It will die irretrievably one day, but so will any other CD player you buy today.


Yay!! Road trip \o/ :grinning:

Not worth fussing with unless you prefer lesser SQ and being confined to listening to one CD at a time.

To be fair, I only ever listen to one CD at a time.

Some sound better than the best Qobuz I can find and some sound worse, but most sound exactly the same to me (CDS2 versus NDX2/ XPSDR). In every case of blind listening, a rip of the CD via NDX2 sounded identical to the CD itself, which I take as supporting the view the CDS2 was and remains a good CD player.


It sounds like your network needs some work. My local rips outperform the same CD and Qobuz cloud masters every time.

I’ve been keeping an eye on this thread because I’m concerned that one day my CD will pack up and I’ll need another one. I’m therefore trying to build a picture of what people think of the CDS3 and CDS2 and how to get the best out of them.

I do like the sound of CD. I like the sound of vinyl. I don’t have the broadband yet to sensibly go for an NDX2, say, and related power supply (and likely won’t for a few years) but I also like the interaction with records, CDs and physical music shops. That’s part of the fun for me. I can, however, already hear the SQ potential for streaming. At my age though my GP would be happier if I got up every 20-25 mins to walk over and flip the record!


Wow - i do miss my old cds2 and still prefer the old olive style.
Now if you could say the same for the CDi?, my favourite ever Naim product.

Is it silly to maybe buy these older items for display, i think they are so cool.