CDS3 and XPS

I bought a cable from flashback sales premier cable to get me by. I have a hiline on the NDS and it’s a bugger to get into the 82. It’s very delicate so won’t buy another.

What is the superlumina like and chord sarum?

How does the NDS/555 compare to the CDS3/555 on the same tracks, same recordings?

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I would liken the 555PS to adding a Cirkus bearing to an LP12. I have never liked what the Cirkus bearing brought, on the one hand adding detail and separation, on the other, ruining the beautiful warmth and flow of the music. There are many Cirkus lovers as there are many 555PS lovers, to each their own as they say.

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I know what you saying. I found the CDS2 and XPS warm compared to the NDS and 555PS. When I sold my CDS2 I missed it.

The CDS3 with XPS has the warmth of the CDS2 but more detail and separation.

I have a Cirkus LP12 and it changes the warmer sound like you say.

What’s better? A matter of taste. It’s what brings you closer to the music.

With the 555PS added to the CDS3 it takes a layer of slight fuzz away. Clearer and cleaner presentation. Less warmth, more detail.

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I got rid of my hi-lines after two self destruct incidents - I am convinced the plastic rings simply fatigued from the dead weight of the cables. In fairness Naim were happy to repair/ replace but I traded in for sarum. Initially it didn’t sound like it did much over the hi-line, maybe even a little flatter at first; but I have found it just sounds remarkably natural on my cd555. Well worth borrowing one from your dealer to hear for yourself. I probably should have done the same with the SL interconnect which has the physical benefit over the hi-line of a much more robust connector construction/ detailing. As I already had sarum speaker cables and interconnects for my record player and streamer I was lazy and stuck with what I knew.


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Part of this puzzle is to try and achieve some symmetry of sound across the different sources. In my system they’ve all kind of developed into a slightly less warm place than when I had the cds3/ xps2, but there is a decent similarity with them. The record player still gets the nod when I set aside the time to give it a spin!



Both the NDS and CDS3 are brilliant with the 555PS.

The CDS3 sounds more natural and organic compared to the NDS. It is giving me what I was missing from my system.

The NDS is more flexible, easier to use and has many advantages. If I had to choose one over the over I would choose the NDS.

I missed my CDS2 and XPS, so the CDS3 has filled the gap. I like the CD format still. Although I did move on to streaming.

Will get the XPS2 serviced and take it from there!


Thanks Peter,

I am going to leave the interconnects for now. I leave my hiline in the 82 permanently. I had alot of problems fitting it. It fits easily into NDS.

The flashback sales are very good value and I have used them before.

The Chord sarum appeals as I don’t want another hiline.

The Chord Sarum T is a massive upgrade :+1:


Try the Super-Lumina with the CDS3.

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I have now swapped back the XPS2 in place of the 555PS. Playing Clapton back to back with each PS.

The XPS2 has less detail, warmer.

Still sounds very very good.

Which do I prefer? The 555PS is different in character and gives more detail and you hear more of everything. This is my favourite.

For now I will use the XPS2 for the CDS3 and the 555PS for the NDS.

Will look at service for XPS2. It needs it, being 2004 model.

Then look at 555PS later down the line.

And interconnects depending on where things are.

The current cable I am using is pretty good.

That looks like a very fancy cable! Bet it sounds fantastic.

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What the Super Lumina and Sarum cables bring is increased sonic realism which is far more musically engaging, i found either cable gave a massive upgrade over a hi-line but i demo’ed SL vs Sarum with CDS3 and preferred the Chord, but a good idea to listen to both if you can. The crazy thing is these cables cost a lot more new than the cost of a pre-owned CDS head unit! :laughing:


This is the thing @Debs. I got a great deal on the CDS3 and XPS2.

Something to get further down the line perhaps. Sometimes it’s good to enjoy what you have as it is

There is a sarum tuned array on eBay for £770.

Not the same as the updated super array though.

I tried a Sarum Tuned Array on my CDS3 in place of the Lavender cable, it totally killed the listening pleasure.

Interesting to hear that @GaryYeowell. What did the cable do to the sound?

I agree with @GaryYeowell. But I thought the SL superb.

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Are you going to get the XPS upgraded to DR?

If both PSUs are non Dr I can see how you’d prefer the 555 ( just). But I’d expect a xpsdr to outperform a regular 555. Reason being the Dr will deliver flatter/ less noisy DC. A 555dr should just outperform a xpsdr. But that could depend on what it’s on. On higher current demanding stuff like CDP, then a 555dr should make a difference.
However, given the price difference you will have to be honest about the value. But, if it’s your money you only have to justify it to yourself.

I would just get a service on the XPS2. Better to buy used DR XPS than upgrading, in terms of overall costs.

Probably get Darran at Class A to service it.

I am not able to discuss my 555 PS on the forum!

Music sounded like it was wading through treacle, every instrument was exaggerated in scale with no semblance of a tune. It was 3 years ago but i remember thinking I’d not give it house room even for free.