Cds3 vs cd555

Which player do you prefer cds3 with 555ps dr or cd555 with 555ps dr.?

At this moment I’m sitting listening to my newly serviced and DR’d CD555 thinking that this makes all other CD players sound crude. The micro-dynamics, seperation, instrument timbre, depth, width and total musicality are simply astonishing. The perfomance is just in the room and is as exciting as if you were at a proper concert venue. The way the music builds in subtlety is making all the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. At the end of each track you simply want to get up and applaud. Both my wife and daughter have been in tears this evening listening to some tracks that seem to elevate the emotional experience of music well beyond a simple but expensive hi-fi system.

To my knowledge there’s not much kit around that will get you to this level, so if you find it enjoy it!


Can I say I prefer the CD555 with 2x 555DR? The CDS3 with a 555DR PS is a very capable player, I was once given the analogy that the CDS3 with 555DR was like a super charged hatch back, exciting and very capable. The CD555 was more like a luxury sedan with a big V12 under the hood. After trying both options I tend to agree! The second PS gives the CD555 more balls for sure but getting the set up right as with the ND555 is very important.


From a CDS3/555 owner - CD555.

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Gosh — what have you been listening to?

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A talking book!? :joy:

I went from a CDS3 to a CD555 soon after its release. Its been serviced and now has two DR power supplies. I have been tempted by the ND555 which would use the two power supplies from the redundent CD555. There can be issues with the ND555 and classical music which is the main reason I did not proceed.
A long winded way of saying I will stick with my CD555.

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Would you care to elaborate?

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Hi ChrisSU. You asked about the ND555 and classical music.
This from my Naim/Linn dealer and not from personal experiance and also from one of the guys whose opinion I respect and trust.
With most forms of non classical music you have a clear start and stop time between tracks, something which, say the symphonies by Mahler or Wagner operas do not have. This can cause problems for straightforward transfer to the alternative media and also on replay.
ND555 owners may say I have got this wrong? Perhaps I have. The ND performs better than the CD555 but with the work done by Naim you would expect that.
I am a plug and play guy once my kit is set up and the thought of “more updates” and the potential problems this can bring does not appeal.
In a sentance, I am more than happy with what I have got.


I admire the CD555 a lot. I think it is probably the best CD player ever sold. I prefer the presentation of the CDS3/XPS2. I would sacrifice the extra resolution and insight of the CD555 for the textures, timbre and natural ease of the CDS3.

As it turns out, I bought neither. The possibility of streaming became big enough and real enough to offer an alternative to CD replay and all the complications inherent in spinning a disc. We were ready for the CDS3 and had already auditioned it against the CD555. Had we reached this point only a few months earlier we would have gone with the CDS3. I’m glad we didn’t.

A number of S/H cd555s have shown up on trading websites as people stop listening to CDs. Since I don’t do streaming, it raised my interest.

2 things prevented me from going for it. First and foremost, I am perfectly happy with the CDS3 / XPS2, it rivals my LP12 in terms of musicality and beauty. Second, I have heard of cd555s with reliability issues, while my CDS3 has been playing flawlessly for years.


I succumbed to a s/h CD555 from a well-known dealer and am very happy. The extra detail, spaciousness and insight over my CDX2 is not subtle.
Only problem is that I now have a bit of a Monkfish so inevitably I am having thoughts about amplifier upgrades :see_no_evil:

How does it sound?

Putting higher quality amplification down stream is an option but not a necessity.

It sounds like you’ve come up with an excellent example of how good the source first principle can be.

I changed out my Rega Isis for a use CD555 as they started to appear on the used market. The Isis was/is very good but the CD555 digs up more detail and has a deeper, wider sound. Just superb. Admit that a 552 purchase before it, prompted the change too.

Had always coveted a CD555 but it was out of my range at the time. Since put a 555DR and SL interconnect but both are new and need some breaking in.

It does sound good but I am sure the 555 is being stifled to a degree. In the interests of domestic harmony our speakers are probably the limiting factor - they match our decor so their visual impact is minimised. Ideally I would source better speakers with a similar aesthetic.

A 252/SC/ would fit right in without problem - apart from our wallets :smile:

Picture pre-dates the Simrak.


Slightly off topic but another way of looking at it is that few will have heard your amp fed with such a good signal.

That is how I rationalised it when I very happily fed my CDS3 into my Nait XS and SBLs.

The main reason why I moved my CD555 on and went with a Klimax DS some 10 years ago. That and the fact that CD555’s were not serviceable in the States and would have to be shipped back to Salisbury should any problems occur.

In general the only Naim CD player I did not have a problem with was my CD5. My CDX2 had a bad drive out of the box and the CDS3 went back early on to have replacement drive fitted as well.

Streaming = no moving parts = no repairs required like a CD player.


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A 252 would be a beautiful match. I think it’s the best value for money preamp that Naim makes. Although possibly not the most code effective. And unless your speakers are duds (which I’m sure they are not), a better amp will make them sing.

With your front end sorted out (at least for CD replay) you can have all sorts of fun down the chain, as time, circumstances and politics permit.

I have CDS3/555PS non DR and am constantly amazed by it!! I listen to 90% CD, and barring a windfall have no interest in searching for a better combination apart from a due service and possible DR upgrade for the 555PS.

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Gapless playback is not an issue with any Naim streamer. Some upnp servers, such as Synology Media Server, cannot transcode from flac to WAV and play gapless. But Asset, MininServer, and indeed Naim’s own Core, and countless others, can play gapless perfectly. I have hundreds of classical albums, both ripped and downloaded, and there are no issues whatsoever.