CDX 2 to ND5 XS 2


First time on the new forum, so hello to everyone.

Very quickly, I would like to replace CD with streaming. I’ve started ripping using DBpoweramp to build a lossless FLAC library. I will probably renew TIDAL, and purchase from HD stores the music I would like to keep (Qobuz, HD Tracks etc…)

Because of the current Naim offer of a 10% discount on up-grade / trade-in, now is the time to cash in the CDX 2 for a streamer. A local dealer is offering £1000 trade-in plus the Naim discount.

I hope to build a proper network drive system later (I’m lucky that I have an ethernet flooded property) but to start I’ll probably just operate from a USB drive and internet streaming plus Apple Music.

I’ve blind auditioned the NDX 2 and ND5 XS 2 and could not hear a discernible difference (a sheet hid the players so completely blind). To be honest, the NDX 2 would be a real financial stretch. But I would love a remote!

Am I doing the right thing?! The CDX 2 is such a great device. Mine was purchased in 2005 and is very much loved. Is a rip of my favourite disc going to be just as good? However, I understand that the Hi-Res world has a bright future.

Many thanks guys and girls,


i am not sure that nd5xs2 will be better or even sane sounding vs the cdx2. Can’ t you try at home?
Recently a member found that the nd5xs2 was not better on all criterias vs a cd5i. With a better switch and ethernet cables it finally does. But the cdx2 is on another level vs the cd5i.
An nds second hand, a little better vs an ndx2, can be sold for 3k today. However you need at minimum an xps.
An ex demo ndx is also to be taken in consideration.
Better listen in your system first or bringing your cdx2 to your dealer, to compare vs an nd5xs2.

Hi Daz, my suggestion is that you ask your dealer for a home demo of the ND5XS2. Use it for maybe a week, then put your CD player back in, and see how it sounds. I find it much easier to assess new boxes in my own room, with my own music, where I can relax and just enjoy the music, than in a dealer’s demo room. If this shows your CDX2 as the better source, then you may have to save some more cash and try again with the NDX2. Good luck!

I can’t comment on sound quality differences between CDX2 and ND5XS2 as I haven’t compared - and you are quite capable of that anyway.

However with streaming from your own store vs CD, streaming has the potential to be better quality, because it does not have the removeable physical disk that can get damaged or dirty, causing read errors, and so does not need error correction algorithms, and because it opens the door to higher resolution recordings (higher bitrate and/or greater bit depth). There is also the convenience factor, no more finding and changing disks, all possible from a remote control and the comfort of your seat. (Don’t worry about a dedicated remote control, there is an app that runs on a smartphone or tablet that does far more, including enabling you to see album art.) And you can do away with all the CD storage space, at least in your listening room (for copyright reasons, if you have ripped CDs as opposed to bought downloads, you cannot sell or pass the CD to anyone else, and keeping it is your evidence of source). Some people also like to play individual tracks, rather than albums, and it lends itself well to that, including building of ‘playlists’ if you want. And you can make a backup (or multiples) of your entire collection on a separate hard disk, which if stored somewhere else can give you a very robust recovery ability in the event of disaster.

Ripping is easy if you have a computer with a CD drive. Many people use a program called dBPoweramp, which will campare your rip with online an online database to check for accuracy, and advise if any evident errors - when that program has various intensities (speeds) of ripping to try to cope with the most difficult of disks. (When I ripped my collection well over 90% ripped with no difficulty whatsoever at the default, fast, setting.) I’ve had a very small number of CDs (single figures) where the Rio has shown a track hasn’t ripped accurately, but still sounds OK - and that undoubtedly means a fault on the CD that would have been no better playing durect in a CD player - and quite a few where the ripping had to be intensive to get accurate: which playing direct may simply have killed in error correction interpolations, or created audible gaps or stuttering etc. And once ripped, no such problems ever again! Many people streaming-only still buy CDs, including secondhand, for ripping. Otherwise buy by internet download.

Streamers also open the door to online streaming services, the better sound quality ones available by paid subscription. Some people use those universally instead of their own stored collection, others mix the two, others only use free online services even if lower quality, as a means of hearing new music to decide whether to buy. Pros and cons, but that is for another time. There is also internet radio.

I switched to streaming several years ago when my CD player was dying, and have never looked back - it is so much better overall, with the only negative being that the CD artwork/insert needs viewing on a screen not physical - and to do that you need to scan it, or hope to find that there is an online version. With operas having librettos, as a CD “jewel-case” sized booklet, I have kept the CDs in the music room.

There is one important detail of which you need to be aware before starting ripping and downloading, which is that streamers use embedded ‘metadata’ in the music files to identify and browse/search for music. CDs usually have that already, which is copied with the music rip, likewise downloads, however it is not always complete, nor is it always consistent in the information it contains, and as it can be critical for ease of finding music in your collection you should always check it for consistency, completeness and accurately after ripping - and get in the habit of doing that from day 1, as once you have a few hundred album with metadata missing or wrong it becomes a real pain to fix.

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I think that streaming will sound as good as CD. I can hear no significant difference in SQ between my 272 streaming a disc from my Core and playing the same disc on my CDX2. They do sound different but not much and neither is “better” than the other. I suspect that if you try the ND5 XS2 you may be slightly underwhelmed after a CDX2 but only you can decide that.

But the Naim upgrade discount offer doesn’t require you to trade in a product, just prove that you have one. Unless money is really tight then I suggest hanging onto your CDX2. You would be able to sell it easily later if you want.

Personally I like still to have the chance to play CDs in that lovely swing open drawer. I wouldn’t be without it (but I know that many streaming converts don’t agree with me).




I changed from CDX2 to NDX a few years ago. Yes I know the NDX is not a ND5xs2, but I think the difference between it & CDX2 will be along the same lines. I’m not talking the nuances of fine detail but with the style or character of the sound each has.
The CDX2 is a feisty up front sound, it can play refined & it does that well, but its made for rock 'n roll.
NDX does rock 'n roll but not like the CDX2. It is more refined & can paint a picture of sound & emotion subtleties better.
I’ve said before, the CDX2 is like being on the front row, the NDX is like the best table at the jazz club.

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Thanks for the inputs.

The offer of discount not requiring a trade in and the option to finance the deal at 0% has made me go and do it.

After a short phone call to a local dealer he explained that the discount was a short term option so a decision was required. Also he had one in stock for immediate collection.

So, I am now the proud owner of a NDX 2.

I’ve spent the afternoon plumbing it in and now I’m away for a few days with work. I’ve left it streaming BBC R3. I’ll have a proper listen when I return but initial impressions are (of course) money well spent.


Good choice! Enjoy it.

+1 . You should not regret your cdx2 now.

Congratulations on your new NDX 2!

Look forward to your comments once you return from your trip. It is certainly feeding a wonderful set up, 282/250-2/ATC SCM12, and should sound fantastic!


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