CDX2, CD5XS secondhand - what to ask

After some helpful advice on another thread I’m looking at buying either a CDX2 or a CD5XS secondhand. What questions should I ask the seller?

I gather you can get these refurbished by Naim, so one question would be to ask when that was last done (if at all).

Possibly there are different models, in which case I might need to establish which one it is?

The CDX2 was revised in later life to add a switchable s/pdif digital out and a new mech. The serial number should give you an indication of when a unit was made. If you wish to check up on any factory history, then Naim can usually do that if you give them a serial number.

Earlier CDX2s that are serviced usually have the mechs changed from a VAM1250 to a VAM1202 (they use different clamps, so easy to tell).

The CDX2 is definitely a nice step up in performance over the CD5xs, so do your homework well and try to snag one if you can.

Thanks. How exactly do I go from a serial number to the date? Do I have to ask Naim, or is there a convention in the formatting?

You can check on the Naim website;

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Great, thank you.

The mech thing - assuming one is superior to the other, does that mean that I should basically be looking for one made after a certain date (when?) or which has been refurbished after a certain date?

There is a CDX2.2 version which had a different transport and has the option for digital out so u can add a DAC. Not sure of year possibly from 2009, but expect a higher asking price for these models. Ask if it has service or if it is making unusual sounds when playing and most importantly, make sure they deliver it with transport screws in place. The lavender interconnect should be included. Which is all you need as you don’t need any of the fancier cables like the Hiline.

The original CD5 was a great unit and my introduction to Naim. But this would not have digital out. I believe the CD5XS would have this feature.

My CD player history CD5 to CDX2 to CDS3. I had to get used too the CDX2 as I felt I went from row E to row A when listening. Hence why I went to CDS3. All depends whether you like that upfront sound.

No, Naim did a lot of work on the development of the VAM1202 in the CDX2 so there was no performance penalty - indeed, it was generally reckoned that performance improved. It was necessary as VAM1250s had long ceased production and Naim’s stocks were dwindling. These days a VAM1202 equipped CDX2 may well be the safer buy, although AFAIK Naim can still update a VAM1250 equipped unit when the mech dies, but because it needs other new parts the cost may be higher - best to check with Naim on that though as I know they now offer set pricing in the UK, so it could be the same cost one way or the other.

One other thing to bear in mind; When the Naim DAC was released and the CDX2 upgraded with the s/pdif output, Naim offered a modification to earlier CDX2s to convert them to a CD transport. With these converted CDX2s they are only transports, and the analogue output is disabled, so nota bene…

Great, this is exactly the kind of stuff I want. So far:

  • Serial number to check age
  • Service history
  • VAM1202 mech for preference
  • CDX2.2 so it has a digital out
  • Transport screws
  • Lavender interconnect

Took to long writing my reply and was better explained by Richard in the process. :smiley:

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One more things to add, make sure the CDX2 comes with the multi-pin link plug to fit in the back. Oh, and ask the seller not to leave the clamp on the mech hub (put it in a little bag inside the box) as it will undoubtedly detach and fall inside the unit during any transportation.


As to service history, the usual advice with Naim CD players is to fix them if they go wrong, so the expectation is that it wouldn’t have been serviced.

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That makes sense, but should I kind of assume that if it hasn’t been repaired for ten years or so it’s likely to need fixing soon?

That’s hard to say, as most soldier on for years without issues whereas some seem to have problems. For maximum peace of mind, get a recent one or buy from a dealer who offers a 3, 6, or 12 month warranty.

There are also various forums where people buy and sell and where most people are known, so it’s far less like.y you’d be sold a lemon. It depends where you live of course.

But not by me, of course, since I’m new to the secondhand world.

Near Preston.

Pink Fish Media is the place to look in the U.K. a lot of Naim Forum members use PFM and anyone’s name would be mud if they sold something faulty.


The CD5, CDX2 and CDS3 all secondhand with original transport. The only issue I’ve had was that I needed a new puck. All the CD players use different pucks so be careful when replacing or buying spare.

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Many dealers have pre-loved stock (as is the better term!), so a quick check down the main dealer list on Naim’s website is a good idea, noting mail-order may be/is the only sales conduit for many at the moment.

I too recently wanted a Naim cdp with a spdif output. I intended to use the dac in my ndx2/xpsdr.

I found that cdx2.2 were too expensive. And could not find many for sale. I’m guessing those who paid £4K are keeping them. Hence I ended up with a 7 year old cd5 xs.

Now, the real question is, would I be able to tell the difference between cdx2 and cd5xs spdif out into the ndx2?
Perhaps, would it be £2k worth of difference?

Out of interest I contacted a number of Naim dealers showing my interest in both machines. None got back to me over a three month period. One actually had a cdx2 but wanted close to £4K, and was not interested in a trade in nor discussions over price. ( I had to chase them twice after my initial phone enquiry).
In the end eBay provided me my cd5xs. Boxed, mint etc. Looks like it has just left the factory and came with the later remote control. So happy, and happy I made the right choice.

I probably don’t really need the digital output. Are there any other advantages of the CDX2.2?

Most CDX2.2s are less than £2,000 these days. £4,000 with a separate PSU.