CDX2, CDS3, or CD555 with a view on long-term servicability?

Hi, I am looking into getting a CD player as long as good ones are still in the market, to replace my loved CD5i-2, which just does not cut it anymore in the system this is suddenly morphing into. I have decided that I have too many CDs that are not on streaming or cannot be risked to rely on no physical copy, and I just don’t want to bother with ripping. Plus I like touching Naim CD players. As supplies are twindling, this is the most urgent thing for me right now to get peace of mind in this area for hopefully many years, and I am willing to spend real money still on a tech out of fashion.

Long-term the focus will be streaming in addition to vinyl, but I am not in a hurry in this regard as I am quite well set up for now with a NAD C 658 streamer/pre, and I am holding out for 272 successor, or at least until Naim says none will come; in this event I suppose I will go NDX2/252 or the 500 equivalents should I be able to pick on up for a good price. The power amp is a new 300 DR, I love it to death and I hope it will be my last one. (Speakers are Monitor Audio Gold GX 200, which are playing very nicely when powered by the 300 as long as levels are low. They were bought for a different apartment and are too small for my current room size at higher levels, but I am actually content with this. Will be replaced, but last)

The market tells me that with some digging I should get my hands on excellent machines of all of CDX2, CDS3, and CD555 models, not needing service immediately or even in the foreseeable future. But as those don’t come cheap, longevity and Naim support are maybe the biggest considerations. I would opt for the better SQ all other things being equal, but a CDX2 with a PS is nice and has the drawer mechanism as a bonus. (Nice to operate and flexible in shelve level).

CDX2 was sold until 2018, so do they have the longest expected support period? The latest ones are still in warranty period, this should be a good omen?

CD555 was discontinued just a year earlier in 2017 and one would think that Naim took greatest care with support precautions for their top-flight player. Are they still supported and how long? Warranty still applies here for late ones. However, the motor driven lid seems to be an additional point of failure, is this a concern?
(A nice bonus is that you usually get a 555 PS DR, so the actual price for the CD555 is not that big, and the PS will do good service even if the CD becomes unsalvageable a some point)

CDS3 was discontinued in 2012 already and my dealer told me it is not on the Naim service list anymore. Is this correct? Is there 3rd-party service by some dealers maybe, and is there maybe better serviceability for the new post 2008/9 transports? Ebay for example has offers for CDS3 lasers and transports, but I wonder if those are the ones that Naim rejected. (I read somewhere that a reason for CD player discontinuations was that Naim had to screen still-available transports for quality and had to reject too many).

Of course, one might say a brand new CD5si is the best if it’s about longevity, maybe even get one late, when and if it is continued as well. But though I expect SQ to be beyond my 5i-2 , it is still not such a great fit in my system.

I also asked Naim by email, but don’t know when they answer, if they do. Meanwhile I am in discussions with a bunch of sellers and quite itchy, so your input is greatly appreciated.

At launch Naim laid down “one for one” spares for the 555. Prices now are excellent. Ok not cheap for some, but this was a £15K product in its time. Check with Salisbury for spares availability across the range.
Any Naim CD player starts from a base of “excellent” and gets better up the range by a pretty big margin. Levelling, cable dressing and wall support all help. These are products which some think are obsolete. That was said about the LP at one time. If you have a decent CD library then this is a viable way to go as an alternative to using a server. All about choice.


Thanks, this is very helpful already, also the confirmation that checking with Salisbury is what I should do. I did email them, just not patient enough to await the answer :slight_smile:

CDS3 is definitely serviceable - or I will eat my hat !


For a different perspective from someone who owned a CD5x, CDX2, CDS3 and CD555 - consider an Auralic Aries which with latest firmware can “play” CDs with an attached USB CD ROM drive.

What the Auralic does is rip to memory and the CD is played from this. It adds about 20 seconds to “playing” a CD but to me at a quality beyond CD 555 level.

And of course fully future proofed.

Caveat: you need a DAC for this to work.



Having had a CD5Si and then a CDS2 with XPS there is a definite uplift in quality with the CDS2 sounding more analogue, richer and more 3 dimensional in presentation. The CDS3 is even better so I have been told by some here.

I had the ND5XS at the same time. It wasn’t as good as the CDS2 so I went for an NDS with 555PS and a CD ripping NAS. This now sounds absolutely superb with all the detail and refinement you could want plus an analogue rich, layered soundstage.

Once I had a quality streamer with the Zoneripper, a CD ripping NAS I couldn’t justify the CD player.

Although lovely to have a CDS3, CDX2 or CD555 may not simply get use once you have a top end streamer. That was my experience.

If I was in your situation, I would go with 252 Supercap, NDS or NDX2 with XPS DR or ideally 555DR and not bother with a CD player.

Others will disagree and so did I, until I made the move to full streaming.

Enjoy the journey!


Don’t understand: you wrote “ at a quality beyond Cd555 level “. But it can’t play without a Dac. So what is at this quality level of sound?

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Yeah, it’s a consideration. But I do have a reasonable streamer and CD player already, and I still play CDs. I have lots, and they are not going away. It’s just that I want to make a step up with both, and it’s a good time now to do so with the CD and not such a good time to do with the streamer. Plus, as mentioned, getting a CD555 would throw a 555 PS into the bargain, which I can later switch to the streamer (or a 272 successor if PS options stay the same). This is quite a safety net.

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I was a little surprised by that as well, you need a CD drive and a dac. 3 boxes just to play a CD and then I would imagine playback would only be as good as the dac. Very puzzling. :thinking:

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I went from CDS3 to CD555 and it was a big improvement. However the power supply for the CDS3 was an XPS (nonDR) and for the CD555 a 555DR, so not equivalent. You seem to assume that a CD555 will come with a power supply but that is not always the case on the second-hand market. My CD555 came from someone who went to streaming and kept the 555PS for the streamer. Most CDS3s also seem to be sold separately as head units. If that’s the case, then you could also get a 555PS with the CDS3 for future use with a streamer.

There seems to be misinformation about the CDS3, which can still be repaired by Naim. The complication is that the laser unit originally used in the CDS3 became unavailable towards the end of production and the player was adapted for a different laser. My CDS3 was very late and had the new laser which could have been swapped over in the case of a fault. Older units can also be fitted with the replacement laser but it requires more work and is therefore more costly. Naim would be able to tell you at what serial number the laser changed in production.

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Thanks for the helpful info and the heads-up. I am not assuming about the 555 PS, the ones I am eyeing do include one. And of course if they don’t it obviously has to be reflected in the price. But yeah, in this case I could also get the 555 PS elsewhere and have full choice between CDX2 and a PS-less CDS3 or CD555. Which makes the whole thing go full circle back to the question of which one is the best option for longish-time support. But as far as I can tell from the answers so far, they all still have that,

The simple answer is:

If you DON’T buy the CD555 you will always wonder…what if
You have the opportunity…you have the funds…you know the 555 has excellent back up for many years
Buy it!


That’s a good point. In any situation if you have done all you can then there should be no regrets.

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Of the three, I would go for a CDS3. But my ears are not your ears, so I can’t tell you which one you like more. We were very happy with our CDX2/XPS2 but after having spent some time with a CDS3 on several occasions, we were heading for one. We didn’t get there, but that’s a different story. I didn’t like the presentation of the CD555 although no one could argue with its ability to dig out detail and its sheer technical excellence.

Naim knows which CD players they can service and how many transports they have in stock for each model (if any). They will also be able to give some kind of estimate of how long they anticipate being able to continuing repairing and servicing each model. Armed with this information, you will hopefully be in a position to make the best informed choice.


There is fantastic synergy between CDS3 and NAP300, a benchmark pairing in my opinion. CDS3 can still be serviced but I guess Naim would have to advise on how long for. Then again, service now and don’t worry about it for another 12 years or so.


Naim (and many dealers of my acquaintance, not to mention many on this forum) specifically recommend against servicing CD players unless they have an actual fault. Transporting them to and from the factory has a certain risk to the transport associated with it, even with the magic grey screw fitted. Factor in the definitely finite number of replacement transports left in Salisbury and I can see their point.

I’m lucky enough to have an early CDX2 which is still working perfectly on its original mech, so I’m very much not in a rush to get it to the factory, even though it’s only down the road.


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For me a CD player is just not worth having these days, as streaming brings it all.
I have a rossini player and the streamer is so good in it, i dont use the CD player.
Yes you need to get your streamer and network all working well, but once sorted, it’s better and easier to use.
I tend not to even use my ripped stuff, on my melco these days, since i got the rossini, as its that good. Even though about selling the melco, but then if the network goes down, i will be welcome i have it.
But buying a CD player is not worth the hassle and better to rip them and enjoy them that way.

Thanks. I know, my dealer said the same and it makes sense. I also know that Naim may only accept players for service if there is an actual fault, which also makes sense to conserve spares and not waste them on fine machines just because the owners can afford an annual service.

But I am not asking about immediate service, as mentioned all players under consideration are in excellent condition. My question was if certain models are better prepared for long-term support than others

Thanks, but not my question



Would you think SQ deteriorates over 10 years even if a full on fault doesn’t appear?