Cdx2 or not to Cdx2

So, I’ve got a cd5si and ndx2, which can pulled ripped cds from my nas.
There is a clear difference in the ripped cds vs the cd5si.
Strangely I still like the “ experience “ of putting on a cd and listening.
Would I be better of swapping out the cd5si for a cdx2 with s/pdif and running that into the ndx2. Or, live with the rips, or just stay with the cd5si?
First world problem I know.

In reality its not a problem. fact is: what you like its the tactil experience of manipulating a physical element that brings joy. Like Vinyl, or even a photo book.
You´re not the only one. Personally , its the only thing i miss , since adopting stream.
You just have to decide what you want.

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I’d look into why there is a clear difference between your ripped CDs and the CD player first

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+1. This too.
Theoretically ndx2 would be everything you need

Wouldn’t you generally expect that the NDX2 is more capable than a CD5i?

Yes. Hence the question, although it’s not clear which the OP finds preferable. If it’s the CD player then something’s not right…

I do prefer the NDX2. Don’t worry. And I guess hence the post. I could use the NDX2 as some sort of digital interface, using a cdx2 as transport. But am I wasting my time, and just use the rips? I’m sort of holding onto the idea/ experience of cd as many did/ do with vinyl.
My other source is a Gyro SE into a Trichord Diablo.


I have the same thing. This is my experience: I had the CD5Si as my entry to Naim and loved it. Then got an ND5XS which I thought sounded better than the CD5Si. Then upgraded the to a separate DAC for the ND5XS and then I pretty much stopped using the CD5Si and sold it.

I got a ripping NAS so didn’t need a CD player. Got a CDS2 with XPS at the same time which I loved.

Then I upgraded the ND5XS and external DAC for the NDS and 555PS. Wow! I sold my CDS2 and XPS to fund it. At the time I had no option as I had done too many upgrades and had to sell!

And then I regretted the sale of the CDS2 and XPS.

Temptation became too strong very recently and so I bought a CDS3 with XPS2. This is a great CD set up which I can recommend along with the CDS2 and XPS. The CDS2 is slightly warmer and vinyl like than the CDS3 which is more modern and detailed. I have also had the XPS2 serviced.

I love playing CDs deep down. It’s a format I have used for 35 years. So now I have a network player, CD player and LP12.

So if I were you I would get the CDX2 if that is what you really want. As you probably know only the newer version has the ability to use the DAC from the NDX2.

I haven’t listened to the CDX2 tbh but have heard only good things about it on reviews and on our community.

Good luck with your decision. And if it doesn’t work out you can always sell it on without loosing too much money. Try it and see if it works for you otherwise you will always be wondering.

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Thanks Dan. Sounds like you understand the issue. Logic says ditch the cd format completely and listen to the rips via a £5k streamer.
I’ll see if I can find a late cdx2.


Absolutely get it @Thegreatroberto. When it comes to hifi and life for that matter…logic goes out the window. This is a passion we share and sometimes it’s good to indulge a decision made with the heart.

They do come up on auction sites every now and then.

Was having a good chat with one of my customer’s today and we were talking about him spending £120k on a pre and power amp! Not Naim but something very different.

He was worried about what others thought about it. If hifi is a passion why not spend hard earnt money on that rather than home improvements or an expensive car?

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I have a late CDX2+XPSDR and sometimes I think to sell it for a NDX2 but I still like feel the CD and charge it in the drawer and I always decide to keep it.


If I were you, I would spend the money on an XPS or DAC upgrade on the NDX2 instead. That would be the final nail in the coffin for your CD listening if sound quality is your priority.
Of course, if you just enjoy the ritual of playing a CD, that’s different. Also, different digital sources have their own character, and it may be that you would enjoy the CDX2 for some genres. It’s easy to see hifi in terms of a simple linear hierarchy of good/better/best, but if you don’t mind the extra boxes, there are many different ways to enjoy listening.

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Ah. Actually had the xpsdr before the NDX2. Such that I’ve never listened to the NDX2 via its own power supply. So the idea of having the cdx2 taking care of transport duties and the NDX2 doing DAC duties is appealing.

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Fair enough! Your profile says you still have an ND5XS2 so I assumed you had no PSU.

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Need to update that profile!
It’s a cliché. But I had the ND5xs2. Loved it. Bought a qutest, and never really quite got on with it. There was something missing. I’m sure there wasn’t, but.
After a chat to my dealer he made me an offer I could not refuse. I had to wait a while for Salisbury to build the NDX2. But it was more than worth the wait.
It was finally the sound I was looking for. Be that Qobuz or rips. Only issue was it well outdid my cd5si.

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If you’re just going to use it as transport, you might consider CD5XS. If going for the CDX2 as transport, make sure it has the digital output – earlier ones didn’t. Or, perhaps better, use it directly into your preamp. It’s a bit of a marmite player, but for those who like it the internal DAC plays a major role in what they like.


It’s amazing what the CDX2.2 can do when you adjust the cabling connecting it. A PL adds better bass, musical weight, and tone. I stuck with the Lavender for a long time because nothing else could keep up with it in the music making department (I.e. PRAT). I finally tried the Chord Sarum T and it really was a ureka type of moment.

And a single Naim box - yes, the power regulation of a CDX2 is pretty darn special in its own right. No NAS, dac, streamer, PSU box, etc etc.

The best part is their used price - an absolute steal!

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Going to try a couple of my usual dealers to keep an eye out for a later cdx2.2. A bit of google does not show that many out there for sale.

I used my CD5 XS via S/PDIF through my then ND5 XS2. The logic being that the CD player had been a part of the system for a while and did a good job so why not see if it could fit in and act as a transport only.
It works fine and if you just want to “spin a disc” that’s probably all you really need. I didn’t actually leave it setup like that for long, ultimately anything I could find and spin on a CD I could find and play via Tidal or Qobuz and it’s now departed and happy in another system.
If you’re in the market to dabble with different Naim CD players I’m sure you’ll be impressed with what they are capable of, needless to say be extra careful transporting one about and ideally source from a dealer if possible, a lot of them can be fixed/serviced but they are fragile and susceptible to damage in transit if not handed correctly.

CD gets an awful lot of adverse press - harsh sound (the early players were bad), the horrible plastic cases etc but in reality it’s a format which revolutionised listening and has been around now for all but 40 years. It strikes me that Naim are missing a trick not making a high end CD transport or adapting the Uniti Core to act as a player.

To the OP if you want to play CDs then a CDX2 is as good a way as any.