Hello everyone,
I am debating between the following options -

  1. Stay with OLIVE CD5XS / 52 / S.C / 250 all after service.
  2. Enter to “New World” with CORE and + ND5XS2
  3. Upgrade the source to new CDX2.2 or second hand CDS3 and continue to enjoy my large CD library and in addition,change the system to active one, with all the necessary additions.Including replacing the speaker to Sl2.
    The speakers are the S400. The entire system is wired with POWER LINES and HI LINE.
    Which option, will be most significant in terms of sound quality?
    Thank you for your response.

Your two options aren’t really fair comparisons as the second involves a better source, better speakers and going active, whereas the first is simply getting a new source. The second option would be a far bigger improvement to musical enjoyment. Either way, you really need a better source than either a CD5xs or an ND5XS2, given the rest of your system. A CDS2 or 3 is really what you are after, I’d suggest. If you go the streaming route, look at the NDX2. You don’t need a Core if you are happy to rip CDs on your computer and store the music on a Nas.

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Agree with HH - a CDS2 with Olive XPS would make a fine system…

I had CDS2 powered by xps2 for many years. Then got 555 in place of xps2 and after that made the mistake of going to nd5xs (with 52, sc and 250). Well it was a mistake in terms of loss of musicality - which I only got back when I got the nds (still prefer streaming to having vast numbers of cds around the living room). I understand the nd5xs2 is a big improvement over the nd5xs but I would vote cds2.

At the time I had sbls.

I now also have active sl2s (2x300dr) but that is a separate matter - though I guess you want the best source possible before going down that road

Interesting choice …
for me once I heard an active system that’s what I aimed for; first with CDs, 52, 135s and SBLs. I loved it for 10 years, then as you see a new world dawned. I took the plunge, after hours of listening at my dealers, to go for an NDS with 555 PS. Subsequently, I moved onto Ovator 600s.
I ripped my CD collection to a NAS - it’s therapeutic in a way and I rediscovered my music collection. I looked at the Core, and alternatives, but decided on the NAS. I still think about putting a Core into the system, but since rewiring the system is singing again.

thank you for your response,
And what makes you determine that ND5XS2 is an inferior source from CDS2 / 3?
In order to reach the NDX2 level, the ND5 can be upgraded with a good converter, isn’t it?
In addition, I wonder how we can distinguish a musical difference between net converters, with the same file …

Your system deserves a better source and I agree with the examples given above. Personally I love the CDS3 and vinyl rather than computer based streaming solutions. Perhaps you should make this decision before making any move? An hour or two in a dealers comparing records, CDs and streaming will help.


If streaming is an option, why not a second hand NDX or NDX2 and keep your existing system?

Ripping a CD library takes time so you’ll need the current CD player for a while as it gradually becomes a secondary source.

It really depends on your appetite for local streaming. Some take to it. Others don’t. You probably need to ask yourself that question first and be as honest as possible.


Hi ditton,
Welcome to the Naim forum.
My experience would indicate that option 3 will better 2 by some margin in terms of sound quality.
Where are you in the world? You are welcome to listen to a recently serviced CDS3 with a NAC52 here.

I also have a streaming server loaded up and ready to play, so you could try a streamer or dac to compare. This may help you to decide on the calibre of streamer/dac that is required to match or better a CDS3.

Best regards, BF

I live in Israel.
It is clear to me that I will have to compare sources with Naim dealer in Israel.
But I wanted to learn from the experience of the members of the forum - regardless of their personal preferences. Only in terms of musical quality.

So, probably more than a 10 minute drive to Cambridge UK then…

We are in the middle of a search for a streaming system to be at least equivalent to the CDS3. Many owners prefer the NDS to the CDS3, though we prefer the CDS3.
In terms of today’s current line-up, this means something like an NDX2/555PS. This is consistent with some of the views expressed above about an ND5SX or ND5SX2 not quite being on a par with the rest of the system.

Good luck with your search, BF

Regarding the ‘new world’, a few years ago my CD player was on the blink, so as I do at such times I turned to the HiFi press to find out what was around, and learnt of this new (to me) streaming world. It seemed to me that streaming is the medium of the future, so made more sense than investing in CD, which I would expect to lock me in for another 10 years. After due research I got an ND5XS, and bought a cheap NAS (Zyxel NSA325) to store and serve. (Ialready had a home network). I had a head start with music files as just a few years earlier I had decided to end my vinyl playing days, and had ripped all my LPs, creating CDs - but I had kept the original ripped files on a hard disk as backup, so a quick transfer of those to the NAS gave me a few hundred albums for starters, while I set about ripping all my CDs.

Although bought unheard due to where I live, I was pleased to find that sound quality wise the ND5XS was very similar to my old CD player (Shearne Phase 7), so I was happy (I had not been seeking an uplift because I was content with the sound of the Shearne).

Once all my CDs were ripped I never looked back - streaming from my own store was so easy and convenient, with an added benefit of no more shelves of disks required in the listening room. And it opened up a world of buying and downloading online, with the potential for higher sound quality with higher resolutions (I say potential, because they do not all necessarily sound better, but that is another subject). And no more mechanical CD mechanism to start to deteriorate and eventually give tracking problems, or Cd defects, causing misreading and error correction with a potential reduction in sound quality.

One additional thing you can do with at least some streamers, if not all, is access online music streaming services. There are subscription services that are said to give the same sound quality as your own local store (e.g. Qobuz and Tidal), and free ones with lower sound quality and adverts (e.g. Spotify). Some people think that approach is better than own collection because of the huge choice, others prefer the security and absence of subscription of their own store, and many people mix both. (I don’t subscribe to any, but I find the likes of Spotify invaluable for checking out new music to decide if I want to buy).

One word of caution - if you do go the streaming route, be aware that the metadata embedded in music files can be crucial to the streaming library software, and diligence in checking and if necessary amending or adding right from the start of ripping or downloading will save a lot of heartache later - done on the fly it is a minimal consideration. This is not something to worry about as such, I am just mentioning so you have in the back of your mind to look into if/when you to do commit to it.

Of course, as with any hifi, you can end up on an upgrade path, and Naim have fairly clearly identified patha and hierarchies. And of course there is not just Naim, many people finding that the Chord Hugo family of DACs are beneficial used with Naim streamers such as ND5XS and NDX in place of the internal DACs - some on this forum about that, though much more on the old forum. In my own case I tried a power supply, was disappointed and instead did the Hugo thing, to great effect, later replacing the ND5XS front end as well… but that is another story!

If I understood you correctly you live in Cambridge?
So on my next visit to my relatives in Notting Hill, I’ll try to drop by:wink:

You would be most welcome.

Best regards, BF


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