Do I need an ND555?

There is an accepted view that a CD copied to a hard drive and replayed from the hard drive sounds better then the original CD.
My CD listening is based on a CD555 with two power supplies, both DR. I have no need for internet radio along with streaming and all the Spotify variations. Most of my listening is classical which is fine on CD but if transferred to a hard drive, access to particular tracks can I am told be difficult. Not so with other forms of music which come in convenient 5 minute chunks.
So, based on the above observation, how much am I missing with not getting an ND555?

Only your ears can tell you that - home review essential. There seems to be a fairly solid consensus that the nd555 beats the cd555 but you might not agree

The simple answer is to have a home demo back to back with your cd555. A number on the forum loved their cd555, but have moved on to the nd555 because they believe it sounds better.

Simple answer yes. The ND555 is better and even opens up other possibilities for you like listening to high res, having a more easy access to your collection etc…
But of course first have a listen yourself so that you convince yourself through your own ears.

The user experience is SO different with a streamer player vs a cd player, that picking one over the other solely on how they sound may lead to a poor decision. The incremental difference MAY be outweighed by the user experience.

What you need to do is spend some time with your dealer actually using a Naim ND streamer player. While you SHOULD hear the ND555, ideally in your own home slotted in in place of the CD555, you’ll get the user experience just fine playing with the NDx2 or ND5XS2. Do this WITH the dealer. For home audition, the simplest solution will be to put some music you like on a usb hard drive, as that can be connected directly to the ND555. But you’ll still want to get it on your home network. Start at the dealer!

You’re in for layers of considerations. Maybe it’s a bit like, I’ve been driving this Ford for many years, do I want to build a car myself because those kit cars are cool and drive better.

You’ll need to consider:

  1. how you’ll rip your cd’s to get them on a hard drive
  2. whether that hard drive will be connected over a home network or directly.
  3. what that hard drive will reside in – a server (if networked) or something else if not (options here)
  4. Whether you’ll use the Naim App, or Roon, as both can do the same over your home network with respect to controlling playback from a server.

Really – spend a few hours with your dealer and an ND player, hopefully a dealer who also has Roon running in their shop.


Define ‘need’…

In my view streaming from your own store at least has the potential to sound better than CD (more on that in another thread). However if you have a very good CD player, and are happy with its sound and with buying CDs, then why not stick with it until it starts to get to the point of needing replacement, and at that point replace with whatever streaming solution is then equivalent or a step up, but planning for it by ripping your CD collection at you’d leisure, when there is no pressure of time, to eventually simply replace the CDP when it reaches end of life or needs major work to service.


I currently tend to no wouldnt do it.

For some time, I work in the matter and note, to streaming it takes quite a lot of effort. Ethernt cable, switches, NAS etc, I just do not feel like it.

Had thought of a NDX2 or NDS and read backgrounds. And then asked me the question, what do I really want to achieve with it? The record provides excellent music reproduction, I am very satisfied with the CDS3 and I can live with a little BT receiver. So why this investment? I have no answer for that at the moment. So it stays like it is. The proposed investment will initially benefit the vinyl.

Records and CDs are right in the room, search is hardly announced. With enough my CDS3 with 555PS (non DR but DR in planning) and my LP12. Maybe I am thinking of buying a CD555 head unit. Who knows…

When I’m lazy, the music is sent via BT to an SMSL receiver. That’s enough for me because it is amazingly good!

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@Bart and @Innocent_Bystander make very good points around what your actual goals would be in moving to a network streaming solution/package as opposed to a CD-based one/extending to replacing vinyl?

My thinking is:
1- CD555 x 2 555PSDRs is a mighty fine piece of kit, still serviceable and given the age of the kit is likely to be on a shallow depreciation curve (exc if a breakdown occurs). If not already done, there are ways to spice it up with interconnects.

OK an ND555 maybe/is better but would you/your listening room prefer it with 1 x PS or 2?

2- It’s not just the ND555 which needs thinking about - personally I don’t feel the need to interface with my music collection via a 'pad (and cannot as a lot is on vinyl and not duplicated on CD - I’m not planning to digitise my vinyl). And the 'pad aspect is only one matter, what with storage and delivery aspects to the ND555. If I read many of the Streaming Room (a.k.a. Screaming Room :scream:) threads correctly, there’s a lot to the set-up malarkey to optimise (as best possible) the performance of a network player.

– including within the above is the aspect of cost benefit in purely £’s terms.

3- perhaps a tad controversial but my view is that I’m really looking at what’s beyond an ND555 (noting the NDS to ND555 timeline), which I hope will be something which has further improved usability in terms of network reliance. I’m hoping my CD555 will get me this far.

When the time comes, I will be highly reliant on a dealer to ‘set me up’/advise me on what the optimal set-up should be. Meantime, I’ll be looking out what better interconnects there could be for my CD555 (>Super Lumina).

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Unfortunately its not on a shallow depreciation curve…they go for about £3.5 k…the head unit was circa £13 k. Now if you are buying a cd555…what a bargain.


I agree with the last two replies. But at some point, a mature Flat Earther will surely take a go at ‘Naim’s Holy Trinity’!

Linn’s LP12. (Kuma) + CD555
Naim’s CD555 (DB) + the new kid on da block!
Naim’s ND555

Is the Verdict to early on the ND555?

I’m not sure, but if you got a minute head over to the Streaming Department or tune in to ‘ND555 Impressions’!

I don’t have a clue, my next experiment will involve the ripping of my beloved CDs and transferring that information via Cat5e or the future proof Cat7 directly to a formidable Dac.

Maybe I missing something, but when the OP referred to those 5 minute chunks, I thought he was eluding to the seamless transitions within Classical Music: Does streaming present any problems in that area as well as SQ?

Very Interesting!

PS. The party has started!

The Happy Listener, Gazza, and IB!

I’m taking notes!

Nice Post Douglas.

@Gazza - what I meant is that the dep’n curve is now shallow for a CD555 - it could even invert - that would be good :grinning:

FWIW, when I bought my head unit new in 2008, I didn’t pay anywhere near the figure you cite.

Understood, thanks

I cannot think of anything in the ‘network unreliable’ category about the ND555; certainly nothing that some company will “fix” in the future. Home network architecture has not changed much in the past XX years (10?). We use generally a broadband modem to reach the outside world internet, a router to provide a tcp/ip based home network over ethernet and/or wifi. That’s not changed at all. What HAS gotten better is the in-home wifi part. But as owners of Naim ND-players, we are not tied to their internal wifi bits. It would be silly to pick a player based on its internal wifi bits when in reality if there are problems with wifi connectability, it’s probably in part due to MORE than the player’s bits.

I’d not say your view is “controversial.” Id’s say it’s unfounded.

And I hope that your dealer will be up to the task. Some are, some aren’t. The good thing is that in 2019 the technology can be deployed simply enough that your dealer SHOULD be up to it!!

Does it?


I don’t understand that. It is easier on a streamer to pick any track than on CD, because you simply scroll and select.
That said, I am not familiar totally clear what you are trying to do - I assume you are picking a particular movement in a symphony, or something like that. And I am not familiar with any foibles of the ND555

It is also easy, if you wish, to create ‘playlists’ of favourite tracks, or even delete tracks you simply don’t like so they don’t even appear on the album.

That was my assumption also! Being a novice when it comes to streaming I’m unaware of the streamers ability to separate almost seamless movements! But I’ve been in situations where the CD player was not up to the task.

I am aware of the “foibles” of the ND555 and I certainly have never experienced any difficulty choosing a particular track. The only issue I can think of is when it proves impossible to rip a particular track (which is nothing to do with the streamer, of course) but in my case that was proven, by Naim, to be caused by bogus discs.

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Douglas, AFAICS you answered your own question! You have an excellent system and no need for streaming.

Just keep enjoying the music!

My ripped CDs are now sounding better than they did when I had my CD555. Beyond that observation I cannot go.

I would say there may be a difference … but seriously the CD555 is awesome… I have not directly compared but Darkebear has and he agonized over the change… and he seemed to think the ND555 did edge the CD555 … but they did trade blows. Don’t worry about it just enjoy your fantastic player … and make sure you have dr supplies…

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