Flatcap vs.Supercap For CD5xs

I use a CD5xs with a Flatcap as my primary CD player.

To me, the use of the Flatcap has improved the sound of the CD5xs.

Do you think I would hear an appreciable increase in sound quality if I moved from my Flatcap to the Supercap? I only use the Flatcap with the CD5sx and no other Naim gear.


You may well hear an appreciable uplift in sound quality but in overall budget terms the Supercap makes little sense here as you would be better off moving to a better player such as a CDX2 or CDS3 + XPS for example.


I tried a Hicap on a CD5X and it sounded a bit bonkers, like it was on speed. A Supercap is likely to be even worse, as the XS is very similar to the X version that I had. The Flatcap is perfect for the player.


I had a Flatcap XS on my CD5XS. Then I substantially upgraded with the removal of the FCXS and the addition of Naim’s nDac. Couldn’t be happier.


Same here Chris

The CD5XS /nDAC is a cracking combination - as a starter

Add an XPS 2 ( or DR) it’s even better


Please behave!


Reading down your thread, thinking “nDAC might be the better option” :thinking:
Then, found others had got their first.

So, third recommendation here….
Add an nDAC first, so using CDP as transport only. It’s a substantial upgrade to the CD5 XS.

Later, if you fancy it…
Add an external psu to the nDAC, for another uplift in SQ.

With an nDAC in the house, you then have a brilliant external DAC which can be used for so many other duties too. It’s a killer piece of kit.

Please let us all know what you decide ?
Good luck


Ha ha that’s how I started Chris

Those damn Naim power supplies get you :crazy_face::+1:


Hi VinylRules. I I’ve not heard a SC on a CD5XS but I did try a HC in place of the FCXS I was using on my CD5XS and my experience is similar to @HungryHalibut’s. Whereas the FC gave a modest enhancement to the SQ of the CD player I found the HC substantially changed the nature of the sound and not in a way I enjoyed. I recall one dealer/poster at the time describing the result as "manic’.

Instead I added an nDAC, using the CD5XS as CD transport and agree with @Christopher_M and @Bevo that the improvement in SQ put it into a different league. You could then add a 555PS to the DAC for a further substantial improvement if finances allow.



What’s the rest of your system?

Thanks for all the useful information.

I didn’t mention this before but I have a substantial number of HDCD encoded CD’s. So I kind of want to hang onto the CD5sx as I believe it was the last Naim CD player to decode CD’s. And the only new DAC’s I’m aware of that can decode HDCD are manufactured by Berkley, and I don’t want one of their DAC’s.

So I think my upgrade path for my CD5sx is going to be with perhaps a better power supply.

Try it, if it’s no good you have a cracking ps for a phonostage, it works a treat on a superline, or even a stageline as I’m finding out at the moment.

Snarfy, it’s listed at tinyurl. After the .com, type a / followed by mcintoshrules… It’s a long read because I rarely get rid of my older equipment.

Many years ago, I incrementally upgraded a friends NAC112/NAP150/CD5 into a CDS2/52/135

We tried out the the CD5 with

  1. Internal power supply…it sounded flat, lifeless and sterile next to the CDS2, especially when going into the 52.
  2. Powered by a dedicated Supercap. This took it MUCH closer to the CDS2.

The CD5/Supercap was a much more capable pairing than the 112/Supercap which we also tried. The biggest loss compared to the CDS2 was in dynamics, where cymbal clashes were not so powerful, nor was there the sense of ease that the CDS2 offered.

I believe we listened to the CD5/Supercap/52/135 for at least an hour, without feeling the urgency to put the CDS2 back in, while the 112/Supercap fell flat on its face, even with a CDS2/135 at either end.

Adding a Supercap to a compatible device will always improve the sound, but some devices improve more than others. Probably the biggest improvement from the Supercap was for the piece of equipment that had the lowest power requirements…the Prefix. The 102 (not the 112) preamp improved by almost as much.