How would a CD5Si compare to a CDS?

I recently got a 30 year old CDS from a friend who wasn’t using it. It’s just like new with all the boxes and accessories.

I’m shocked at how good it is - really spectacular in my opinion. So musical.

I’m curious how the current model would stand up against it. I know, big difference in price but there has been a lot of digital progress in 30 years.

Any comments welcome.

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Congratulations… :smiley:

If it hasn’t been done, now get its PS serviced. Recommendation is every 8 to 10 years, from Naim.

Despite the progress in DACs over the years, the fundamentals that make up the CDS are still there in Naim’s top of the line sources, and cost money to implement. The CDS has always been a highly enjoyable player to listen to. It’s main weakness is probably down to having a certain ‘character’ to the sound imparted by the old Philips TDA1541A DAC chips, although there are some who might also say that’s to their advantage. Whatever, the CDS is a wonderful player and one that’s also a bona tide high end classic.

Bear in mind though that the Philips DAC chips can sometimes go noisy or fail completely and Naim used the best Crown versions of these. I think Naim can still replace them but @NeilS should know for sure. Also the Philips Laser mech is a rare CDM4 variant and has been unavailable for many years now, so if it fails it could be the end of the player.

For now, enjoy what is a wonderful CD player and a real slice of Naim history.


No contest. CDS was incredible as were the variants. Extremely musical players that still present well if functional. Unfortunately the laser mechs cannot be replaced on CDS, CDS2 and CDS3. CD5si can be repaired easily however. I replaced my CDS3 with a Cyrus but have ordered a Unison Research CD Due.


I managed to pick up an excellent CDS / CDPS 5 years ago a 1997 model still giving wonderful service. I had a 3.5 model earlier did sterling service added a Hi-Cap later but performance nowhere near the CDS one word I can say sums up its performance- seductive.



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1541 DAC - yes.
CDM4 mechs - not any more, sadly. :disappointed:



The CDS remains the most enjoyably musical CD player I have heard. Ever. Easily beats the CDS3 IMO for musical integrity.


Any mileage in a Kickstarter or GoFundMe campaign to raise the cash to wrest the relevant patents out of the cold dead hands of Philips and persuade some enterprisong manufacturer to start making these mechs again?

Massively outside of my remit unfortunately, I’m not saying it couldn’t be done, but I think it would be a big ask.


Forget it, Jake… it’s Chinatown.

Well, I’m hosed. The CDS will play a disc all the way through fine. But if you try to skip up a track, or go to a specific track it crashes.

I may be finding out how that CD5SI sounds after all. I like having a player in this room and can’t think of anything else of interest.

I hope the 5SI has enough of that’Naim’ sound for me.

That’s not uncommon on the old CDM4 mech. It could just be the clamp or the nextel ring are worn. How old is the clamp and what condition is the rubber loop in? Is the nextel ring on the drive hub in good condition or worn or smooth?

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