I Can Not Believe My Ears

For those that have been following and supportive of my previous posts I wish to thank you. For those whom do not know. I made the jump last week and finally assembled the NAIM components when they arrived home yesterday.


  1. CD5 XS
  2. Flatcap XS
  3. Nait XS Mk2

I did not try and add one component at a time. I installed all three at the same time. I do have a very big thank you to all involved in my last two posts whom assisted with my enquiries and helping me leverage out a few thousand dollars out of my wallet :smiley:

I can only say I cannot believe my ears. If this is NAIM sound then I am in love. Having only had the opportunity to play two CDs through the stereo system and out the Celestion SL6Si speakers I am in audio heaven. No doubt there are better systems out there. Though for my pocket book and wallet I have achieved something special for myself and a little for Shelley.

The soundstage of the kick drum , toms and bass guitar were amazing. I have listened to these two CDs numerous times though have never heard before what I heard last night and the night before. The two CD’s were, Dire Straits “Lover Over Gold” and The Eagles “Hotel California” CD albums.

I can not wait to play some more CDs today. Though we have friends over today it might be seen as showing off. I will sit down with my DECCA CD’s and play some Pavarotti and Back Oratorios. Which is also released on DECCA Classics. I am also looking forward to playing some Pink Floyd and using the audio hearing test CD as well. Though I think enjoyment comes first.

Will I chase down separates and replace my system. I do not know. I think what I do have is kind of special right now. It is 6:30am and too early to wake up the house with some good music. I will wait for mind morning or after when I our friends leave.

All I can say is a big thank you to everyone that contributed in whatever way to help me spend a few well earned dollars on something very special that will last me for quite some time. It might even see me out.

This new NAIM system has breathed new life into my 1989 Celestion’s SL6Si loud speakers. I am so excited I do not want to change a thing. Though the speakers are very inefficient at 84 dB SPL and I know I could do better. Though with the speaker grills off. I am re-enjoying my old music in a new way that would seem to be the first time I have truly heard it. The quiet spaces of a crochet have me hanging as if on a cliff top waiting for the next note which is to come in a moments time. I have never enjoyed space like this before. It leaves me feeling that all I have heard before was noise, not music.

Well done NAIM Forum. It was a bit of a test of audio faith as I could not hear the equipment together as it was all siting in a warehouse some where on sale.

Question? This might be a step too far. I have a HILine between the CD player and the amplifier. Is there anywhere else I could use a HILine? The rest of the connections are SNIAC DIN cables.

I have a third party PowerLine which has a lot of awards printed on its case. I could not squeeze the budget for Power Lines. A step too far at the moment.

Warm regards,

Paul in Oz.



Keep on enjoying the music.


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Congratulations Paul!

I think you could live a long time and be happy with the XS 2 Integrated Amp, CD Player and Power Supply. Sit back for the next several months and enjoy the music, it will get better!


Congrats on the new system. I’ve owned an XS 2 twice and will likely own a third. Great amp. Enjoy!


Great work, now time to relax and enjoy.

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Hi Gigantor
Really pleased you are loving your new system. I finally added a hiline to my simple system a few weeks ago (cdx2 and sn2) and I cannot believe the difference it has made.
So use the hiline - make sure it’s not twisted, keep it away from other cables and off the floor, away from the wall. You are also advised to gently pull the plug back out of the socket slightly once you have plugged it in. Finally make sure the end with the grey collar is plugged into the cd (as the hiline is directional). All a proper faff on, but boy does it make a difference. I don’t like the look of hifi stands and cannot afford a fraim anyway so I have my cdx2 sitting on a tesco granite chopping board. Best £10 I ever spent. (The amp is also sat on one). I’ve spent the last 6 hours just playing cds. It all sounds incredible. no desire to upgrade when music can sound this good. Enjoy your system.


Congrats. The cd5xs, nautxs and flatcapxs is one very well balanced system. Don’t change a thing. The hicap will just mess things up.


Back again,

I have completed some calculations as some may recall I was worried about amplifier headroom to handle the peaks from my preferred listing position and sound levels. From an on-line page it had a suggestion of 14 dB for Rock and Jazz and 20 dB for Classical. Paul from PS Audio mentioned to myself in an email that the industry standard is to allow 23 dB gain headroom in stereo amplifiers.

The online calculator I am using can be found here


With my speakers at 84 dB SPL, in corners about 24" to 18" away from corner apex.

I have been able to determine with a dB SPL App for my iPhone that to accomodate 81.5 dB SPL peaks that I am experiencing. That my power requirements for this sound level at 9 feet distance is 0.53 watts per channel. This is for the Peaks.

For rock I am finding (Pink Floyd, Dark Side of The Moon) that I am listening on average to 65dB SPL with peaks in the 70s. and a max at 81.5 dB SPL.

For Classical the dB SPL meter runs from anywhere from 40 dB SPL to and average of 60 dB SPL. Again with the odd peaks into the 70’s.

With listening volumes at these levels allows for ample power amplifier headroom from 0.53 watts to 70 watts into 8 ohm and 100 watts into 4 ohm.

Sticking with 8 ohms this allows for a further 20dB gain that is not used up to 53 watts. If I get the trusty calculator out for more accurate a figure of 21.21 dB headroom above the already observed 40dB headroom from quiet passages of 40dB SPL up to the mid 60’s to 70’s dB SPL and hitting 80 or very close for normal listening levels. The maximum output level of the amplifier is 102.7 dB SPL possible from the amplifier and speakers at that distance.

What I am trying to say. I s that I am a very happy Chappy with the current setup.

So all the concerns I was worried about was worry for no reason.

One thing I noticed when a violin was going through string plucking in a concerto (Viktoria Mullova Violin Concertos J.S. Bach) that it sounded like plops of rain water into a puddle. The plops (plucks of the string) were carrying the musical note. Though it sounded so liquid at the same time. I found myself drifting my gaze from the dB SPL meter on the iPhone to a central position on the back wall. Then looking with enjoyment of the fluid motion of the 6.5 inch bass/mid range drivers doing their thing. The screen covers on the speakers had been removed for this application.

Looking forward to some more sessions, soon.

Warm regards,


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And you are enjoying the music, not analysing the hi-fi. You have hit the gold - enjoy.


First congrats on achieving Audio Nirvana - smiles all around when you share it.

Second, I’ve not come across this type of calculation before. FWIW I’ve found that Naim systems rarely need more than 9 o’clock on the dial in domestic settings, which I assume would lead plenty of head room. My remote limits full volume to 60% of the system’s potential but I rarely get anywhere near 40%. Anyway an interesting calculation which I will attempt later.

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Paul, I’m so pleased it has worked out well. It’s a lovely balanced system. Luckily for you, you can’t use any more hilines. Do make sure you have a decent stand though, and I’m sure you know that you shouldn’t stack components on top of each other.

Regarding showing off, I’d suggest from experience that you simply stick on some music and say nothing. Most people will think you are potty for spending what you have spent. If anyone really does express interest then you can tell them more.


Those Celestions must be singing their little hearts out. The cd5XS and XS2 is a more than capable combo. Can easily show more when given some TLC in set up at a later time with support and cable upgrades if you feel inclined. Much enjoyed mine and made me confident to explore new music - even genres I previously thought I didn’t like. Enjoy

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G’day Camphuw, I must concur that I also do not go past 8:30 or 9o’clock on the volume dial. I am about to plug in some headphones and see how they go as Shelley is now Netflixing.

Warm regards,


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Excellent Paul.
Lots of good advice here above.
If you manage the competition your tv Sound would sound good through the system too!

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Well done with your purchases…that is a great value point in the naim range …I speak from owning them …like many others here…
Hope they give you many hours of joy


“Though we have friends over today it might be seen as showing off.”

Oh go on, you know you want to.

I do. Love to see those jaws hitting the floor!

Welcome to the family. :heart_eyes::sunglasses:


Can’t Shelley use the headphones? :slight_smile:

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Hi Paul, This is great to read. Very glad it has worked out. Thank you too for completing the circle and writing up your findings.

Best, Chris

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Excellent choice. CD5XS and NaitXS, that’s how I started. Just shut your ears when you hear a little voice inside your head whisper, “it could be even better…”.
Sorry, little point in shutting your ears if the voice is inside. This is silly.


It has not been my doing. Though Shelley has insisted that we move the TV out of the room and move it to the open plan living room/kitchen dinning room. This is very kind of her. I insisted that to leave everything as is and I would wear the headphones. Though she would not hear a word of it and subsequently we have ordered a new TV Bench for the lounge room with a new sofa on the way. It is one of those four seater sofas that has a pointy bit on it so you can lay down in either direction.

We will see how the new sofa goes and if it is comfortable for purpose. I have already placed an order with IKEA for the new TV desk for the plasma TV.

Shelley has been very kind in doing this. I think it is over the top. Though it is a done deal. I think I will still wear the headphones when she is watching TV just outside the NEW music room. Even with closed doors.

It was not my intention as I already have a radio/computer room and a room to store my Lego Creator Series models. It is all to do with my PTSD and mindfulness exercises. Shelley has been very kind in deed.

Warm regards,


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