Is the step from Nait 5si to recapped XS a big one? My source is a CD5si
I think so. I heard both and eventually bought the XS. More refinement.
Definitely an upgrade. I also have had both. Started with a Nait 5si as my introduction to Naim, quickly moved on to a XS2
I doubt you’ll hear any difference between the newer 5si and the older xs. A little more flexibility re: inputs - that’s about it.
You might want to read through this thread; there’s the odd mention of 5 vs xs.
I went from a 5Si to a XS 2 and it was definitely a nice upgrade. The ‘active’ pre-amp, more power and better circuit layout all bring their positives for a larger and more refined performance, without losing any of what one would liked about the 5Si to begin with.
I bought a Nait5si and was very impressed with it. My dealer used a XS when he tested my upgraded LP12 and the XS seemed to have a slightly bigger meatier sound in comparison although the speakers were floorstanders rather than my own stand mounted. The Nait5si is doing the job for me in the environment it is placed in. My overall impression was it is the right tool for the job in hand and the XS might come in handy if the room parameters were different. They are different amps and serve different purposes. Whether one is better than the other can depend on how or where they are implemented.
To my ears the XS is a big step up from the 5si with a good deal more drive and authority, perhaps due to the active preamp. But your current CD player and amp make a nicely balanced pair and unbalancing it might ultimately prove quite expensive.
For me a Nait XS demands a source of comparable quality. Amongst CD players it could be a CD5XS, but that carries a risk of irredeemable mech failure at some point. An nDAC with separate transport might be an alternative, or get into streaming with an ND5XS2. But none of these is cheap, so unless you’re happy to start climbing the upgrade ladder, I’d advise caution.
I heard the 5si, and the XS - same source, same speakers, same room.
Must be something wrong, XS is much more revealing than 5Si (or 5i for that matter) your source or speakers may compromise to a degree.