Naim CD5 XS, Naim FlatCap XS, looking for new amp/preamp


My current setup is 2 x Monitor Audio Platinum loudspeakers, Naim CD5 XS, Naim FlatCap XS, some old (20+ years) Arcam amplifier and preamplifier. It all together sounds quite good, however I’m looking for some upgrade option for these old Arcams to improve sound quality. I read ( that I could buy NAC 152 XS + NAP 155 XS, but I’m not sure if that’s good option and if I will see the difference - there’s an information that it’s entry level model. Could you please advise?

Welcome Gabriel.

I own the NAC152XS and NAP155XS. It makes a wonderful set with my CD5XS and FCXS. Are you able to try the amplifier at home with your MAs against the Arcam? If you like it, go for it!

Please be very wary. This wonderful amplifier was never fashionable here. You are going to get lots of suggestions of this and that Naim amplifier, including olives and CB. The real problem you have is how to weight the replies you get, because mine may well be the only one in favour of the 152XS/155XS. One thing that we can be almost certain of though, is that those suggesting other amps have not heard the combination of CD5XS, FCXS, NAC152XS, NAP155XS, so they won’t have experienced their synergy.

Enjoy your music whichever amp you choose.



Hi, the XS range includes the integrated NaitXS, with the Mk2, and curent Mk3 models available, as well as the separate 152/155 pre/power setup you mention. It’s a very capable amp that would be a great match for your CD player as long as your speakers are suitable for it.
Depending on your budget I would say that a 202/200 would also be a good option. Despite the ‘source first’ rule I think the CD5XS/Flatcap is good enough to hold its own in this case. Another option would be a Supernait although personally I find the separate pre/power combinations more engaging.


I second your suggestion, but will take a step further, if I was the Op I would rip the CD collection to FLAC and sell the CD5XS, to use the FlatCap XS with the 152XS instead (both Upgrade 1 and Upgrade 2). That’s where the synergy is IME.

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The CD5XS is capable of front ending an even better amp than XS class.
Mine works marvellously well with nac 72 & nap 180.
However the trick is finding these fine old units and in good working order.

Alternatively, there is a discussion on another thread about a numerous availability of pre-owned SN3s which is another very sensible consideration.


As has been said above Naim forumites will suggest what they have and what they have had. From personal experience I have had Nait 5Si and then went Olive 82 Preamp, Olive HiCap and CB 250. It sounded so so much better.

Equivalent of modern day 282, HiCap DR and 250DR, although in a different era.

The modern day Nait XS2 or XS3 will sound great and will be in keeping with what you have.

Or go 152XS and 155XS pre and power. I have never heard them and am sure they are very good. A separate pre and power amp should sound better than an equivalent integrated.

A Supernait 2 or 3 may well be the answer as well.

If you start upgrading your amplification you may loose some system synergy and feel the need to upgrade your sources as the amplification is too revealing.

An Olive 72 and 140 with HiCap is another popular option.

There are so many options and upgrade paths.

I went down a certain route and have enjoyed the journey.

Important thing is to enjoy the music.


Streaming option of ND5XS2 could work well. I had an ND5XS and it was very good.

It’s a very good source and a 72 or 82 preamp would work well. Personally I think a 72 or 82 HiCap, 250 system would be great. I’ve done it with ND5XS in the past.

Whispering nDac.

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Thanks a lot for your comment! I’ll ask soon in the shop nearby if it’s possible to try them at home for a couple of days. The nice thing about this combination is that I could use a FlatCap with NAC 152 XS too, because from what I read, it can work with two devices simultaneously.

Another question (If I may) - do you use any DAC to improve CD5XS or to listen to music from Tidal/Spotify? There’s Naim DAC, but I like a lot Chord Mojo for my Sennheiser 580 HD, so I was thinking about Chord Quetest to my setup, but I’m a bit afraid that it will change the characteristics of the sound that is so nice with Naim.

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I’m not going to rip the whole CD collection, but as I said in previous comment, I’m also thinking about buying a DAC to listen to Tidal. I’m currently considering Naim DAC and Chord Qutest.

Just in case you are unaware, the 152/155 has been discontinued for a good few years, so you’ll only be able to try it if your dealer has a used pair in stock, which seems unlikely.

You mention a DAC for Tidal and Spotify; a DAC won’t help you, you need a streamer.

Returning to the amplifier, I had a CD5x, Flatcap 2x, 122x and 150x for a few years and loved it. The four box XS set is its successor and is even better. If you want four boxes that match both sonically and visually it’s a great way to go.

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Thanks for your comment. From what I see, I can still buy new 152/155 in my country. Anyway, are there any successors after they have been discontinued? Also, any idea WHY they are discontinued? I’m not sure if I understand how life of product works in Naim. :slight_smile:

Regarding DACs - I’m going to use Mac Mini with Roon or Audirvana and do some upsampling on it, as I did it before with Chord Mojo and was very satisfied with the results. There is also an idea to use S/PDIF output in CD5XS and take the signal to Chord / Naim DAC to “improve” it, but in case of choosing Chord - I’m a bit afraid that I may loose the characteristcs of the sound.

Naim are in the process of a major change to their range. That included discontinuing many of the separate pre/power amps including the 152/155 and 202/200. They felt that their range had grown too large and that it was confusing for customers (and even some dealers!)
The plus side of this is that as dealers run down their stocks of old models and customers upgrade, this is a great time to pick up lightly used amps at good prices.

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I don’t have a dac. If we want to listen to Spotify, my partner plugs her iPad into the front panel mounted aux socket. Not the highest-fi but it sounds fine.

Yes, I’ve considered the Naim dac and the Qutest.

Interesting to read that you don’t want to rip your whole CD collection. Hopefully it will prevent you getting recommendations for the NAC N-272 and a NAP250, or the Nova. But this is the Naim forum and everyone is an enthusiast for the gear they own, and will want to steer you down what they consider to be the right path. It won’t stop them.

Why am I such an enthusiast for the NAC152XS/NAP155XS? Because this combo near the bottom of the Naim range allows me to tap into Naim’s conceptual roots of separate pre and power amplifiers, with associated power supplies if you want them. Incredible value. I like the feeling that this is how Naim did it in the beginning, and this is how they are still doing it at the top of the Classic range. So I feel invested.


The 152 and 155 were discontinued in 2017. If your distributor has some, they have been sitting in storage for six years.

CD5XS and Nait XS was my first Naim set and very enjoyable it was, too. Then I added a FlatCap XS and when it came out an nDAC, which moved the system on to a higher level. The nDAC is a visual match, too.


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Have you checked another DACs before choosing nDac, or?

Do not do 152/155.
202/200/hicap,+nDAC …in
Flatcap… out

Great system

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I bought the nDAC very soon after it was introduced, which was a good while before Chord’s Hugo and subsequent DACs were introduced. There were not so many audiophile DACs around at the time, so much less choice and I did not do a comparison with other DACs.

Naim actually promoted the nDAC as an upgrade to the CD5XS (amongst other uses) and that was why I auditioned and bought it. Subsequently, I started using it also with music stored on a MacMini.