Naim CD5 XS - Tracking issues

Well, my Naim CD5 XS arrived today and it got it installed, running into my NDAC.

Tried a couple of brand new CDs and fine for the first few minutes and then it started intermittently popping and clicking :frowning:

But just being trying it through the SN3’a headphone socket and so far it seems fine. Puzzled, because if it’s a connection issue, it should play up through the headphones as well as the speakers…

It’s sitting atop the DAC, but Naim support didn’t think that would be an issue, although obviously not ideal.

Sorry to read this.

Have you tried your player without the nDAC? What happens? (Remember to switch the player off, as per the manual, before you flick the S/PDIF switch. Then turn it back on).


Hi Dulus. Is “it works fine through the phones socket but not through the speakers” a consistent observation rather than something that happened on one or two occasions? If so it suggests something in the SN but if that works OK with other sources that seems unlikely.

I’d support the suggestion of trying the CD player on its own into the SN. Perhaps worth trying a new puck, too. But still puzzled over why it’s OK with phones.

When you finally sort it out I’d strongly advise giving the CD5 its own shelf.


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Hi, thought about doing that, but will try to sort out through the NDAC first.

Beginning to suspect the puck as a possibility, but will continue to play around in the morning.


The SN has been fine with other sources, as has the DAC. As I said, I am beginning to suspect the puck. If that for whatever reason isn’t positioned right or is losing its magnetism, then that could very well cause miss tracking.

Agree re the CD player having its own shelf, but that will require a new rack, which could be 8 weeks or so away if I go for the Atacama I’d like.

The CD5 is at least under 3 months’ warranty.

If the behavior is the same when you bypass the nDAC, it is the CD player. If not, it is something in the digital chain (e.g. a cable).

This is a huge troubleshooting advantage, having the DAC / no DAC options.


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Good morning Nick and thanks for your reply. I’m going to try the analogue connection into the SN3 to see how it fares.

At the moment, I am suspecting either a cable/connection issue, as you said (but why did it seem fine through headphones) or the puck.

Will update once I’ve experimented.

If it’s juts a pop or click rather than a mistrack, it could be down to the digital coaxial cable. Are you connected to the DAC via a 75ohm BNC to BNC cable? That’s the best way. RCA Phonos can sometimes give a poor connection especially if the cable is relatively stiff, and adaptors can be worse still.

Hi Richard,

Good morning. Yes it was a whole series of pops and clicks. It’s connected to the NDAC via BNC to BNC, but the DAC end is via a BNC to RCA adaptor, as I don’t currently have a fixed BNC cable at both ends (easy to rectify via eBay).

Currently playing the CD5 direct into the SN3 - so far so good :smile: So, I think we are definitely looking at the digital connection.

The NDAC definitely improves the sq, so I’ll want to get the connection sorted.

If a BNC-BNC DC1 cable is out of reach then try a 75ohm BNC-BNC Belden or Canare cable instead. These are usually very affordable and good for the money.

Cheers. Was thinking about a Van Damme, as I have a few of them and the cables aren’t too stiff.

Hi, @Dutus .

Good! In my experience, the CD5XS without an added power supply into analogue inputs sets a high benchmark against which to compare the DAC configuration and other options.

I do not think the puck is as fussy on the 5X/5XS as it is on older models and CDSx.



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I don’t know about the Van Damme, sorry.

I like them :smile: They are decently flexible, come in a variety of colours and sometimes have neutrik plugs (depending on the connection), which are decent quality.

Okay, have spent the day listening to the CD5 XS (with the occasional sortie to the NDX 2).

Played four CDs direct into the SN3 without issue. Then I changed the BNC/RCA adaptor at the NDAC end to another one with a tighter fit for the RCA connection. Played one commercial CD and one CD-R via the NDAC and no issues at all :smiley:

So player exonerated (thank goodness!) and have proper BNC to BNC on the way from eBay. I want to keep the BNC to RCA cable for the digital out on the NDX 2 for recording into my Tascam SSR-200 solid state recorder, which only has a standard RCA coaxial SPDIF input.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and input.


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