Naim CD5SI and CDX2

Hi there,

I would like to upgrade my CD sound from my 25 year-old CD63MKII-KI, which by the way sounds MUCH better than the brand new and acclaimed CD6007 (…).

My issue is I have just been told by a reputable Audiophile shop owner that modern CDs no longer bear audiophile transports, rather IT transports, which, by essence are not developed with only the music in mind. It would be the case for ALL HiFi products makers and brands ?!? The difference being in the surrounding electronics and correlated corrections and enhancements. Is that true? This would indeed explain why my Marantz still sounds much better, wouldn’t it…

Therefore the 1 Mn dollar Questions are following:

  1. Are Naim’s cd-players (CD5SI-CDX2) built with an audio transport or a computer transport?
  2. I have the possibility to buy a used CDX2 - should I prefer it to a brand new CD5SI?
  3. Will the CD5SI be better than the CD63Mk2-Ki?
    Thanks a lot,

Hi Damo, welcome to the forum

Back in the 90s a friend of mine purchased a Marantz CD-63 MkII KI-Signature mainly on the strength of What Hifi? magazine stating it was a 5 star giant killer.

One day he brought it around my place to compare with my naim CDI, which admittedly then was over 3 x more expensive but i’m afraid to day the CD-63 sounded very dull and boring to our ears, and we couldn’t make out what all the rave about it was. We both enjoyed the CDI sound, and my friend admitted he’d wasted 500 quid buying the Marantz. I did feel sorry for him.

Can’t say for sure, but it’s probably unlikely you’d not prefer a naim audio CD player, regardless of the model :slightly_smiling_face:

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Noted, Debs… Thx!

The problem with Naim cd players are the transports……they are not made anymore and servicing may not be possible…….plenty of threads on here to read to that effect. If i was buying a new cd player i would buy an Accuphase, there own in house transport, and they sound superb.

So here’s the thing, Naim, and several other noted hifi brands, no longer appear to have a serious focus on CD, seeing streaming in its many forms as the future, just as digital replaced film in the world of photography……

If you really want a Naim CD player, then the CD5si is your choice - that’s it. Otherwise there are still quite a few CD players/transports worth considering, however, there’s no escaping that CD is becoming something of a niche just like film. Also, no matter which brand you choose there’s no guarantee that it won’t follow Naim and the others in moving away from CD, probably without warning and with less long term maintenance support than Naim offered.

I traded a late model CDX2 for an ~Innuos Zenith, a decision I still sometimes regret as it was/is a fantastic CD player, and sometimes, usually late at night, consider trying to find a similar used, late model to replace it, but……. used Naim CD players are NOT cheap and do I really want to spend all that money on something that probably can’t easily be replaced/repaired in the not too distant future? Sensibly, not really.

The Innuos is really a much better option, an architecture that can support any CD drive and a seriously large storage capacity, fully integrated into the Naim streaming platform, what’s not to like?

And if you really must have a CD player and want to maintain the Naim aesthetic, then the CD5si will undoubtedly suffice, I would be wary of spending more in today’s streaming centric hifi world.

But, of course, I may be completely wrong :wink:


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I am using a 25 year old Marantz CD46 with my active Nap 250, Nac 52 system. It is filling in for my new Unison Research Due which is in production. The Marantz sounds surprisingly good but not in the same league as my CDS3/ PS555 or the Cyrus CDI.

I would avoid Naim CD players since most do not have replacement laser mechs available. There are plenty of other options however. CDs remain popular in some countries[ Japan, China, Taiwan .]

What about spare parts for still at the catalog CD5SI - if they sell them, they must have the spare parts for repair, correct?

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I can’t find out categorically, but I think the CD5si uses a Sanyo SF HD laser mechanism. Which seem to be available still. Plus, being a current model, I assume Naim would still be able to service it in the unfortunate event of a mech failure. (Insert standard disclaimer to check with your dealer to be sure!)

Sustaining Naim CDPs - An Appeal is worth a read.

Just called my Naim reseller - Indeed, Naim developed the CD5si with a Sanyo mechanism - full audio transport, no computer!

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Yes at the moment………but i do not get the feeling Naim are that interested in cd going forward, so i would not spend my money with them or buy second hand naim cd players.

IMHO far better than a Philips VAM1202 mech.

Rega have recently announced launch of their new Saturn Mk3 player, they do extensive mods to their top loading transports.

I’ve got a cdx2.2 which I traded my cdx2 against to get as up to date one as possible when they were discontinued as I love the sound.

I’ve also got a Rega Apollo CD player which I use as a transport in a second system, and it’s very good as standalone or transport.

I’ll definitely be giving the new Rega a listen when it hits the streets. It’s Dac can be accessed by external devices as well, looks like they could be the place to go for new players to protect CD collections into the future.

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