I was wondering if this pairing would sound good together… Naim CD5x and a Roksan Kandy KA-1 MK III integrated amp? I can get both on the used market for $1,150. I’m using Vandersteen 2C speakers. I had posted a question regarding Vandersteen, but I guess nobody uses them here.
Naim CD5x and Nait XS would be a good pairing imo. I’m guessing a Roksan Kandy CD player with the Kandy KA-1 MkIII amp would also be good, but different. My advice is to try and see the synergy not the dollars.
Thanks for your reply. I do have a budget I need to stay within. The XS would be nice to try, but it is over budget I’m afraid. However, what about the Nait 5si? Regarding the Nait 5 series. I used to have a Nait 5i (non-italic) mated with a CD3.5. And ever though it sounded good, I felt as if the mids were a little too prominent and bass was a little lean. Previous to the 5i, I had a Creek 4330SE mated to the CD3.5 and it was a wonderful sounding pair that mated very well–to my ear anyway. How does the 5si and original 5i compare in sound?
Hi, I’ve not heard the Nait 5i and Nait 5si amps side by side. I suspect that the latter would be a bit more finessed as a result of development. But I doubt it will give you what you want.
I take it that the apparently ideal Creek was used with the Vandersteens?
This isn’t the reply you want but I doubt that there is a Naim amp in your budget that will emulate the Creek.
The one glimmer of hope is that when you had a CD3.5 and Nait 5i you were using it with some speaker wires which had a hight silver content, hence found it all a bit forward and not enough bass welly. Naim recommend Naca5 cables with their amps.
But CD5x, Nait 5si, Naca5 and Vandersteens… maybe. Mostly on account of the improved source over that CD3.5 you once had.
Stereophile reviewed both the 5si and cd5x and raved about both. Or course, speakers, room and cabling make all the difference. I figure perhaps the overall sonic character of the two naits would be the same. I may seriously consider the cd5x and try to find another suitable integrated similar to the creek 4330se.
Yes, the following was the “magical” set-up at the time:
DH Labs Q-10 speaker cable
DH Labs Air Matrix custom DIN to RCA interconnects
When I bought the 5i, I bought the naca5 cables. However, they just made things sound worse. It was even more flat and dull at both frequency extremes. Prior to discovering the DH Labs, I was using Mogami w3082 speaker cable and 2549 interconnects. However, when I got the 4330, even the Mogamis were too veiled. In my situation, the silver coated copper helped a lot. It all comes down to chemistry…
I’d step back a bit and ask what are the other guys who have the Vandersteens using?
And why is Naim attractive to you? And have you ever heard a combination of Naim CD player and Naim amp driving the Vandersteens to your liking?
With Vandersteens, the “recommended” brand is McCormack. I used to have a Mack set and it did sound good, but it just didn’t have any pop to it. It seemed lifeless. The CD3.5 was my first piece of Naim gear. PRAT, as often described, is what I noticed and loves about it. It also had a very full, dynamic sound with impact. Yet, was still smooth and not cold, brittle or rough. Only Naim amp + cd combi I had was the aforementioned 5i & CD3.5.
I recall at the time, I had sold the 4330 due to the opportunity to get a 5350SE. I still had the CD3.5, Vandys and DH Labs. I figured the 5350SE would make my system sound even better. Well, it had a more refined sound, and was cleaner. But, the mids were fuller vs the 4330SE, and it was too much and screwed up the chemistry. I then sold the 5350SE and this is when I decided to try the 5i. After the 5i, I tried an Exposure 2010s. The 2010s was actually quite good, but it was very warm and laidback versus the 5i and 5350SE. It was a little too soft as the bass was much better, but was not punchy. Hence the curiosity regarding the Roksan.
Okay. You liked what the 4330SE did but you got greedy! And then it went wrong. We’ve all been there.
Assuming the CD5x and Roksan amp are only available together, I would buy them on the basis that, at the least, you will then have a very fine cdp. And maybe the Roksan amp will prove to be a latter day Creek 4330SE. And if it doesn’t, then save for a NAIT XS, especially given your comments on your one-time Exposure.
I’m Vandeey-ed out, perhaps someone else might like to chime in…
Thanks Chris for all your help and guidance. Yes, LOL… I got greedy and regret ever selling the 4330. The Roksan and CD5x are NOT being sold together, so I can pick up the CD5x and then start building funds for a better power source. I have an old Denon DRA-625 I can use in the meantime.
One last question regarding the 5i, 5i-2, 5si and XS…
Do they all have passive or active preamp stages?
I thought my used CD5X worth every penny of the $1000 I paid seven years ago. Still love it.
OMG what have you been reading?!
The XS definitely has an active preamp.
For practical purposes this means that in a system of CD5x and Nait XS, a Flatcap 2, a Flatcap 2x, or a FCXS may be added. In each case the FC power supply would feed both items. The effect is to take replay to another level. But I appear to be rushing the job here.