Naim CDX/Hi-Cap

Hello. Some advice please. I have an opportunity to upgrade from a 3.5 CDP/Flatcap to a CDX & Hi-cap. I understand you need a “Burndy” cable to connect the CDX to the Hi-Cap? Is this correct and in what socket to the rear of the Hi-Cap does it go? Thank you for any advice.

You can’t use a HICAP on a CDX. The CDX can be used on its own or upgraded with an XPS/XPS2/XPS DR or 555PS


A “burndy” is the name given to the cable that connects xps etc power supplies to the family of Naim source components; you can recognise them easily as the burndy socket is a chunky round multi pin connection with eg 19 pins. There are different kinds of burndy cables available so don’t just buy one without knowing exactly which type is needed.

This is a cdx plus xps.

Random image of a Naim burndy cable.

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Burndy is the name of the US company who make of this style of connector.

But there isn’t a company called Snaic. Snaics use dins but burndies use burndies.

SNAIC is an acronym made up by Naim. (Super Naim Audio Inter Connect maybe…?)

The Burndy Corporation still is actually a US company who make connectors.

YMMV, etc :crazy_face:

Yes I know all this; but not the etymology of “snaic”, apart from the implied pun. In fact it’s probably Naim audio inter connect with the s added for fun.

@Richard.Dane - Is there any logic or explanation for ‘SNAIC’…?

I think that’s about it - it was before my time at Naim though so perhaps best for someone like @Pauls to comment here.

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Thank you to all for the responses. Appreciating the subjective nature of “what sounds better?”. Comparison of a 3.5 + Hicap and a CDX (on its own)?

Thank you

I’m not familiar with either player because they were from before my time. But the CDX is from the range above the 3.5. CDX has a better case, better transport and isolation, more advanced all round. Should be substantially better, as would have been reflected in the price when they were both available new.

My expectation would be more bass definition from the CDX, more attack, and a better connection with your music. Somebody who has owned a lot of olive gear will know for sure.

Very close Ian, from a chrome bumper manual.


IF we were to assume that all units in question are serviced and therefore on a level playing field, and knowing that the Naim hierarchy works, then the CDX will be better than a CD3.5.

CDX vs CD3.5 + Hicap is a closer thing and possibly down to personal taste. I tried this out many years ago and stayed with the CD3.5/Hicap combo.

CDX/XPS vs CD3.5/Hicap was easily won by the former, when I tried that out a few years later. Still didn’t go for the CDX though.

I still have my CD3.5/Hicap, and keep it as a back up in case anything goes wrong with my CDSii/XPS


I remember when I replaced the CD5 and Flatcap 2 I had in the main system with a CDX; initially it was a bit of a shock and not in a particularly good way. The CD5 + FC2 could really engage you and had a lovely widescreen presentation which made you forgive it’s slightly loose and soft (for Naim) overall character. The CDX by contrast was tight as a drum and ever so focussed. The soundstage shrank back to something was probably a bit closer to being strictly accurate. It seemed leaner too but after the initial shock had subsided I also realised that it was digging up much more detail and really getting into the music in a way that was just on the right side of cerebral. Bass went deep but was under better control. Trouble was, on many CDs I felt I preferred listening to the CD5+FC2 as it was just as engaging but easier to get into. It wasn’t until I added an XPS to the CDX that I felt it really was head and shoulders better than the CD5+FC2. Sadly I didn’t hang on to it for long that way. A CDSII head unit came up and a new XPS2, so they were quickly added.

As for the CD5+FC2, I still have very fond memories…


No, Hicap. Tried a Flatcap and was unimpressed.

Hicap on a cd player? Must only have been certain models that were compatible, was this before the xps was created?

Works a treat! On the 3.5 that is. Need an XPS for CDX upwards.

Yes, the CD3.5, CD5, and CD5x could have either a Flatcap or a HICAP on the analogue output stage. A HICAP could sound impressive, but some felt a bit too much…

Good Find…!

Think I was close enough… :laughing:

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