Naim NDAC - Advice Please

Hi there, I currently own a CDS3 powered by a CD555PS, thinking ahead, it would seem that at some point I am going to need to go down the route of another CD player or DAC / CD Transport route. I hadn’t therefore really considered Naim as not wanting to buy another used player or one far inferior to what I already, I then stumbled across the NDAC which got me thinking. As I have a less then 6 month old 555PS, maybe a future option could be to buy a used NDAC, power with my 555PS and then source a suitable CD Transport, whilst I have not interest in anything other than playing CD’s not ripping or streaming this would at least provide options should I ever need them. Is the DAC same or comparable to that in the CDS3? What CD Transport would be comparable to that of the CDS3, real fan of top loaders, less to go wrong is my view and love the ritual of a puck! Other option is sell the 555PS when my CDS3 dies and buy something like a Rega Isis.

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Great question and many will be interested in the replies.

Well at least two of us anyway.

Suppose the CD555 is also an option but how does an nDAC + 555 PSU compare?

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This has been exercising my thoughts for some time, given the apparent fragility of Naim CDPs.

We have a CD3.5 which may be on it’s way out, a CDX currently running fine and an nDAC-XPS running from a Raspberry Pi based streamer. The nDAC (for sure, a wondrous beast) has four inputs, three of which are currently under utilised.

My thoughts have therefore been Naim CDX2.2 or CD5 XS, as they both have SPDI/F outputs.

However in storage I have a Meridian 200 transport, which despite being twice as old as the Naim CDPs is (at least was when it went into storage) working fine, despite having been “peed upon” by our Burmese cat Zebedee! One day I will hook it up to the nDAC - when we’ve finished the decorating!!

I have also heard good reports of the Cambridge Audio CXC transport.

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nDAC + 555 is fab.

There have been lots of threads on forum recently about quality CD transports, worth a search. Many people having EOL naim CD issues.

But if you use the nDAC it has the naim house sound.

We fed the nDAC with a Micromega transport (late 90s) as an experiment and it sounded excellent.


Glad, I’m not the only one fearing the worst! My thoughts exactly on on NDAC having the Naim sound, I have always preferred this to other CD players when doing comparisons and the upgradability of the power supplies was the reasons I first went Naim and not Arcam, Musical Fidelity or Rega when buying my CD5. I have never listened to a Micromega but I know this was very highend back in the day, just difficult to know what transport compares to what the CDS3 has. Thank you all for replying

If you already have a Naim PS then also consider an NDS which gives streaming options as well as a DAC equal or perhaps even better than the nDAC.


I didn’t know that you could play CDs on an NDS…….

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To accompany transport I mean. Instead of nDAC

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Ah OK, I presume the NDS has a SPDI/F input.

It sure does

I had a similar setup using a CD5 XS connected over coaxial digital DC-1 to an ND5 XS2, also meant only needing a single DIN source connection to amp for both CD + Streamer.

Ripp your CD’ s and play thru a nDac or NDS,it’s much more musical than CDS3 or CD555,in my opinion.

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Yes, that’s been my thinking, but it will have to wait. Decorating this week and cat-sitting duty in Londinium next :smiley_cat:.

Oh, and buying a new lawnmower as ours burned out on Saturday……loads of smoke. OTOH, it must have been a good twenty years old, so done good service. A good excuse to implement “No Mow May”.

I think you’ve already outlined your best two choices. And I think it would be a waste not to fully exploit a 555PS. If you are into CD players and not ready to look at streaming then finding a nice pre-loved CDP555 is the way ahead. Naim apparently have spare mech’s for every single one produced, so pretty much future-proof. I’ve had the good fortune to own one and can safely say that not much comes close. As a musical performer I think it falls between an NDS and ND555, so it’s in a rarefied atmosphere. Pre-loved ones do come up from time to time, in fact I noticed one for sale the other day on a well known hi-fi website. I’m afraid I can’t give any more detail than this otherwise I’ll contravene forum rules and incur Richard’s wrath! Good luck and good hunting!


I faced this issue during Covid lockdown when my tube CD player died.

Now with an idle nDAC, a Core was an obvious choice rather than a CD transport for a similar price, As it would preserve my access to my cd collection.

Then with a leap of faith I purchased a 555PSDR, without audition.

In hindsight, was a wise strategic decision, as it doesn’t close the door on alternative future purchases.

The sonic outcome is the outstanding Naim sound

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Hello @broomy. @suzywong is not wrong. 'Tis a wondrous beast indeed, and actually, it has eight inputs would you believe - people often overlook this. Two sources can be connected simultaneously into inputs 1, 2, 3 or 4, and the nDAC will ‘[…] automatically select the socket on which valid data is present’. So all 8 sockets can be used.

The nDac also has two USB drives for playback devices, eg thumb drives. @Richard.Dane says that the rear one sounds very good. And I like the fact that the front USB socket is Apple certified - again this is often overlooked.

Now, I know you’re only interested in playing CDs. It’ll do that - just plug a player of your choice into it. However, you could more than dip your toe into the streaming waters as well, because you can plug an iPhone into it (or iPad), and the nDac instantly recognises the phone/pad and seamlessly switches the input selection. So now you can play music apps - BBC sounds, Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify or Soundcloud for example - and the nDacs buttons take over control of the iphone to skip tracks in a playlist for example. It quite neat. And it does sound pretty good you know…

And you can also play Roon through it too! Just plug your iPhone/iPad into it, and away you go. And again, it’s quite neat that you can use the nDacs buttons to skip tracks in Roon - EG a playlist or different tracks in an album. Interestingly, the lovely Dac v1 headphone amp has all this functionality too - Atome Headphone users take note :slight_smile:

Of course, you can just use an iphone/iPad interface to skip tracks and things, rather than the buttons on the nDAc, but the point I’m making, is that the nDAC is a very versatile music hub - and it sounds good too. You can try streaming apps very simply and seamlessly indeed with good results. And plug a shed load of sources into it. Now then, add your 555ps into it and well…that’s something I’d like to listen to! As usual I’ve blathered on far too much so I’ll shut up now :laughing:


Much more functionality in the nDac though - and 10 source inputs too…hmmmm…nDac and NDS are very interesting choices.

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Thank you all for your responses, certainly lots of food for thought here the NDac most definitely provides a number of options in terms of sources and will make good use of my PS555.

The CD transports that come to mind are the new Audiolab 9000CDT and Jay’s Audio CDT3. Both in very different price categories. Audiolab and Naim have synergy, the Audiolab signature sound matches Naim very well.

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I wonder how comparable the Audiolab would be to the transport within my CDS3, hard to know what would give you the same level of performance in todays market