Naim Uniti Atom with CD Player


I recently connected a simple Sony CD-Player via Toslink to my NAIM Uniti Atom. It sounded quite well, but overall, the sound was inferior to the same files, streamd via Tidal (Flac, CD-Quality). This is rather surprising, considering that digital data should always be the same.
Does anyone have experience with CD-Players connected to NAIM Uniti? Is the sound always inferior, or does it get better with a good CD-Player? I always thought, there should be no difference, but maybe I am wrong … but I don’t want to invest in a CD-Player when no remarkable change in Sound Quality can be expected.

Thanks, Eike

Unfortunately all digital files aren’t the same, try playing the CD through the analog inputs see if that sounds any better. Good luck.

1 Like

Really depends on the quality of the CD player. As you are using the CDP just as a transport it will be dependent on how good the laser is at retrieving the info and processing it.

As Pete says, try the cdp in the analogue inputs, you might be surprised.

Not all CD players are the same, try with a dedicated cd transport and I suspect you would have better results

The S/Pdif interface can often be a weak link, and TOSLINK is particularly poor in this regard; fine for most uncritical applications but usually unsuitable for the very highest performance. Try a dedicated high quality CD transport (no need to spend mega money - a Meridian 200 or 500 CD transport from the late '80s or '90s should be good enough here) via coaxial s/pdif using a high quality coaxial digital cable such as the Naim DC1. You may be very surprised by the results.

1 Like

How would the “source SQ” compare with full Naim CD players?

Difficult to say really because most Naim CD players do not have an S/Pdif output (only the later CDX2 and CD5xs), so if you wish to compare as a transports, you only have a choice of two from Naim. However, the CDX2 has been described as an extremely fine transport, up with the very best, and knowing Naim’s dissatisfaction with s/pdif, and great lengths they went to to try to get the best from it, I would not doubt it.

And then there’s the other issue that if you play a Naim CD player from the analogue output into an Atom, the Atom will be converting that analogue signal to digital and then back to analogue again. Now, done well, this should be reasonably transparent, so I guess comparing say a CDX2 via s/pdif vs the analogue output into an Atom would be quite an interesting exercise, but having not done the comparative test I couldn’t tell you how it would work out.

1 Like

I am using a Cambridge Audio CXC transport with my Atom and that works very well. It is connected via digital coax to the Atom, which I find typically better sounding than toslink optical. But opinions on that differ. :shushing_face:


I recently added the CD transport Audiolab 6000CDT to my Nova via digital coax. It is a really lovely sound to my ears and very good value.


Thanks for your answers, which are very helpful!

  • My current Test-CD-Player has only Toslink, so I can’t try a Coax-Connection right now. But maybe I will do that later!
  • The overall quality was not bad, but the difference to Streaming was obvious. I was surprised about that, and technically I still don’t understand why a wireless signal works better than a cable signal …
  • thanks for pointing me to the Audiolab and Cambridge Audio transports – actually, I was thinking about buyring the Cambridge Audio CXC, which is on sale right now :slight_smile: It would just not be worth it if, in comparison, it were inferior to streaming.

I using old Marantz CD57mkII via Coax Audioques Forest, and sound is very nice for me.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.