New CD5si vs Used CDX2

Current system: SN3 / CD5si / Rega P3 / B&W 705 S2.
I’m conscious of the current Amp v Source disparity in my system. A used late year CDX2 has become available and I’m considering taking a hit on the CD5si, only 6 months old, and making the change. The CDX2 was never particularly well reviewed during its life, probably as a result of comparisons to some iconic players that preceded it, but I’m assuming it is a significant improvement on the CD5si.

What should I expect if I make the change, budget does not allow for separate power supply at this point so I’m looking at a stand alone CDX2.

Streaming zealots I respect your chosen path but it is not for me, I tried a Uniti Nova / Core set up for a year and just didn’t like the experience and sold them on.

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Yup, I’d go for it. CDX2 and the first SN was a recommended system by Naim. No reason to think that anything has changed!

Expect more weight and pace, and the music just to gel and sound right.

I’ve never understood why the CDX2 got ‘that’ reputation, it’s an awesome player.
Compared to the top-end Naim’s it was not as refined, but apart from that it is probably one of the best CDP’s for balls out rock & roll ever.


Same here, I never remember the CDX2 not getting a good review. I bought mine early in its production, and I still have and use it… and it sounds better as the rest of your system upgrades.
Play some rock through it and in my opinion you are hard pushed to beat it… oh yes it does need good support to sound its best… significantly improved with full fat Fraim… so much so I discontinued using my XPS2 with it…
So if you have a 252 or higher focus on Fraim over XPS2. If you have a 282 or less perhaps consider an XPS2.

I had the CDX2. Amazing player.
Go for it

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I upgraded from a 2009 CD5i to a 2003 CDX2 which hasn’t been updated to 2.2 status and which I don’t run from an XPS (cue gasps).

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been very happy with the change and wouldn’t go back. That said, when I gave them a comparison in the shop, I didn’t hear the night-and-day, earth-shattering, life-altering difference I’d been expecting. Yes, of course the CDX2 was better, but given that (if I’d been buying new at the time) it cost about quadruple what the 5i went for, I’m not sure I could swear it was four times as good. But that’s maybe just me - or perhaps a measure of just how good the 5i is.


XPS makes a significant difference, probably one of my most effective one box upgrades.

Still play my CDX2 , its fantastic . If you can get one great - go for it , especially with a SN3 it will sound awesome.

You may well want to add a HiCap after that

Hi DS,

If it’s a later CDX2 it will have the same transport as the CDS3 which refined the player considerably. I’d say go for it but then I’m good at spending other folks money. Incidentally I was amazed when I added an XPS2 to mine. Sorry!



No need to apologise - I put the ‘cue gasps’ as acknowledgement that I was/am flying in the face of much forum wisdom, much as I do with a) being quite content with FraimLite, b) not having a NAPSC on my 202 and so on. I’m used to getting reactions for these and, since they’re entirely due to lack of space, time and money, I’m happy to continue to be on the receiving end of the mildest forum opprobrium.

In short, I’m very glad you enjoy your XPS!


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No contest - CDX2 is the one to go for!

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@Ebor. Worse than that after getting the XPS I sold the CDX2 and acquired a CDS3 and then traded the XPS for a 555.

I’ve finished now - honest :grinning:

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There seems to be a consensus that CDX2 is the way to go. That is pretty much where my head is and I just wanted you knowledgeable lot to tell me I’m right to do so (insert your own smiley emoji thingy here).

But do take heed of the comments about support. I bought one to replace a CD5x and a flatcap and when I had an mdf and steel rack the CD5x was referable, the CDX2 having an unpleasant ring to some higher notes. The CDX2 started winning once on Fraim lite, at which point I sold the 5x. When I set up a second system from leftovers I bought a new full Fraim shelf just for the CDX2, the rest of the system went on the lite I’d displaced from my main system.

When I had my CDX2 it was on Quadraspire and was fine.

Or … to chuck a spanner in the works: CD5XS as transport into nDAC? You’d need an extra shelf, of course, but it does offer an easy alternative route into streaming if you change your mind.


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other than the nDAC is a DAC, not a streamer.
They key thing of the CDX2 is its performance as a CDP and how it renders CDs in its inimitable way - there are clearly many different ways of playing CDs

And I never said it was! “… route into streaming … “. But it could be used with a simple network bridge or even via MacMini optical out, which was my own route into streaming.

And I was far from alone in preferring CD5XS into nDAC to bare CDX2.


Might have to try this myself, got all the bits I need except an nDAC…

I found the DAC added detail at the cost of timing, not in a big way but enough for me to discount that option. A 555ps was used on whichever was producing the analog signal. My 555ps has better fish to fry now so the CDX2 does without but on full Fraim I don’t miss it.