Newbie Naim cd question

I have just bought a nac 102 and a nap 180 and as a new naim owner am enjoying a very different sound to my previous mf kit which I’ve had for 20+ years. I have kef r700 speakers and am looking at a cd to partner. I have been offered a cd5x for £650 but have seen a cd5i for £350. I have brought the cd5x home and there’s not a great deal of difference to my mf a3 but it is certainly a little less harsh at high volumes. I also stream and do vinyl but often play cds so what do you think?

The CD5x is much the superior player here in comparison to the CD5i and in the context of your pre/power amp combination. It’s even better when you upgrade it with a Flatcap 2x power supply.

Alternatively, you mention you stream. What streamer do you use? If it’s a Naim one or one of similar high quality, you could just add a CD transport and feed into the streamer digitally. That could mean more money for a streamer upgrade and a performance lift for both sources.

The naim cd player should outperform your old MF A3 cdp.
As Richard has noted, if you stream you may not need a cdp.
Also, is your naim kit serviced? This can make quite a difference. And of course the interconnects too.
I moved ( not totally yet) from MF to naim about 2 years ago. Different league completely from design to build and of course OEM support. Just beware, it will empty your wallet.

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Thanks Richard / I have a bluesound node 2i and have tried to use as a dac but can’t seem to fathom how it works!

OK, I’m not sure how good (or not) the DAC in the Bluesound is. It seems somewhat out of its depth with this quality of amplification. Most who use them as a front end with Naim amps upgrade them by running them into a much better DAC. The Naim DAC would be good here and you could add a secondhand CD transport as well. This would likely come in on budget for you.

Thanks Richard. I have run a cable into the back of the bluesound and it works fine. It crops the rough hard edges of the mf CD player but unfortunately the cd5x does not have an optical out so I can’t try it.

Thanks for a great suggestion, I might return the cd5x which I have been trialling at home and save the £650 for a dAc. Which leans to the next question, which dac?

The bluesound is a good streamer but the cd through it is quite flat.

I would look for an Naim DAC. A brilliant bit of kit and should be available for around £750-1000.

AFAIK the DAC in the Bluesound is not its strength. The CD5x you are trailing should noticeably superior.

I think Richards offer of an ndac is a good idea.
It is a great piece of naim kit and allows for a number of digital inputs. If you still wanted to play cds, then buy a cheap, but good transport, and play them that way. A good transport new can be had for £300. That complained with an ndac would outperform most, if not all caps for the same sort of money.
It is however a slippery slope. As with most things naim, can be improved again with a power supply.

Be sure the Naim CD player you choose has a laser mech that is replaceable by Naim. Most do not currently.

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