Not Naim but Good Enough CD players

As @MikeD suggested…

I currently have a 2002 build Naim CDX2 - which I love. But… as many posts attest, a transport failure can now render your beloved Naim CD player into nothing more than a doorstop or function-less curiosity… :astonished:

Before I got my CDX2 I had - in order - an Arcam Alpha +, an Arcam Alpha 8 (which I had Arcam upgrade to an Alpha 9) and a Rega Apollo. All were very acceptable. But… the Naim CDX2 was … better. Even more so, once I found it an XPS2.

So, what other ‘non-Naim’ CD players (or CD transports) have Forum users found to be ‘good enough’ to front their Naim based systems…?


Here is a good read, relevant to this topic…
Recent and related thread


MPW - once a member of this parish, was using a Philips CD 960.

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Thank you for posting that link.

Players & Transports mentioned include -

  • Cyrus CDi
  • CEC CD5
  • Audiolab CDT9000
  • Rega Saturn Mk3
  • Cyrus CDT-XR
  • Moon 260DT
  • Heed Thesis Delta CDT
  • AudioLab 6000 CDT

When I bought my CDX2, I also listed to the Rega Saturn (presume Mk 1 - ?) and the Naim CD5X. Both were acceptable, but… I preferred the pre-loved CDX2, which was only a bit more expensive.


I have a CDX2 now a CDX 2.2 - and it is on vacation , furlough., semi retirement .

I have a CD5si which is a good player, but if I want to go further then my thoughts go to TEAC - who seem on a roll at the moment or Denon with a SACD/CD

But if you look at IanRobertM’s list , some of the players are dedicated transports , I used to have a Nova and certainly a CD transport would have been my preferred choice. I used the Nova for internet radio only

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This was compiled from @MarkLennon original thread, linked above.

I think its both fair & relevant to include CD Transports. For anyone already having a DAC or a Streamer, a CD Transport could offer an effective solution… :slightly_smiling_face:


The NC CDS5 :crossed_fingers:

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I use my old Atoll CD100 into a Heed Abacus dac. Sounds good.

My choice would be a CDT6000 into my NDS. You don’t appear to have a streamer but my advice would be get an ND5XS2 and use it with a cd transport. You’ll get the added benefit of unlimited online music as well. Discovering new stuff has been a major source of enjoyment for me over the last 2yrs. CDs would be just a bit of fun for me.


In 2021 my Naim dealer told me that my Cds2 might have a limited life because of the availability of mechanisms. He was steering me to thinking about an NDX2. I pondered for a while and decided to go for a new cd player. I asked the dealer about the Rega Isis. He couldn’t do a demonstration as he wouldn’t stock the player as sales volumes would be too low. I read reviews by Paul Messenger which were favourable. Jason Kennedy’s review compares the Valve Isis with the standard Isis which I found useful. Jeff Dorgay compared the Isis with a top Wadia and his personally owned CD555. This was an interesting read!
I bought the Isis for £6.4k in 2021. The Isis is analogue sounding and the timbre of acoustic instruments is a strong point. The sound is not ultra detailed but mellow and engaging. In one word - musical. It is pretty heavy and built to last. Of course manufactured parts are guaranteed for life plus Rega store two matched mechanisms for your Isis.


Bearing in mind you’re matching with Naim amplification I personally would rule out the Cyrus and Heed. Former is a poor match and latter is impressive but a tad clinical to my ears. I’d also personally rule out the Rega Isis and indeed t’ other Rega. Their lower end products are excellent and remarkably consistent. As you move up, much less so. You can read elsewhere the sorry tale of the Rega Isis and Osiris. It’s not for me to tell but if you have one of the good ones then well done.

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If you like the presentation of Naim CD players you should certainly listen to a Leema Acoustics Antila.

The Aqua Acoustics La Diva isn’t the prettiest bit of kit imo but is by all accounts a top-notch transport.

If you want an upgrade that adds a DAC and can afford it, the Vitus SCD-025 would be marvellous I’m sure but for the same money you can have their signature streamer and sadly even at this elevated price level there’s no guarantee there will be a replacement mech available if you ever need one.

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I have one of these on order for second system with Nait 50.

No doubt I’ll give it a whiz with the bigger guns too…

I’ll let you know.


I bought a Denon DCD 2500NE CD/SACD to replace a Cd3.5+flatcap- no regrets. It is a superb player , solidly built with vibration suppression and with seperate power supplies for digital and analog.
It won the audition easliy against a number of others (inl Cd5si), the Denon was the only one not a demo machine, fresh from box but within a few minutes it was the obvious winner.
Four years on it still impresses, cd’s sound superb not far off SACd’s


The TEAC VRDS-701T, using a simpler form of the famous VRDS mechanism, is potentially one of the best CD transports at its price point. I wonder if combining it with the popular EverSolo DMP-A8 Music Streamer could form a formidable CD streaming player.


CDT9000 into my ND555 here. Sounds as good as if not better than streaming from my NAS or Tidal.


@Jamiewednesday excuse my ignorance but what are the protruding bits at each side of the front panel?

I will follow this thread with interest. Only a couple of hours ago I called my dealer to talk about a CD player for my system. With a collection of well over 3000 CD’s and no player for almost 2 years I thought it was about time! Obviously I’ll be restricted to what they stock but hoping to listen to players from Accuphase, Marantz and Luxman and also to try the Audiolab 9000T transport into my Auralic Vega2.1 streaming DAC.


‘Grab’ handles. Not to my taste and I’m not so sure how usable they are. That said, given where it’s going to be placed it’s not the worst idea…


Which Marantz?