Streaming and the Future of CD Players

I have read with interest, posts made by members regarding a proposed purchase of a Naim Audio CD player. It would appear that the only model currently offered by the factory is the CD5si, which is unlikely to be up to the job with higher end amplification from Naim Audio. It is helpful that information is available on this forum regarding the service and repair of previous non-entry-level Naim Audio CD players. Given the difficulty of sourcing mechanisms for all the players such as the CDX, CDS and CDS2, I am amazed that pre-owned models still command relatively high prices. At present, a CDS/CDPS combination is being offered for £1500 with no mention of any previous service history.

I still own my CDS2/XPS and had the mechanism replaced a few years ago. At the time, I contacted the factory and they were unable to undertake the work owing to a lack of parts. I managed to get the mechanism replaced by a company who serviced Naim Audio equipment, although their work was not endorsed by the factory. The unit works fine to this day and does not get a great deal of use as I have moved over to streaming. My streaming setup comprises nDAC/XPS. I first setup a streaming system 10 years ago as I had run out of space to store any more music on vinyl or CD. It was my original intention to get the HDX hard disk player although unforeseen expenses at the time prevented me from acquiring one. A laptop with i5 processor and 8GB RAM was duly acquired and in time, a second similar computer was acquired. I am now running this dual PC setup with Windows Server 2019/JPLAY Femto/Audiophile Optimizer/Fidelizer Pro/Process Lasso and have a Singxer SU-2 S/PDIF converter. This very modest streaming system, while having occasional reliability issues regarding continuous playback, and does however, managed to outperform my CDS2/XPS. I would love to be able to put together a computer audio system using high end hardware, although this is not an option as I have now taken retirement. If you want to assemble a high end computer audio system, you are in for serious financial expenditure! The best sounding source component in my system remains my Linn Sondek LP12/Armageddon/ARO/Expert Stylus Company rebuilt Troika.

It is with regret that I have to conclude that CD no longer appears to be a viable format. If one has a large collection of CDs, then a good quality player is always desirable, although it seems that more and more users are now ripping discs to stream them.

Back to the drawing board I guess!

If an Auralic Aries G1 is within your monetary grasp (and it would be if you sold your CDP - it can now play CDs so you’d still have this functionality) I’d recommend a home trial.

If you can set it up wirelessly and use Lightening DS ( the bundled software) I think you might be surprised at how close to high end you can get with your Naim DAC.


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