Suitable cd for recently upgraded system

Hi I’m just new to the forum and was wondering if anyone had any advice on a suitable cd player
I recently upgraded from nac92/ nap 140 ( after around 20yrs of listening pleasure but limited funds) to nac82/ nap 250 / hicap all olive .
The difference was remarkable . Having changed my speakers from TDL studio ones to sbl s around a year ago ( again remarkable improvement ) .
My analogue front end is lp12 , alphason hr100mcs
And ortofon mc20 super into a linn linto,
Which I’m more than happy with.
However I feel the cd player may be the weak link ( Audio alchemy transport /dde11 dac )
Sound appears to may loose and overblown in the bass and a bit sluggish overall , certainly not as detailed or natural sounding as the analogue .
Any suggestions?

1 Like


Having had the following CD players from Naim: CD5Si, CDS2 with XPS and CDS3 with XPS2, I would be tempted to go for the CDS2 with XPS at around £2000. This will give you a wonderful all olive system. Alternatively a nice olive CDX without power supply would be great.

Something to be aware of is that Naim older CD players are more difficult to repair nowadays with shortages of mechanisms.

I have just sold my CDS3 with XPS2 as I don’t really need it. Have you considered streaming at all?

Hi Dan
£2000 is probably a bit more than I could justify at the moment as I’d probably have to factor in the cost of a divorce too . I hadn’t considered streaming really I’m a bit flat earth in that respect .
Just looking for something to get the most out of the CD’s I’ve got

Probably no more than £ 1500

If you want to stick with CDs, for that budget I’d look at a preloved NDac and a new Audiolab 6000CDT transport.

1 Like

I’ve got a Rega Apollo operating as a transport and a Musical Fidelity MX-Dac with an additional Fidelity Audio power supply operating in my non Naim system.

The Rega and Mx-Dac are a very good combination, not sure the power supply made too much difference.

Got a Cdx2-2 in my Naim system which I love but the Rega and MF never make me feel short changed, Rega did a lot of research on the transport side of things from what I read.

Okay Rega Saturn or Apollo?

Arcam CDS50 - It also plays SACD and has a built in DAC/Streamer

An Olive CDI or CDX can be found on auction sites for around £800 to £1000. Lovely CD players. Other options like others have said is get an nDAC and add a CD transport. With a new CD transport you get the advantage of a warranty for several years. Cyrus make good CD transports and good CD players. I am now without a CD player so would consider a CD transport fed into my NDS as a DAC at some point.

Do you want it to match your Olive system? Or are you not fussed ?

As you have Olive gear I was suggesting the Olive CD player range.

I’ve been looking at prices of cdx and cd 5i or 5si
I think all are within my budget but not sure what the sonic differences are
Is the cdx upgradeable with a separate power supply same as cdx2
I just want something that will get me close to the musicality of my analogue front end and I’m aware that my budget is not brilliant

The CDX is the one that gives you the look, if it’s important. Worth checking with Naim how serviceable they are before you splash your hard earned.

Edit: CDX is upgradeable with XPS olive psu.

I recently picked up a lovely CDX2.2 for a little over £1000, sounds fantastic and build quality is awesome


I know it’s entry level, I’m very pleased with the performance of my CD5SI though.
Feeding into a Supernait 3 the sound is spacious, detailed and has great timing.
There is a limit as to what CD can give, I feel this good value deck does rather well.
Responds to better mains cabling too


The problem is i have a naim CD player. Great sound. But some of the recordings are so bad that
Even on a good system the sound is bad. I bought Steve Earle.s album you will never get out of this
World alive. All his albums have been good recordings. The cd is not faulty it is a terrible recording.
Some of the rolling stones recordings are not brilliant…

With an 82 HiCap 250 the CD5Si doesn’t sound on the same level. An Olive CDX or CDX2 or CDI within the £1000 budget will sound a lot better and in keeping with the Olive. I had the CD5Si and it’s good especially with Nait 5Si. CDS2 trounced it by large margin. The 82 Hicap 250 is more revealing and will bring out any shortcomings in your source. All about system synergy.

Like a say downside is some of these older Olive players are more difficult to fix.

In your budget I’d probably go for nice CDX or CDI which is a top loader.

The CD5Si didn’t sound right with the 82 HiCap 250. The streamer ND5XS sounded a bit better. My LP12 sounded alot better, and more in keeping with the amplifcation quality. Remember the source first mentality.

1 Like

Hi Andy

The CDX(2) would be an obvious single player choice, but I’d consider replacing your dac with an nDAC and perhaps also looking for a new transport. There’s lots of possibilities which should come within a budget of £1500.


Agree with cyrus I bought cdi xr November last year, stunning ,unbelievable detail , clarity, staging.

1 Like

Another Cyrus vote here, I have been running a CDi/PSXR2 for a couple years with my naim kit. I echo the above with regards to detail, clarity and staging. Simply, I don’t think you can beat it for the cost.

1 Like