Upgrade CDX2


My CDX2 provides a Digital out to a Chord Hugo TT

Would an upgraded power supply still provide a benefit to the CDX2?

I’m interested in the responses you get for this. I’ve asked similar re NDX2 and can’t seem to find a clear answer

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But its just zeros and ones arriving at the hugo. Runs for cover!


I think you won’t find a clear answer as there are differing opinions on this.

As Martin says, some people swear that it’s just ones and zeros so an upgraded power supply can’t have an effect.

I use a 555PS on my HDX and it provides a big improvement into a Naim Dac to my ears versus the digital output from the bare HDX.

Best bet is to try it for yourself and let your ears decide.


I believe that generally the reason for why a PS upgrade brings benefits becomes clearer if you consider that the music that you hear is actually the electricity from the power supply, which is modulated based on the signal that the head unit provides. (Of course the PS also provides the power for the NDX2 to function at all)

As for the NDX2 with a PS, people on the forum have reported to have heard anything between no difference to a night and day difference.

In the instance of this thread, however, the CDX2 signal gets redirected to a Hugo in digital form. This is surely a scenario that differs from the usual one, where the modulated power is fed in analog form to the preamp. My gut feeling is to not expect much, if any, of a PS effect in this case, but I have no idea and it would be an interesting experiment

Edit: Of course you still would have the advantage of keeping the PS noise away from the the digital circuits. Whether it is worthwhile is a question for someone who has tried it

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I know said in jest… but what on earth does a 1 and a 0 look like. Mind you my thoughts and ability to enjoy music is nothing more than bunch of neural pulses.:grinning:… I guess they are 1 and 0 as well.

On a serious note… the CDX2 has a transport clock and DAC. The stability of the clock is determined in part by its powersupply.
The streaming protocol used in the SPDIF output is clocked… the stability of this clock is determined in part by the powersupply.
Variation in the clock creates sidebands of energy in the receiver. This noise can couple into DACs and other sensitive electronics.

In short in a revealing system, you will almost certainly detect a sonic change, most likely very subtle, when you change powersupplies.

So back to your point of 1 and 0s, assuming that is a shorthand for different analogue voltages, you still have a key element missing, that is time.
Therefore as SPDIF uses a Manchester encoded bit stream to carry its protocol frames, its physical encoding consists of three variables; +,0 and time. By definition time is analogue…


“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
D. Adams

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Hmm…good sense being spoken, thank you - even if inconclusive, spending ££££ seems to be, logically, of limted potential benefit.

I’ll try it out if i can, I guess

Indeed - in such a relatively complex system with all sorts of potential knock-on and feedback effects, a home demo with your own ears is the only way to be certain of any difference. Once you’ve done that, you can engage in endless dreary and inconclusive arguments on this and other forums about whether there ‘really is’ a difference, whether it’s large or small, whether it’s worth the money and so on and so on and so on… :yawning_face:


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If you like the sound of the CDX2 I wonder why you would want to change it? Naim CD players have an excellent reputation for SQ and I would predict the Hugo would change the presentation. I would definitely proceed with caution.

Edit: I just realised you already have the Hugo!


I agree completely and even think that there’s nothing to upgrade on Cdx2/Xps. It has a very addictive sound, full of urgency, prat, and all is so well balanced.
I even prefer that combo to Cdx2.2/ Ndac personally.

@ajm i played around with my HDX/ndac combo but found the 555 on the ndac connected to the HDX gave me the best SQ uplift. Do you prefer it the other way round or did you go whole hog and put a 555 on both machines? :grin:

I prefer it the other way around - (HDX+555PS) to nDac

(I only have one 555PS unfortunately :grinning: )

interesting. My HDX and ndac are recently reunited in my main system as my ND555 has gone back to the factory. I might have to try it out for myself and have a close listen :+1:

I don’t know why but to my ears the music seems to have more life to it when connected this way.

How does the ND555 compare to your nDac? I would hope much better! :grinning:

@timtunes Just putting the dac to one side for a moment, have you investigated the effect of adding an XPS2 to the player and using analogue out?


I have enjoyed the HDX/ndac/555 this week, as i always did, the presentation has an organic, weighty feel to it. I could have stopped there but I ‘borrowed’ an NDS from my dealer and found it more refined and offering even more detail and subsequenlty the ndac made its way to the second system where it gave a huge boost to my ndx5s/112/150/fc2 slimbox set up. would never part with it. they are a steal at second hand values. The ND555 was, to my ears, a fair way ahead of the NDS/ndac for naturalness and detail and that ‘in the room’ ethereal feel when playing and is possibly my most treasured possesion :slight_smile: i cant wait for it to come back but i am by no means slumming it with the ndac - the boogie lives on!

No, but in particular due to the fact that the CDX2 I acquired had been modded by Naim to be digital out only and so - I think would need technical attention.

Ah. Okay thanks.

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