Upgrade for CD5i-2

I’ve recently upgraded to a Supernait 3 and found that it has really exposed the sound quality of my CD5i-2 source when compared to my RP6 with a lovely SoundSmith moving iron cart. I have over 1,000 CD’s and am trying to work out if it’s time to just bite the bullet buy a Naim streamer or if there is a more cost effective upgrade for my CD player that will appreciably improve it’s sound quality.

I’d be interested in people’s thoughts as to whether or not I should look for a HiCap or a good quality external DAC and use the CD5i as a transport, or go the whole 9 yards and purchase a streamer?

Working backwards the old CD player isn’t going to be a good transport. You’re going to want to rip your CD’s to some type of storage. NAS drives are a proven way, there’s good ones and silly expensive ones. Then there’s the process of ripping. Not sure what your comfort or experience is with this but there’s Tons of info out there, I’d suggest, if you are a real noob to streaming and ripping and file types that you do some studying.

Hi Micky and welcome to the community!

You will get lots of suggestions I’m sure, so I’ll start with my 2PW! I started my naim journey with a Uniti all in one system - Super Uniti - which was both a streamer and CD player. From there I went to a UnitiServe - which enabled me to rip my CDs, and from that to a 272 Streamer/Pre-Amp.

I love having the streamer and would never go back to a CD transport of Naim quality, as I now just rip any CD I get onto the Core (UnitiServe replacement).

If I were in your shoes, I would look at an NDX-2 (My next upgrade) and a Core to enable to you rip your CDs. In the short term you could stick with just the NDX-2 and use TIDAL / QOBUZ and see if they tick your boxes such that you don’t need to consider a ripping/storage device

If you want to experiment with ripping CDs without the expense of a Naim Core - checkout DBPoweramp and rip files to either FLAC or WAV (CD format) but you will of course still need a streamer

Your CD5i is a mismatch to SN3.
Entrylevel source into Supernait level amp will clearly reveal this mismatch your hearing.

Staying into Naim CD hierarchy, you need CDX/CDX2 maybe w/PSU, CDS 1, 2, 3 (any need PSU) or CD5X/XS/FC2X/XS
Other options are Linn or Rega CD players amo.

Hi, & welcome.
I still own my CD5i, but virtually never use it since getting an NDX (v1). I rip my CD’s to Synology NAS via dbpa & it’s awesome - if you’re looking at not spending too much, & are not interested in streaming (some services that the older gen can’t do) the older gen streamers are amazing value/sounding. If you do want the latest online streaming services the (even ‘preloved’) newer ones will give you far more than your CD player & you can, like me, just keep it ‘just in case’. :relaxed:

Much said already, but don’t underestimate the emotion of spinning disks. I find myself more often spinning disks even though my streamer / dac are better.

When I got my HDX I stopped playing CDs, I didn’t miss the physical aspect, but I still had the Roksan TMS turntable which I used a lot, so maybe that covered that aspect. When I got my NDX I sold off the HDX and CD5X. I still use streamer(s) and turntable.

You can’t add a DAC to the CD5i so you can forget that one. You could add a Hicap to the SN3 but that would open the window wider and show up the CDP even more. So it’s a better CD player or a streamer. An NDX2 is the natural partner for the SN3. You do t need a Core: ripping to a Nas with a PC will yield the same sonic results, albeit with a more laborious ripping process.

It sounds like getting a streamer and joining a premium streaming service is the way to go and that the NDX2 is probably the logical paring with the SN3. I also enjoy the engagement that spinning a disc affords so I might just hang on to the CD5i-2 and the CD collection. Thank you all for your input.

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