Upgrade from cd 5x + Flatcap 2x to...?

Dear All,
if you would like to improve a Naim cd5x + flatcap 2x combo source that could be a valid upgrade for a system composed of nac 202 + nap 200DR and Harbeth Compact 7es-3 speakers, what would you consider?
Suggestions are valid for integrated cd player or transport + dac.
I listen to only my cd collection, not interested in download, stream, etc…
Thank you in advance for your suggestions and considerations,

CDS3/XPS would be my choice.

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Depends how much you have to spend…

I found a Hicap to be a worthwhile improvement on the CD5x over a Flatcap but this isn’t a universal finding.

Although I ‘liked’ HH’s comment I would probably go for a CDX2, ultimately with XPS2. The later version (CDX2.2) would be a further possibility and would allow you to add a separate DAC.

In it’s time CDX2, 202, 200 was a sure fire classic set. My dealer once said to me, ‘this is where it starts to get serious and offers the best vfm in the range’.

I would get a NAPSC too , David, if you haven’t already.


I went from a CD5x/FC2x to a CDX2 but it wasn’t a success at first. The CDX2 is a fussy blighter when it comes to accommodating it. On my old Target rack it made the high notes of piano music ring very unnaturally. Fraim Lite was much better but it particularly likes a full fat Fraim shelf. The CD5x doesn’t seem to care nearly so much.

I found a Naim powerline beneficial, more so when used on the CD5x rather than on the FC or the amps, when I only had one. That was in the UK, I don’t know how the continental plug version compares.

To me, the CD5x with Flatcap 2x was a lot nicer than a bare CDX2, which always sounded a bit artificial. The CDX2 is a lot nicer with an XPS attached. The CD5x with Hicap sounded like it was on steroids and was quite nasty. Hence my suggestion of a CDS3/XPS, which is lovely. A similar musical sound to the 5x/fc but of course, much better.

We auditioned out CD5/Hi against the CD5x/Hi and ended up going straight to the CDX2. Good though this was (as it should be for the price hike), the later addition of the XPS2 transformed it into something more capable still. But as has been suggested, if you can get a good CDS3 you probably should. I would, but I’ve done the A/B and been suitably impressed. Trouble is, we don’t all share the same pair of ears.

Thank you for all your advice.
I’d rather to see in the “new” or at least “demo” market.
I agree with hungryhalibut, I didn’t like the cd 5x with Hi-cap, too “heavy” and not organic and fluid at all (IMHO, of course).
Any No Naim brand and/or model with a good sinergy with Naim and quality enough for the nac 202-nap200DR?

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