Upgrade Source path 10k budget

My present system comprises of CDS3/xps 52(late model)Supercap DR Dynavector Pwr amp and Shahinian Arcs. ( i will be sending the 52 +CDS3 back to Naim this month for a full service).Recently i purchased a Morgana Burndy cable , which should be with me in a few weeks time .( i will probably purchase WH phantom cables as well)
I really like the analogue warm sound my system delivers with forward vocals and wide soundstage and with that in mind would like some advice on the path forward
Options i am considering would be

  1. Purchase a 555dr (preloved ) and use the CDS3 for the time being , meaning i can upgrade to NDS sometime in the future
    2.Linn Klimax DS3 ( only ever heard one in the context of a Linn system ) previously many years ago i had demoed £3k Linn streamer vs Naim - although the Linn sounded more detailed i preferred the warm forward presentation of the Naim
  2. DCS Bartok

I live in N Ireland which is limited on home demonstrations given lack of dealers with hi end stock

Thanks in advance

You using the Supercap DR with Nac 52?

Yes purchased a SCdr from Signals 2 weeks ago for my 52

I would think with 10K budget NDX2 or Innuos server would be a good direction to go in.

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Welcome. From experience I can tell you that the 555PS will work very well with the CDS3. Presumably by NDS you mean NDX2 or ND555? If you do mean NDS, be aware that its functionality is limited and it is superseded.

You’d also do well to read the forum rules and to remove your reference to third party burndies.

What you’ll find is that a few people will recommend Linn, some who own DCS will tell you they make Naim sound like rubbish, and that lots of people will say that the Naim streamers are very good. You’ll also get people telling you that Chord takes music to new levels and others that Roon will change your life. None of which will get you very far. There are lots of threads to read if you search, and as ever you really need to listen for yourself. Decide which sound you like, and which control interface you like using most.

Let battle commence.

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It feels like you have a super system as it is now and the need for change seems questionable?

What isn’t clear is why are you thinking of upgrading the CDS3 when you are sending it off for a full service? Once serviced it should give many more years of pleasure.

An NDX2 is likely to be a slight downgrade to the CDS3 and an NDS will be on a similar level to the CDS3 albeit with the capability to stream and play higher resolution files. To upgrade really requires an ND555 which somewhat blows the budget but will give you the best of both worlds, an upgrade in sound quality and the new streaming platform.

The interesting part of the system is the choice of the Dynavector power amp rather than a Naim amp. Have you considered investigating Naim alternatives, either 135’s or a NAP300 DR? After trade-ins/sales you could upgrade the XPS to a 555 DR and move to a Naim power amp if that is a course that would work for you.

Thanks for the detailed reply . I would consider an NDS , given i can sell my CD player on and use the 555dr to power the NDS . However if the NDS is limited , then perhaps i should consider something else

I have changed my source and pre amp quite a few times over the past 8 years starting with a cdx2 then cds3 52 combo . Went to full DV amplifier system and although there were improvements in many areas , i missed the Naim Prat .
I also had a Linn akurate dsm in the system , chord hugo , Densen 440sx and Weiss 202 . Long story short reverted back to CDS3 52 again
Nd555 would be nice , but currently out of my budget , therefore that i why i would contemplate a 555dr on CDS3 , then in a few years time purchase a preloved Nd555
I originally had a olive 250 for over 20 years , but was advised to purchase a DV power amp mainly for the Shanians .To be honest the system gels very well and the speakers have much more grunt and control

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Trade the 52/SC in for a non DR552, XPS2 for a 555PS?

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This was my thought as well, though depending on what comes up (ie, maybe a 552dr comes up at more money) you might not have the cash to swap the xps for a 555.

But if you are set on getting into streaming - although I now have ND555, I would be perfectly happy to recommend an NDS (what I had before the ND555, which replaced via nd5xs a cds2). You can get around the lack of ability to access qobuz direct with an NDS by using mconnect app. Then it’s shortcomings arent so bad and you can enjoy it. But you would need a music store of some kind to stick your cds on

NDS is not “limited”. It’s a very fine source especially with a 555DR powering it and many say it gives an almost analogue presentation. What the feedback meant, I think, was that if you want the new steaming platform (things like Qobuz native and a big colour screen) then the NDS will not provide that. However I’ve always found Tidal HiFi which is native on NDS to sound really good.


For £10k you could purchase a new NDX2 & PS 555 DR from your dealer offering a substantial discount as I’m sure they’d be happy to make your acquaintance and help with any future progression to a ND555 should that be your preferred route. Or if the dealer route is not an option due to your location or current situation the usual sources for used items can offer a substantial saving. You could then sell your NDX2 back to your dealer or online and get 3-4K knocked off the price of a new or pre loved ND555 for which you already have the PS 555DR.

I’m speaking from my own experience having both the NDX2 and PS 555 DR, I find them very fulfilling musically and to offer a good upgrade path within the Naim world. One which I intend to follow myself in due course.

As HH mentioned this is an open forum with many members with a variety of views. A good search for NDX, NDX2 or PS 555 DR here will reveal a wealth of information.

Hope this helps, good luck and welcome.

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Hi Spratt,
I was in a very similar position to you about 15 months ago, with a CDS3/555PSDR, 52/SC and NAP135 power amps.

First, I would skip the NDS. If you want to stay with Naim for streaming, then I would go either ND555 or NDX2 for well documented reasons about the much better streaming module in the new streamers.

Here’s a link to our journey into streaming from the start point of a CDS3/555PSDR.
A journey from CDS3 to a decent streamer

Hope there’s something in there for you.

Best regards, BF

You have a wonderful system. I have the NDS with 555 PS and CDS3 with XPS2. I listen to them both alot. A 555PS sounds amazing with the CDS3. I would keep your CDS3 and maybe look at getting an NDS with 555PS. Then you can have a think about whether to keep the CDS3 and XPS or move them on.

When I bought my NDS and 555PS I moved my CDS2 and XPS on. I regretted this and later replaced it with the CDS3 XPS2.

Both the NDS and CDS3 are fantastic sources and the NDS is a fantastic bargain, sounding better than the NDX2 IMHO.

The NDX2 is a more modern streaming platform but the NDS will ultimately sound better and gets close to an ND555.

The ND555 is very expensive right now and doesn’t present itself as a bargain. That’s why I would go for the NDS for now.

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My streaming source is about £10k and sounds superb: Mac Mini running Audirvana, as self contained store-renderer, feeding into Chord Dave DAC. Audirvana can access Tidal or Quobuz and also act as UPnP server to some other device via a network if desired.

Dave has a volume control and well buffered output capable of happily driving almost any load, so if you don’t have an analogue source you can drive a power amp direct, so not needing a preamp. - more direct, no modification of character …and a cost saving! That is how I use it, as do some others on this forum.

The characteristic sound of the Chord DACs is very natural, to which Dave adds amazing clarity.

Thanks for all the info and replies , i will do a bit of research on the forum . At heart i still love the Naim presentation , however swopping and changing over the past few years has been costly to ultimately end back where i started , No system is perfect and i know its all about personal taste . Auditioning in N Ireland would be virtually impossible, but im intrigued by other sources like the Klimax / Chord and Bartok

If you can wait until COVID restrictions are lifted, for spending serious money you could easily take a trip to England. However, some suppliers will let you audition at home by by “mail” order: I auditioned Dave and TT at the same time against my old Hugo that way, from a company in England with a name that sounds like electronics, but the first syllable is like the beginning of nincompoop… I had to pay full price upfront as a deposit, which was returned (including outward postage cost), so tge net cost to me was just the return postage…

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