Upgrade thoughts - time to tap into the collective wisdom of the forum

Trying to decide on possible upgrade pathways. I appreciate the best way to decide is to audition but as I am likely going to source things s/h getting an audition isn’t straightforward.

Current system: CDX2/555PS/282/2xHCDR/250DR.

I’m thinking either CDS3 or perhaps CD555 vs trading the 282 et al for a 252/SC. My instinct is that a front end upgrade would be better with the option to trade the pre later.

If the CD555 is affordable, I’d be going for a CDS3 and Supercap. I once had a CDS3/555 and it was a delight, and preferable to any CD555 I’ve heard. The Supercap will give a very nice lift from two Hicaps and save a mains lead too.

Maybe go for the CDS3 and do the DR upgrade on the 555PS if its not already done. The CDS3 also loves an SL interconnect.

Have you considered changing from CD to streaming music from ripped copies of your CDs held on your own music store?

Streaming has the potential to sound better than CD play because it does not need the initial decoding of the data as read from the embedded pits on the spinning CD, and because it does not rely on that encoded removesble disk it will not have read errors nor need error correction algorithms interpolating the data to fill gaps. In addition it opens the door to buying music as downloadable files, which often can be sourced at higher resolution than CD. All your music can fit in a box the size of a small shoebox or smaller. Longevity if the player is better, without the wear that ultimately limits the life of a CD player mechanism. And it lends itself to easy backup of your entire music collection for instant recovery in the event of disaster such as fire or theft.

You can browse your entire collection from a tablet or smartphone interface, and from it select music to play, even selecting individual tracks in any desired order, building ‘playlists’, or even random play, if any of these appeal. Also if desired you can permanently delete individual tracks you don’t like, retaining the remainder of an album, or permanently re-order the tracks on an album.

Most streaming solutions also open the door to streaming across the internet from online providers. The better sound quality ones are subscription services, and there are pros and cons to sourcing music this way, but many people do it. Online streaming is often complementary to prople’s own collections, though some people see it as a replacement to owning their own: it depends on you’d needs and preferences, but the facility is there.

A few years ago when my own CD player needed replacement as its worn mechanism was causing skipping and read errors I realused that streaming was the future format and decided to buy a streamer instead - and have never looked back. My initial streamer, an ND5XS, was very similar in sound quality to my old CD player, and was very easy to set up and use. (I soon discovered I could get better sound quality for similar money, while that then opened the door to even higher level performance by changing the DAC - but these are other stories!)


Svetty–How large is your CD collection? I agree with InnocentBystander on this point at this point in time. Had a nice CDX5 about a year ago, but after a bout with an NDX, decided to go streaming all the way. I find that Tidal Masters/Roon is fabulous. Also Hi Rez audio can be close. A lot depends on the original source recording details. Traded the CDx5 and NAT05 in for streaming setup of higher quality than I would have been able to afford if I kept them.

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My better half is keen to keep the simplicity of CD and I hate it when networking issues mean our BTSport falls over due to the network or broadband messing about.
I’m sure we will dip our toes in the streaming water at some point.
Also I can get a CD555 s/h for the price of a new CDX2…
I have ripped all our CDs to a NAS which I play through a Bluesound unit in the kitchen…

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That was the greatest defense of music streaming I’ve ever read. Excellent post!

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True, but where is the LOVE in all this? If one feels for the CD555, what is the point of ‘better’ sounding dac / streamers?

There is no dac streamer on this planet which has the looks and build quality of the CD555. And even when e.g. the ND555 would play the music better, the emotional relation I could have with the CD555 would be far more important ( - to me).

Well, its all very subjective of course.

IB, when you are at 'speakers corner bringing the gospel of streaming, let me know - I will joyfully listen.


Streaming internally from a NAS to listen to ripped CDs relies only on your internal network working, which in most cases should be close to 100% reliable. Broadband is the external connection to the outside world.

Anyway. You’ve got a 250DR. Based purely on recent personal experience I’d recommend a 300DR to replace it. The improvement is remarkable.

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if the streaming route is not your choice, the cd555 would be the best source for money.

Thank you!

This not trying to persuade you, but just for awareness for the future: whilst clearly broadband is not relevant to streaming from one’s own store, only online streaming, many people have no issues at all with streaming their own collections on a network. Alternatively, if desired, it can be avoided completely, either with a store connected directly to a streamer, or with the rendering stage incorporated in a dedicated computer that also houses the store. And regarding ease of use, it is hard to imagine anything easier than flick through a list, select and press play! However you do first have to rip the CDs (simple and pretty quick) and check (and if necessary add/amend) metadata (not difficult).

@Svetty i would certainly look at Supercap onto the 282, I did this just before I moved into 252 it’s a reall upgrade and really brings a focus and almost softness to the 282,I only had 1x HCDR on my 282 the upgrade was significant - then 252 would be a choice in future

and then source, there are some very good SH CD 555 head units in the market - that would also use the source first mantra or left field 300?

I would go for the CD555 without a doubt … the 282 is pretty damn good … I am sure the CD555 with the 555ps would not disappoint - make sure you have a good interconnect - like the SL the CD555 deserves this… enjoy!!

Interesting question Svetty.

With the cdx2 and 282, you have two comparatively bright components from the Naim family. Swapping over either boxes to cds3 or 252 would take you in a slightly smoother musical presentation. Back in the day there was quite an entrenched view taken between cdx2 and cds3 owners! The cd555 is a little in between, hence a little brighter sounding and hence some cds3 owners prefer to stick with what they have. If you are happy with the cdx2 I suspect the cd555 would be more to your liking/ familiar wavelengths.

Main point I am trying to make is that, if buying second hand, it would be very sensible to get some sort of an audition before committing to change to ensure that the upgraded boxes are to your liking.

I’d definitely suggest upgrading from lavender interconnect on cds3/ cd555 and, presumably, your cdx2.


Thanks Peter. I am also using Kudos C10s which are at the brighter end of the spectrum. I guess some might find the system a little strident. I prefer to think of it as transparent and revealing :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
I do have a Hi-line btw.

With such a capable system a source upgrade is almost always the way to go imo. I would search for comparisons between your player and the other two Naim CD players. I think the CDS3 takes some beating but it is much smoother than your player so ymmv.


I did the CD5x->CDX2->CDS3->CD555 back in the day.

The CD555 would be my clear winner, unsurprisingly. There were a vocal minoritory who preferred the CDS3 but the 555 was a very clear improvement.

I sold at quite a loss though so would suggest the price you’re being quoted is on the high side. - although maybe I just don’t know the CDX2 price. Max £5000 and for that I think you could get one from a dealer that has gone back to Naim for some TLC.

Pure s/h I’d be looking at paying 3,500-4,0000.

Blusound is a pretty good streaming system so your assessment of whether you want to go this route is based on one of the most stable network wise around so it does appear a CDP is for you. I sold as the unit was not being used at all once I was streaming roon to a Hugo TT as I was simply getting a better sound.


@Sloop_John_B can I as what Power Supplies you were using with you CD555 please? Interesting you found the sound from the HugoTT preferable! Not an expensive product in comparison!!

A 555PS.

Yeah it certainly wasn’t expectation bias, I really didn’t want my prize and joy of a CDP to be out done by a (then) SBT into Hugo TT. But it started annoying me taking up 2 shelves and not getting any use. Took a huge hit on it - crystallised my losses, as they say!

Currently I have Auralic Aries G2 into same Hugo TT via digital coax. But at today’s prices the Cd555 is amazingly available for such a premium product. Plenty still using CDs here and nothing wrong with that, the odd time - especially when a new CD is not recognised by dbpoweramp, I miss the pure simplicity of placing a puck on a shiny disc.