Which Naim CD player beats a Naim streamer on sound quality?

Name a Naim CDP and Naim streamer you’ve had in your system at the same time, and say which one sounded better.

Include details of things which could make the difference, such as PSUs, servers, etc.

Ripped CD’s on a USB stick into an Naim NDS has outperformed any Naim CD player I have had ,CD555,CDS3,CDS2,CDS,CDX,CD2,CDI…


That’s interesting.

Does it apply to streaming files from a server to an NDS too?
And streaming from the internet to an NDS?

Or is it something to do with the USB input?

The most important thing is that it’s a bit perfect ripped file a CD player can’t play with the same accuracy,that´s why it is a source first thing, in my opinion.
A USB stick is good because it has no moving parts, there might be better SSD´s nowadays.
Internet streaming if from correctly ripped CD´s is also better than playing from a CD player, but ripped files on a USB stick sounds much better,in my opinion.

I don’t really understand. If the “ripper” can read the CD accurately enough to make a perfect copy, why can’t it play a CD to the same degree of accuracy?

Because a CD player has to correct read errors in real time,a bit correct ripper can read over and over again until it’s correct.


So only saving the file from the optical reads when it’s perfect and then playing a perfect digital copy. I guess that makes sense, thanks.

There are other threads on this, but FWIW…

I use a CDS2 and NDX2/XPS2 into 52/SC/300DR. I also had a Core in the system for a while.

I and friends compared playing a decent CD on CDS2 to playing the rip and to various versions on Qobuz (mostly HR) and Tidal.

If the streamed version or the CD is poor, the difference can be dramatic. That applies to many version of many albums on streaming services, so pick carefully.

If the source data is good, then any difference is much smaller than between NDX2 with and without XPS2 (or between naked NDX2 and an ND5XS2), and there is no consistent and material best/ worst ranking between the different data sources. Where we got a consensus, it was marginally more likely to favour CDS2, but not to any significant degree.

IIRC, the CDS2 spanked the CD2, CDI, CDX and CD5Si, and my old Marantz. I have never heard a CD555.

I hope it helps.


Might aswell get comfortable people!


Time for Bob Newhart and his sketch on the infinite number of monkeys, with an infinite number of typewriters…far too many variables, and nobody’s mentioned adding a 2nd PS yet :thinking:


Yes ripp with a Naim ripper or any other program that can do a bit perfect ripp.Fast ripping usually means that the ripper interpolate like a CD player,that´s not what you want.

Yes, all the things that feed a streamer does make a lot of variables.

Which makes comparing a CDP with streaming from Qobuz very hard to do in a useful way.

Now that wasn’t specified as the thread intent!

A few thoughts:

Are you wanting to compare just CD resolution, or Qobuz hi res?

There may be mastering differences between what is on Qobuz and a CD, and that included Qobuz 16/44: I have come across two supposedly identical CDs that sounded distinctly different - however the small print showed one made in Germany the other UK, so best guess is different mastering - the same could easily happen comparing Qobuz with a CD.

Inherently online streaming has greater potential for problems than from a local store, while a local store has the potential to be better than CD unless the CD and drive are in perfect condition because no live reading of the CD.

With the proviso that I’ve never tried a Naim streamer in my system at home but in all the various demos I’ve heard none of NDX/NDS/ND555 have got near my CDS3 for musicality and dynamics.


C5italic beats the hell out of every streamer available :shushing_face: :wink:

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I must say you’ve got some balls James! :sweat_smile: Thankfully you’ve already got your answer from Igel, so nothing over and beyond is needed :+1:t3: Good luck Peter

When the Naim HDX was current, I believe there were reports of it out performing similar level Naim CD players…?

The logic being as has been said above. That the HDX would/could re-rip a CD until it got it ‘Bit Perfect’.


Yes I rate the HDX with nDac/555PS over all the CD Players.


Hi Igel, are you basing your somewhat sweeping statements on your listening experiences through your Nac82 please? Peter

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Yes I have owned them and listened with both Nac 82,Nac 52 and Nac 552.