The newer CD players 5i, 5X, etc have RCA outs also in addition to the DIN cables.
Very Musical players. Servicing should be a problem Dealer support is pretty good on these pieces if something would go wrong (never really heard of problems associated with their products in my years of audio)
I recently made a complete changeover and ended up with the Naim CD 5x player, driven by the Naim Nait 5i integrated amp, through Reference 3a Dulcet speakers. I'm very pleased with this combo, and like the Naim source very much. To my ear, it is very rhythmic, very clean, doesn't add any showy artifacts; just lets the music through without calling attention to equipment.
Naim probably has the best service in the industry. They still service products made from the beginning of their company (1978?) til present.
DIN connectors should not be a problem, as stated newer models offer RCA & DIN. Adaptors and DIN>RCA cables are easily available.
I heard an old, all Naim set-up a couple of years ago, circa 1980, and I was amazed at how pure and musical it was. Driving some old Linn speakers it sounded more like music than 90% of what I heard at the shows last week.
I noticed that the cables and connectors were all Naim. With the loads all matched and the cables and connectors optimized Naim gear is superb. The Naim players are wonerful but I would love to own an entire Naim set-up. I think this is where The Naim stuff really is incredible.
Actually it must have been from the mid 80's as it was a CD based system.
Checking with Naim-audio.com. The earliest amp was made in 1971. Earliest CD player 1992.
Great website, great products, great support. I would recommend Naim.
I have owned a number of Naim CD players and still do. I currently have a CD5/Flatcap2 in the Series 5 system that we use in our bedroom (Neat Petite speakers) and a CDS2/XPS in the big Naim system that we use in our family room. I sold my second CDS2/XPS that I was using in my reference system and replaced it with the far less expensive and superior Resolution Audio Opus 21.
Both Naim and Resolution Audio offer exceptional service.
how does this compare to other famous ones- Wadia, levinson, meridian, accuphase?
Not in the same league as the players you mentioned above.
For starters, highly recommending Meridian and Marantz.
Have owned a number of high end players over the years and the Naim players especially the current models are very good when compared to other plyers like Meridian. I owned the Marantz 8260 recently and it was not even close to the Naim CD5.
I love Naim amps/hicap and CD players. However, honestly, I am against buying old Naim CD players (CD2/CD3/CD3.5/CDX etc.) for various reasons (e-mail me if you want to know). If you like Naim CD player, buy current/recent production of Naim CD player either new or used.
Also, please audition Arcam 73T and Jolida JD100 (non-modified but with highly regarded 5751 vacuum tubes from 1950s or 1960s), they are not as fast or dynamical as Naim CD5/CDX2 but does deliver music really well.
Keep in mind that NAIM players do not have digital outs, so you won't have the option of using an outboard DAC.
Have you HEARD a CDS2 or CDS3 against Wadia. Levinson, Meridian, etc.? I have, and the Naim players devastate the Wadias, Levinsons, etc. I once heard a Naim CD2 vs. a Levinson 39 in an Ayre/Avalon system. The Naim was much more dynamic and muscular, with much better bass control and extension--it was much more "tuneful." The Levinson, for its part, was slightly smoother, was more detailed, and did the imaging/soundstaging thing a bit better.
And when I heard the CDS2 against the Wadia 861, it was not close--the Naim player just walked it, as it did against the dCS stack.
As far as older players go, get the serial number and see if it has ever been serviced--you can email Naim or Naim Audio North America. The best service department I've never used!
I own a CDS3. It is one of the best cdp I've heard and is certainly competitive with top transport/DAC combinations. The CDS3 replaced a Sony SCD-1 SACD player. The CDS3 handily beat the SCD-1, even when the SCD-1 was playing an SACD. I've also auditioned a number of other top CD and SACD players and DAC -- the EMM, dcs, Aero Capitole, etc. The only transport/DAC combinations that I clearly preferred over the CDS3 was a VERY pricey Audionote combination (DAC-5 signature/47Labs transport).
I've heard all of the current Naim lineup. I personally do not particularly care for the CD5i. It is not that it is a bad player, but the CD5x is so dramatically better -- much more weight in the midbass/lower midrange, excellent and portraying complex harmonic structure of the music. Of course, the CDS2, particularly with the same power supply as the CDS3, is better than the CD5x, but the improvement is quite subtle. This makes the CD5x the bargain of the lot. There is a bigger difference between the CDS2 and CDS3 than between the CDS2 and the CD5x, so the premium price of the CDS3 is easier to justify. The CDS3 sounds dynamic and is able to recreate the proper scale of a large orchestra. It is able to get the sharp transient attacks of notes right, with less of a mechanical quality than the CDS2, and the decay of the notes and sense of space around instruments is fantastic. However, if you are looking for the ultimate in creamy, utterly grainless and seductively caressing experience, its the Audionote DAC5 or DAC4.
I have to agree with Larryi, that for anyone considering a Naim CDP, the upgrade from CD 5i to CD5x is well worth the money, if you can scrape it up. The overall, more-of-everything-good difference was palpable. It ought to be for around twice the cost.
I did think the CD5i paired with the Nait5i outperformed the sweet little Creek integrated/CDP combo in about the same niche. But, the latter would still be a very nice office or bedroom set up, and will come in a few hundred dollars less.
Experience and some good advice has taught me to be wary of outboard DACs hooked up to different brand, one-box CD players. Some such pairings may work well, but I've heard some that do not.
I tried Naim cd5, cdx2 and even anxps2....they just didnt do it for me...not that they were bad, they weren't. I just found them too electronic sounding...and a cdx2 with an xps2 is quite expensive...I found myself when listening to Naim cd players wanting to turn on my Linn Ikemi...which I prefer...I have an open mind so I certainly would try their newer ones...but as always to each his own.
Now THAT is what I call irony--or, more accurately, a terrific example of different preferences. I've heard the Ikemi extensively, and thought my CDX was significantly better--more dynamic, more involving, more muscular and controlled. That said, the Ikemi is definitely smoother sounding!
Kinda funny--because I've got all Linn electronics (Kairn, LK280/Spark) and Linn speakers.....
Kudos to you for trying them!
Hello thats what makes the audio world go round etc, I too have some Linn equipment as well as tubes,No question naim cd players do have a dynamic sound..to each his own,thanks.
Marantz??? Gimme a break. I had an SA8260, and even in SACD mode, this cdp can't touch my CD5X.
The cd5x is well worth the price tag Naim has put on it.
And I agree with Larryi's comparison between the cd5i and cd5x.
I had a cd5i in my system for a demo, the 5x walks it.
In fact, I'm so impressed with my 5x that I want to go to the next level, the cdx2,
and I've never even heard it!
Also, I believe Cytocycle meant to say "shouldn't be a problem" in regards to service.
I hastily stated "Servicing should be a problem", when I meant to post "servicing should NOT be a problem" they have good dealer support! Sorry for the confusion.
I'm a big fan of Naim digital gear for all the same reasons: musical and tight. I owned a 3.5 w/ flatcap, and considered a CDX at one point. I have also owned a Meridian 508.24, had extended in home audition of Wadia 850 as well. I currently own a Levinson 390S, which betters all those others to my ears. Smooth as silk, yet highly resolving with really excellent soundstage and imaging.
Would a current model Wadia or Naim (say CDS II) beat it - quite possibly, but im not going to find out because it's a crap shoot, so in general find something you like, and listen hard now, "KEEP IT!" It's tempting to sell gear you like, thinking something else is netter- only and end up paying more for something ytou like less! Having dais that, I would easily trade up to emm Meitner gear, or DCS separates, but that's a ($15K used mkt) proposition
I agree witht the above, if it sounds good ,buy it,don't get hung up on "new and improved" etc...just because something is newer and more money doesn't mean it will sound better etc. I always have an open ear though and am willing to listen, like I said I have not heard the new naim players,people seem to like them,thats what counts...how it sounds to you.