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Alternatives to Naim CDS?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Johnjo, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Johnjo

    Johnjo pfm Member

    Hello all, looking for suggestions on a possible replacement for my Naim CDS which has recently packed in (laser failure by the looks of it).

    I've tried the SS Rega Isis which I didn't connect with on an emotional level. Found the bass a bit bloated and ponderous too. I preferred the Saturn-R in my system but would have liked a more forceful dynamic delivery.

    My other option is to get the Naim repaired at Witch Hat Audio.

    Anybody have any suggestions?

  2. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Melco and decent usb dac.

    Murders any cd player or streamer
  3. Johnjo

    Johnjo pfm Member

    Sorry David, I can't be bothered with all the pfaff. Just looked at the FAQ section of Melcos website, not for me I'm afraid with all the network config etc.
    Caledon1297 likes this.
  4. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    CDS3, plenty come up for sale
  5. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    Have a look into the Hegel Mohican.

  6. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones pfm Member

    Naim UnitiCore and decent DAC.

    The faff is minimal. It's not a streamer - it just rips and stores your CDs to a removable hard drive whose size you can select, and then puts out the digital via BNC (which is nice for Chord DACs). It's a cute, half width box with (to my eyes) great industrial design. The app via Apple, Android (I use both) is almost flawless.

    I owned all the Naim CD players from CD3 to CDS3/555PS, and I've never been happier with my digital.
  7. thebigfredc

    thebigfredc pfm Member

    Hi Johnjo

    How about another Naim - the cd5555.

    They come up now and again for about 4K plus PS.

    hairyderriere likes this.
  8. Caledon1297

    Caledon1297 pfm Member

    Like you, I've no interest in 'computer audio'; having tried quite a few CD players and DACs over the years, and while it isn't 'perfect', I've yet to find anything as (let alone more) musically satisfying than the 'old-timer' CDS (and that includes CDSII and CD555DR) - I'd look at getting your one 'resurrected', if possible (or look at another CDS or CDI ?).

    Obviously, there are lots that I haven't heard, so you never know, maybe there is a CDS 'beater' out there, somewhere...? Let me know if you find one! ;)
  9. Foot Tapper

    Foot Tapper Foot Tapper

    I have a newly serviced Naim CDS3 for sale in the classifieds, if this would be of interest. You are welcome to hear it.

    Best regards, FT
  10. Darren

    Darren All Business

    The CDS is/was a beautiful thing. I would either get it repaired for your own use or, if you just plain fancy an upgrade (its not a crime!) then get it repaired and sell it in the classifieds here ( bet it doesnt kick around for long)
    If you fancy an upgrade bet the CDS3 that has been suggested would sound ace.
    Another great idea is to get a separate transport and team this with a modern DAC.
  11. simon g

    simon g Older, wiser & retired


    New or used?
  12. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    I don’t have mine plugged into a network so no faff whatsoever.

    Compared to pucks and skippy cd’s it’s plain sailing.

    If you run it with a cd drive you retain all the functionality of your cds but with hugely improved sound quality.
  13. mbu

    mbu pfm Member

    Never heard the CDS but did have a cdi many years ago which I enjoyed. I think it would be well worth getting your cds repaired if at all possible. If above a certain amount then its up to yourself about any risk. I think the mechs are now not available at all.
    You could check out a used CDS3 but I don't think the head unit only would work with your cdps. Naim have stopped making the the cds3 now but spares and repairs are OK. Naim have a track record of 10+ years keeping these old top players on the go. That was the case with the cds and cds2.
    Or for less money a used Opus 21. A super player that I used for many years into a Nac 52/ DV Hx1.2 , WB Arc ( rel storm 3) system. Superb.
    All these players mentioned are out of production. You could investigate a suitable transport player and put the main amount of your funds into a top dac. Chord or something ? The Opus 21 can be used as a dac too come to think of it.
    Then there are all the suggestions above in the thread. Plenty options there to consider .
    Im happy with cds for now . Ive got 1000's of the blighters.
    If your sticking with compact disc Id get the cds repaired - and try out a used Opus 21 if possible. Funds allowing of course.
  14. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

  15. Ponty

    Ponty pfm Member

    I’d have a chat with MJS and get it fixed.
  16. martin dawson

    martin dawson pfm Member

    I have a CDS/ CDPS glad to say still working I’ve spoken to Mark at Whitch Hat Audio and he can repair these wonderful players, give him a call.


  17. saxby6969

    saxby6969 Member

  18. saxby6969

    saxby6969 Member

    Hi jon jo,

    like you have found the original CDS hard to beat! so vinyl like in replay. I amazingly have a "spare" head unit fully serviced by Witch Hat if interested?

    house move etc...
  19. saxby6969

    saxby6969 Member

    Hi jon jo,

    like you have found the original CDS hard to beat! so vinyl like in replay. I amazingly have a "spare" head unit fully serviced by Witch Hat if interested?

    house move etc...
    joe9407 likes this.
  20. pjdowns

    pjdowns Living the Hifi dream

    If you like the Naim sound, then I would advise a Naim CDS3, you can pick them up for the late £2-3k with the XPS2 power supply.

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