Naim CD5 CD Players

CD5

User Reviews (39)

Showing 1-10 of 39  
Naim14082   AudioPhile [Jun 05, 2009]

For over 20years I have been using Naim amps and have found them to offer a very balanced and neutral sound.At the moment I am using an Nac 82 preampwith a hicap power supply and a 140 power amp.To complete the chain I have recently acquired a pair of Sonus Faber Cremona Auditors. When I first set up the Cd5 in my system it sounded like the 82 was eating it for breakfast.The sound was clear and had good bass but after an hour or so gave me a headache. I read previous reviews of the player and I thought all these people can't be wrong. So I persevered and after a few weeks the player did improve slightly but I still found it fatigueing to listen too.In the interim I slotted my old Meridian 506.24 back into my system and it sounded a lot smoother but lacked the Naims tight bass, rhythmn and detail. After a couple of days I returned to the Naim Cd5 but soon lost interest.I don't care if its Naim ,Mark Levinson,Krell,Sony etc,etc,if it doesn't sound right its not staying in my system.
I was in a quandry and couldn't understand why it was sounding mediocre at best in my system. I was ready to return it to my dealer but I thought I would give it one last go.I swapped the Hicap power supply from the preamp and attached it to the cd player,then left the system in situ and didn't listen to it for a few days.Finally I put a cd into the drawer and pressed play and set the volume quite low just to play a few tracks to let the player warm up.I was expecting a slight improvement at best so my expectations weren't very high. If this didn't work then the Cd5 was on its way back to the shop.
Well ,what can I say ! The power supply transformed the cd player.It sounded very natural, smooth and the music just gelled together. It just sounded so right. There was plenty of detail and the bass was tight and strong. I was listening to a completely different player.I have owned various players in the past but the cd5 and hicap over the last few weeks have given me greater listening pleasure than any other.Needless to say the power supply has stayed on the cd player and I now need to find one for the preamp .Combined with Naims excellent customer service I aim to have this cd player for quite a few years to come.
If you can pick up a cd5 second hand try and buy a power supply as well. I haven't tried a Flatcap power supply but can imagine it offers similiar benefit to the hicap. The cd5 has transformed my system ,its that good.

Strengths.... Excellent build quality and Customer Service.Very natural smooth sound with pace and rhythmn.
Just plays the music providing plenty of emotion. Great buy second hand.

Weaknesses...To glean the most benefit from the player you will need a power supply.Do not underestimate
the improvement provided by a hicap.

Similiar products used; Meridian506.24,Sony 502Es,Technics,Teac VRDS10,Naim Cdx.......

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
magisterludi   AudioPhile [Jul 08, 2007]
Strength:

Extremely natural sound on all types of music. It truely draws you into the music.
Great for long listening sessions. Excellent tone, timbre, inner resolution, note decay, & prat.

Weakness:

At this price, none. But if I ask for perfection: slight congestion in soundstage on some recordings. Soundstage has excellent depth, but could be a little wider.

This short review is for the CD5X. It is fantastic that CDP design has advanced to the point that now in 2007 it is possible to get a refined, natural, analogue type sound from a mid priced player. The CD5X is one of the best if not the best example of this. Naim's strong suite of PRAT is very much a part of this player, but it really excels in accurate and natural tone, timbre, transperancy and detail.. Some complain that it is too lively or "in the face", but I've paired it with a passive pre amp from Placette for a wonderful sound that provides a deep soundstage. My only small complaint is that although the sounstage is transparent, it is a little congested (individual players a little bit too close together)
I added a Naim Flatcap2 to the system and it resolved this small issue completely.
Listening to a variety of music, Rock, Classical, Jazz, New Age & Folk it performs
equally well. I give it my highest recommendation at the under $3500 price point

Customer Service

No issues at the 9 month mark.

Similar Products Used: Audio Aero Capitole MKII SE
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Marcel Niquet   AudioPhile [Apr 09, 2007]
Strength:

Good bass, fine colours. Solid piece of hardware, easy and pleasing to use.

Weakness:

Sounds compact with very little of the 3rd dimension. To expensive.

Talking about the CD5x. A good but over-rated product by the best audio marketing company of the world. I've tested the Naim in four different contexts: three different dealers (3 systems), with and without Flatcap, and at home to finish. On one system where Magnepan (very open) speakers were used, the Naim was at its best (the amp. was a Musical Fidelity). On the others, It sounded more or less compact and its definition level did not impress me. The worst performance was when I heard it with Naim electronics!
For the Sugden SDT1 owner that I am, the CD5x is proposed (and widely seen) as an upgrade. Well, I must say that the reality is not as simple as that. The Naim sounds fine but compact, while the Sugden sounds not less fine but liquid and much more open and airy. For all types of music, the Sugden is more relax and pleasing. I use a Classé CA2100 amplifier/Sugden AU-51 preamp. Needless to say that I will not «upgrade» to a CD5x which is nevertheless a fine player. The only problem here is that it's not better than the one I already have. At the end I realise that If I want to go up to an upper level, I will have to pay over 5000$.

Similar Products Used: Sugden AU-51, Ayre CX7e, Audio Research CD3 mk II
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
deadsexy   Casual Listener [Jan 30, 2006]
Strength:

warmth, beauty, seduction, nasty- a** thunder!

Weakness:

Wot ?

I've had this player for 6 months now and it just keeps sounding better....amazing. Let me get right to the point this cdp is damn good ,damnit!. I'm using it with the humble and matching Naim series 5 goodies and who! talk about your synergy: this kit paces like a ba*tard! Don't get me wrong, we're not talking a bull in the china shop here, just the usual Naim boogie facter coupled with a slightly laid back, and seductive sound.....very very musical. Thing about Naim is that it serves the music first, not the audiophile that listens for minute soundstage details. I've heard big ticket cd based systems costing mega$ and they're all boom & sizzle but could'nt time a Yack's fart, nevermind play a tune. At it's used price the Naim CD5 is a freaking bargain or my name isn't DeadSexy!

Similar Products Used: meridian 508-20 (soggy bottom boy), Exposure 2010 (antisocial), Muse2(not bad), sony-dennon-onkyo(ghastly, horrid trash that quite frankly stunk up my home!)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
RoopertX   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 02, 2005]
Strength:

Musical. Soundstage,clarity and definition. HDCD The manual drawer is spanky don't care what anyone else says. Upgradeable with a flatcap or better.

Weakness:

Basic features. Dosen't flatter analogue recordings.

This review is for the CD5x,I paid £1250. I've had this player for 3 weeks now and have wanted to and almost returned it several times. I tried it in the demo room against the meridian g07 and the roksan caspian. In the store it sounded stunning, great pace and very revealing, I was sold. Got it home and it sounded worse than my arcam cd73t good pace but no soundstage, a very 2 dimensional sound. Sevenoaks were great, they gave me a chord cobra 3 interconnect(I was using a standard QED silver spiral) and isolation tables to try. Thought the problem was solved but after another week of listening I found that the sound was all drum and low end but no midrange. In a last ditch attempt I changed the speakers, a set of quad 11 L's to my linn kans from the bedroom. Problem completely solved. I purchased the chord cobra 3 and a 'base' isolaion table. Clarity and soundstage are amazing. Vocals shine through on James Blunt's 'back to bedlam' and I love the way accoustic guitars sound on the Foo Fighters 'in your honor' cd2 and KT Tunstall 'Eye to the Telescope'. The cd5x has become transparent now, I can hear the music and not the player. From this experience careful matching and thought are required, I'm using an arcam fmj a32 amp which is not the ideal partner but I need the processor mode on the amp for my cinema set-up so it's a compromise I'm willing to make.

Similar Products Used: As listed above
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
horst   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 12, 2005]
Strength:

read above!

Weakness:

no real standby modus

Owning my 2nd hand CD5 plus Flatcap2 for two weeks now you should know about that odyssey I went through to come to this state. In spring I got in touch with Naim first in my life seeking for a cdp which would bring music and charm back into my equipment. I used the Creek CD53 over 3 years which is a remar-kable cdp. fast, dynamic, precise in the upper and high range but unfortunately showing a bright tendency in sound and lacking bass performance if you want my (and other`s) opinion. My dealer let me test the new Naim CD5i and CD5x at home and I was surprised about the differences among these Naims. The performance of the CD5i was absolutely charming with warm and rich sound nearly reminding at a turntable. But it is obviously a "slow" cdp. Too slow when you are used auditioning that straight marching cd53. I was surprised about the "new CD5", the CD5x which exposed itself as incredible fast and dynamic, punchy with precise timing. But I was disappointed about the missing music, charm and warmth the cd5i was offering from the beginning. The CD5x sounded just neutral and precise - nothing else what let me feel shocked after that very positive reviews I had read about Naims new champion in the 2k Euro-league. After my experiences I did not want to surrender and decide for a charming CD5i dinosaur or in that lightning fast but boring CD5x and remembered the informations that you could read between the lines in all these reviews about the new Naim CD5... series. I felt that the old CD5 could be the missing link between the current CD5i and CD5x models and got me this 2004 manufactured combination from 2nd hand as mentioned above. In deed my expectations were justified and confirmed at 100%. The performance was amazing from the beginning and increased again when I hooked the Flatcap2 on. I discover bass and deep bass on my compact discs, notice instruments and vibrations from well known discs that I never heard before. The midrange is natural and true and nothing harsh in the high range at all. May be this cdp can not perform the velocity of the new CD5x or Creek CD53 but I am not quite sure what surprises the next few weeks will show in further improvement when the the CD5 is totally "burned in". I can already give two advices. 1.) Change the standard fuses and put some gold coated copper fuses in. The sound will immediately increase towards analogue character 2.) Do not close the cd tray totally but let it open some millimetres. So the tray would not touch the magnet what avoids harmful vibrations of the case charging the tray. Enjoy the "classic" CD5 and do not believe everything you read about the 5x. Better things are the good one`s enemies we use to say here, but obviously Naim made a mistake with their new philosophy in sound. What a pity!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
sjg   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 28, 2004]
Strength:

Smooth and detailed sound.

Weakness:

none

I have owned my cd5 for nearly two years i use it with a Bryston B60 amp there is no problem with the din output on the cd5 as i use o kimber silver streak interconnect which is terminated with din to phonos the sound is smooth, controlled base and lots of detail and i have never had a problem with flying pucks.The price is in Sterling.

Similar Products Used: Tag cd20
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ArthurGatos   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 19, 2004]
Strength:

Musicality as you've never heard it before! Suitable for all kinds of Music. Solid construction, looks and feels good. No more fiddling with boxes and cables. Extremely good value for money. A player making great Music rather than, concentrating into individual sounds.

Weakness:

Manual loading. Limited functions ( even though, you can switch the display off, it has no random play, or a - b selection for repeating parts of a recording). Sonicaly, no apparent weakness at all, it will embarass players or combinations of transports+ dAcs costing many times more!

The following relates to the 'newer' CD5i player. After listening for a couple of years to a Pioneer DV717 transport feeding an Audio Alchemy DAC in the box converter, I decided it was time to upgrade the DAC ( circa 1994). I tried a Benchmark DAC1, a Meridian 606 and a Sonic Frontiers SFD 2, the first a pro. bit of gear, the other two very highly thought of in the audio fraternity. They all had their positive and negative points which made it difficult to decide which one to get. Then, one day, a friend ( a Naim user), suggested to get a demo CD5i and make some comparissons. Well, I'll damned! The 'little' entry level CD5i made Music in a such a way that made two box option simply a none event! You notice I say Music, and not things like transparency, air, bass, soundstage etc. etc., all the usual jargon that reviewers throw at as when evaluate equipment. And in one word, this is what this little devil is capable of, just making beutiful Music, in the right balance, with all these ingredience there, but without any digital nasties or extremes of one or the other kind. You simply forget about the system and listen to the Music, which is a great relief to me, as over the years I was more worried about the transport, the digital interconnect, the DAC etc. which made listening to Music an exercise of balancing act between the 3 components of the digital domain, rather than an entertaining event. I urge any intending buyer of a new CDP to have a listen to the CD5i, in their own system, which is easy enough now as Naim has in addition to the DIN outputs, RCA sockets for 'normal' interconnects. The CD5i is used with: Audio Research LS2 Preamplifier Meridian 556 Power amplifier or Audio Research VT110 power amplifier into KEF Reference 3/2 speakers. I use Cardas Golden Cross inteconnect btw. the CD5i and pream. and: Madrigal Reference btw. the pre and power amps. Speaker cables by either: Symo or Audioquest Crystal.

Similar Products Used: Rotel RCD 970BX Audiolab 8000 CD Pioneer DV717+ Dac in the box Pioneer DV717+ Meridian 606 DAC Pioneer DV717+ Sonic Frontiers SFD 2 Pioneer DV717+ Benchmark DAC1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Travec The Dacian   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 18, 2004]
Strength:

Sheer musicality. Enjoy it for what it is today, not for what it might become tomorrow.

Weakness:

Umm....

N.B. This review is for the CD5i, not the also-excellent CD5. Strange that there isn't a separate category for this one already, given that the CD5i has been out - at least here in the UK - since late 2003. But hey, what the heck. Well, firstly let me say that the Naim CD5i has NO upgrade path. Unlike their other CD players, you cannot add an external power supply to this one. Nope, this baby exists just as it is. Take it or leave it. Love it or leave it. Well I happen to love it and I ain't leaving just yet! After all, I don't want to spend my listening time wondering what a CD player 'might' sound like if I was to add some really expensive additional piece of kit. I don't want to have one foot on the platform and one foot on the train. No, I love this machine today, because I want to hear the music now, not tomorrow. And it's music that this baby gives you and oh, does it give you music! I've always been suspicious of audiophile reviews that use words like 'I was quite simply stunned' and 'it revealed new layers of detail' or 'such wonderful pace and timing'. Jeez, who ever said that sort of guff at a live Hendrix gig? Who ever complimented Dire Straits about their stereo imaging? No, the CD5i transcends all that audiophile cr@p. It just plays music as it finds it. Good or bad, it plays the music as it is. But there's more. You can actually hear the musicians PLAYING their instruments. Yes, instruments sound like they are actually being played, not simply reproduced on CD. What I'm trying to say is that while this machine may not do audiophile hifi to the nTH degree, it does do music utterly brilliantly! Now where did I leave that cold beer? Wheeeeeee!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
blueixus   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 09, 2004]
Strength:

Pace, detail and delicacy.

Weakness:

A bit of a pain to use, but that is a niggly point!

I love this player, it has got pace, grips the music but is still delicate when needed. A real musical performer. I started of with just the unit, then tried it with the Flatcap PSU and have now arrived at the Audio42 battery PSU which I bought to power the Preamp, it will power both. Wow! what an improvement. Really big soundstage. The new Naim equipment is really much better than the old stuff, all the old values but more music.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 39  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com