Naim has launched its new entry-level CD player the CD5si. The CD5si is said to be a step forward in performance from its predecessor the CD5i with improvements to several key areas which “significantly improve sound quality.”
The new CD5si design includes the Burr Brown PCM 1793 DAC, which is similar in performance and architecture to the DAC used in Naim’s network players such as the NDX but is more optimised for the fixed sampling rate of CD (rather than the many sampling rates from streamed music). A new higher precision clock supports the new DAC, reducing jitter even further. The analogue output filter has also been improved.
A new high-performance transport mechanism has been fitted to the CD5si giving improved consistency and longevity. The new mechanism is mounted in Naim’s unique improved swing drawer tray giving it a low resonance, stable platform in which to operate. The internal power supply voltage has also been increased, to improve the linearity of the output signal.
I’ve had this particular silver disc spinner for a little over a two years now and so I thought it about time I put fingers to keys and write a review about it.
The first thing that strikes you about the Italian unit is its distinctive appearance. For sure this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I quite like its styling. Apart from the wooden ‘badge’ with its gold and silver Unison logo the front panel is dominated by a large LCD display and then just 4 small buttons controlling the player’s main functions. There is also the infra red receiver window for receiving instructions from the substantial wooden, yes wooden, remote control. I’ve found that the remote is pretty much obligatory as the front of the unit quickly becomes a little grubby if you use the onboard controls. The remote control looks and feels absolutely glorious, but in use it’s actually a little bit fiddly for a sausage fingered oaf such as me. More »
Having been impressed with MF’s most popular player on the block, the A5 CDP, I was curious to know how its diminutive sibling the XRay V8 would fare so managed to get hold of one for an audition. It arrived neatly packaged with the separate off-board power supply unit, leads and remote. Initial impressions on build were quite good. Well screwed together and quite an unusual design with the long slim casings and separate (and quite beefy) psu. Assembled and left to warm up, I had a look at the remote which is a plastic affair with far too many buttons and a confusing layout. The remote is intended for the matching amplifier and tuner operation too and the overall impression is that MF intended this to be bought as a package with those units (X100 amp and X-Tuner). They share a trademark casing design meant as an upgrade to the older cylindrical shaped units . More »
This is one of the more, errr, ‘controversial’ CDPs of recent years. It got a thorough online blasting by that Lampizator chappie, who discovered that the DAC chipset used was a cheap and cheerful variety rather than the upmarket leading edge hi-tech item that was claimed! Nonetheless it received many very favourable reviews and online comments by others and even Lampizator gave it 10/10 for sound quality!
It’s a top loader with a neat sliding dark plastic panel, and a magnetic puck is supplied to hold a CD firmly in place. A remarkably hefty item as well, it definitely inspires confidence. Balanced (XLR) outputs as well as RCA. Switchable by remote (when a CD is not playing) between the standard Red Book 44KHz and a choice of 88 or 196KHz upsampling.
I spotted one on a well known auction site and I thought it was worth a punt just to hear it for myself.
Well – I’m very, very glad that I did! More »
Ho-hum … Cyrus? Not a lot of audiophile credibility there!
Cyrus comes in for more than its share of flak on some of the online hifi forums, especially some of those that I frequent. So I was more than a bit biased against the brand and I never would have gone out of my way to try it, to be honest. But a swap deal was offered, so I thought I might as well give it a try – after all, Cyrus gear is easy enough to sell on.
In due course, the Cyrus CD8X arrived. Neatly packed, well made in the famed half-size ‘shoe-box’ format. More »
Build and design
I first came across this CDP whilst auditioning a set of speakers a few years back. The dealer had a CDP3.1 sitting on the equipment table next to a particularly tasty Horning Sati SET valve amp.
The first thing that strikes you about the player is just how misleading its name is…there’s nothing “mini” about it! In fact it’s one of the largest CDPs I’ve so far encountered, but boy is it beautiful. I remember thinking at the time that I’d be quite happy to pay the asking price and never play it, just keep it on a pedestal as a work of art! More »