Naim CDS3 performance

I'm currently using the CDS3 with a FC2x-Nait XS. Sometimes I feel the CDP turns in a less exciting performance than my old FC2x-CD5x did. Other times it's amazing. This mixed performance is probably due to different quality recordings, however I do wonder if a Supernait or Supernait 2 would even out the performance.  Since I have no real interest in the DAC of the former, especially first hand comments from users of the latter with a CDS3 combo are very appreciated! However maybe the Supernait CDS3 combo is just the thing, if so, let me know!

Original Post

You cannot use the CDS3 without a power supply, so the OP already has one. 

The CDS3 is a wonderful machine, and when I had one I used it with a 552/300. I used a 555PS on the CDS3. It will benefit greatly from better amplification, but it would be very wise to audition a Supernait 2 against the XS/flatcap before deciding. 

 

Hungryhalibut posted:

You cannot use the CDS3 without a power supply, so the OP already has one. 

The CDS3 is a wonderful machine, and when I had one I used it with a 552/300. I used a 555PS on the CDS3. It will benefit greatly from better amplification, but it would be very wise to audition a Supernait 2 against the XS/flatcap before deciding. 

 

I know as a) I had a CDS3 for years & b) I checked in profile to find a substitute PS in use. Hence ‘bear’ (I can spell).

Ime such a power supply, admittedly on a 272, good hi-fi, but it sent the music all over the place!

Hence the recommendation.

G

GraemeH posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

You cannot use the CDS3 without a power supply, so the OP already has one. 

The CDS3 is a wonderful machine, and when I had one I used it with a 552/300. I used a 555PS on the CDS3. It will benefit greatly from better amplification, but it would be very wise to audition a Supernait 2 against the XS/flatcap before deciding. 

 

I know as a) I had a CDS3 for years & b) I checked in profile to find a substitute PS in use. Hence ‘bear’ (I can spell).

Ime such a power supply, admittedly on a 272, good hi-fi, but it sent the music all over the place!

Hence the recommendation.

G

Sorry Graeme, I thought you were having a senior moment! I’ve only ever used a CDS3 with an XPS2 or 555, and would agree that a Naim supply is the way to go. 

tef posted:

HungryH; Did you experience the same as I do with the cds3 and the nait5? Did the performance of the s3 improve gradually over the three different amps? Or was there a more pronounced improvement between one amp or the other? 

The better the amp, the better the sound. The CDS3 is good enough for the 552. You need to try the Supernait 2 at home and decide which you prefer. 

who can say which is better; only they who have done a comparison... Naim PSU's are simply too expensive, the improvement they bring never justifies the cost is my humble opinion, but then I've always found acquiring the best system for the least money one of the nicest aspects of this (or any)  hobby (maybe it's a Dutch thing...)

perol; what psu did you use on the XS? I've also condifered a Hicap Dr or Hicap2 as a possible upgrade.

Last option is doing a recap of the XS. It's from 2008 I think...

The CDX2 is supposed to be an exciting player and may be better in your system as this is what you appear to be lacking.  You could then use it bare (rather than bear) and hear it as Naim intended it to perform.

With the money made from the sale of your current CD player and PSU you could probably change to the Supernait2 and be halfway there to getting a Hicap for the Supernait.

As others have said I strongly suspect your problem is electing to use a non-Naim power supply with the CDS3. Surely you owe it to what many regard as one of the finest Naim sources ever made to partner it with the PSU with which it was designed? For me, using a TP supply with a CDS3 makes no sense but it looks like you have been through that process already...

Tef, At one time I had CDS3, serviced XPS, into NAC282, NAP200, then SBLs. Fantastic.

For my own reasons I went to same front end, Nait XS, SBLs, Still gorgeous, no loss of engagement. My XS is a 2009 model.

How does your set sound if you remove the FC2x? When were both you power supplies last serviced?

The CDS3 is one of the best CD players ever made and should be brilliant in your system. An XPS or better is the way to go. It’s underperformance is clearly down to the PS assuming all is well with the player itself. I love mine and it sounds great even though it needs a service.

Stu

Foot tapper posted:

If a CDS3 sounds polite, organic, smooth and ever so slightly boring to you, then experience would suggest trying it with a 555PS.  It brings a dose of involvement & excitement above & beyond what it manages with an XPS power supply.

Best regards, FT

This is how I used it and wholheartedly agree.

I see a theme emerging.

G

We never made it to the CDS3 but we heard in on many occasions and auditioned extensively once. Our source strategy changed direction.

One of the things that struck me about it was that it seemed to be even handed when it came to genre and recording quality. It wasn't one of those players that only thrived with certain types of music or  "good recordings" and rendered half a collection not good enough to listen to. 

We only listened to the CDS3 with a 252/300. Don't know what it sounded like with other amps. I wouldn't be surprised if the OP's amp or possibly other system component(s) rather than the CDS3 is being choosy.

I never really enjoyed my CDS3 until I swapped my 52 for a 552.  Until then, it just lacked the excitement of the CDI I used before it.  The CDI didn’t have the soundstaging of the CDS3, but it had huge amounts of energy.

Shortly after that, I changed the CDS3 for a CD555 and was blown away.  I have never been able to part with the CDI though.

So whilst I have not the exact comparison - my findings where that the best amplification was needed to reveal the CDS3’s virtues, otherwise it sounded a little delicate and unexciting (at least on rock/alternative music).

Tef - 2 points.  The CDS3 along with its bigger brother is arguably the best CDP ever made.  But to shine it really is worthy of the best amplification.  As has been said a SN2 is an obvious choice but a 282 with 200 or 250 would really bring it alive.  Also i recently had the great pleasure of hearing Foot Tapper’s CDS3 which has a 555PSU.  I specifically asked him to play me the Klaus Tennstedt performance of Beethoven’s Eroica - it was jaw droppingly beautiful so much so that I’m looking at ways get a 555PSU myself.   Might be a bit of a wait.  

Second - I’m not normally someone to see wires as the solution and would not recommend spending big  on Lumina (as good as it is) but I’d think about trying some Naca A5 or Chord Odyssey  as an alternative to the QED   Also a hiline or perhaps Chord Sig TA between the CDS3 and amp would worth an audition   

Good luck   

Lindsay

 

The Strat (Fender) posted:

The CDS3 along with its bigger brother is arguably the best CDP ever made.  But to shine it really is worthy of the best amplification.  As has been said a SN2 is an obvious choice but a 282 with 200 or 250 would really bring it alive.  

Turning the telescope around, Strat, one could easily say that very few have heard a Nait XS performing at such a high level as when fronted by a CDS3.

Chris

And there's the nub of it - the CDS3 (and other top end sources) will shine on even relatively modest amps and speakers, really getting the best from them.

I loved my CDS3 and I do rather wish I hadn't been persuaded to part with it.  It can be finicky though - I heard some (quite a number actually) that were pretty lacklustre, and usually it comes down to poor siting, bad cable dressing, or the inner tray not being absolutely level, or the pins resting on the lever arms rather than in the cups (usually after a jolt).  Lots of little things to get just right for it to really come alive.  But you knew when something was off - it just sounded quite detailed but sweet and a bit flat overall.  In many respects a CDX2 is MUCH less hassle. And it makes any s/h CDS3 a bit of a risk - I would certainly want to have it checked by Naim service thoroughly inside and out.  But when it's all spot on, the CDS3 can be totally beguiling.

Christopher_M posted:
The Strat (Fender) posted:

The CDS3 along with its bigger brother is arguably the best CDP ever made.  But to shine it really is worthy of the best amplification.  As has been said a SN2 is an obvious choice but a 282 with 200 or 250 would really bring it alive.  

Turning the telescope around, Strat, one could easily say that very few have heard a Nait XS performing at such a high level as when fronted by a CDS3.

Chris

Of course.   But my preference has always been to seek a balanced system and synergy.  

Alba1320 posted:

And how would you rate CD555 in comparison, Richard?

One of the only CD players I'd trade a CDS3 for... (If I could afford it).  

Only thing I don't like about the CD555 is the sheer weight of it and the potty lid. However, performance-wise it is probably the most engrossing and engaging CD player I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. 

Richard Dane posted:

And there's the nub of it - the CDS3 (and other top end sources) will shine on even relatively modest amps and speakers, really getting the best from them.

I loved my CDS3 and I do rather wish I hadn't been persuaded to part with it.  It can be finicky though - I heard some (quite a number actually) that were pretty lacklustre, and usually it comes down to poor siting, bad cable dressing, or the inner tray not being absolutely level, or the pins resting on the lever arms rather than in the cups (usually after a jolt).  Lots of little things to get just right for it to really come alive.  But you knew when something was off - it just sounded quite detailed but sweet and a bit flat overall.  In many respects a CDX2 is MUCH less hassle. And it makes any s/h CDS3 a bit of a risk - I would certainly want to have it checked by Naim service thoroughly inside and out.  But when it's all spot on, the CDS3 can be totally beguiling.

Richard, not sure my CDS3 is not playing at capacity, but is ther owners guide to walk through the foibles you describe?

 When CDS3 is in need of overhaul or head replacement, what are the landmarks? Can Naim still service and are we approaching end of players serviceable window?

The Strat (Fender) posted:

... i recently had the great pleasure of hearing Foot Tapper’s CDS3 which has a 555PSU.  I specifically asked him to play me the Klaus Tennstedt performance of Beethoven’s Eroica - it was jaw droppingly beautiful so much so that I’m looking at ways get a 555PSU myself.   Might be a bit of a wait.  ...

Good luck   

Lindsay

 

Sorry about that Lindsay!  Great to see you though.

Best regards, FT

cnewyork posted:
Richard Dane posted:

And there's the nub of it - the CDS3 (and other top end sources) will shine on even relatively modest amps and speakers, really getting the best from them.

I loved my CDS3 and I do rather wish I hadn't been persuaded to part with it.  It can be finicky though - I heard some (quite a number actually) that were pretty lacklustre, and usually it comes down to poor siting, bad cable dressing, or the inner tray not being absolutely level, or the pins resting on the lever arms rather than in the cups (usually after a jolt).  Lots of little things to get just right for it to really come alive.  But you knew when something was off - it just sounded quite detailed but sweet and a bit flat overall.  In many respects a CDX2 is MUCH less hassle. And it makes any s/h CDS3 a bit of a risk - I would certainly want to have it checked by Naim service thoroughly inside and out.  But when it's all spot on, the CDS3 can be totally beguiling.

Richard, not sure my CDS3 is not playing at capacity, but is ther owners guide to walk through the foibles you describe?

 When CDS3 is in need of overhaul or head replacement, what are the landmarks? Can Naim still service and are we approaching end of players serviceable window?

Checking the tray is level is fairly easy.  Adjustment is not - definitely something only for a dealer or service tech very experienced with the CDS3.

You'll know when the mech needs replacement because it will start to have difficulty in reading discs. If it happens, first replace the clamp.  If it persists, seek help from your Naim dealer.  The CDS3 is still fully serviceable by Naim.

'' I'm currently using the CDS3 with a FC2x-Nait XS. Sometimes I feel the CDP turns in a less exciting performance than my old FC2x-CD5x did. Other times it's amazing ''

My cds3 paired with a Nac 52/scap ( serviced) is superb. No complaints  at all with lack of excitement , pace , or impact. A remarkably good combination. Having read over the years some others perceptions of the cds3 sounding just a  tad too polite I thought I must have discovered the perfect foil - the Nac 52. So good together ( various power amps and speakers) I thought that  when developing the cds3  a 52 must have been in the mix ? However , this thread has now got me thinking about trying the bigger power supply. Could I get an improvement ?  I've often thought that this would be nigh on impossible.

 

 

 

 

Richard Dane posted:
Alba1320 posted:

And how would you rate CD555 in comparison, Richard?

One of the only CD players I'd trade a CDS3 for... (If I could afford it).  

Only thing I don't like about the CD555 is the sheer weight of it and the potty lid. However, performance-wise it is probably the most engrossing and engaging CD player I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. 

Certainly, a wee bit heavy , but 'potty lid'?

Likes (1)
cnewyork
×
×
×
×