Nobody must spend £16,000 on a CD player. However, if that's the type of price range you have got to be had in your next disc spinner, we haven't any fears about recommending this Naim two-boxer.
Naim's range-topping CD555 isn't a particularly flashy instrument. Despite chunky styling and a powered top-loading drawer, there is little of the audio-jewellery air of mystery that different top-end CD avid gamers possess.
This is a tune participant first, and a status-reinforcing piece of equipment approach down the line.
Like all Naim's higher-end gamers, that is in fact a two-box integrated. The main unit incorporates the transport, digital to-analogue conversion circuitry and the rest of the audio bits, while the second one box, the 555PS, contains the facility delivery.
Just calling it a ‘power delivery' understates the case. The 555PS packs a large transformer, big enough for most chronic amps.
There are seven regulated power feeds to use between the virtual and analogue circuitry – together with a separate supply specifically for the virtual timing circuitry.
Keeping issues separate minimises interference and shall we each and every segment do its activity optimally.
Humdrum appears, however dramatic engineering
Look throughout the CD555 and it would be easy to underestimate the engineering that's gone on.
The shipping stays a Philips unit, although of a better grade than that utilized in different Naim players, whilst digital building-blocks such as the DAC and digital filter out are the similar as that used in the £5995 CDS3 (our reference player lately).
However, it's the details that subject. The casework is chunkier and not more susceptible to resonance. Noise and vibration isolation is healthier, giving the transport an easier time, which in turn is helping performance.
Additionally, electronic elements are more strictly specified and greater emphasis is put on power-supply purity.
None of this may sound specifically dramatic, but examine the CD555 to the CDS3 – both using the 555PS continual delivery – and you'll be able to temporarily hear the place the additional cash goes.
The range-topper is obviously the more detailed sounding of the two, handing over subtleties (even in dense recordings comparable to Mahler's Symphony No.10) conveniently.
Dynamics are extra refined and extra dramatic relying on what the tune demands, and glide in an impressively herbal way.
More than anything, though, it's the player's self belief and composure that impress.
Seismic bass and dynamic contrasts
Difficult discs corresponding to Nitin Sawhney's Beyond Skin are delivered without any trace of effort, however, importantly, without curtailing the seismic bass or dynamic contrasts. And such capacity isn't purchased on the expense of pleasure or musical pride.
It's some testomony to the consistency of Naim's engineering that the CD555 and CDS 3 share a in a similar fashion refined tonal balance and produce song in a similarly cohesive approach.
It's just that the pricier participant offers you more in almost about every method – just as it should, given the difference in worth.
Yet the characteristic count is nothing special. Yes, you get both RCA and Naim's favoured DIN connection – do not scoff: be sure to try the din, it in most cases sounds better – but there are not any digital outputs, or balanced connections.
Naim's enviable recognition for well-built kit has been hard received, and the CD555 does not let the aspect down: it is splendidly made and lovingly finished.
Built to ultimate for years
The participant feels as even though it'll final for years, and should anything else cross fallacious you have at all times got the backing of a carrier department this is glad to beef up many years -old merchandise. That roughly thing isn't as commonplace correctly.
Sixteen thousand kilos is a large amount of money to spend on any piece of hi-fi, however with its aggregate of exceptional sound and wonderful build, the CD555 makes a powerful case for itself.
If you actually want to hear what's in your discs, there are few higher techniques to do it – irrespective of price.
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