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If you occasionally cue up tunes to fall asleep to, the CD5si might more act like a double espresso in fact. Peaceful tunes meant to ground one in stillness like Johnny Cash's reading of "Spiritual" [The blue moods of Spain] did express more calm over my Marantz. That had me more focused on Josh Haden's smoky voice and what it tried to tell me than whether the acoustic guitar close to the end (time code 06'06" for the bean counters) hits a small but decisively wrong note. Get the picture? Similar for the Audiolab. Contingent on digital filter option, it also was a tad more relaxed or chilled in its presentation.

Obviously some of this is tweakable with ancillary choices. I'd thus expect much from a CD5si/valve-amp combo where the former's wealth of detail should nicely complement the beautification treatment of many tubes. No matter, I really enjoyed my time with this machine and even forgave it for embarrassing me with having to study the owner's manual after all these years of manly abstinence...

Conclusion. With the CD5si Naim make a strong statement for CD as a still relevant medium. Everything about this deck seems optimized for sound. Instead of comprehensive i/o socketry which might add potential sources of negative influences, it has categorically opted for a vibration-minimizing suspended transport with puck. And the math works out. This machine impressed particularly with its micro resolution and obsession of detail. Those who with it share in the latter are unlikely to find better in this price range.

Tonally Naim's smallest spinner was positively invisible or ultra linear. These two traits predict an interesting choice not just for the living room but also the recording studio as a powerfully dynamic player that makes listening fun by upping the turn-on factor.

Psych profile...
• Reminds one of a classic studio machine with perfectly linear response though the bass is more wiry and quick than ultra extended or fat.
• Convinces with its sheer wealth of detail and stupendous micro resolution that's rare in this class.
• Capable to render the small and quiet right next to the big and loud but in general focuses more on the leaves than forest.
• Is micro- and macrodynamically ultra keen.
• In this price segment offers well above average stereophony. Centrally placed images are properly anchored and steadfast. Lateral placement is stably sorted and unusually broad but not artificially ballooned.
• Mechanical construction and essentialist trim practice a clear 'sound before featurization' design brief.

• Category: CD player
• Outputs: Fixed RCA and DIN
• Weight and dimensions: 70 x 432 x 301mm (HxWxD), 8.1kg
• Finish: Black
• Other: Remote control, hinged drawer with magnetic puck
• Idle consumption: 9 watts
• Warranty: 5 years to registered original owner
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