CDS3 is going to fail?

My CDS3 so far is ok. But only when the player reads some specific CDs (especially the LINN super audio collection or some SACDs) sometimes the CD can run in the opposite direction a bit at first, and then it runs towards the right way and plays music normally. This can happen when I just close the lid or the CD has been read and then I click play.

Does this mean the laser head has almost met its end? Thanks!

Hi Desmond,

How do you know it runs backwards at the outset, as the opaque Perspex lid should be down at this point.

Are you sure you’re not seeing the blur of the initial spin-up of the disk?

Normally, the sign of a failing mech (or an issue with the puck e.g. slippage) is seeing the ‘Err’ screen, where the disk cannot be read.

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Thanks for the reply! Actually, the lid is more or less transparent and I can see how the disc running. And also the sound of the mechanism is different, it is not as same as normal reading.

I don’t know if you are in the UK. I am and when I had a problem with the CDS3 that I once owned it was returned by my dealer to Naim in Salisbury for a service. A new mechanism was fitted. It’s a while ago now but I think a fixed fee was charged and I remember thinking it was very reasonable considering what was done.

More to the point it operated smoothly and sounded fantastic on its return. Great player. Some say Naim’s finest. A pleasure to own.

May I ask which mechanism they changed for you? And what was the problem?

And I am in Germany, I have to send it to a dealer in England then the player can be sent to Salisbury. I do not trust any other service point…

It’s too long ago to remember the specifics about mechanisms. Instead I am trying to sell you the benefits of having your CDS3 looked at.

Before, the player wouldn’t always read the ToC an play. There was often a lot of whirring and then ‘Err’ message. Afterwards, it gave me the finest sound I had ever had.

Just a thought. . . . have you cleaned the head lately? I had a problem a while ago with the CD menu area not being read properly, resulting in the reader flying off and then coming back for another go, sometimes ending in an error report and sometimes eventually working. I resolved this issue with one use of a CD disc lens cleaner.

Thanks for the reply! I barely get “err” but just sometimes it is a bit annoying that it gives me the feeling that the laser head is going to the end.

Is the CD lens cleaner will not harm the laser head? I am afraid the brush can scratch the optical glass. I think the head should be clean, I cleaned the head with cotton stick gently already.

Maybe when the situation gets worse I will send it back for maintenance

From an age of terse advice:

How to Clean your CD Player lens


Can you get it to the German distributor (not a service point) to send to Naim? The distributor may well send several items on a pallet to Salisbury which should be safer than you sending individual boxes by courier to a UK dealer then them doing the same to send to Salisbury…and back!

Naim overseas support is sadly lacking and if you already have bad experience with authorised service centres or support from the distributor, its tough luck… sounds like you already have some experience in that regard. I know dealers who will no longer stock or promote mid to high end Naim equipment due to lack of confidence in being able to adequately support their customer is something goes wrong.

Desmond, I used a cleaner with a soft lint-free part with no cleaning fluid. But yes, if you are not confident about this DIY approach, send the unit back for a service. I also made sure the puck was clean and in good condition. Both the puck and the disc tray (not lens) can be easily cleaned with a bit of blutack as indicated in the Naim User Manual. Good luck with that and hope you resolve the issue without too much problem.

My response to Desmond was just a thought, and certainly did not want to sound rude.

Mine started skipping and jumping at about 3/4 the way through a disk. Back to Salisbury, new mech and full service - they list all the replaced parts - sounds superb.

I noticed one thing that mostly when the CDS3 reads SACDs then it may have problem to read the disc. Any one can give an reason?

Hi Desmond,

My CDS3 plays SACDs without a problem.



PS: At least those that have both the red-book and SACD layer.

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