CDS3 on the blink again

After a successful repair in 2021 the player has failed again. The symptoms are exactly the same with reduced and distorted output on one channel. So the DAC has failed.

I have hardly used the player since I got it back. I’m a bit at a loss as to how this has failed so quickly after a repair.

I assume one DAC was replaced and possibly the other one has failed or possibly the one that was replaced failed.

What do you suggest doing with the player now? Tempted just to write it off

It sounds like there is another issue causing the replacement DAC to fail. I recommend contacting Naim support directly to discuss your options with them.

I had an issue with noise on my replacement mech but procrastinated for nine months before addressing it. When I finally contacted them, they told me to send it in. They replaced the mech again, but it still had the noise issue, which left the technicians baffled. They apologised and expressed frustration for not being able to find the source of the problem. However, mine was still under the 12-month repair warranty. Despite the issue, it sounds sublime. Good luck getting it sorted.

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It would be useful if I could pre-diagnose the problem to see if it’s the other DAC that failed. Also what are the potential causes that lead to DAC failure. e.g. power on/off cycles……
The reason why it was sent back to the UK was because the German Naim distributor can’t repair CD players.
I was definitely looking forward to a working player in my system when I finally retire. Not there yet and the streamer gets the most use because of sheer convenience.
I believe the German distributor offers a 2 year guarantee on repairs but need to check/confirm that

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It could well be the other dac. These players are getting quite old and these dacs do evetually break down. It makes me wonder if having them powered up constantly for years is a good idea. One of my dacs failed after 15 years, then the other went 18 months later. I think naim still have spare dacs, but there us a limited number as I dont think the Burr Brown dac is made any more.

If that is the case Mario then why was it not proposed to replace both of them at the same time? Especially since there is a large risk shipping the player these days because of the quality of the courier service. A bit annoyed to say the least.

Regarding the age of the player, yes 19 years is a long time but my Marantz CD67SE is nearly 30 years old and that is still rock solid. Probably needs a service though

Hopefully Naim will repair it again as a gesture of goodwill. It’s still worth getting it repaired if possible.

Other option is get it repaired and sell it on if you’re concerned about reliability and buy a CD transport that you can use with your streaming DAC.

Or sell the CDS3 and buy another one. They do still come up for sale.

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That’s what I thinking about Dan. I see a lot of good reports about an Audiolab 9000 cdt

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I think that would be a very good move. It will probably have clearer presentation than CDS3 as well. It gets rave reviews.

Or get rid of CD altogether and free some rack space up. Resort entirely to streaming ripped CDs and finally get Qobuz……
Use the cost to pay for qobuz


Depends if you can live without a CD player and reliability of internet. I have tried living without CD player. I went back to it though.


There’s always the CD555 option…

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Yes, was talking to Jason Gould on Saturday who said cd555 mechanisms were still available due to Naim stockpiling.

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This concerns a CDS3 not CD555
I would love to get it fixed but it was already sent to the UK in 2021 for a new DAC. The transport is so far fine. Looks like the other DAC now🙁
I think at some stage I will have to say goodbye :cry:

I would appreciate some comment from @NeilS on what I could do here to diagnose if it was the DAC on the other channel and also if it is still possible to repair the player. Shame though that both were not recommended to be switched at the same time. Also with the risks of shipping to the UK again. Can this not be done by musicline in Germany?

Is it the same channel as before - or the other channel - or you don’t know, can’t recall…?

Can’t recall. Like I said the player does not get much attention since I got it back but that’s not to say I won’t use it in the future. I like the CDS3 and the way it sounds in my system

Sorry to hear that and hope there’s a simple fix.

Not sure if it’s all that important to know, but might you have posted about it back in '21, and the channel might be mentioned on the forum somewhere? Or do you still have the job sheet for the repair, that might also mention which channel?

This one - don’t think it mentions the channel tho

The right speaker sounds distorted

With that information I suppose we should be able to confirm which DAC is faulty


I thought long and hard before buying another CDS2 with XPS2 and considered Audiolab CDT. I got a great deal on CDS2 but was very tempted by other offerings.

I wanted to keep my system all Naim as I love the Naim sound. The Audiolab 9000CDT will sound clearer and very good. The Naim CDS3 with XPS2 cost £10k when it came out. It was made and designed to a high spec and has quality albeit somewhat outdated. The thing is that this older kit is very high quality and thats why we tap our feet. It makes our hearts sing. It’s a very special thing.

Although technically very good you may find something missing from the Audiolab 9000CDT that Naim does best.

Naim CD players have soul and sound brilliant. Yes you will get clearer presentation from other CD players but thats not the only thing that brings music alive.

I think these legacy products are very special. If my CDS2 goes wrong and can’t be fixed, I’d consider buying another. The CDS3 is a bit pricier used.

I found the character a bit different from the CDS2. I think the CDS3 is the best looking CD player Naim produced. Maybe I will get another one day.

Think it through, take your time. See if you can get it fixed first. Then at least you can always sell it for good money. I saw one on usual website without XPS2 for £1900. Which is alot more than I paid for mine.


The cost of the last repair was not astronomical so I will take it to my dealer who will send it off. I have a place for it on the rack so would ideally like it fixed.
It would be nice to have a statement from Naim that it is still possible to fix based on the information I have given