CDS3 on the blink again

Great news Graham. Pleased that it’s sorted for you.

Yes, we can only hope that they find a solution to this in order to keep these great players going.

Thank you, sir. The CDP is on the other side of Brighton, and can’t be delivered until Tuesday, so I just need to curb my impatience for a few days more, and the LP12 isn’t too bad as a source!!

PS As to whether Naim can keep these players going, I rather fear that Naim have moved on from CD replay, as there seems to be no replacement for the CDS3 or the 555 on the horizon.


Not sure I agree about the CD5si being “humble”
I love mine, produces all I’m looking for from a disc player


CDS3 is on its way to the German distributor for repair. It should be fairly quick so I’m told. Let’s see


Best of luck, super player and well worth the effort

Just curious about Mario’s reference back on 27 Sept to CD mechs apparently going off/failing whilst waiting to be used as a spare. Can anyone explain how and what happens. Is there some material used in the construction containing organic or similar that deteriorates/breaks down in a few years rather than several decades? If so what is shelf life? Given that we are referring to precision components logically the only varying factor would be how and where they are stored and if they are moved around.
Can someone enlighten me. Many thanks.

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As an Engineer, my first thought would be deterioration of any lubricants used on the mechanism itself. Plus any capacitors in the electronics. I would expect the mechs would be in a sealed package of some sort, so moisture should not be a concern.

Maybe @NeilS can give a better insight…?

The mech in my CDX2 is now over 20 years old and is still going.

Thanks Ian. That makes sense (to a lay person like me). I would still expect such mechanisms if sealed and stored in a cool calm place to remain fully functional for many years whilst in storage.
I’ll be interested in Neil’s input/thoughts. Thank you.

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I still wonder what constitutes the most wear and tear for our transport mechanisms. I can’t help but think there are do and don’t for taking the puck on and off which places odd forces on the rotating mechanism. Rather peculiar to Naim players .
I try to gently rotate my puck rather than take it off vertically

I, in my ignorance, would agree as we’d quotes for the suitable lubricant around the time I was off to France. It was COMICALLY expensive and, perhaps, not the full solution.

I received from Naim probably the last working original transport (mounted on its full suspension tray) for my faltering CDS3. My player picked up and was later sold but I appreciate the problem Naim have in monitoring and maintaining these delicate devices.

Short of installing it I have no way of knowing whether I hold the salvation of a beautiful player - or a collection of useless bits. It won’t even make an effective paper weight.

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On the plus side of things, my CD555 just back from Naim with a new transport and sounding beautiful. Long may they continue to support this player and here’s hoping that a solution for CDS3 support will be found.

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I never know if you are being serious or not. Suitable lubricants are getting more and more expensive by the day especially in France.

That said various ESA space missions years ago used a certain floated gyroscope from a company called Sagem which were past their shelf life (supposedly) and failed in orbit on one mission after the other, making people generally skeptical about the reliability of gyroscopes in general, so why not transport mechanisms

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Ditto…. Yes I agree

Still not got mine back yet

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As I understand it, the laser diodes have a finite “in use” life span, (note that the laser diode is not being driven when the player is idle).
I’m unaware of any significant shelf life for the electronics though. As mentioned above, the mechanical moving parts can suffer degradation of lubricants though.
We stockpiled around 30,000 VAM1202 mechs with no appreciable increase in “out of the box” failures, however the DRL200 loaders (DVD5/n-Vi) did suffer with this while in storage, so I assume different lubes were used by the different manufacturers.


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Crossing fingers for your CDS3
Had my HDX recently at Naim Focal DE and as I am living in Hamburg I always drive by for bringing and picking up. These are very naim like nice guys there and they are really good. I am optimistic that your CDs3 will be fixed soon!

Bad news first. My CDS 3 failed twice, first time it was repairable. Second time it couldn’t be fixed.

Now the good news. The loss of my beloved CDS 3 got me looking at streaming. My NDX 2 / 555PS is as good, but a little different than the CDS 3. And my Pro-Ject CD transport played through the NDX 2, is a wee bit better. But I still have fond memories of the CDS 3.


My CDS2 is alright but some discs are very sensitive and don’t track properly. Others are fine. It seems to me Naim top loaders with pucks are extremely sensitive machines.

It’s working fine. Discs aren’t coming up with error code yet.

Gets to the point with these machines when you consider selling before they go caput. I am an avid Naim CD lover and am on player number 4. CD5si, CDS2 with XPS, CDS3 with XPS2 and now CDS2 with XPS2. My favourite was first CDS2 with XPS.

Currently it’s very good but seems to be some slippage. A bit of a concern.

The CDS3 was brilliant but lacked warmth of CDS2. More Classic than Olive.

Part of me would like another CDS3 again. Another part says no stick with what you have.

Another part says sell it on while you can! Difficult conundrum.

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My thanks Neil for your input which is much appreciated. I’ve been fortunate to run a CDS3 for many years and it’s a wonderful player (before that I enjoyed a CDX2 and in the far distant past a CD3.5). Only the CD3.5 broke down and had to be repaired; fortunately (if I recall correctly and it was many years ago) in warranty. When I purchased my CDS3 I was conscious that transports can wear out (moving parts after all) and managed to find and purchase a new sealed Philips VAM1250. It’s remained sealed and is stored in a cool dry place so hope that if the worse happens I have a replacement available.
More recently I’ve been able to make what may be a final CD upgrade and purchased a CD555. In A/B comparisons (both with 555PS) and SL interconnects the CD555 is, in my opinion, the better player pretty much all round (as it should be given the build/spec/price!) although not as relaxed for late evening listening as the detail and nuances it digs out really grabs your attention. Wonderful piece of engineering and I very much hope it last for many years.

Interesting comment by Mtuttleb regarding method of removing the puck. My CDS3 has the variant that has 3 small rubber tubes that grip the CD its self. I’ve always lifted the puck off vertically without any twist which I’d have thought might apply more load/stress to the area beneath on which the CD sits. I may well be wrong!

I’m fortunate enough to also run an NDS with a 555PS. I still prefer the sound of the CDS3 (and by an increased margin now the CD555) but it’s great for exploring the vast amount of great music out there. When I find something I really enjoy I try to then find it on CD and purchase that. In a way reverse ‘ripping’??? still keeps me entertained and out of mischief.

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As another lover of all forms of CDSs, I’d be inclined to the view that now would be the time to cash in whilst they still have some value. Even the newest are now elderly in electrical terms, and there seems to be an increasing number of people saying that their players are no longer fixable.

Given the move over to the new classic range, I can’t see the power supplies, excepting perhaps the DR555, holding their value as they historically have done either.

I bought one of the first CDS3s back in 2003/4. I loved it having also owned a CDI and CDX2. It was never serviced and always sounded superb. It was topics like this one that pushed me into streaming. I part exchanged it for an NDX2 while it still had some residual value. While different I think I have adjusted to the new, slightly less warm sound. In absolute terms I still think the LP12 is better.

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