Fix for broken Naim CDX - laser unit I think

My CDX now refuses to play any CDs at all having previously played some sporadically. I think the issue is the VAM 1205 mech in the pull out drawer. When you put in a CD it doesn’t seem to be moving now when the drawer is closed and you press play. In the past when you opened the drawer it would still be spinning even if it didnt actually play. So its hard to say if the laser is faulty or the mechanism that spins the disc? Or is this all part of the same assembly. I dont think Naim can service the CDX now to fix this issue as I have checked before. Am I correct in thinking that you can source replacement laser units on ebay etc and if so are these suitable for a diy instal? If so could anyone point me to the correct source for the CDX and also describe clearly how you replace the part that would be most appreciated. For the avoidance of doubt the front fascia light up and when I press play I get “Err” each time now with no music at all. thanks

I had this “Err” problem previously with my CD5 years ago, so recalling the specifics is quite difficult.
I bought a replacement mechanism from China, did a DIY fitment and it worked for a while but then became intermittent.
I got tired of taking it to pieces in the end, so just lived with a workaround that I found.

I think that it just wants the laser height setting up properly, as it still works if you hold the tray vertically whilst pressing play.
This gets past the initial start up phase that reads the disc.

I’d be surprised of Naim would refuse to fix it… is that a fact?

It’s not that Naim would refuse to fix it. It’s just that if OEM parts aren’t available, they can’t fix it. Owners finding workarounds is fine, just be careful about going too far with the DIY and breaking forum rules.

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Out of interest i was talking to a Chord electronics manager this week and in discussion had not realised that the Chord Blu mk 2 cd player/mscaler had been discontinued. Apparently their source of Phillips cd pro mechanisms had expired.
I mentioned Stream unlimited the company formed by ex Phillips cd engineers. He could not be certain, but thought they had discussions……anyway Chord seem to be in the same boat as Naim, nothing seems to come close to the Phillips mechanisms?

When you look at the cheap optical drives in NAIM’s rippers, it always surprises me that they limit themselves to such failure-prone mechanisms in their CD players(?)

In my experience that is the very nature of hifi quality CD mechanisms. I’ve only had two (I didn’t get a CD player until about 1989, the sound quality of early CD players being wholly unsatisfying) - neither being Naim players, and both only lasted for about 10 years before the mechanisms had deteriorated and the players needed replacing. (That was part of the reasoning for my switch to streaming: no need ever again to have the lifetime limit of CDPs affect my musical enjoyment.)

The TEAC drives in the Uniti Core and Star are for data. Makes sense when ripping to use data drives with very high read rates. Though off the shelf, those drives are not expensive, the TEAC optical drives are among the best out there. Bettered only by Pioneer I expect but the Pioneer drives don’t come in slim slot loading form factor and would push the cost (and size) of those Uniti products up considerably.

If only it were that simple, IB.
I do a reasonable amount of streaming but it does break my heart that at the end of the day the artists are not being remunerated enough and major corporate companies are munching most of the profit.
Also, let’s face it, just like any other commodities, eg: cars, you cannot expect CD players to last forever without a good service.

But don’t forget domestic streaming. A whole move to streaming might also mean this. I rarely if ever play a physical CD. By the same token, I don’t use online streaming services either, yet streaming accounts for 85% of my music listening (the other 14.99% being vinyl).

Applying this to the OP’s issue, A CD collection and streaming can not only coexist but be integrated together. It’s flexible enough to serve both types of consumer in my view.

Yet on the same token I have 600+ CDs ripped to a Synology 218j and I cannot remember last time I switched it on. I always seem to reach to either Tidal or other streaming service when not listening to vinyl.
As I mentioned in another thread, due to life changing circumstances, I’ll probably end up streaming most of my music. That will be a sad day but inevitable.

I had your problem a few years ago with my CDX. Found a laser mech. on ebay but it was a nightmare to replace. The whole drawer has to come apart to change the laser. Maybe I’m all thumbs but even getting the drawer half apart was very difficult. And impossible for me to re-assemble perfectly. Gave up and sold my CDX for parts. Got an Oppo 205 & nDac as a replacement. So unless you’re very confident I’d recommend someone that has done it before - that is if you can still get the parts. Maybe try Class A.

I have a similar problem where I need a new mech for my CDX2 and was wondering the same thing. There’s a source on the 'bay promising genuine Philips mechs and was tempted to get one.
There’s no Naim servicing here in NZ any more (I have contacted the distributor) so DIY is really the only option - fortunately we have an electronics workshop at work with some pretty skilled tech’s.

Quite possible. But remember they have been out of production for so long and these things degrade just sitting on the shelf. The yield for working NOS units is incredibly low. I think Naim also discovered this.

That is a whole subject to itself - and greedy record companies have been there for a lot longer than online streaming. However your concern here is about online streaming - as @feeling_zen describes in his response to you, streaming and so avoiding the limitations of a CD player also, and for some of us mainly or exclusively, uses our own locally stored music files, for which any new additions are bought as CDs (then ripped) or as downloads at similar prices to CDs). That you don’t use yours preferring vinyl, or streaming online, doesn’t mean tge model isn’t there and valid.

I would like to remind members here of forum rules - no DIY discussion please.

It’s possible that Naim may be able to help - supplies of good mechs can be sporadic (Naim are always searching them out), so that should always be your first port of call.

@carlp have you contacted Chris Murphy at Real Music Co.? He may be able to help here. I would be very wary of any mechs being sold on eBay. Most are nothing more than rubbish, although sometimes certain parts can be used from them. “Genuine” VAM1202 mechs haven’t been made for many years. If they work at all, they may not do so for very long.

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Richard there’s something wrong when you need to refer someone to the last distributor to get something done. Naim really needs to look at what’s happening in NZ it appears they’re been thrown to the wolfs


I must admit, I have approximately 1500 CD’s to RIP to my new Lacie drive, networked through my MacMini and the prospect doesn’t thrill me.
I have been streaming via the Mac through a cheap Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt on the Media Room system for the last couple of months and it is so much easier and the quality off Qobuz with the Dragonfly is quite acceptable on that system.
Next year will hopefully see the addition of a Naim Streamer to the main system and I really can’t see the need for the ripped CD option after that anymore :man_shrugging:t4:

:astonished: :face_with_spiral_eyes:

Good luck with that. I did just over 600 and never again. Spare a thought for @AndyP who had to rip something like 10000. :flushed:

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