Handset question

A happy 2024 to everyone. I 've attached a photo of two handsets (as it happens they are from Audiolab and Leak CD transports, but I could have asked the same question about the many Naim handsets I’ve got). The Audiolab and Leak are clearly essentially the same handset. But there are various small differences (eg on bottom row Display is rightmost on Leak but to the left on the Audiolab).

My question. When companies tweek essentially the same handset differently (Naim seem to do so quite often, Meridian did between G07 and G08) does the company fiddle around with the handset (its internals) itself? Or do they merely alter how the receiving CD player responds to exactly the same trigger from a completely generic handset, and then write different words on the generic handset.

This is interesting if you’re using a handset in a room which contains more than one receiving device (eg I press a button on the handset of for an Audiolab a headphone DAC/Amplifier and the tray of an ATC CD player in the same room shoots out)

My apologies for going on this long. I’m just intrigued about what’s generic and what’s down to a particular company/product. Love to all, Stevie xx

Naim use the Philips RC5 codes. For these you should find that the functions are usually the same across all RC5 devices regardless of brand. To that end, my Naim remote controls the same basic functions on my Meridian CD transport.


It is a rather unregulated area though! For a while I had an early Youview TV settop box and a gas fire ignition system that used the same codes for very different functions. So lighting the fire turned the Youview box on and since its startup sequence was about 4 minutes (or more if it decided it hadn’t been shut down correctly and needed to check the HDD first), it turning on was very disruptive to watching anything else.

At the time a mate of mine had a close friend who was chief engineer at Humax and so he enquired what might be done. Humax said they were aware of some clashes like this but there was nothing they could do unfortunately.

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Yes, plenty of devices go off-piste and there can be all kinds of clashes. Even with a standard codec such as RC5, you can have a clash between two similar devices. At least with RC5 there are alternative set and channels that you can usually set a particular device to in order to circumvent such clashes, and things like volume control for an AV amp and for a 2 channel amp are different.

I recall that at one point Sky satellite receiver boxes would clash with some of the RC5 codes that Naim used, which prompted Naim to make a firmware change as Sky weren’t looking to change anything.

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Hi Richard,

Many thanks. Can I ask you a further question then please? So is the RC5 code analogous to the ASCII code for laptops, which can be used to reproduce all sorts of symbols, alphabets etc? I’m rather out of my depth in this sort of area, so I would quite understand if this is such a naive question as to be impossible to answer briefly. love Stevie xx

Sorry Stevie, I’m no expert on computer related stuff.

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No. Phillips RC5 code is an IR protocol
(infrared) custom installers use the codes to program custom remote controls. And as you found many manufacturers use RC5 IR coded receivers, rather than do there own. Lots of more information on … wait for it…… Google! :grinning:

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My apologies for asking, I realise now that it wasn’t an appropriate question for this forum. love Stevie xx

Not a silly question as every day is a “school day" on this forum.


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As replied to Richard, I’m sorry. I did indeed use this forum for the wrong purpose. Apologies. I have just Googled “Google” and discovered it’s a search engine! love Stevie xx :grinning: