Help! CD5 going kaput?

My CD 5 has just started cutting out when playing, sometime ERR comes up and it stops, other times just stops and also cuts out sound for a second and then carries on. It appears to be random places on a cd not just inner or outer tracks. I have tried squeezing the rubber bumpers up on the puck as this was a cause of issues years ago. Is the laser mech going? Is there a way I can test it. Does the laser lens need cleaning, I haven’t looked at this yet and not sure what you would clean it with. There is a guy in Germany selling a new VAM 1250 complete mech on eBay, says it is NOS original Phillips. Not sure what spec of VAM 1250 I have. So any helpful advice would be welcome, Richard Danes, does Naim still have any mechs left for service? I know it is an old CD player now, but I just love the sound of it, more analogue than digital especially with the Hi cap powering part of it.

You could drop an email to Naim Support regarding mech availability.

Not sure if it would make any difference but you could try cleaning the laser with a dusting of a soft brush - ideally one of those brushes often used for camera lenses that also has a squeeze bulb that can blow air on at the same time, or carefully use lens cleaning paper. I’d try a brush first and if that did not work, I would carefully try lens paper. I would not use any sort of liquid as you definitely do not want any sort of coating on the lens.

Hi StewB it’s not the puck chances are mechanism is going and needs to return to Naim. Buying a mech of Ebay is not recommended also how do you know a VAM1250 is the correct one. They also require setting up correctly.
My CDS 3 had a VAM1250 from manufacture and started skipping with ERR on display.
Naim did a full service along with a replacement VAM1202. It’s your call buyer beware regarding VAM1250 also how old is mech :thinking: they do age even when stored.

Yes tried that and no difference, hmmmmm

The CD5 uses the VAM1205 mech. This is modified by Naim. Sadly the VAM1205 is long out of production. Do not waste money trying to buy “new” copy replacements - they are total rubbish and you will waste your money and potentially ruin the player. However, Naim may well still be able to replace if necessary, but you’ll need to find out as I don’t know the current stock level.

However, before you go down that route you could try a new Clamp 3. The rubber does wear and harden, so all the old tricks stop working and only a new one will do. Failing that you could try a Clamp 5 (as used on the CD5i). This has a magnet on board so it will stick like a limpet to the magnet on the hub of the VAM1205, so be careful as it can tear the metal piece away if you’re heavy handed with it.

1 Like

Thanks Richard, I have sent a message to Naim Support asking if they can do anything, plus I will ask Darren at Class A as well. Yes I will buy a new puck3 probably from Tom Tom and hope that may work, did many years ago so hope it is the same fault.
By the way on a totally different point, I took your advice some months ago and got rid of the home plugs from my house and wired my network up direct. Best advice ever mate, no more interference on my phono input, just quiet. Had the LP 12 upgraded as well, sounds just lovely through the system.

Good news.

Fingers crossed for you Stew.

Update, the new Puck didn’t fix it so now the CD5 has been returned to Salisbury and hope they can repair it. It’s worth a try as really don’t want to throw it away if at all possible. If they can fix it then it will last another 5 years and see me through, rather spend my money on the vinyl or a better streamer like the ND5XS in the future. Will have to audition one against my Zen mini mk2 / Rega DAC combo.

1 Like

Hi all, well my CD5 went off to Salisbury early December and I got it back today. New Mech, service and software update. It sounds lovely, I am a very happy guy. I just tried it against my Zen/Rega stream set up using the rip on the hardrive against the CD I had. Interesting, slightly different presentation but really on par with each other SQ wise. Interesting in that the Zen has its LPSU and the Reda Dac though around 9 years old, is a good unit, this against a CD5 I bought on 6th Jan 2003 for £1150. I do use a Hi Cap as the extra PS and that does make a difference. So the DAC technology in the CD5 is still valid, no it is not ultra high end but for £330 plus courier costs to get it fixed, I am more than happy with it. When you can get things fixed 17 years after buying them then that is good support from them and Sevenoaks HiFi in Witham Essex.


Glad it’s up and running again. I thought Naim were out of Mechs for the CD5. My first naim CD player was a CD5 paired with a Flatcap2, purchased in 2003. Was a great sounding player. My friend has it now and its still running and sounding fine.


I was told that Naim did not have Mech now for the C5 but the dealer said the job sheet said new mech. They may have rebuilt it, but anyway it Works again :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :smile: :smile:

1 Like

I had the same issue with the same great level of service … loved the player… time will tell how long I keep it as I have now developed a little upgrade itch that needs scratching …

Glad to hear Naim got it sorted for you. I still have very fond memories of running a CD5 and Flatcap 2. It had a wonderful “widescreen” sound to it, with great rhythm, slightly soft, but euphonious all the same. When I replaced it with a CDX, everything tightened up and got more focussed and detailed, but the euphony was gone and I just didn’t enjoy it as much. It took the addition of an XPS to bring me round to it, but even then I still missed the CD5/FC2. It wasn’t until i moved to a CDS2 that I felt I was back to the sound I loved - but of course this time with a lot more authority and resolution.

1 Like

Yes Richard, I do so love the sound, more listening today shows the CD5 does have a more rounded base sound, though not really losing any detail. Just couldn’t bear the thought of having to scrap it. Next is my Micromega Solo from the early 90’s, mech problems as well which is a Phillips CDM4/25 mech and these are really hard too find. So when I have some more money to waste I really want to get this up and running if at all possible for a second system. It looks so great I can’t throw that away either. Be nice with a Nait of some sort and some small bookshelf speakers.


Didn’t know you can fit a flatcap to a cd5 where does it fit, all I’ve got is 2 phono and a 5 pin din on the back off mine

That sounds like it may be a CD5i, not a CD5.

Yes the CD5 has a 4 pin and 5 pin din sockets next to the signal out socket on the RHS at the back. If you are not using an external supplementary PS there is a link plug fitted into the 4 pin socket with a long arm to blank off the 5 pin din. The 5 pin takes a standard snaic from a FC2 or a HiCap after the link plug is removed.

Probably Richard I’ve never really looked if it’s a 5 or 5i just know it’s a good player
It’s going to go to Darren when all this covid lark is over for a service