Is it worth servicing a CDS/CDSPS?

I have an Olive mid 90’s system (nac82, hicap, snaxo, hicap, nap250, 2 nap135, and SL2) which is my second system intended for the summer house. Since streaming is not an option there (hardly even any mobile reception) I was planning to take all my CDs (around 1500) there and use the CDS/CDSPS. However, the player is very picky and will refuse to play any other CD and it often makes loud noises trying to read a CD. I see three main options:

  • restore/service the CDS
  • buy a new/more modern CD player
  • buy a Streamer and server (I already have most of my CDs ripped)
    Option one would be cheapest but the CDS is not that good sounding. I would appreciate any thoughts and have no special “bonds” to the CDS as I bought (very) used. regards, Josaa

In general compared to modern sources you’ve heard or because it is ancient and in need of a service?

A CDS first gen should still sound absolutely superb if fully serviced. The question is, whether Naim have all the parts needed for any work needed on the mech. If you are still comfortable spinning discs, I’d be inclined to restore it though you’ve not mentioned what the quoted cost was. That number undoubtedly changes everything.


The CDS is a classic, and well worth sticking with, but it does sound like your CDS is probably in need of a good service. At the very least, the CDPS will be in dire need of a service by now, if it has never been done. AFAIK Naim can service everything bar giving it a replacement Philips mech (the mechs are long out of stock, and IIRC Naim were the only ones who had any for many years).

Regarding the mech, is the nextel ring on the hub still there and in good condition? If so, it could just need a new replacement clamp; A new Clamp 2 would be be my recommendation to begin with.

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Thanks Richard and FZ! I have a Linn CD12 that sounds much better. I do think the Naim would sound better after service and i did buy a new clamp (that did not improve things). I would like to have a source that matches the rest visually so maybe I take the plunge and shell out the eur 500 per item Service cost!

If the mech is past it then short of finding a NOS replacement, or at the very least a secondhand replacement that’s still in good working order, then it just may not be worthwhile doing the other required servicing. If the nextel ring has worn badly then the mech is shot. It was a very high spec Pro version of the CDM4 with a hall effect motor, which was used in only a tiny handful of players, so scavenging for a good condition secondhand one is much harder than usual. However, if the nextel ring is still OK, it may just need the laser focus and intensity properly adjusted, in which case a full service would be worthwhile.

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I have a Linn CD12 that sounds much better.?? Not to my ears.

It’s because the CDS is exhausted , after 30 years of running.

Meticulous cleaning of the transport platter can really help with clattering whilst disc reading. Use a cotton bud & isopropanol alcohol to clean the whole metal part - avoid the Nextel ring though. Squash the end of the cotton bud & pay particular attention to the recess I’ve highlighted in my crude cross sectional diagram.

If you are not fussed about absolute sound quality, a clamp 5 will eliminate any slip.


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Thanks! I will try that!

Ah, fully understood now. Thank you.

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I was very lucky in finding a a CDS / CDPS a 1997 model about 4 years ago through a friend and bought it from Wayne of Cymbiosis.

A lovely analogue sounding unit built under the tenure of Julian Vereker. For me a keeper.




Thanks Arthur-Lee, yesterday I sent it in for service - just hope that Naim gets back to full business soon! Regards, Johan

Please let us know how you get on with your CDS being back at Naim (once things get back to normal) - I think mine may be in need of some TLC, too, though I have yet to try the @NeilS cleaning method above, so fingers crossed that it will solve my problems.

Perhaps I misunderstand, but how far is your summer house from your main house? If close, why not just connect it by ethernet? Or is your summer house a second home?

I still have my CDS/CDSPS (boxed on top of a wardrobe). Great player, but outperformed IMO by my NDS/555DR.

Thanks for your comments, I will try to report back on the effects of servicing. I noticed that my spindle was very worn and the effect of cleaning was limited. In Sweden summer house equals second home-so it is 100km away and I do not have the required length of ethernet cable😊

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