Naim CD3 laser replacement

Hi, I posted here a month or so back, my CD3 unit stopped playing only two weeks after coming out of storage. I noticed that the ribbon cable connecting the laser had had been crunched. I ordered a replacement ribbon cable which looks perfect, yes, it was from China but the problem was the difficultly level soldering it in. it was going to require specialist skills well beyond what I can manage. I have however found a CDM9 Unit, although not specifically one from a Naim unit, will this work?

Assuming the problem is ONLY the ribbon cable (and not the laser itself), I would think Focal-Naim America should be able to handle the soldering issue. Unfortunately, I have no idea whether the CDM9 Unit will work.

The CD3 takes a CDM9/44 mechanism. However, IIRC it may well require setup by a qualified engineer (perhaps @NeilS can comment here).

Also please note that DIY discussion falls outside the AUP of this forum.

Hi Richard,

The CDM9 range did not require any set up procedure. :sunglasses:


Ah that’s great. Thanks for clarifying Neil.

I understand the scope of this forum, but this information is invaluable in helping me determine whether I just scrap this machine, which is in otherwise fabulous condition. thank you all.

Unfortunately, the replacement CDM9 laser (new/old stock in a sealed bag) did not fix my issue. This represents my last foray into repairing my Naim system. I would’ve preferred to have sent it to a professional repair centre, but I couldn’t find anyone in Australia that would touch them.

Many Naim CD players will suffer the same fate sooner or later unfortunately.

This may be something else then, in which case you may be in luck as Naim should be able to service most other parts of the player.

oddly, the laser seems to be behaving correctly, when i place a CD in the tray, it seems to be spinning slowly. I am contemplating replacing the motor. I gave it a spray with some Isopropyl alcohol with lubricant afterwards to no avial.

I wasn’t aware that there had been any NOS CDM9s available for love or money for many years. Plenty of faulty ones out there though, so beware. Also be aware that even if genuinely NOS, that’s no guarantee that it will be OK as they can easily die in storage. In short, it’s a minefield.

Very uplifting…

Does anyone know someone in Australia that could take a look at the unit for possible repair?

Unfortunately it’s now really a case of finding a tech who may have some super-rare NOS CDM9s or else can scavenge and salvage a working CDM9 from another player.

I’ve sent you a message.

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thanks, received.

Update: I have the CD3 unit working again with a replacement laser (suspected knockoff). I tweaked the heights of the spindle and laser. But i am sure the sound quality isn’t where it used to be. I will try to find someone who can replace the cable on the original laser. Is it possible that a knockoff laser would work, yet not deliver a good sound quality?

Getting it working again is a good start!

It depends on the laser assembly used but some need fine adjustment of laser focus and power level to obtain best results after changing the assembly. Tricky without access to a service manual but an online search might get you some info.

Luckily the CDM9 doesn’t require any specific setup (as confirmed by @NeilS above). However the height of the platter is critical, and a weakness of the CDM9 is that the platter can easily slip down the spindle. I’ve saved a couple of CDM9s (including my own CD3) by just re-setting the platter height on the spindle.

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any tips on how to set the platter height?

Problem is it has usually dropped so raising it is the fix. It should click into place iirc.