Poor CD sound using 32/5 Hi-Cap 250

Something else to consider if the new CDP doesn’t fully resolve the harsh sound;

Further to Xanthe’s post on old Vs newer amps, it is possible to bring the 32 pre up to date simply by swapping the original 324 input filter buffer boards with a pair of 729 ‘time aligned’ filter buffer boards. The older boards used a simple passive RC input filter, where the later boards employ an active input filter. The advantage here is a greater attenuation of ultrasonic frequencies compared to the earlier input boards.

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Re the 729 boards
Yes a good suggestion. I had already considering trying these, assuming they are still available to purchase ? Pity these were not fitted when the 32/5 was serviced, but I think the idea is to keep the amps to original spec ?


Active filters will only give better attenuation of ultrasonic (i.e. stop band) frequencies if they are specifically designed for that purpose.

Might be worth an email to Naim but I think 729 boards may only be available used now from the usual online trader, though Tom Tom Audio may have a pair.

IIRC the circuit design used in the 729 boards was first developed for the 52 preamp, then was used in the 72,82,102 preamps. The 62 retained the original simple RC filter, so is very similar to the 42-5.

Recently I’ve been using a 42-5 in place of my usual 102 pre and I’m surprised at how brilliantly involving the little pre is, even though the 102 is better in terms of clarity and separation. There is something to be said for the simpler design of the earlier preamps.

Prices charged for servicing my amps now confirmed as correct by Naim Tech… at least there good now for a few years !


Well so much for my new CDP …on loading the first CD the mechanism sounded like a washing machine, not a good start, then it stated format not supported or recognised …what the…??
Finally got it to read a disc, it played just 3 tracks before the left channel failed now it won’t read or play anything !
Did not get much chance to see if it actually sounded better than my old 67 or not, the top edge of the vocals were perhaps better controlled and the bass definition possibly better…but will need a longer audition to be sure.
The joys…


Oh no! that’s just so disappointing!

I’m sorry to read this.

Is a used CD5i etc out of the question?

Surely your Naim dealer will loan you a CDP to test.

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Yes very disappointing but getting a replacement - hopefully it will be OK as I managed to get it for £259 new, cheapest now is £329 or £350 via Amazon.

Having just paid out 1K recently getting amps serviced, that’s not really an option at present.

He’s not been that helpful to date, and the next nearest dealer is a 300 mile round trip. But I shall ask - nothing to loose !


10 or more

@vinyl_rules if your dealer is not supportive inform Naim officially. I’m sure Naim won’t like it, especially when they’re new to the fold. I’m sure Naim would expect them to do more to help you.
Another option is to have a friend bring their player to yours.
Hope you get sorted.

Finally got a replacement Marantz CD6006UK player, the first one only lasted 3 tracks of the first CD before failing on one channel and then completely.
Replacement thankfully is working fine, and a fairly big improvement from the old CD67.
However, when using it with the newly serviced 32/5Hi-Cap/250 with Gotham 5pin DIN to Phono via the Tuner input, I 'm still not happy with the SQ. It’s very dynamic with plenty of PRaT but the vocals especially are a bit shrill on some discs making them unpleasant if the vol is turned up a bit.
Examples; Jackson Browne The Naked Ride Home CD a super recording but the vocals can be almost “shouting in your face” shame this is not available AFAIK on vinyl.
Jenny sings Lenny (Famous Blue Raincoat) CD a superb recording but once again Jenny 's vocals can be a bit ear nipping…and she has such a wonderful voice…
Putting the vinyl on of the above, it’s much easier to listen to, but to my surprise the vocals if turned up were also a little bit nippy, but not nearly so noticeable as on the CD.
Another example is some of Robert Cray CD 's great music but again on some the vocals are irritating unless played pretty quietly.
Once again the vinyl versions of the above are easier to listen to, but there’s still something about the vocals that are kind of hard on the ear, especially when turned up.
My overall conclusion is that for some reason since getting the amps serviced the overall SQ appears to be brighter/sharper and more “in your face” ESPECIALLY using CD than it was previously before the servicing. Vinyl replay appears to have lost that sweetness it had especially with good female vocalists.



My .2 cents, run the CD player 24/7 for a good 200 hours. At various intervals change the music. Amp doesn’t need to be on. Also not sure what interconnect you are using from CD to preamp, but if it’s as old as your other stuff you should probably replace it. It’s probably oxidized internally. If any of your other cables are 25 years old replacing those with new should make an improvement, nothing fancy just new fresh copper.

Sorry to read of your disappointment.

I wish you had a mate who could lend you a Naim CD5 and a DIN-DIN lavender interconnect for a few days.

Edit: What kind of condition is the Karma in?

A brand new Gotham Gac-1 - DIN 5pin to phono is used to connect the CD player.
I’ll run the CD player as much as possible as you suggested but I 'm beginning to think the newly serviced amps may possibly be the issue, as even with playing more and more vinyl it 's SQ also tends to be too bright overall especially the vocals even using a NAP250 the bass although very tuneful tends to be lighter in weight to what I remember…
If I connect the CDP to a spare Cambridge A5 Integrated amp, using the same speakers the SQ is far more listenable and weighty and it just boogies more…
Shame the A5 does not have a phono stage to try…

Nope don’t have any friends with a CD5. Was planning on asking dealer for a loan assuming he has one , but due to underlying health issues I’m supposed to stay in for 3 months, possibly more…so that will have to wait…stir crazy already lol…
The Karma is not presently fitted, I’m a waiting the return of MC boards which are being modified back to their original K spec from S spec.
A Linn K9 (Grey) is presently fitted using MM boards, it’s had very little use since new, it worked perfectly well in the past and still does.
The Karma stylus/diamond was checked by a dealer recently and confirmed to be OK.

Edit: Something else I’ve noticed is that with the volume pot on the 32/5 being replaced during service, it now appears to have a lot more gain, previously the system had a sweet spot around 12 o’clock now at 10 o’clock it 's louder.
With CD due to the output of the player via the Tuner input the vol pot is almost like an on/off switch.
Although the CD remote has vol up/down still not managed to get it to work to adjust the CD output I think it only works if your using a matching Marantz Amp ?

Some good news…with a LOT of use over the last few days, vinyl SQ appears to have improved, perhaps the newly serviced amps are now beginning to settle in ?
On some well played albums I 'm hearing more small details etc that I don’t remember hearing in the past …ie more music…
Using an old favourite Suzanne Vega’s Solitude Standing vinyl - wow it 's really impressive…can’t get other old favourite albums on quick enough to try… fingers crossed it keeps improving with use, and look forward to getting the Karma back on for a likely further small improvement…
As for CD well I’ve left it playing as much as possible (in silence) to see if it will make any difference, but as long as the volume is kept down it 's at least useable - keeps herself happy !..lol…


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Glad to hear it’s coming around

@vinyl_rules. You mentioned just now that you’re using the volume control on the CD player? Those are the Variable Outputs! You maybe overloading the input of the preamp. If the preamp has a CD input change the CD to fixed output and use the CD input. In fact use the fixed output on the CD player regardless of the input of the preamp

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Of course I could be wrong

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