Replacing old 3 system Nothing last forever

Back in the day a bought a new Naim 3 series system. NAIT 3r, CD3, NAT3 and IBLs, I know that the IBLs are not the best match for this system, but they have given me decades of enjoyment. I bought the system in 94. I also have a LP12 and a node2i.

It is well past time for a refresh. First the cd player is dead, dac and pick up. I’m sure the amp needs new caps and an overhaul. That looks like it will be over 1K USD. Is it worth it since it was never a good fit for the IBLs? I also need to get my Linn Lingo II rebuilt. The next few months will be when I’ll start putting things together.

At first thought I looked into the Naim CD5 si (that is the max i want to spend on a cd player). my concerns are Naim does not seem to be doing much with cd players anymore and with the cd5si being available for a while now what will support be like in coming years? What would people who like the Naim sound look at besides the cd5si? Does the new Rega apollo play nice with Naim gear ( NAIT 5si)?

Again what would Naim fans look at besides a NAIT that might be a good fit for my current speakers. At this time I think I’d like to continue to us the IBLs as old as they might be. I don’t want to go above 3-3.5K for cd player and new amp.

Thanks Mandrake

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Naim support is legendary, I would quite happily buy a Naim CD player today knowing that it would be built to last and that it would be able to be serviced for a couple of decades. I would go for Nait 5 and their current CD player.

I too have a NAT 03 , still going, needs a service and Naim have quoted me a price.

PS I had the set up you have and still have the tuner and CD player , traded in the amp - we all make mistakes, as the Dalek said climbing off the dustbin

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Check whether your CD3 has got a platter that has dropped on the spindle. This is quite common and a simple fix. The CDM9 is otherwise super-reliable, so worth checking out. Of course, the Philips DAC chips can also go noisy or fail, and that’s a bit more tricky to fix.


I cant speak to the spindle dropping but the DAC has gone kaput in the past so I know what that sounds like. Before the cd player quit being able to load discs it had the same sound as before. And thanks Richard for taking the time to reply.

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OK, that sounds promising. Check out the platter - there’s a technique for clicking it back into position (you may find it on the 'net). I have managed to save a few otherwise dead CDM9s this way. The CD3 is a lovely player with a very characterful but hugely enjoyable sound, and if it can be resuscitated then it’s well worth doing.

Decades of enjoyment is all you can ever ask of a system regardless of any perceived incompatibility so I would be looking at servicing rather than replacement.


I’d keep the IBL eventuel for later use.

Might be difficult to get a CD3 fresh again however if success, its much better than the entrylevel 5i players IMO.
Honestly I’ll choose a Rega Apollo (latest) or better yet a Saturn/R anyday of the week.

Before choosing amp you should listen to Brio amp as well, probably not a match for IBL but quite good on Rega’s own loudspeaker range.

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Not at all complaining about the gear at all. I have more than revived my moneys worth. That system has brought my thousands of hours of pleasure and musical growth regardless of recommended compatibility.

The IBLs are not going anywhere. They might get relegated to back up system but as long as they work they stay. I did inquire about getting the crossovers recapped and that was $1400. I’m assuming that was for the pair (hmm??? better check that out).

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Also does it make any sense to recap the NAIT for $11-1200 US or replace and use the 3R for anther system? i’ve been out of the game for a long time. I’m much more into music than gear.

That sounds to me like an awful lot of cash to pay for a recap! In the UK you might expect to pay under £300 for a Nait3 so you couldn’t possibly justify that cost for a recap.


If the system has given you so much pleasure I would get it all serviced and enjoy another 20 years of fun, including keeping the IBLs. If you fancy splashing the cash you could add a Fraimlite support? Great little classic system you have there.

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Anybody mentioned adding a flatcap already?

I would get the stuff serviced, but not at the price you mentioned.


i should add, I have not contacted Naim service regarding the recap of NAIT 3. I’m going off the price for recap and overhaul for NAIT 1&2 and the cost for recap of IBL crossovers.

I think spending money on a new CD player is very poor value. I had a CD5si on loan when my CDX2 was being repaired. I found it quite a step down. I eventually ended up with a CD555 after CDS3. I found streaming to a Hugo TT via Rapsberry Pi with an optical connection better than the CD 555.

You will most likely get better sound if you go the streaming route and it does really open up a lot of musical avenues.

Nothing wrong with a CD led system, I’d just not use the CD5si as its basis. I do think a Rega CDP or s/h Naim CD5x or CDX2 would be a better option.

Try googling “Rega Apollo stereophile”.



Unfortunately, no, a recap at that price doesn’t make sense. You may wish to contact Focal Naim America directly and see if they have a cheaper option. Otherwise, you could buy older Naim pieces from the UK, have them serviced and get the voltage changed at Class A (an authorized Naim service center), then have them sent on to you. A 72/HC/250 would be sweet! I’ve done something similar with great results.

As far as the CD player is concerned, if a cheap fix fails, I’d suggest you look at an inexpensive CD transport and a nice DAC. I use the RME ADI-2 DAC; you could plug both the transport and your Node 2i into it and kill two birds with one stone. Other DACs, such as the Topping models from China, are excellent, too, and very good value for money.

Happy holidays and happy hunting!


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I’m using my old IBLs fronted by Rega P1 and Brio amp. Actually my daughters set up but she rarely uses it and plays her records on my LP12 :roll_eyes:

But the IBLs actually sound pretty good in this set up. There’s a lot of guff written about how speakers only sound any good when you front them with ££££ amp. Yes, they’ll sound better but that doesn’t mean they sound crap with a lesser amp driving them if the amp is a good one.


I’ve got a Rega Apollo (most recent version) in my other system, going into Densen gear but I’ve run it in the Naim system I’ve also got and it worked well there.

It doesn’t have the weight of my cdx 2.2 but it does have the same organic presentation.

It certainly justifies the praise it gets.


Thank you to all for needed insights. I think I’ll give the Apollo a listen the Saturn is more money than I want to spend at the time. I’ll see about a Dax down the road. I might also compare the NAIT 5si and Elex R. Anyone have time with the MF gear? How does it compare to the Naim general presentation ?


I have an early and serviced CDX which is superb with a SN2 on Motives SX, The Apollo upstairs are a breeze too, a touch more friendly smooth, supported too.