CDS2 Up the Swanny!

Oh beloved CDS2 has just decided...without consultation, warning or stop reading CDs! I didn't use it for a couple of weeks due to work commitments (although it and the XPS were kept switched on) and when I put a CD just came up with the dreaded "ERR" on the display! I am gutted  - no CDs work now..although they do spin.....but that's not very satisfying really as I prefer them to make music too...but that's just me 

So...over the past few days....I have started to become gradually more expertly in its workings....and I can dismantle/re-assemble it virtually with my eyes closed!

I have studied the delights of Philips VAM 1205 CD transports, Servo boards, TDA1541 DAC chips, axial electrolytic capacitors and...lithium lubrication...Oooo Matron!!  I even found a Naim Forum thread from 2006 regarding the PIC update and how to check if your CD player has it (which it has   - thanks Richard Dane for that.....

So....what am I doing about it? part of a process of elimination, I have ordered a used (pulled) VAM 1205 CD transport from the internet....and will fit it when it arrives in a few days. Fingers, toes and whatever else crossed....and hopefully it may spring back to life! If not....then my next suspect (or suspects) will be the capacitors on the servo board....but that might be a job for someone more experienced that myself (which doesn't take much!).

Before anyone suggests's not the puck....I have a relatively new one...and a good spare, which have both worked perfectly up to now. I have also switched off and unplugged the XPS for various lengths of time (even overnight) but to no avail.  I did, however, wonder if the XPS had contributed to the CD head unit failing in some way?  It had been "humming" a bit recently...but as we all know, that's not uncommon for Naim gear.

I would, of course, much appreciate Members' input here....any suggestions would be gratefully received....although not perhaps ones that involve a big hammer or fire 

I will keep you posted as to the progress...especially when I change the CD transport.

Kind regards to you all 

Original Post

You may be right Chris.... But I am willing to give it a try...if the used VAM 1205 (for only £35) doesn't fix it..then it may well be that the player is sent Naimwards for a full fettle.  At least my first attempt will be cheap, and can be easily reversed if unsuccessful.

Nothing ventured....nothing gained.

And thanks for the Dad's Army of my favourite shows 


I had similar troubles to you with my CDS2 recently. i was told by the German distributor that there are no more transports available, so like you was left to my own research and tinkering.

In my case , I ordered a refurbished transport from Justone/schnepel here in Germany for the princely sum of 70€.  ! 

This made the Situation 70% better however the  puck was indeed responsible for the stopping mid track that remained with the newer transport. The inner part must be totally inserted into the outer and the rubber loops must be either round (as new) or if oval, so that the long side is vertical and not horizontal to exert more force on the disc. 

Never leave a disc in the player when not listening - the pucks age very quickly! I leave mine upside down now. 

Never clean the laser with a cotton bud - this can bugger the alignment. 

and finally do not be tempted by one of the clone vam1205s from China - apparently only 10% work.

If all else fails give Mark at Witch Hat Audio a call he will get your player up and running again. (This sentence is perhaps not allowed on the forum, but I feel justified in this case as Naim at least in Germany could not help in my case)

Been three weeks without ERR now...






Hi All - Just a wee update on my CDS2....

I received a replacement VAM1205 laser transport from Germany and successfully installed it. The CDS2 was fairly easy to dis-assemble and there are only 4 small wires to solder.

However, when I connected it all up..I got the same "ERR" as before...meaning that the laser transport was probably not the cause of the error in the first place. As the replacement (pre-used) laser was only £ was a cheap way of testing the player and I will have a spare laser for the future.

So, I contacted Naim, and they said that it was more likely to be a component fail and that they would repair it for £325.

I will wait a while until I can afford it and send them (through a Dealer) the CDS2 and also my XPS for a service.

Nothing ventured...nothing gained! And at least I have learned a few things about my CDS2.

Thanks for all the previous comments and suggestions 

Can anyone tell me though, what the difference is between an original grey Burndy cable and the newer black one? Is it worth changing and why?

Kind regards to all

Andyzeg posted:

So, I contacted Naim, and they said that it was more likely to be a component fail and that they would repair it for £325.

I will wait a while until I can afford it and send them (through a Dealer) the CDS2 and also my XPS for a service.

I think that could be 'awfully wise', Andy, going on the experiences of myself and others. Hope it comes good for you.



And no need for a service either.....can't go into too much detail due to Forum Rules, but all it needed was a little lubrication.

However, it was my XPS that had developed a fault...causing the "ERR" message - no display of the total number of tracks on any CD...and then when Play is would think for a few seconds and go to "ERR".  I used an alternative power supply and the CDS2 sprang back into life...better than ever!

I'm not sure what has happened to the XPS...but I noticed that one of the pin hole connectors of the Burndy socket at the back had disappeared into its hole....I managed to pull it out, thinking that would be the source of the error...but still the same, sadly.  Something seems to have gone awry's not the burndy cable, as I tried a spare one and that was the same.

Looks like the XPS will be off for a fettle then! 

Take care all

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