June 20 2008

This player definitely deserves some serious attention.  Where this machine excells constructionwise is the PCB layout, simplicity of digital section and cool mechanism.
The grounding, the regulation, the capacitors - everything is from the best league, head and shoulders above the Philips / Marantz machines of that time.

This CD3 sound is very dynamic, rhytmical, natural sounding. I love it both before and even more - after lampization.

Back-lit naim logo. Very narcistic

The green PCB is screaming "NAIM job !!!". I don't know any other maker so fanatical about star grounding, tantalum caps and regulation by LM317.

I think that using tantalum caps is a decisive factor in creation of NAIM house sound.

BUT - back to the goodies:
Check out - 6 voltage regulators and) each one - high end Linear Technologies LM317 - best of the best.
Almost none of the caps are ultra sophisticated tantalum like in more costly modells.
Opamps - one of the best -OPA 604  from Burr-Brown.

The caps around DAC - all kosher MKP's  And the DAC is a S1   !!!

200 VA is less than in the big NAIM but still this player has HUGELY oversized transformer.

Typical DIN plug from NAIM. Sorry - I remove them immediately. What a stupidity NOT providing RCA's at least as an option on the side.

I drilled the 10 mm holes for the RCA sockets.

RCA's in place.

The above drawing shows my tried and tested suggestion for a snipit modification - connecting the first opamp to RCA's via a capacitor. Add to this a quick NOS mod and the player plays MUCH better than stock unit. The cost of this mod - snipit and NOS - is 10 Euros for a pair of decent MKP caps (or tantalum in this case, connected plus to opamp, minus to RCA). and 2 Euros for a pair of RCA's.

These are the active elements - opamps and relais - which we will no longer use. This all becomes just one triode.

The famous 6 regulators with back of the box serving as a radiator.

I really fell in love with this mechanism. It is great ! The LAST mechanism from Philips magnetic CDM's. (The number 9)

The last possible upgrade would be the clock - there is a standard one . We could fix here a superclock.

I did perform the NOS conversion. It really allows this player to improve A GREAT DEAL ! It should be obbligatory even without any other tweaking or lampization. Just say : one - two - three and cut 3 tracks on the PCB. as shown below.

Not much space for lampizator but there is some.

naim CD3

On the picture you can see the inside of CD3. The TDA has no crown, but who cares. The mechanism is a FANTASTIC CDM9. It is so simple and good that I recommend it very much. Genius at work !
The small transformer and the tube is from me.
With just one Siemens ECC801S it sounds so much better than the stock player that I can not tell you. Lampization thrashes the NAIM 4-opamp per channel analog stage. Even if the op-amps are the best, and application is the best, it looses to the tube in every imaginable department.
Add to this the NOS cut and there you have a dream player. Definitely in my top 5 worldwide.

naim CD3

The yellow wire are the NOS conversion and the trace cuts are marked red. The chip SAA7220p/B is bypassed.

In the red elypse the capacitors which I would change for better ones like OSCONS . I would but I did not. Just a suggestion.

The sound is so good from this Siemens ECC801S triode that my hands were shaking.

The schematics is this:
Anode follower
Ra - 15K
Rk = 250 Ohms
Ck bypass = 100 uF Tantalum (YES this cathode resistor bypass is excellent)
R conversion and grid - 82 Ohms
Ia = 3,7 mA
U= 150 V
Ua = 90 V

the transformer and anode power filter. somehow squeezed in this flat box. Tube heater is AC so it does not require any parts at all.