June 20 2008
This player definitely deserves some serious attention. Where
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
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
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
Opamps - one of the best -OPA 604 from Burr-Brown.
The caps around DAC - all kosher MKP's And the DAC is a
200 VA is less than in the big NAIM but still this player has HUGELY
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
Not much space for lampizator but there is some.
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
Add to this the NOS cut and there you have a dream player. Definitely
in my top 5 worldwide.
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
The schematics is this:
Ra - 15K
Rk = 250 Ohms
Ck bypass = 100 uF Tantalum (YES this cathode resistor bypass is
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.