Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

compact disc, dacs, mp3 players and streaming audio
Vinylfreak86
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Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 22 Sep 2019 09:14

I am using 1990 Sony CD player, which I bought second-hand. I don`t know how many people had it before and how much it was abused. But in many cases it starts to skip songs at the beginning of a CD or even later. Because I am using only new and factory made music CD`s I thought it could be the reason for this in new CD pressings. But CD unlike vinyl is not related to mechanical process. Vinyl skips if it is badly pressed. Then I read on some forums that many people who had Sony cd players from this era had to trash them, because of bad skipping and it couldn`t be repaired. Can it be, that cd player is going to spoil in the near future, then it is time to sell it and get some money for it. :)

Bluesnote
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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by Bluesnote » 22 Sep 2019 09:47

You could try a CD lens cleaner, a disc with a small brush and fluid you play to clear off any dust etc.
Should be available via ebay for a few dollars. I have a Sony of about that vintage that still plays perfectly. . .

Chris

Vinylfreak86
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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 22 Sep 2019 10:02

Bluesnote wrote:
22 Sep 2019 09:47
You could try a CD lens cleaner, a disc with a small brush and fluid you play to clear off any dust etc.
Should be available via ebay for a few dollars. I have a Sony of about that vintage that still plays perfectly. . .

Chris
Ok thanks for this information. I know where to get this, but wasn`t sure if it could help.

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by bernard1 » 22 Sep 2019 11:49

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
22 Sep 2019 09:14
But CD unlike vinyl is not related to mechanical process.
I don't think so. Just like vinyl or tape, CD is related to mechanical processes : there is a motor to spin the cd, another one to move the lens along the disc, in fact a cd player is not so far from a linear tracking turntable. Dust and grease and aging and your cd reader doesn't play as on the first day.
And like vinyl, CD can be badly pressed, remember the first ones in the '80s when you could see holes in the layer when holding them through the light?

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by lenjack » 22 Sep 2019 13:41

Sony cd players are just as reliable as others. Yours may have been mistreated by prior owners.

Vinylfreak86
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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 22 Sep 2019 20:58

I have very different new reissues, so if all of them skip, it is not the reason in quality of a CD pressing. It have to be in a CD player. I will try with lens cleaner and yes I don`t know how previous owners were handling with it.

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by lbls1 » 22 Sep 2019 21:18

Sonys in my opinion were among the best CD players in that era and currently. I had a 5 disc changer from 1992, and I would swear that it was the best single audio component that I had. The cd player had outstanding sound output, with a variety of pre-set sound settings. I still have this changer, and unfortunately Sony's are prone to age and wear related maladies. This changer currently has problems opening the cd drawer.

Roll the tape almost 30 years later to last year; I built myself a new system and purchased an Onkyo 6 cd changer. At first I thought of refurbishing the Sony, but I wanted an all new system, and the cd changer was quick and easy to acquire and set up. At first it played ok, but soon after I noticed skipping of sound, even on good cds. I gave the benefit of the doubt that my discs were dirty. After many sessions of cleaning discs and the changer heads, I grew tired of it and realized that the Onkyo changer was of poor quality. I returned it and bought a brand new Sony changer based on my experiences two decades ago. What a night and day difference. The new Sony saved my day, and now I have excellent cd playback anytime, and with no worrying or excessive disc cleaning. Long Live Sony Products!

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by circularvibes » 22 Sep 2019 21:28

I don't know if this will help but I found long ago that cleaning the laser transport rails with alcohol can fix the problem sometimes. I do not relubricate them. They are smooth enough to not need lube and most lubes will actually add drag. A simple thing as long exposure to tobacco smoke or kitchen grease can muck up playback.

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 22 Sep 2019 21:41

Yes, by previous owner it was very exposed to tobacco smoke, that is a fact.:) I didn`t know that Sony is still producing hifi CD changers?

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 23 Sep 2019 15:27

lbls1 wrote:
22 Sep 2019 21:18
I gave the benefit of the doubt that my discs were dirty. After many sessions of cleaning discs and the changer heads, I grew tired of it and realized that the Onkyo changer was of poor quality.
The main reason is that Sony is still made at home, and Onkyo most probably by Taiwanese/Chinese OEM. Here you can get a perfect unit or one with problems. The same is with new Marantz CD5005/CD6006. Some have luck, other got units with serious faults.

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by lbls1 » 24 Sep 2019 01:44

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
23 Sep 2019 15:27
lbls1 wrote:
22 Sep 2019 21:18
I gave the benefit of the doubt that my discs were dirty. After many sessions of cleaning discs and the changer heads, I grew tired of it and realized that the Onkyo changer was of poor quality.
The main reason is that Sony is still made at home, and Onkyo most probably by Taiwanese/Chinese OEM. Here you can get a perfect unit or one with problems. The same is with new Marantz CD5005/CD6006. Some have luck, other got units with serious faults.
I didn't want to believe that my Onkyo deck was junk. It had gotten great reviews, and I really liked my new Onkyo receiver, so I wanted to believe that the cd unit was good. After awhile it dawned on my that it wasn't me, because I've always taken good care of my discs, and I've almost never had to clean anything when I used to play cds on my Sony units and in the car. My car cd player will play anything, anytime. No such thing as cleaning. Onkyo struck out with that unit.

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 24 Sep 2019 19:07

I have ordered the cheapest CD lens cleaner on the web, for a little more than 3 eur. Majority of them cost around 10 eur, which is too much and I doubt they do the job any better.

I also like the look of new Onkyo hifi components, but you cannot do anything if it doesn`t work. I think that with amps there are least problems, maybe because they have stayed in the technology and build quality of the 70`s.

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by lbls1 » 25 Sep 2019 00:47

^Yea Onkyo has had a lot of experience with amps and receivers, so their amps should be good buys. The issue with the cd player is a good example of "Not everyone can make everything." I believe in Onkyo's case they may have outsourced this product to a very bad manufacturerof cd laser units. It was an eye opener to see a new hifi cd player fail in providing good high quality sound.

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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by ravelax » 30 Sep 2019 18:08

I have a 1989 Sony CD player exhibiting the same symptoms as your player.

I initially tried a cleaning CD that I had, it made no difference whatsoever, and while reading up on CD player maintenance I found people saying the brushes of the cleaning CD might actually damage the lens. Not sure if there's any validity in that, but it doesn't seem totally ridiculous and I suppose there could be a lot of quality differences between different cleaning CD's. A better option should be to carefully clean the lens with a q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol, which I eventually did. Didn't make much of a difference since the lens wasn't visibly dirty before and the player's always been in a smoke-free environment. I also cleaned and relubed the running rails for the optical block, that seemed to make a slight improvement.

Through my continued reading on the subject, I managed to diagnose it as a spindle motor issue. The player saw ~15 years of heavy use before being put away when it started skipping, without ever being serviced, so it's likely the motor is simply worn out. I've sourced a new replacement motor, and replacing it should be a rather straight forward affair although I haven't bothered with it yet.

From what I gather after reading guides by people who actually seem to know something about the workings of a CD player, the laser should be one of the least likely sources of your issue, despite a common advice being "laser's dead" when one asks for advice with a skipping CD player. Whatever you do, don't touch the laser power adjustment inside the player, since that will cause a premature end to your laser!

As for difference in CD pressing quality, there certainly can be. With my player I quickly found that older CD's generally play better than newer ones, often without skipping at all. Something seems to have happened around the late 90's/early 00's, CD's from that era or newer generally play worse in my player. Interestingly, burned CD's always play flawlessly in my player! Ones I've made myself I've always burned at slowest possible speed since that's supposed to be preferrable, but I do have some others that I don't know at which speed they were burned, yet they play fine...

Anyway, since you have a Sony of similar vintage to mine, and since you seem to be experiencing the same problem (skipping at the beginning of the CD), I guess the spindle motor might be the issue in your player too. A replacement should be easy to find on "that big auction site", but do check the label on your motor (and if possible, measure spindle lenght) before ordering.

A good and very thourough guide can be found here:
https://www.repairfaq.org/sam/cdfaq.htm

Vinylfreak86
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Re: Could it be that Sony CD player is going to spoil?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 30 Sep 2019 19:33

Ravelax, that was interesting and very useful post. I don`t have any electronic skills, so I think that somewhere in the next year I will put my Sony CD player on the web for sale. And will buy something new like Yamaha CD-S300 or interesting small thing from Denmark Tangent CDII or maybe even Onkyo C-7030. And then for around 200 eur (more I don`t want to pay) I won`t have problems for the next ten years. Where will be CD players in ten years... who knows.

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