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Arcam players "not liking" some recently manufactured CDs.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by MyFavouriteHeadache, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. I own 2 Arcam CD players: models CD73 T and FMJ CD17. They perfectly read more than 99% of the (over 5500) CDs in my collection, some of them bought as much as 30 years ago, others bought this year, most of them brand new but also hundreds used and showing slight signs of wear. So, I'd say that these CD players are not particularly "fussy" by any means (they even read CD-R).

    However, I've been experiencing problems with maybe a dozen brand new CDs, all of them manufactured during the last few years. None of the 2 Arcam players are able to read them: the CDs spin endelessly without being recognized (the display shows no message at all) until I finally give up and open the tray by pressing the "load" button.
    I have returned some of those CDs thinking they were counterfeit copies, only to receive another copy with exactly the same result. By the way ... all of those CDs are read without problem by both my computer and an old Pioneer CD player from the 90s ...

    I read somewhere that these Arcam players lack some specific circuitry (that other players have) in order to correct some kind of reading errors (due to slightly defective CDs), "helping" the laser to focus. Maybe the issue I've detailed is a combination of the particular design of the Arcam players and the CD manufacturing lack of quality control in recent years, but I can't tell for sure.

    Someone else experiencing the same? Any suggestion?
  2. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    You might find that some brands/ constructions might have problems reading a particular disc while another brand shows no problem with the same disc. It probably happens a lot more with video discs rather than with audio. Your players also seem to be a few years old and if you have played over 5500 CD's, making a calculation of 1 hr per CD those are quite a few hours per player. I am not saying they are on their last leg but they probably don't perform anymore as when they were new. I would just play those discs in the other players you have and would not worry too much about it.
    MyFavouriteHeadache likes this.
  3. capn

    capn Forum Resident

    I've had 2 Arcam cd players that had problems reading CDs. I even changed the sony laser in one of them and then I read an article on the web saying many Arcam's have a problem with reading CDs simply because part of the transport(?) drops down over time.

    Sure enough I opened up the player and the spindle that rises, picks up the CD from the tray and raises it slightly to spin and be read, was ever so slightly lower than should be. All it took was some paper masking tape cut to the size (small), and placed on top of that spindle, and the CDs read perfectly again.

    Try that, it was a really easy fix.
  4. I'll try that, thanks! :righton: Will let you know whether it worked out the problem or not.

    By the way, since sooner or later I'll have to replace the laser, do you know where are still available (online) good quality ones (either spare parts or the complete mechanism) ? I'd take the CD player to a technician (since I'm afraid fine adjustments only can be done by them), but I'd like to make sure that I can provide a good quality replacement.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  5. shug4476

    shug4476 Forum Resident

    I asked Arcam about a similar phenomenon and they said some new CDs are not produced to identical standards to those at the time the CD player was made, although didn't go into specifics.

    Let us know if you find a solution!
    MyFavouriteHeadache likes this.
  6. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    I have actually seen the phenomenon described capn which prevents the laser focusing properly it generally comes accompanied by constant noises coming from the drive while it attempts to focus. Most drives are cheaply made but you have to buy the correct one. Unless things have changed a lot you won't be able to pick a better quality one than the correct one. I can't speak for the Arcam brand but you will find that in some players you just drop the mechanism and will work straight away but there were some older players that did require a lot of adjustment, the service manual and an oscilloscope to get it going right.
    MyFavouriteHeadache likes this.
  7. The paper masking tape trick has not worked. Thanks a lot for the idea anyway, I might find it useful in the future. Besides that, I took advantage of the opened unit to clean the laser and put some graphite based lubricant "thick sauce" in the motor spindle.

    Since both Arcam CD players show the same problem with exactly the same few CDs while perfectly reading thousands of them (also, having been one of the 2 units far less used than the other over the years, so it seems unlikely that it may have major wear issues), I tend to believe that the problem rather has to do with the Arcam designs vs some current CD standards here and there (as @shug4476 observed).
    I keep on open to new suggestions/ideas, since my ignorance about these matters is almost complete. Thanks again.:wave:
  8. fish

    fish Forum Resident

    try making a CDR copy of the CDs
    See if that fixes it.
  9. You're right, certainly CD-R copies of the problematic CDs are perfectly loaded and read by both CD players.
    However I'd still like to play the original audio CDs, despite I'm afraid that I'm askig for the impossible unless I add a new unit by a different manufacturer to my gear.
    By the moment it seems that I'll have to give up. In the future, if one of the Arcams dies (hopefuly before I do :p), I'll pick a different brand to have a certain diversity and make chances of "readeablity" higher.

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