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NAD CD player on the fritz: replace, repair, or tweak?

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Anonymous
September 10, 2004 3:37:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

My 3 or 4 year old NAD 512 no longer recognizes CDs I insert. The display
conked out some years ago, and while I liked the sound well enough, the
whole experience has soured me on the brand. So, the options appear to
be:

1) replace the deck with something newer and hopefully more durable;

2) pay $100 or more to repair the deck, which may or may not result in
more years of service than I got from the first go-round; or

3) break out my screwdriver and soldering iron and see what I can fix
myself (I've never done this with hi-fi components, though I've done a
fine job replacing the nicads on my Norelco).

Any suggestions? If the Marantz CD-63 SE were still available, I'd
probably just buy that and be done with it, but the flood of DVD players
and the like has left me much confused.

--
---
"Wake Up, Everybody."--McFadden/Whitehead/Carstarphen
RIP John Whitehead 1948-2004
September 10, 2004 7:42:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>Subject: NAD CD player on the fritz: replace, repair, or tweak?
>From: ehol@xmission.com (eric h)

>Any suggestions?

Sony SCD-CE595

5-disc CD/SACD changer

It's $149.99 at crutchfield.com. I don't have one, but if I needed a cheap CD
player, it's the one I'd go for. Plus you can try out the Rolling Stones SACDs.
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 12:20:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

eric h wrote:

> My 3 or 4 year old NAD 512 no longer recognizes CDs I insert. The display
> conked out some years ago, and while I liked the sound well enough, the
> whole experience has soured me on the brand. So, the options appear to
> be:
>
> 1) replace the deck with something newer and hopefully more durable;
>
> 2) pay $100 or more to repair the deck, which may or may not result in
> more years of service than I got from the first go-round; or
>
> 3) break out my screwdriver and soldering iron and see what I can fix
> myself (I've never done this with hi-fi components, though I've done a
> fine job replacing the nicads on my Norelco).
>
> Any suggestions? If the Marantz CD-63 SE were still available, I'd
> probably just buy that and be done with it, but the flood of DVD players
> and the like has left me much confused.
>

It probably has a weak or failed laser pickup. And, it might not be the
laser itself, though it usually is; the laser lens is suspended on a
plastic "spring" arrangement, and gravity eventually wins out as the
spring weakens, causing the lens to "sag" and finally not be able to
focus, thus becoming unable to detect a disc.

I do not remember which laser pickup that NAD uses. Some NAD use a Sony
Chemicals KSS-type pickup (the Sony number is on a little paper label on
the pickup assembly). In many cases it is the common KSS-210A, which is
available at MCM Electronics in a genuine Sony version for about $25, or
at Dalbani Electronics in Miami, FL. (assuming the hurricanes don't get
them!), in a generic knockoff for about $16. Other NAD use a Sanyo
SFP-101 pickup, which is expensive, about $85 for the entire assembly
including a new disc drive motor, if ordered from NAD. It is much less
expensive, about $29 for the entire assembly, if ordered from Dalbani
Electronics. There may be other laser pickups used in NAD CD players,
and I repeat myself: I do not remember which one is in your NAD 512!

In any case, replacement of the laser pickup assembly is almost all
mechanical in nature. Once in, no adjustment is needed. But do all
work with protection against electrostatic discharge, and don't forget
to remove the temporary solder bridge on the laser pickup's circuit
board, which makes it resistant to such discharge during shipment. Fail
to do that, and it won't work.

Good luck!
Related resources
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 12:21:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Oh, yes, forgot to mention: Most likely the display didn't conk out on
your NAD. Probably the light bulbs that illuminate the LCD did. NAD
are notorious for that. But then, so is McIntosh, which until recently
got that soft greenish glow of their front panels from incandescent
light bulbs. One would think that with electroluminescent panels so
widely available that you can get them as night lights for about $3,
McIntosh would have changed over many years ago. Maybe they ordered a
few million more light bulbs than they wanted, way back a decade or two ago.

-GP
Anonymous
September 17, 2004 3:22:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

> eric h wrote:
>
> > My 3 or 4 year old NAD 512 no longer recognizes CDs I insert. The display
> > conked out some years ago...

And I replied:

> It probably has a weak or failed laser pickup...
>
> I do not remember which laser pickup that NAD uses. Some NAD use a Sony
> Chemicals KSS-type pickup (the Sony number is on a little paper label on
> the pickup assembly). In many cases it is the common KSS-210A, which is
> available at MCM Electronics in a genuine Sony version for about $25, or
> at Dalbani Electronics in Miami, FL. (assuming the hurricanes don't get
> them!), in a generic knockoff for about $16.
=========================================

An NAD 512 just happened to cross my path today.

Same problems:

Display out...this is always due to two 12-volt light bulbs burned
out. The LCD is almost invariably working fine.

Won't play...weak laser emission. This one uses the Sony KSS-210A
optical pickup.

So now Eric can decide whether he is up to the task of fixing his own
CD player. It's really not difficult.

-Gene Poon
Anonymous
September 18, 2004 1:00:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <cid76o0sf9@news3.newsguy.com>, Gene Poon <sheehans@ap.net> wrote:

>So now Eric can decide whether he is up to the task of fixing his own
>CD player. It's really not difficult.

Thanks for the info, and thanks to all who responded. I had already
cracked open the player and confirmed that it's a KSS-210A in there.
I've ordered a replacement and will attempt to install it. Assuming that
succeeds, I'll then try and tackle the light bulbs, but that's a lower
priority, as I've long since gotten used to flying blind with the player.

In the process, I discovered a copyright date of 1995 on the circuit
board, and a manufacture date of 1997. Digging into my files, I found
that I bought the unit in March of 1998 for about $300, which means that
it ran for about 6 years before the laser conked. Not too bad, I suppose,
though the bulbs were gone within a year or so.

Thanks again to all who responded.

--
---
"Wake Up, Everybody."--McFadden/Whitehead/Carstarphen
RIP John Whitehead 1948-2004
Anonymous
September 18, 2004 1:08:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

The new Pioneer DV-578A-S has pristine audio, 24bit 192k converters,
great DVD video, too. Plays just about anything. You need to use
the analog outputs to benefit from the 24/192 converters. You can
get it for about $129 from any number of places on the web. I got one
last week on sale down the street at BestBuy. The latest technology
is catchng up with high end player cost/performance.

On 9 Sep 2004 23:37:18 GMT, ehol@xmission.com (eric h) wrote:

>My 3 or 4 year old NAD 512 no longer recognizes CDs I insert. The display
>conked out some years ago, and while I liked the sound well enough, the
>whole experience has soured me on the brand. So, the options appear to
>be:
>
>1) replace the deck with something newer and hopefully more durable;
>
>2) pay $100 or more to repair the deck, which may or may not result in
>more years of service than I got from the first go-round; or
>
>3) break out my screwdriver and soldering iron and see what I can fix
>myself (I've never done this with hi-fi components, though I've done a
>fine job replacing the nicads on my Norelco).
>
>Any suggestions? If the Marantz CD-63 SE were still available, I'd
>probably just buy that and be done with it, but the flood of DVD players
>and the like has left me much confused.
Anonymous
September 18, 2004 7:19:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

eric h wrote:

> Thanks for the info, and thanks to all who responded. I had already
> cracked open the player and confirmed that it's a KSS-210A in there.
> I've ordered a replacement and will attempt to install it. Assuming that
> succeeds, I'll then try and tackle the light bulbs, but that's a lower
> priority, as I've long since gotten used to flying blind with the player.
>
> In the process, I discovered a copyright date of 1995 on the circuit
> board, and a manufacture date of 1997. Digging into my files, I found
> that I bought the unit in March of 1998 for about $300, which means that
> it ran for about 6 years before the laser conked. Not too bad, I suppose,
> though the bulbs were gone within a year or so.
================================

The six years is pretty typical of a CD player in normal use with the
KSS-210A pickup. Incidentally, some of the very early Sony players used
a KSS-150, which is a MUCH more expensive pickup, more than three times
the price, that does last longer; the KSS-210A is IIRC a drop-in
replacement for it.

The bulbs are a known NAD weakness but a year or so is too short; is
your line voltage too high?

-Gene Poon
Anonymous
September 19, 2004 6:07:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <cihjm601utf@news4.newsguy.com>, Gene Poon <sheehans@ap.net> wrote:

>The bulbs are a known NAD weakness but a year or so is too short; is
>your line voltage too high?

No, but I did move a few times in there, and at least one of those moves
involved pretty rough movers. I think that's when it conked.

--
---
"Wake Up, Everybody."--McFadden/Whitehead/Carstarphen
RIP John Whitehead 1948-2004
!