Cd players repairs: CD Player Repair | How to Repair Electronics

CD Player Repair | How to Repair Electronics

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The compact disc player, or CD player, was the first major entertainment appliance to used digital technology. This Fix-It Guide on CD player repair tells how a CD player works, what often goes wrong, how to identify a CD player problem, and what parts and tools you will need to fix it. It then gives instructions for how to clean a CD, how to clean the CD player lens, how to service the disc tray and belt of a single-play unit, and how to service the CD player tray motor. Some of these repairs also apply to CD burner repair.

A compact disc player uses a central motor to rotate the disc while the lens reads digital information imprinted on the bottom of the disc.

How Does a CD Player Work?

A CD player is an electronic device powered by a universal motor that rotates a flat plastic disc that has been stamped with a digital code representing specific sounds. As the player rotates the CD at high speed the sound track–less than the width of a human hair–is read by a laser beam used to produce an electric stereo sound signal. This signal goes to an amplifier and speakers or earphones to reproduce the music represented on the CD.

What Can Go Wrong with a CD Player?

CD players either work or they don’t. The third option is that they work, but the sound skips–which typically is caused by a dirty or damaged disc rather than the player. CD players have few moving parts and are mostly trouble free. In fact, there is little you can do besides clean the CDs, clean the machine, or replace cords. Just about everything else should be turned over to an electronics technician.

Fix-It Tip

You can use a CD repair kit, available where CDs are sold, to polish out scratches on the underside of the disc.

How Can I Identify a CD Player Problem?

CD player problems are usually obvious, though the solutions may not be.

  • If a CD player does not work at all, make sure the power supply is on at the outlet. Check the electrical cord and replace it if necessary; remove the housing and test the fuse; test the on-off switch and replace it if needed.
  • If a CD player works but produces no sound, check the connections to the stereo system and clean the clear plastic reading lens.
  • If a CD player skips, check to be sure the CD itself is not scratched or dirty.
  • If a CD player tray won’t open or close properly, check the belt for dirt or wear and check the tray for misalignment (remove, clean, lubricate, and reinstall).
  • If the sound from a CD player is distorted, check and clean dirty output jacks.

Fix-It Tip

CD players and other electronic devices are dust magnets. Every month, carefully clean the interior of these devices with canned air or a vacuum.

What Do I Need for CD Player Repair?

You can find CD cleaners, canned air, and other tools and parts at electronic stores, or even at larger discount stores. Replacement parts need to come from the manufacturer or aftermarket supplier. Here are some of the tools and materials you may need:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Multimeter
  • Canned air or soft brush
  • Foam swab or camera-lens tissue
  • Lens cleaner fluid
  • Clean, dust-free cloth
  • White lithium grease
  • Tweezers
  • Cotton gloves
  • CD cleaning fluid or denatured alcohol

What Are the Steps to CD Player Repair?

The four primary fixes you can do to a CD player include cleaning a CD, cleaning the lens, cleaning the tray, and replacing the tray motor. Let’s take a look at each:

Clean a CD:

  1. Hold the disc by its hub and outside edges. (The music data is located on the back or bottom side of the disc.)
  2. Blow dust from the bottom surface with a can of compressed air.
  3. Clean dirt and fingerprints with a lint-free cloth dampened with CD-cleaning fluid or denatured alcohol, all available at electronic stores. Wipe from the center outward (not a circular motion).

Clean the CD player lens:

  1. To access the lens in a single-play unit, remove the housing and carefully lift up the hold-down clamp to expose the lens. To remove the lens in a carousel player, remove the player housing and unscrew the bracket secured to the top of carousel, then lift off the bracket.
  2. Remove dust with canned air or a soft brush. If needed, use a foam swab or camera-lens tissue (not eyeglass tissue) dampened with lens fluid.

Service the disc tray and belt of a single-play CD unit:

  1. Open the housing by removing the screws on the outside of the housing and remove anything blocking the tray. Press the open-close control to extend tray, and unplug the unit. To remove the clip-on tray front, brace the tray and slide the panel to one side.
  2. Unplug any cables connecting the front panel to the interior. Remove the screws securing the front panel and gently tilt it off. If the panel won’t move, check beneath it for clips or additional screws.
  3. Lift off the hold-down clamp, screw, or spring on top of the disc tray. Gently pull the tray out of the player. Clean the travel rail and guides with a swab dampened with denatured alcohol. Lubricate the tray sparingly with white lithium grease.
  4. Remove the belt to inspect for dirt, water, or damage. Avoid touching the belt with your fingers. Use tweezers or wear cotton gloves. Clean the belt with a lint-free cloth moistened with denatured alcohol. Replace the belt if it is damaged.

Service the CD player tray motor:

  1. Unplug the player and test the motor.
  2. A dirty motor plug can make the tray work intermittently. To clean the motor plug, unplug it and spray it with electrical contact cleaner. Then repeatedly plug and unplug the unit to verify contact.
  3. To remove the motor, depress the end of each clip or bale with a finger and lift it up.
  4. To replace the motor, carefully remove the drive belt with tweezers or gloved hand, then lift the motor out of its mount.


Most CD players are built with thin plastics–especially the tray or cover–that can be damaged. Be careful not to force them.

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CD Player Repairs – Wilkinson’s Hi-Fi, Nelson, Lancashire, UK

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CD Player RepairsAndrew Wilkinson2023-06-19T13:53:09+00:00

Be sure to check for any dust! Just keeping your unit clean and any dirt away from the laser would save you from coming to us…

YES I DO … specialise in the repair ALL types of CD PLAYERS……. I can service and fix many faults… but!!

Please note. Most Original CD lasers aren’t being made now and there are only average and poor copies around. We are having a lot of trouble sourcing decent ones..  especially anything SACD based.

OLD OLD machines… pre ~1995.  Almost no chance of a fix.. please ask before sending in…and discuss.

1995- 2005 machines.  Most repairs possible- but by no means ALL of them! Check 1st if you like.

2005 – present. inc SACD players.  Very mixed possibilities-  software driven- so you need a board/special chip/ modular unit . Mostly none available and little manufacturer support. Not much I can do. Each on its own merits.

Google rightly brought you here as I am one of the last surviving specialists that still do CD repairs……but.. Most other repairers have now given up.. and I am struggling – but with many spare parts I can still sort  a lot out.

We have over 30 yrs of experience on JVC, TEAC, Roksan,  Arcam, Rega,Quad, Musical Fidelity, Denon,  Aiwa, Kenwood, Panasonic, Technics, Audio Analogue, Krell,  Pioneer, Hitachi, Sony,  & Marantz  CD players to name just a few…

CD players… Generally most machines have problems with their delicate lasers… whether that is dust in the optics or the delicate sensors that are weak with age.

Most lasers can’t be obtained, but lasers for certaon (1995-2005) machines can. (Note: post pandemic there are only a few good new lasers being made)

Many lasers that are available are quite cheap to replace…athese ( Ebay etc) are cheap , poor far east lasers for sale and care is needed to avoid these as they may play, but jump very easily etc..

As CD players are a complex mix of digital & analogue stages, mechanisms and power supplies there are a surprising amount of things that do go wrong, besides the laser.. but rest assured that I have seen just about every make & model and can give a fairly quick idea of which can or cannot be fixed…and how economically….. in many cases even before I’ve seen it, based on what its symptom is… so my best advice is to maybe pop me a quick email to check before sending a machine in, just so I can advise what the likely problems may be.

Our Repair charges are very reasonable…here’s a rough guide.

  • £30 -£50 Basic clean & service/ Diagnose and tweak the laser etc.

      For the time to trace through a unit, give it a clean, lube, calibrate and test the laser..&  see if that sorts it out… If its not fixable then £30 is the max you pay… and we often collect this £30 deposit up front.

  • Otherwise:- Workshop time is billed at

    £50 per hour, and most faults don’t exceed 2 hours.

    CD players in general: I’ve specialised in these for 30 years & will have a look at any make/model.  Roughly 50% are now fixable.

    Earlier (Pre 1995) ones  are getting too finicky now…and their lasers are mostly obsolete or very expensive. so expect bad news on these. (Note: SONY CDP101. We now manufacture the obsolete STK6922 / BX1201 chips so can fix these – please get in touch)

    Later Philips CD mechanisms (as used in many makes inc Marantz, Technics and others) I have a wealth of experience on these, so am happy to try. The popular Philips laser is a common one we change and there are good German made copies , though the special Philips ones are NLA really!

    Earlier Philips- with a swing arm laser – virtually all dead now. This includes Meridian and a few other brands that used the same lasers.

    ARCAM.   Well made English machines that mostly use Philips lasers so quite fixable.

    SONY, Pioneer, AIWA, Technics CD players. All good. Most other brands used either Sony , Sanyo or Philips lasers, and there are lots of copies available around, so most can have a new (copy) laser quite economically. However, you should note that there are many poor cheap Chinese copies on eBay etc and they nearly work, but really don’t setup well. Luckily there are German ones that although cost a bit more, offer near original performance.

    DVD players or CD players with DVD lasers..or Bluray lasers…or SACD lasers… as most of these red or blue lasers doesn’t last more than 10 years…most have died now and although some copy lasers are around cheap….these aren’t much kop and my best advice is to check with me on your specific model to see what the options and chances are.

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CD/MP3 player repair.

The most vulnerable part of any CD/MP3 player is its mechanical part, or rather the CD mechanism. Typical phenomena in case of malfunctions associated with the CD mechanism are the failure of playback from a CD, “ERROR” and “NO DISK” errors, the inability to play a record from CD-RW, CD-R discs.

A little theory about the circuitry of CD players, which will help with the repair.

The servo control system of cd players is built in such a way that there are no strict requirements for the characteristics of the motor that rotates the disc, and its design is simple. That is why you will find only a simple DC micromotor in most turntables. Unfortunately, the quality of such drives leaves much to be desired.

After the data has been read from the optical disk, it enters the buffer memory (RAM or, in foreign terminology, RAM). Therefore, in disc players there is no such thing as “toffee” or slow playback, as in cassette players and tape recorders when the tape feed speed is incorrectly adjusted.

Early CD players used 2 kB buffer memory, which was then considered the minimum requirement. Further more. Later, memory began to be used, the volume of which was many times higher than the minimum, which was limited to 2 kB. This became possible due to the cheapening of memory chips.

Increasing the capacity of the buffer memory in the future made it possible to increase the resistance to mechanical impacts of CD / MP3 players and implement rather specific functions, one of which will be mentioned below.

Let’s consider the repair of the Hyundai H-1409 CD/MP3 player. The design of this device is indeed cosmic – it looks like a flying saucer.

“Space” design of the player Hyundai

The defect of this player appeared some time after the start of playing music from the CD. Playback abruptly ended and was restored either after the device was turned on again, or it was not restored at all. As a result, playback from the disc became impossible. Failures began to appear so often that the owner decided to hand over the player for repair.

With such a malfunction, the first thing to do is to check if there is disk rotation. If the disc does not spin from the very beginning of playback, then the disc rotation micromotor control chip may be faulty, in other words – driver .

CD drive controller board.
The photo shows the driver chip (AM5766FM), as well as the memory chip and the main control microcontroller.

Diagnosing a malfunction of the Hyundai H-1409 cd player was also complicated by the fact that the character of disk rotation during playback was rather strange. The disk suddenly gained momentum, then stopped. At the same time, the sound playback did not stop.

Normally, the servo control system automatically adjusts the speed of the disk to ensure that the speed of reading information from the disk is linear. That is why the speed of rotation of the disc decreases as the reading area moves away from the inner area of ​​the disc to the outer edge. It is also known that during playback the disc is constantly spinning and the disc stopping may indicate that the disc rotation motor is faulty.

But, as it turned out, in this model of the player, a special disc reading system is implemented, indicated by the eloquent inscription “ Digital Readout ” on the device case. Approximate translation of the inscription – “Digital reading of data”. This prompted the idea that at first glance, “non-standard” disk rotation during playback is normal.

Due to the use of large buffer memory in this model manages to read the data in a short time, and then suspend the rotation of the disk. The read data entered in the buffer memory is enough for continuous sound playback for several minutes! At the same time, the servo control system stops the disk.

It would seem that such a control system helps to reduce the wear of the rotation motor, since it is activated only for a short period of data reading. But in practice, frequent stop and subsequent start of the engine leads to damage to the micromotor.

If you do not know the principles of operation of cd players, then you can make an erroneous conclusion about the malfunction of the driver chip and other components of the device being repaired.


To verify that the spindle drive is defective, you must wait until the disc stops and there will be no playback for a long time. Next, you need to slightly open the cover of the CD compartment. This must be done carefully, since a sensor is connected to the cover of the CD compartment, when the contacts are opened, playback completely stops.

Next, use a narrow screwdriver or a long wooden toothpick to lightly push the disc in the direction of rotation. In this case, the contact of the brushes, through which power is supplied to the motor windings, is restored. Sound playback is restored after a few seconds.

If the motor is not replaced, the defect recurs over time.

Defective spindle motor

Replace the disc rotation motor.

To correct the problem, it is necessary to replace the disc rotation motor. Of course, you can restore the performance of a faulty motor, but you should not rely on its continuous operation after repair. The best solution would be to completely replace the spindle drive with a new one. It is advisable to restore the performance of the micromotor if you are repairing your own apparatus. With paid repairs to order, it is worth replacing the defective part with a new one. This will significantly reduce the risk of relapse – the recurrence of the defect.

It is also possible to resort to the restoration of the micromotor in the event that it is not possible to find a replacement for the faulty motor.

In the previously mentioned Hyundai H-1409 MP3/CD player, the defective drive marked 24R18TRVB was replaced with a similar one marked RF-310T-11400 (D/V 5. 9) .

If you cannot buy the right engine for replacement, you can install a “used” one. Such engines (RF-310T-11400; RF-300F-12350 and the like) can be taken from the laser drives of “dead” DVD players, if you have any. True, the shaft length of the motors may be different.

New motor RF-310T-11400

Despite the apparent simplicity of replacing the motor, one should take into account the fact that the plastic table on which the disc is mounted can be glued to the motor shaft. To remove it, you need to use a solvent or make considerable efforts. The main thing is not to break or deform the plastic table. It is necessary to install a table on a new engine in compliance with the landing height.

Installing the table on the motor shaft

If you install the table without respecting the initial distance, then later, due to the violation of the focal length to the disc, the MP3 / CD player may not read the recorded CD-RW, CD-R discs, and also play discs with errors and failures. Also, the unit may refuse to play MP3 discs, but CD discs can be played without failure. This rule should also be observed when repairing DVD players and other disk devices.

The practice of repairing CD players shows that the main cause of the player’s inoperability and playback failures are motors and micromotor control microcircuits – drivers. Drive drivers fail due to thermal overloads, motor malfunctions.

Sometimes when repairing a CD player, you have to replace both the driver chip and the drive at the same time. If you replace one of these parts, the malfunction may recur. So, with a faulty motor, the load on the microcircuit increases, which goes into a difficult temperature regime and gradually fails.

Therefore, when replacing the driver chip, it is recommended to replace the disk rotation motor (spindle drive).

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    Author – Rostislav
    Source –

    For the last few years, the author of this article has repaired used audio equipment from Germany and has specialized in CD players. The yield (number of serviceable ones) after the repair of CD players was about 95% (half of them could be restored after cleaning and tuning). As practice has shown, most often problems arise due to incorrect setting of servo circuits, as well as due to malfunctions of the optical-mechanical unit, power circuits, drivers. Servo processors fail less often and sound circuits very rarely fail.

    Having gained some repair experience, the author found it necessary to share it with other radio amateurs. Thus, the idea to write an article was born. The article is intended mainly for beginners, but will also be useful for experienced radio amateurs.

    To make it easier to understand the material of the article, the basic principles of the players are first described. It also discusses the operating modes of the players, the operation and adjustment of servo circuits, the adjustment of mechanical elements, methods for the restoration of optical and mechanical elements, possible malfunctions and ways to eliminate them. The greatest attention is focused on the most common failures in practice.

    The article can be read on a specific issue of interest, but since the parts of the article are strongly interconnected, it is recommended to read the entire material.

    A bit about the history of digital formats

    Since the 1970s, many countries, including the USSR, have been working on the creation of a digital sound recording and playback system. As a result, several interesting systems were presented, but the joint development of Sony and Philips was recognized as the most promising. Sony proposed an effective signal processing method in terms of protection against errors that could occur due to damage or contamination of the CD, and Philips – a method of recording using a focused laser beam at a constant linear speed of the beam along the track.

    As a result, in 1982, the fruits of the work of the above-mentioned companies were approved as the international standard for the sound recording system – the “Compact Disc” playback. Other firms had to buy licenses from Sony and Philips. The high quality of the recordings on discs promised great popularity for the development. Thus began the journey of the digital CD.

    The first CD players and discs (Audio CDs) were sold on the foreign market. True, they hit the domestic market with a delay of 10 years.

    In 1987 The R-DAT digital cassette format was developed, which at the time of its appearance was predicted to be the heir to compact cassettes.

    In 1989 Another digital cassette format, DCC, has been proposed.

    In 1993 minidisc appears.

    But the stars went out, and did not have time to sparkle in all their glory. The above formats did not become widespread, but only took root in recording studios and radio stations.

    The development of the computer industry contributed to the growing popularity of compact discs. Different information began to be recorded on computer compact discs (CD ROM), although the recording format was different from Audio CD. The invention of audio (MP3) and video (MPEG4) compression formats made it possible to record more than 6 hours of music or 74 minutes of acceptable quality video on a disc.

    In 1996-1997 developed a new standard for digital DVD media. The standard was mainly intended for recording and playback of video information. The external geometric characteristics of a DVD are similar to those of a CD, but DVDs have smaller information tracks, and DVDs can also have several layers.

    The basic DVD standard has not been finalized.