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Thread: Why does one CD player work and the other not?

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Default Why does one CD player work and the other not?

    I have two hi-fis, one upstairs and one down. I noticed the other day that the upstairs one will not play a certain CD but sticks at the certain point . However the downstairs one plays it no problem at all. Obviously there is some form of fault in the CD. But why does one play and one not? Any thoughts please?

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    But why does one play and one not? Any thoughts please?
    I wish that I knew!

    Just yesterday, I received (via eBay) a copy of Bernstein's Mahler 6+9 on a Japanese hybrid SACD. I've had the third in that format for years, and it sounds terrific. But when I went to play #6 on my SACD player (a Marantz SACD8001), I got the message "Can't play disc". The same thing happened with #9.

    So today, I brought the set to work, and it plays flawlessly on an older Marantz player (which only plays RBCD's). Very strange.

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    I have one like that. CD jumps on one in living room and plays perfect in kitchen!!

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    The laser on the player that sticks is out of align. Or the lens is dusty. That is what causes skips and sticks. Older players can have trouble with current CDs too. The standard has changed to allow a longer playing time, and old players sometimes struggle with the changes. Time for a new player. Thankfully, you can get a blu-ray player that plays multiple formats for very little money.
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    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Maybe the CD's manufacturing quality isn't that great. If the CD player can play CD-Rs, it's probably worth trying to clone the CD to a CD-R and see if the CD player would play it. (My Tennstedt Mahler 6&7 3-CD set was like this. In fact the disc surface deteriorated into a foggy opaque within a day once unboxed.)

    Or maybe the CD player is acting up because of old age or it's been collecting dust inside. Using a cleaning kit or blowing compressed air into it to force out the dust could help but from my experience I wouldn't bet on that.

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    Senior Member senza sordino's Avatar
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    Last autumn, I got a few months more life out of my CD player by buying a CD player cleaning disk. I wouldn't hurt to try one. It's cheaper than buying a new player.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I've had the same problems with certain CD players. I have a Mahler 1st (Simonov) that skips all the way thru on the crappy Kenwood midi system downstairs, would only play intermittently on my old Technics cd player but plays perfectly on my wife's laptop. Since I've been using dvd players to play CDs I've not had a single problem with that disc. It plays on my Sony and Toshiba DVD players but I took it to work last week and tried it on the CD drive on my work computer (just to see if it was the disc) and it skipped and stuck constantly. Go figure! I love my DVD player upstairs. It plays practically any kind of disc and is far less fussy with CDRs than my old Technics and the shite, designated Kenwood CD player that don't like CDRs at all.
    Last edited by Merl; Mar-07-2019 at 21:06.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    I wish that I knew!

    Just yesterday, I received (via eBay) a copy of Bernstein's Mahler 6+9 on a Japanese hybrid SACD. I've had the third in that format for years, and it sounds terrific. But when I went to play #6 on my SACD player (a Marantz SACD8001), I got the message "Can't play disc". The same thing happened with #9.

    So today, I brought the set to work, and it plays flawlessly on an older Marantz player (which only plays RBCD's). Very strange.
    This became even stranger this evening. Last night, all three CD's gave me an error message, and I tried them more than once. Tonight, the Marantz SACD player seems to be reading them just fine. Weird.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Try cleaning the CD with a clean, dry cotton cloth or shirt. Wipe it from the center to the edge.
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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    I know why. The Redbook standards for CD changed!

    At first, CDs were limited to 72 minutes. Then, it was found you could cram 80 minutes onto them.

    I had an older Philips CD recorder that I thought was broken, because it rejected every 80-minute CD-R I tried to record. Then, by chance, I put an old 72-minute CD-R in, and it worked!

    So, some older players, including car players, will not play newer media. Also, some older players require a longer "blank space" at the first of the disc, when it cues up. So if you are recording your CD mixes and they will not play in some players, leave a bigger space in front of the first track, like 3 seconds instead of two, and see what works. This includes space BETWEEN tracks, too. That's probably why yours is sticking.

    Describe the problem more precisely: is it sticking at the start of a track, or does it just not play that track?
    Last edited by millionrainbows; May-01-2019 at 17:54.
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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    There really isn't any reason to nurse an old player from the 80s along, even if it cost a fortune back then. New players are inexpensive and are manufactured to play to spec with any kind of disc you throw at them. Also, the earliest CD players didn't do oversampling, so they theoretically don't have a full high end response like even the cheapest players today have.
    Last edited by bigshot; May-01-2019 at 18:27.
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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    There really isn't any reason to nurse an old player from the 80s along, even if it cost a fortune back then. New players are inexpensive and are manufactured to play to spec with any kind of disc you throw at them. Also, the earliest CD players didn't do oversampling, so they theoretically don't have a full high end response like even the cheapest players today have.
    Yeah, take bigshot's advice, sell your Denon 3910 with Burr-Brown converters, and get a cheap Sony player for $20 bucks at a pawn shop.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
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    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    My 2001 Chevy S10 only really likes store-bought CDs. It spits out a lot of burnt blank disks. Memorex is totally unplayable in it. I do pretty well with Staples brand but it will regurgitate those occasionally. Then I have to turn the unit off and back on before it will load the disk again.
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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    CD players haven't improved when it comes to sound quality since the introduction of oversampling in the late 1980s. However they have become more tolerant for home burned CDs and out of spec mastering. You'll find that older players refuse to play discs with more than 72 minutes recorded on them. That was the standard when CDs were first introduced, but since then it has been amended and today you can find CDs with as much as 90 minutes playing time. Those longer CDs won't play in older players.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
    AES Damn Lies Seminar: http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    CD players haven't improved when it comes to sound quality since the introduction of oversampling in the late 1980s. However they have become more tolerant for home burned CDs and out of spec mastering. You'll find that older players refuse to play discs with more than 72 minutes recorded on them. That was the standard when CDs were first introduced, but since then it has been amended and today you can find CDs with as much as 90 minutes playing time. Those longer CDs won't play in older players.
    It’s not only the age of the CD player. I have two Marantz players, one about 10 and the other more than 20 years old. I recently bought Curretzis’ Mahler 6’, which runs more than 84 minutes. On the newer player, it won’t even load most of the time, and if it does, it mistracks. But the same disc loads and plays flawlessly on the 20+ year old player.

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