Home Digital Drive

Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

RE: One thing to try

PAR is correct that laser diodes (like all light sources - even the sun) have a finite lifetime. All modern units have a light intensity sensor that adjusts the laser drive current to compensate for diminishing power over time. (Both LEDs and laser diodes fail very gradually, unlike incandescent bulb which fail suddenly.)

However there is another variable and that is the light path. The output from the laser diode first hits a prism so that the beam is reflected up onto the disc. The height of the bumps in the disc is 1/4 the laser wavelength so that when the beam hits an area with a bump that the reflected light cancels with the part of the beam illuminating the flat surface around the bump. This reflected beam travels back through the prism to strike the photodiodes, which sense the signal level.

Often the problem is that the various lenses, prisms, beam splitters, and mirrors will become dirty (especially if in the house of a smoker) and thereby reduce the total light power striking the sensors. Only one lens is easily accessed, but cleaning this one often cures the problem. One can either clean that lens with a cleaning disc played in place of a CD. The spinning disc has soft brushes on the bottom that clean the lens. If this fails, one can unplug the unit from AC power, remove the cover, remove the bridge over the loading tray and clean the lens with a Q-Tip (cotton swab). Much more work, but much less expensive. Good luck!

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