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CD Player Won't read disc

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by Gstutz44, Apr 5, 2018.

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  1. Gstutz44


    Apr 5, 2018
    I have a sherwood cartridge style changer from the 80's similar to cdc-1000c. I'm not 100% sure on the module right now but I'll certainly get that. It won't read discs, doesn't matter what disc. I know nothing about cd players. I have repaired vintage tv's a little so I have electronics knowledge. To start with are there some common universal things I should look for?
  2. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

    Aug 11, 2014
    Start by cleaning the dust off the laser head.
    I use alcohol solution and tissues used for cleaning eye glasses.

    My cd play took a crap shortly after I was standing drywall compound. They don't like dust.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2018
  3. dave9


    Mar 5, 2017
    It may be a lost cause. Definitely cleaning dust out is the first try, but it may also have had the lubrication dry up and the guide rail sled is worn, or the plastic warped, or broke, or the motor isn't at speed or wobbling due to shot bushings, or if in a (vehicle) high humidity environment, electrical oxidation became excessive.

    Frankly I would abandon it, convert the CDs to MP3 or FLAC and get an inexpensive SD or mSD card reading playback module off eBay if not an entire head unit that can take memory cards, or bluetooth from a phone/tablet/computer/whatever as the source.

    Gotta luv tech, today you can fit hundreds of CDs worth of music on a card the size of your fingernail
  4. Gstutz44


    Apr 5, 2018
    Except that dont love tech. Unless its old tech. Vast majority of my stuff is on vinyl. Im still fixing it if at all possible.
    Tha fios agaibh likes this.
  5. dave9


    Mar 5, 2017
    The CD player wasn't vinyl and has no audible difference to flash memory stored data. It's now just a more failure prone, far more space, cost, weight, and less power efficient way to store and read data. If you'd rather a record player, do so.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Take a careful look at the lens (as stated above) and see what happens when it tries to read a disc. Many times, simply leaving the cover off will let you see all you need.

    If cleaning the lens doesn't work, you may see the disc speeding up and slowing down, and the head moving back and forth.

    Report what you see (and the order in which it happens) and that may give us more information. For example, if the disc doesn't spin at all, that's definitely worth noting!
  7. 73's de Edd

    73's de Edd

    Aug 21, 2015
    Sir Gstutz44 . . . .

    Should it be that you haven't touched the unit yet . . . do observe these precautionary CAVEATS.
    Get good lighting for initial observations and note the convex lens.
    It is being electromechanically and magnetically controlled such that it can make MICRO, and that is HEAVEEEEE on the micro movements, such that it can slightly move in both the X and Y planes, in addition to moving the lens up and down / in -out for FOCUS.
    The X plane movement relates to a dual symbiotic working relationship between the use of a lead screw drive , that is always playing " catch up " to the limited electromechanical movement range that can be made to the lens positioning by its electromagnetic mechanical positioning .
    Working in tandem, they combine to make a smooth reading / tracking of the units lens to the disc surface.

    If the top of the lens has eventually accumulated debris resting upon its top, it's just like having a dirty pair of reading glasses. . . . relating to the adverse effect of the CLOSE proximity of that deteris to the lens of the eye.
    A pencil held at an arm's length is no great impediment to your eyes panoramic view, but one held at nose length is creating one hell of a blockage of vision.
    Plus, the condition can be further aggravated by airborne drifting of cooking greases, cigar or cigarette smoke and their accompanying residue depositing upon the lens top within the unit.
    Wood burning fireplaces say . . . me too . . . ME TOO !
    Plus . . . . every one . . .particularly as a child . . . has seen STRONG direct sunlight flooding into a room and the resultant micro crud fibers that are aimlessly floating about in the air, after a person has moved thru their path.


    I use a Q tip that is wetted in either denatured alcohol or ***** isopropyl alcohol *****, and I prefer the Q-tip that is a bit loose in its wound fluff, as compared to the REAL BONEY-FRIED Q-tip which seems to be quite tightly wound. In that case, I thumb-finger massage it a bit . . . . through an isolating paper towel . . . to loosen up its fluff.

    Rest the side of the hand to be used, on the unit such that your grasping thumb and fingers can just reach to the lens and hen make uber controlled 1/8 inch (seeing that you are . . . Amerikanski . . no metrics involved) circles with its tip.
    Put no more pressure upon the top of the lens, than is being needed, to see the very-very short X-Y limits of movement / swing of the lens.
    This AIN'T being no Bull in the China shop category of work. Rotate the tip in quadrants so that 4 clean surfaces
    get to clean the lens surface, which should be totally clean by that time.
    Set aside the unit for drying time, then test out.

    ILLUSTRATION . . . . .
    Lens + its Mag drive coils + some lateral fibrous deteris, off to the side., now being non obstructive . . .


    AT NO EXTRA CHARGE . . . . .

    TIMELESS TECHNICAL TIP. . . . . or . . . . . . . a secondary use for that dormant power supply just otherwise . . . . . setting on the lab shelf

    ***** 100% isopropyl alcohol *****

    You buy . . . velly-velly Cheeeeeeeeeeply . . . .on sale . . . .70% Drugstore isopropyl alcohol + make dual strip, close spaced long, flat plate stainless steel electrodes, with 2 connected leads and banana plugs on the leads ends + 12VDC or more power supply then leave bottles cap off and plug up the bottle tops hole and resultant 2 compressed wires at its sides with a flexible micro cellular sponge scrap plug --------> Yields ---------> electrolysis decomposes, all of the water content and is making 100% isopropyl alcohol, with time.( Watch the decline in current consumption )

    73's de Edd
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
    Gstutz44 and Richard9025 like this.
  8. Gstutz44


    Apr 5, 2018
    Yes sir I do realize theres no real difference in audio quality. I hope no offense was taken by my previous comment as I meant none so I apologize. I just prefer equipment I can get my hands on. Though I do have some new stuff. I just plain prefer vintage. But yes you completely right in what you said. I wont contest that.
  9. Garled


    May 1, 2018
    I had a similar problem with my old Pioneer PD 9700, the disc wont play at all. The first thing I did was to check the lens on the pickup assembly and to my surprise it had fallen off it's sitting base. I carefully glue it back using a fine drop of KRAZY glue after blowing off any dust inside where the optical prisma reflector is allocated. The Infra red beam comes from the diode which is a double setting diode, one for the PD (photo diode) and the other for the LD (laser diode). The latter is the one which detects and reads the CD first at a wavelength of some 780 nm or so and a 1mA output. If the CD is not properly sat on the disc tray then the beam will not actuate the second diode (PD) which in fact is the one reading the disc bit stream content. Some CD players have a test mode setting to correct any issues concerning alignment, focusing and so on (check the service manual of your device), essentially used when you are replacing the whole pick up assembly or when you are certain there is an alignment problem (i.e. the disc wont play correctly or there is no information about the disc on the front displayed panel. However, it is extremely rare a diode fails unless you use your CD player 24 hours a day!, therefore it is worth checking first, both alignment and any marks or dust on the lens. You could also check the red light coming out of the lens using your smartphone camera, therefore avoiding eye naked exposure. The way you should do it is turning on the device with your camera pointing to the lens. Press play and the LD will send the first beam light through the lens for about a second or two. If you see light through your camera then the LD section of the diode is ok. It is worth noting that the infrared beam could be diverted if the lens are scratched or dirty, rendering the IR light becoming out of focus. If the lens is opaque, then you should simply clean it up using ordinary windscreen liquid and a piece of cotton wrapped on a tooth stick. Avoid any unnecessary pressure on the lens as this is sat on a balancing housing, simply rub it up gently with the cotton wrap tooth stick dampened with windscreen liquid . Most of the times, dust or finger marks on the lens causes CD players not reading discs properly or playing it at all. The second thing to check up is the CD tray compartment, especially if your CD Player is old. The parts to look at first are the screws, washers and most importantly lubrication on the conveying section. Remember, if the disc tray is not properly sat or lubricated then the IR beam may be out of focus or unable to read the disc. In my case, my Pioneer was manufactured in 1991, so it is quite old. Upon checking the washers which are rubber kind, I noted there was one showing wear and cracks on it so I replaced it straightway. After careful adjustment of the set of screws holding the CD in-tray section, the old Pioneer came to life again!
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