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Arcam A75 and CD72 problems

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by kipper15, Feb 18, 2003.

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  1. kipper15

    kipper15
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    Apologies in advance for the long post

    I have had these two components in my system for nearly 2 years now and, until recently I've had a hassle-free time and thoroughly enjoyable musical experiences with these products. However, a couple of things have happened recently which have been bugging me immensely and I'm hoping that - before I resort to boxing all the gear up and taking it to the dealer - some of the experts here on this forum might be able to provide some advice. Perhaps John Dawson himself might like to comment?

    OK...onto the problems.

    Firstly, the CD72 CD player has started to become very temperamental with CD-R discs. Basically it is having trouble reading some discs. I use only quality TDK discs and all my CD-R's are made using the Pioneer PDR-609 CD recorder. BUT...get this: The Arcam has NO problem playing a CD-R *IF* the CD-R disc has been Automatically Finalized (as part of the recording process) on the Pioneer.

    If I make a compilation CD recording of individual tracks, for example, and manually Finalize the CD-R after finishing the recording on the Pioneer, the Arcam CD72 won't read it.

    I can hear a noise when I put a CD in the Arcam TOC (presumably the laser and the clock?). When I put a manually Finalized disc in, the CD72 makes a different noise and the digit '0' appears in the display - indicating the CD player cannot read the disc. Take the same 'manually finalized' CD-R that the Arcam CD72 cannot read and put it in the car, my girlfriend's system, my PC, my DVD player - anything other than my Arcam and the CD-R plays perfectly! What is going on here I ask? Makes no sense to me. How can this be? Is it possible the lens is dirty? If so, how come the CD72 can read normal CD's and Auto-Finalized CD-R's without a problem?

    Second problem...my A75 amp is producing distorted crackle from the AV/DVD input and also - on occasion - the phono input. The crackle can stay there for days or weeks on end, disappear then re-appear again. Yesterday, the phono stage was quiet - not a whisper - but turning it on earlier tonight to play some vinyl and there was this dreadful crackle. It nearly made the cones on my 602 S3's pop out. The AV line input has been crackling away, on and off, for several months. It's really annoying as the AV input is not usable - I've had to route the DVD through the VCR input. It's also bewildering - NONE of the other Line inputs on the amp are suffering from this.

    Arcam's support team responsed to this problem re the A75. They said that "usually if one input has a problem they all do because they are all line level and connected to the same board". This kind of makes sense but my amp is only getting this horrible distortion on one line input (AV/DVD) and - intermittently - on the phono input. Surely these are on different boards?

    Does anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing these problems? My local dealer isn't very helpful (since the guy I knew really well left) and I'm really unhappy that my kit isn't working properly! If it comes to it, I'll have to take it in (much inconvenience and hassle) but I wanted some opinions here first.

    I have to say that, after less than two years of owning Arcam products I'm getting major problems that I never had with mass-market Japanese-made equipment. I expected far better reliability from nearly £1,000 worth of equipment.

    Thanks for your time.


    Kipper
     
  2. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Probably not a lot of help, but I have bought many Arcam items over the years and their reliability is as good / better than most.
    I have a Pioneer PDR-509 which also has a strange phenomenon with manual finalise, auto-finalise fine, maybe it is something to do with Pioneer ?
    Could it be a faulty lead or a broken RCA phono input causing trouble on your amplifier ?
    Personally, try a different Arcam dealer, they are usually most helpful.
    Don't give up :)
     
  3. kipper15

    kipper15
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    I really like my Arcam setup but I'm really frustrated with these problems. Most dealers I've ever dealt with always say "bring it in to the shop" if there's a problem! Well, that's too predictable for my liking - I'd like to establish what the likely causes are and if they can be remedied before going through the hassle of un-wiring and packing up all the gear.

    I doubt my CD-R problem lies with the Pioneer...if it was, how is it that manually-finalized discs play fine on everything else? My DVD player, the Pioneer PDR609 itself, my PC, my Sony Discman portable, my girlfriend's Marantz system...everything that is capable of playing CD's in my house (or the car) but NOT the Arcam CD72! :(

    I suspect that the problem is to do with the Arcam CD72 and not the Pioneer. Maybe it has - for some weird reason - a problem with manually finalized discs? But then, how on Earth can it tell? Unless the Piioneer does something during manual finalization that the Arcam CD player simply doesn't agree with, I can't think of any other logical explanation.

    Maybe the Pioneer finalizes the Table of Contents (TOC) in a way which the Arcam doesn't like, who knows! But it seems real weird to me that all my other CD-capable devices have no problem whatsoever with the manually finalized discs! Maybe the laser on the Arcam is dirty... but even if that was the case, it still plays standard CD's and auto-finalized discs without any problems! :confused:

    Out of interest, do you have an Arcam CD player too? Do you find that CD-R's you've manually finalized on your Pioneer PDR509 are not playable on the Arcam? I'd be interested to know.

    As for the amp, there are only two inputs affected - AV/DVD and Phono. I have checked all the leads and there's nothing wrong with them, they work fine if used on other inputs on the amp.

    I've had an email from Arcam asking for more details so they can look into it. I'll keep you posted on developments.

    Cheers

    Kipper
     
  4. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    I think you may have found the problem yourself, but are not too keen to admit it. It appears as if your Arcam cannot play manually finalised CDR's - period. Bad luck.:( You'll just have to live without making/playing them unfortunately or it may be time to sell the CD72?

    As for your amp, it sounds like it is faulty inside and needs a service from a qaulified Arcam dealer. Unplug it and take it in. Using it may cause serious damage to your speakers or the amp could fail totally. Some electrical products just fail sometimes and need fixing. Arcam are usually very reliable - you just got unlucky. You say unplugging it all will be a hassle - just be thankful you don't have an AV amp and all those associated cables to remove!:D
     
  5. kipper15

    kipper15
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    Maybe I have discovered the answer myself on the CD72...but don't forget I haven't always had the problem.

    I'm just amazed that the Arcam would even be able to tell the difference between a manually finalised or an auto-finalised disc. EVERY other CD player in the house or car plays them. After all, after either method of finalisation of the CD-R the disc IS a CD!!! Arcam tell me it *might* be the discs but I don't believe it can be...if that's the case how come other CD players play them with no problem? If the discs were the problem, other CD players would have problems reading them.

    I think what I'll do - before I do anything else - is take a manually finalized disc into my dealer and ask him to play it on a CD72. See if it works, if it DOES work then then surely that would mean there is a problem with my CD72's laser.

    As for the A75, I've resigned myself to the fact that it must be faulty inside...oddly enough the phono channel was quiet again this evening (yesterday evening it was horrible, loads of crackle and noise) but the AV/DVD input is still horrible. By the way, I am NOT using the AV/DVD channel on the amp (no cables are connected to it) and will only use the phono input if it sounds clean so I have not damaged my speakers - the inputs that are use regularly (CD, VCR) are producing perfectly 'clean' signals.

    Kipper
     
  6. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    I still use my Arcam Alpha 5 ( 1993 ) to make minidiscs and CD-Rs for myself because my main CD player has no digital outputs.
    Typically I don't use manual finalise because it had a few problems with my car CD player, although everything else played the discs fine.
    Further along this thread you make the point that a CD is a CD even if it is a finalised CD-R, I believe the depth of burn for home made discs is different to commercial releases. Maybe with a weakened laser or not optimally focused assembly or dust, it may make the difference but I agree this doesn't explain any difference between how your CD-R is finalised.
    With regard to your amplifier, when I used expensive chunky cables, the combination of stiff wire and tight plugs stressed my amplifier's input board causing a short circuit and broken socket, maybe similar problem for yours ?
    Hope you find a solution.
     
  7. Tracey

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    I've never owned a CD72 but my friend has an Alpha 9 CD player (used to be top of the range), I had the same problem with that, it wouldn't play any of my CDR's unless they were a staright copy (not individually recorded tracks). As it's not my CD player and my friend hasn't got a CD recorder I wasn't that bothered, but I did tell Arcam about it and they just said it must be the type of discs I'm using, but I tried 3 different makes and none of them would play, but they played on every other CD player I tried, including a 20 year old midi system, a portable cd player and the one in my car. If it was my cd player I would have been exremely annoyed.

    By the way I have nothing against Arcam, I own an AVR100, Alpha 10p and an FMJ DV27 and I'm very happy with them. maybe that's the answer my DV27 plays everything I put in it :D
     
  8. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    I would defo check the discs on another CD72.. sounds like the laser is on the way out.. I had the same probs with my DV88 player.. I am now on the third drive. I could put a dvd in and it would refuse to play it.. only by opening/shutting the drawer would it finally kick in..so I would defo not discount the drive until u have checked it with another unit..

    HTH

    Matt
     

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