CD Player - Help and Advice

46vale

Novice Member
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone could offer their help/expertise regarding my CD player and 'next steps'?
My Primare D20 has been playing up for a while now; erratic replay (sometimes nothing at all) means finding a permanent solution is now unavoidable. I have previously had the laser replaced which didn't really help and even if I went down a similar route again, I'm concerned that any replacement part will be of a lesser spec to that which the player left the factory with. I like the player very much but a long term, quality repair seems unlikely and certainly costly.
Whilst the player is now quite old, psychologically I feel that it is a premium brand and I'm reluctant to go down the generic Japanese/high street-type player, but I can't afford a new Primare. I'm also conscious that I may be spending money on old technology now that streaming seems popular.
Does anyone have view on decent players I could possibly look at secondhand, for example? I really don't want to bin my current unit but I don't want to spend a lot on something that's fundamentally old and likely to fail again at some point.

Thanks
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Hi,

I'm sorry to hear your faithful and obviously much loved CD player has stopped working properly. I am sure the folks on AVForums can give you plenty of advice. Here is my 2c worth:

I'm not sure whether you can get that particular CD player fixed or not. Might be tricky finding parts due to its age. May also cost more than a new one. That's common these days.

As far as wondering if its worth getting "old technology" like a CD player in the day-and-age of streaming...well, if you have tons of CDs, and enjoy the feel, look and sentimental feel of having CDs (as I do), then of course...a CD player is a must. I have two at any time. I love CDs. Still think they sound better than when I stream. Am happy to stick with my CDs and vinyl with streaming on my little PC system when I want to explore new music.

There are plenty of great CD players below £1000, even below £500. What is your budget? What other equipment are you using?

I personally enjoy the Rotel CD11 Tribute. Its £400 (less if you find an open-box item). Ken Ishiwata of Marantz fame had a hand in developing it before he passed away, and it sounds lovely. Far better than my previous Cambridge Audio CD players or Denon DCD800ne (another £400 CD player).

Of course there are higher end offerings. I tend to stick with entry-level stuff, but I am sure there are folks here who can advise you on the pricier options.

Good luck with your search :)
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Before you bin it...

Remove the top of the CD player and check the runners.

Two, usually chromed, steel bars either side of the laser mech’.

At both ends there can be a build up of gunk. It only takes a little bit to cause problems.

Using a cotton bud stick (and perhaps some contact cleaner if it’s bad) remove the build up and try the player again.

It’s a free move and may work.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Hi,

I'm sorry to hear your faithful and obviously much loved CD player has stopped working properly. I am sure the folks on AVForums can give you plenty of advice. Here is my 2c worth:

I'm not sure whether you can get that particular CD player fixed or not. Might be tricky finding parts due to its age. May also cost more than a new one. That's common these days.

As far as wondering if its worth getting "old technology" like a CD player in the day-and-age of streaming...well, if you have tons of CDs, and enjoy the feel, look and sentimental feel of having CDs (as I do), then of course...a CD player is a must. I have two at any time. I love CDs. Still think they sound better than when I stream. Am happy to stick with my CDs and vinyl with streaming on my little PC system when I want to explore new music.

There are plenty of great CD players below £1000, even below £500. What is your budget? What other equipment are you using?

I personally enjoy the Rotel CD11 Tribute. Its £400 (less if you find an open-box item). Ken Ishiwata of Marantz fame had a hand in developing it before he passed away, and it sounds lovely. Far better than my previous Cambridge Audio CD players or Denon DCD800ne (another £400 CD player).

Of course their are higher end offerings. I tend to stick with entry-level stuff, but I am sure there are folks here who can advise you on the pricier options.

Good luck with your search :)

Can’t fault this fellows advice.

The Rotel is getting first class reviews just about everywhere.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps, if a new laser didn’t fix it then a second new one won’t either.

It certainly sounds more mechanical.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
This seems to be the mech’ for the Primare.

Both (or either of) the steel runner and the drive cogs may be gunked up.

If you’re happy to remove the cd block, and it’s a simple job, then cleaning both may help. And checking the electrical connection to the motor is both still tight and clean.

4279F37A-979D-455B-A31B-E51EEA4CC0FE.jpeg
 

46vale

Novice Member
Thanks, both, for your replies.
@FootHealer - Yes, I am quite attached to the player as I always wanted a Primare. I also enjoy using CDs and have a reasonable collection (and no real desire to get into streaming.. not yet, anyway). I'm really not looking to spend too much as I have other priorities right now. The trouble is that I don't want to end if with something I'm disappointed with, hence the temptation to spend more increases. I guess £300-£400, maybe a little more if it gave me confidence I was going to be satisfied with the purchase. Having looked online, it appears that this price point would need me to look at second-hand options in order to get something a little special.
@Paul7777x - thanks for your suggestion. I'm honestly not confident with taking things apart but, on the basis it doesn't work, I guess there's little to loose. If it turns out that the runners are dirty, would this impact the replay from the disc as well as the operation of the drawer? It currently skips quite erratically; if fact sometimes there's no sound reproduction at all. Any instruction from the remote control or the face plate does not seem to reach the player (although it generally performs better once warm).
 

46vale

Novice Member
I'll have a look at the Rotel, thanks. I had also noticed Denon options (the 1600 and 2500, but they're too expensive) and Marantz (6006 and 8005.. OK, but not had this brand before and unsure about the visual design of the players. Potentially out of my price range too). For no reason in particular but I like Yamaha too, but know little about how they perform in comparison
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Thanks, both, for your replies.
@FootHealer - Yes, I am quite attached to the player as I always wanted a Primare. I also enjoy using CDs and have a reasonable collection (and no real desire to get into streaming.. not yet, anyway). I'm really not looking to spend too much as I have other priorities right now. The trouble is that I don't want to end if with something I'm disappointed with, hence the temptation to spend more increases. I guess £300-£400, maybe a little more if it gave me confidence I was going to be satisfied with the purchase. Having looked online, it appears that this price point would need me to look at second-hand options in order to get something a little special.
@Paul7777x - thanks for your suggestion. I'm honestly not confident with taking things apart but, on the basis it doesn't work, I guess there's little to loose. If it turns out that the runners are dirty, would this impact the replay from the disc as well as the operation of the drawer? It currently skips quite erratically; if fact sometimes there's no sound reproduction at all. Any instruction from the remote control or the face plate does not seem to reach the player (although it generally performs better once warm).

That’s why I don’t think it’s the new laser. Unless whoever fitted it did a poor job indeed.

What you’re describing could be, and sounds more like, mechanical trouble, ie, a sticky mechanism.

Usually this would mean either a bit of gunk on the slider (or the slider has somehow become corroded), or a motor with an issue, or gunk on the motor shaft, or a build up of dust/gunk on the main (cd) spindle.

Possibly a combination of any of the above.

As you say, it’s no use now so a good inspection can’t harm it further.

(Ps, the cd runners being in need of a good clean would not impact the drawer opening. The drawer mechanism and the cd runners are not related).
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Alas I see you are in Kent. A pity, you couldn’t be much further away from me. I’d have been happy to take a look.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Thanks, both, for your replies.
@FootHealer - Yes, I am quite attached to the player as I always wanted a Primare. I also enjoy using CDs and have a reasonable collection (and no real desire to get into streaming.. not yet, anyway). I'm really not looking to spend too much as I have other priorities right now. The trouble is that I don't want to end if with something I'm disappointed with, hence the temptation to spend more increases. I guess £300-£400, maybe a little more if it gave me confidence I was going to be satisfied with the purchase. Having looked online, it appears that this price point would need me to look at second-hand options in order to get something a little special.
Hi 46vale,

You'd be surprised by what you can get for £300-400 these days! Paying more isn't always better. Some entry level equipment can be really good. Are you able to go to a "bricks and mortar" store to have a listen? Richer Sounds are usually quite a helpful lot. Otherwise, buy one with a 30 day no quibble return...try it and if you don't like it, exchange it for something else. How something sounds is very subjective, so making recommendations is about the same as me saying "I really like this" and trying to explain why. I really like my Rotel CD11 Tribute. Its clear, but not bright, forgiving, but not warm, reads quickly and reliably, and sounds about as good as I feel I can get for £400. The display is a bit old fashioned, but the sound makes up for the looks. I also enjoyed the Denon DCD800ne, which is also around £400. Kind of regret selling it on. It sounded pretty good to me. You can get a slightly lower spec, but easily as good Denon DCD600NE for £300. Neither are cheap "high street junk". Been there, tried that, and this is certainly a different world.

For under £400, these would be the ones I have heard that are currently on sale new and can recommend. I am personally hesitant to buy a used CD player, so cannot honesty recommend anyone do something I myself would not do.

Hope that helps. Good luck :)
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Oh, and my other hardware is Monitor Audio GS20's and a Primare A30.1

Solid hifi there sir.

Both speakers and amps are more expensive to build and buy than CD players.

So getting a good one will not be as expensive as you think.

The Rotel may be the best available at its price and above at the moment.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Oh, and my other hardware is Monitor Audio GS20's and a Primare A30.1
ohhhh...nice amp and speakers. I take back my recommendation of the Denon CD players. I think the Rotel might be a good fit. It may have the clarity to compliment your other equipment. If you will like it or not, only you will know.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
PS. There is a silver Rotel CD11 Tribute at Peter Tyson for £300 (open box). Its silver, so don't know if it will clash with your other stuff, but Peter Tyson are pretty cool and have a 30 day peace of mind returns policy. I've always found them quite accommodating.

 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
You might find these useful reading.


 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
PS. There is a silver Rotel CD11 Tribute at Peter Tyson for £300 (open box). Its silver, so don't know if it will clash with your other stuff, but Peter Tyson are pretty cool and have a 30 day peace of mind returns policy. I've always found them quite accommodating.


A bargain indeed. I also think they look quite better in the silver finish.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I'll have a look at the Rotel, thanks. I had also noticed Denon options (the 1600 and 2500, but they're too expensive) and Marantz (6006 and 8005.. OK, but not had this brand before and unsure about the visual design of the players. Potentially out of my price range too). For no reason in particular but I like Yamaha too, but know little about how they perform in comparison
Out of the four players you've listed there I currently own a Denon DCD 2500 and the Marantz sa8005. I've also owned the Marantz cd6006. Considerable difference in price between a new cd6006 and the Denon. For me the cd6006 is probably the best player at it's price point, no doubt the new cd6007 will take up that mantle.

The sa8005 is an SACD player, same DAC onboard as the cd6006 but it's overall performance is better, more open with a feeling of greater scale and depth. You'll only find one on the secondary market and they seem to be going for around £400-£500.

Hard to find a Denon 2500 below £1500 new, or a 1600 below £900. I've not listened to a 1600 but I have to say the 2500 is absolutely awesome.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Since Marantz is mentioned. I advice OP to look for used Marantz CD7300.

One of the best CD players ever made by Marantz in the more affordable prince range.
 

Costello

Well-known Member
I’m a huge fan of older CD players so I feel your pain when a loved machine breaks down. You have had sone excellent advice here. As @Paul7777x says, you have nothing to lose from opening it up. Check cogged drive wheels and belts as these deteriorate. It could be an easy fix.
If you end up looking for replacements, CD players haven’t changed fundamentally: a loading tray, a clamp, a laser, a DAC, an analogue output and a power supply. The biggest progress has been made in affordable DACs.
I use an older Philips player. It’s DAC may be out of date but it’s so musical. I think you’d be surprised what a good sound you can get for the money today.
For what it’s worth, Rotel haven’t made a bad player and the CD11 Tribute would, I’m afraid, rather cock a snoot to your Primare.
Good luck whichever path you choose.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
Have you tried contacting Primare to see if they can still service it? It may cost you a bit, but as you say it’s a premium product and if it can be serviced and repaired it ought to give many more years of faithful service.
 

46vale

Novice Member
Thanks to everyone for your help and advice.
I will certainly look at the Rotel CD11. The silver finish wouldn't be my first choice as I feel it's more 'showy', but appreciate it may well look better in the flesh. My other hardware is black and it would also be my preference to keep some continuity.
Interesting @Costello: I was wondering/hoping that something newer would outperform by old Primare. I accept that I'm probably blinded by the way it looks, the way it's built and the fact I always wanted to own one.
I have made some enquiries re. fixing my existing player but I had some reservations over the availability of parts, cost, and what other components could also be on their way out in the not too distant future.
Thanks gibbsy and Helix HiFi: I'll have a look around at your suggestions. I suspect the Denon of choice is going to be out of reach and, honestly, I've never been a huge fan of the way Marantz players look (but appreciate it's more about the sound!)
 

46vale

Novice Member
..without wanting to confuse things any further, does anyone has experience of Yamaha cd players? Are they we;; regarded and is there something that would potentially fit the bill if the Denon, Marantz and Rotel options didn't materialise?
 

FootHealer

Active Member
There's a Rotel CD11 in black for £350 at Richer Sounds. They are £400 new, so a saving of £50. I have the black finish and I prefer it over the silver. The screen is blue and LEDs are blue. I like the contrast. Can't promise it will out preform your old CD player, but of the CD players I have heard at £300-500, this is a good one. The Marantz CD6007 is £400 from AV Online and Peter Tyson, but I also find the Marantz design ugly to look at. Otherwise it would have been my first choice. Have no regrets after choosing the Rotel. Its a keeper.


Never heard a Yamaha CD player, so cannot help you there. I hope you find something. Don't forget, you can always return something if you don't like it (just check the retailers T&Cs).
 
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