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Obsolete hifi

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Post by steamdrivenandy Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:07 pm

Having moved house last August and just got the study set up how I like it my hifi system has started playing up.

It's a Denon system which still looks new to me, though checking back I realise I bought it in December 2003, so almost 18 years old.

The cassette unit hasn't actually been used for at least a decade, though I have no reason to suspect that it doesn't work perfectly still. I notice that they appear to go for around £75 on Ebay, so somebody still loves them. 

The problem is in the CD player/radio unit which has taken to not playing when it feels like it and suddenly ending CD's when there are still plenty of tracks left to play. It's getting worse and is it the stage where something needs to be done. Contacting Denon's UK repairer I'm told it probably needs a new CD module, which incurs a charge of £150, plus the cost of a courier to get it to them at about £8 (though compact, these Denon's are weighty pieces of gear). Say £160 all in. Waiting time is 4 to 5 weeks.

I've always liked the Denon and the sound from the matching speakers is superb, so I checked out their current offering. As well as being a CD player the model we have has MW and FM radio. At first glance the new model looks almost identical to my old one, but on closer inspection buttons are in different places and the dimensions are a bit different. The current model has no MW (no great loss) and FM plus DAB and DAB+, plus Bluetooth capability enabling it to talk to our phones, tablets, desktop and laptop. Sadly it doesn't seem to have the capability to send music to our Google Home speakers in the lounge but even then what's offered is a significant improvement in capability. There again we are talking 18 years on and if a new one lasts as long I'll be 91 when it reaches 18.

The price of the new Denon, should I seek to replace ours, is £289, or £130 more than getting the old one repaired.

What would you do?
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Post by rogerblack Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:23 pm

Forgive me if you've already done this, don't mean to teach my granny to suck eggs, but have you tried giving the unit a good clean?

I have a mini-vac cleaner which I use regularly on our laptops and hi-fi players etc and you'd be amazed how much dust and fluff accumulates inside these devices. You can also buy a laser head cleaner from Amazon, Argos etc if you can't easily get inside the unit to clean the head with a cotton bud or similar.

If that fails to do the trick then in your shoes I'd go for buying a new unit, otherwise you risk spending money to get the current problem repaired, assuming on inspection their diagnosis is actually correct, then possibly a few months down the line another part fails - it is as you say 18 years old.

Just my thoughts though, as you asked, however you may think differently.

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Post by steamdrivenandy Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:15 pm

Behind every Grumpy Old Man there's a Grumpy Old Grandma.
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Post by bolero boy Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:39 pm

you can buy CD/DVD cleaning disks...i have one...they have tiny hairs sticking up which clean the reading eye...these can be damped with cleaning fluid if reqd....works a treat.
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Post by Askit Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:46 pm

Andy, your hifi is positively brand new compared to ours. I just checked and we will be celebrating it's 40th birthday next year  Whistle1 It's Sony separates and I did add a Technics CD player in 2001 and the original cassette deck gave up the ghost a few years after that. It was replaced by a Technics double cassette deck. I had to acquire a new stylus for the turntable a few weeks ago to play some of our original vinyls. I also kept all of our tape cassettes shrugg  

Fair play to Sony (and Technics) because they are in much better condition than I am  hugegrins

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Post by steamdrivenandy Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:58 pm

I recall de-fluffing a desktop PC and the amount of stuff inside was amazing. I put that down to it having fans which drag in fluffy stuff. I suppose that, even without a fan, a hifi may have accumulated some grot. I may well remove the casing and have a look see. That said this has been coming on a while and it's behaved oddly sporadically for at least the last two years.
I know it's not the CD's fault as they play fine on the PC.
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Post by burlingtonboaby Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:00 pm

rogerblack wrote:Forgive me if you've already done this, don't mean to teach my granny to suck eggs, but have you tried giving the unit a good clean?

I have a mini-vac cleaner which I use regularly on our laptops and hi-fi players etc and you'd be amazed how much dust and fluff accumulates inside these devices. You can also buy a laser head cleaner from Amazon, Argos etc if you can't easily get inside the unit to clean the head with a cotton bud or similar.

If that fails to do the trick then in your shoes I'd go for buying a new unit, otherwise you risk spending money to get the current problem repaired, assuming on inspection their diagnosis is actually correct, then possibly a few months down the line another part fails - it is as you say 18 years old.

Just my thoughts though, as you asked, however you may think differently.
What's dust and fluff Roger   scratch head
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Post by Dave 418 Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:02 pm

When I as stationed in Germany I bough a nice HIFI I think it was an Aki, scuse the spelling. It was turntable, amp ,speakers,  tuner and cassette player. When I went on  a training coarse  it was stolen along with all my tapes and records. 
By todays standards the speakers were quite heavy lumps but the sound was amazing. I see them for sale but I cant see them being much good after all this time.
Management still has all her records but we have a cheap turn table cum radio. Maybe one day I will buy another HIFI.
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Post by rogerblack Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:33 pm

burlingtonboaby wrote:
rogerblack wrote:Forgive me if you've already done this, don't mean to teach my granny to suck eggs, but have you tried giving the unit a good clean?

I have a mini-vac cleaner which I use regularly on our laptops and hi-fi players etc and you'd be amazed how much dust and fluff accumulates inside these devices. You can also buy a laser head cleaner from Amazon, Argos etc if you can't easily get inside the unit to clean the head with a cotton bud or similar.

If that fails to do the trick then in your shoes I'd go for buying a new unit, otherwise you risk spending money to get the current problem repaired, assuming on inspection their diagnosis is actually correct, then possibly a few months down the line another part fails - it is as you say 18 years old.

Just my thoughts though, as you asked, however you may think differently.
What's dust and fluff Roger   scratch head
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Post by bikeralw Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:46 pm

After much research I bought a Bose Wave to replace our old Teac unit last year.
It's brilliant, exceptional sound for the size.
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Post by steamdrivenandy Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:02 pm

Boaby was in the Services, you'll find no fluff in his belly button. Court martial offence. hugegrins
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Post by inspiredron Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:02 am

Don't even think about repair. At that age it is likely that the capacitors will.be starting to degrade and that has implications for the power supply module and the amplifier itself. And with DAB and Bluetooth as well it's no contest. I had the same issue when we moved house. I found that my NAD amplifier had stopped working as well as my Sony midfi. Both went to the tip for recycling. I have kept my tannoy speakers, the Technics tape deck and my old Panasonic SVHS video recorder but, with latter, after having replaced the electrolytics in the power supply I found that the audio caps also need replacement. It's all very sad. I will probably considere and new Yamaha receiver at some stage. They seem to get good reviews. My ears are not that good now anyway and convenience of being able to play MP3 s from the phone will outweigh higher-fi.

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Post by Askit Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:39 am

Ron, I have the same problem with my "lugs" due to a chronic sinus issue that leaves me trying to "pop" my ears. Notwithstanding my ancient system described in my oost above, I mostly play stuff through it by means of bluetooth connected to the aux and my mp3 player. I also have Spotify on my desk pc which us great for those bits of music I either don't own or, more likely, do own and can't find shrugg

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Post by Peter Brown Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:28 am

Like several others, my hearing is not what it was and my audio equipment was obsolete so a few years ago I converted all vinyl and tape to digital tracks and passed the originals on the an enthusiast. They are copied on hard drives, memoir sticks, phones and tablets so hopefully will not lose them. I did have to burn a set of CD's for the van as audio in the Sprinter in 2011 was basic.

When changing cars recently it should have been simple moving the USB stick from one car to the other but I found a problem. Although most of my stuff was MP3, a few of the albums that had been processed through the windows media player were in WMA format that is no longer recognised by most current players. I found a conversion app and they are now all mp3.
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Post by inspiredron Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:48 am

We're all old codgers in th esame boat then!!  Obsolete hifi 1f609

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Post by Peter Brown Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:14 am

I meant to add to my last post that a couple of months ago a chap who I trained with rediscovers some tapes he'd made of colleagues of ours hosting folk evenings in Bletchley Park Club 50 years ago. Very fortunately he had also retained the four track reel to reel tape machine that they were recorded on so has been able to digitise and distribute the recordings - what nostalgia particularly as both of the guys playing died relatively young and as they were both good friends of mine, I'm mentioned several times.
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Post by HairyFool Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:33 pm

I used to repair CD transports as a weekend job and there were two main culprits for them failing to track.

The laser head is in a tilting frame that uses an op amp to align the laser on to the track as it tilts further the op amp drive increases and that is tapped off to the motor driver and the drive voltage can overcome the motor stiction and it will start to spin. Once it starts the voltage needed to keep it running is much lower so even as the tilt drive reduces the motor keeps spinning until the output of the tilt drive op amp is almost zero. So although tracking is actually continuous as the disk spins the drive motor that moves the laser across the disk "steps" along its travel.

Sometimes you can get them to track again by cleaning and relubrication of the tracking mechanism. We would mostly do this for drives we couldn't get parts for but as a commercial operation we didn't want returns within 90 days as a warranty repair.

In most cases the motor itself was available so we would replace the motor. I suspect in a number it was actually the cleaning that solved it but for the relatively low cost to the client for the motor it wasn't worth the risk.

We would rarely replace the whole transport.

Denon Spares https://www.sontec.co.uk/Parts

Edit: The oil is very light, 3 in 1 is far too heavy


Last edited by HairyFool on Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:32 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Forgot last bit)
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Post by groundhog Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:41 pm

steamdrivenandy wrote:Having moved house last August and just got the study set up how I like it my hifi system has started playing up.

It's a Denon system which still looks new to me, though checking back I realise I bought it in December 2003, so almost 18 years old.

The cassette unit hasn't actually been used for at least a decade, though I have no reason to suspect that it doesn't work perfectly still. I notice that they appear to go for around £75 on Ebay, so somebody still loves them. 

The problem is in the CD player/radio unit which has taken to not playing when it feels like it and suddenly ending CD's when there are still plenty of tracks left to play. It's getting worse and is it the stage where something needs to be done. Contacting Denon's UK repairer I'm told it probably needs a new CD module, which incurs a charge of £150, plus the cost of a courier to get it to them at about £8 (though compact, these Denon's are weighty pieces of gear). Say £160 all in. Waiting time is 4 to 5 weeks.

I've always liked the Denon and the sound from the matching speakers is superb, so I checked out their current offering. As well as being a CD player the model we have has MW and FM radio. At first glance the new model looks almost identical to my old one, but on closer inspection buttons are in different places and the dimensions are a bit different. The current model has no MW (no great loss) and FM plus DAB and DAB+, plus Bluetooth capability enabling it to talk to our phones, tablets, desktop and laptop. Sadly it doesn't seem to have the capability to send music to our Google Home speakers in the lounge but even then what's offered is a significant improvement in capability. There again we are talking 18 years on and if a new one lasts as long I'll be 91 when it reaches 18.

The price of the new Denon, should I seek to replace ours, is £289, or £130 more than getting the old one repaired.

What would you do?
 I might just be able to help you here Andy, I too have a Denon system which we never use but as far as I know works perfectly. Post a picture of what you need and we may just be able to solve your problem!
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Post by steamdrivenandy Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:00 pm

GH you're a Jonah!!!!

I managed to get a CD to play about 30 minutes ago and was happily listening to Track 5 and was about 5min 50 secs through it and just reading your post and the darn thing cut off and went to the end screen where it reads Track 16 74:16 and not a peep. The unit that's giving me problems is a Denon UD-M31. It displays the names on the left above the CD drawer.
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Post by Dave 418 Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:31 pm

I can remember CD,s coming on the market. All my mates said the sound was better than records but I wasn’t convinced. The only advantage I could see with CD,s was the amount of space they saved. They are ok in a car because my cassette player used to eat tapes on a regular base. Mind you even CD,s didn’t like playing in my Landrovers.
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Post by groundhog Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:45 pm

steamdrivenandy wrote:GH you're a Jonah!!!!

I managed to get a CD to play about 30 minutes ago and was happily listening to Track 5 and was about 5min 50 secs through it and just reading your post and the darn thing cut off and went to the end screen where it reads Track 16 74:16 and not a peep. The unit that's giving me problems is a Denon UD-M31. It displays the names on the left above the CD drawer.
Whoops I do my best
I will climb in the attic tomorrow as a penance to see which one I have
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Post by steamdrivenandy Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:02 pm

Dave 418 wrote:I can remember CD,s coming on the market. All my mates said the sound was better than records but I wasn’t convinced. The only advantage I could see with CD,s was the amount of space they saved. They are ok in a car because my cassette player used to eat tapes on a regular base. Mind you even CD,s didn’t like playing in my Landrovers.

What about 8 track tapes then? I remember the click halfway though a song as it moved to the next segment of tape. Most of my collection was water damaged when our brand new first house was flooded the night Mr Presley passed away.

We have our parents collection of vinyls plus ours from our younger days and even on a cheap turntable the sound is somehow more mellow than a clinical CD.
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Post by groundhog Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:18 pm

steamdrivenandy wrote:GH you're a Jonah!!!!

I managed to get a CD to play about 30 minutes ago and was happily listening to Track 5 and was about 5min 50 secs through it and just reading your post and the darn thing cut off and went to the end screen where it reads Track 16 74:16 and not a peep. The unit that's giving me problems is a Denon UD-M31. It displays the names on the left above the CD drawer.
Sorry but mine is completely different shame as you could have had it
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Post by inspiredron Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:48 pm

steamdrivenandy wrote:
Dave 418 wrote:I can remember CD,s coming on the market. All my mates said the sound was better than records but I wasn’t convinced. 
We have our parents collection of vinyls plus ours from our younger days and even on a cheap turntable the sound is somehow more mellow than a clinical CD.
Yes I remember vinyl played on my Goldring Lenco turntable fitted with a Shure cartridge. Great fun to set up with 1.5gm tracking force and the fiddly bias weight. And every other record that you bought was taken back because of the dreaded click or pop. CD's were a revolution! Turntable and vinyl collection went to British Heart Foundation charity shop a few weeks before we moved.

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Post by HairyFool Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:36 am

I actually worked for Philips when they brought the 1st decks to market. We had a staff shop and the one they had weighed several kilos because the laser module was metal, nothing like flimsy plastic they soon became.

I never could correlate the damage but still playable demonstrated on Tomorrows World compared to their sensitive surface in the real world.

Having now transferred them all to my hard drive the CDs are now in the loft with the vinyl. I use Dopamine as the music player and it tells me it would take 73 days to play the Library at that doesn't have the classical on it.

The last turntable I had was a Goldring Lenco GL75 with a Stanton broadcast cartridge. I saw a modern repressing of Rumours the other day and they feel so flimsy nowadays.
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