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Please help Pioneer CLD-D503 scratches discs

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by MikeEckman, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I bought a used Pioneer CLD-D503 Laserdisc player about 4 years ago and use it occasionally. I've probably played about 50 movies in it since buying it with no real problems. Sometimes when I would insert a disc, the display would sit there on CLOSE, and it wouldnt realize the drawer had closed, so I would eject it and reclose it and it would then work, but other than that, the player would work fine.

    Then last night I went to watch my copy of Robin Hood Men in Tights and everything started up fine, and then about 20 minutes into the movie, I noticed the player was making a really loud grinding noise. The movie played fine so I didnt think much of it. Then a few minutes later, it started skipping real bad. I knew the disc was clean, but I ejected it anyway, and to my horror, there was a band of fine scratches all the way around the disc, about halfway in from the hub.

    Since I realized the disc was already ruined, I stuck in the other side to see if it would do the same thing, and like before, it would play fine at the beginning, then about 20 minutes in, it started doing the smae thing with the same scratches on the disc.

    I checked prices on ebay for another player and theyre getting high for questionable hardware. Does anyone think I might be able to fix this? Is it possible that something inside the player just got loose and is dragging on the disc? It appears that the scratches are physically in the same position on the disc.

    My Laserdisc player is at the bottom of my rack on a very cluttered shelf, so it would take considerable effort to pull the player out to open it up, so I wanted to get someones feedback on here before I start to tear it apart.

    Thanks for any info anyone has.
  2. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2004
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    Sounds to me as if, to put it bluntly, your 503 was never very good, and now is quite shot. The symptom you describe is definitely the result of the laser read lens hitting the underside of the disc, which means that the focus servo circuit [which controls its up-and-down motion] is dead. "About 20 minutes in" is where the head ought to be, on a CLV disc, "about halfway between the edge and the hub", and I'd guess it's letting loose — either going unstable, or hitting some physical fault — right there. Somebody like Kurtis Bahr might be able to fix it, but the cost is high enough that you'd be better off just buying a new machine. I got the Mitsubishi-nameplate CLD-D704 clone from Kurtis for $250, and it works beautifully. Cheaper and better performance than the 704 I got off eBay, which has required some repairs.
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 1999
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    The disc is probably still salvageable if you get some CD repair fluid and are real patient. I have a few discs that were used for instore display, with movie trailers and music videos, that had a big scratch like that in the middle- I thought that somehow came from being played repeatedly all day. Anyways, I got a CD scratch repair kit and fixed them well enough to play without skipping. When I got my first DTS laserdisc I often got it out and played the DTS trailer at the beginning over and over, and that put a scratch on it too but I was able to fix it, and my player hasn't done that to any other discs since then.

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