Laserdiscs skipping on side 2 (again)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jesse Skeen, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I love my Pioneer DVL-909 LD/DVD player, but one problem that's come up twice now is skipping on side 2 of LDs- on CLV discs around the 1:10 mark it will either skip ahead a few seconds or skip backwards a few seconds and then repeat. It did this a few months after I first got it, and it was taken into the shop and had the track the laser rode on replaced and all was fine for about 3 years, but last month the problem came back. I took it back to the shop and this time they replaced the spindle motor, but bringing it home it still skipped on a few discs so it just went back today.
    Checking alt.video.laserdisc archives I've seen others with the same player mention the same problem, but I couldn't find any answers as to what's causing it. Anyone else have the same problem? I'm hoping it gets fixed for good this time while there's still people around who can fix laserdisc players!
     
  2. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Nobody knows?
    I also wonder how you adjust the laser tracking in these machines, since they use 2 lasers. I only found 1 set of controls and didn't touch it because I didn't want to mess with the wrong one.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Jesse, I've never had one do that. I'm clueless....
     
  4. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Aaaagh- I was out of town a few days and still didn't hear from the shop when I got back, so I just called them and they said they've been running LDs on it for 4 weeks and haven't seen it skip! I don't know what discs or how many they're using over there, but I had it do it on 3 right before I took it back in. I'll have to talk to the guy who's actually been looking at it on Monday and either give him some of my discs that I've seen skip, or just take it home and hope the problem's gone!
    This sucks- I'll never be able to watch an LD without praying for a minute into side 2! [​IMG]
    I wish they'd make one more new player that did LD along with DVD-audio and SACD- that's the only thing I'd replace this one with!
     
  5. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you may have a lemon on your hands. Worse, you might get to experience the worst of Pioneer customer service. I sincerely hope not. I've got the DVL-919 (dvd/ld/cd combi-player). When I first got it, it had the exact same problem: skipping on side 2 of laserdiscs, in an intermittent and totally unpredictable manner. VERY difficult and time-consuming to troubleshoot.

    Even though the 919 was new and under warranty, I was directed to take it to the local authorized service center 3 TIMES in an effort to fix it instead of just swapping out a new one, as a matter of policy. It didn't help that the "service center" was a shabby little neighborhood shop with a large language barrier. Twice they reported they couldn't find a problem and once they said they adjusted the tracking mechanism. It was as tough for them as it was for me. Worst of all, I had to lug it back 3 times and spend hours watching discs trying to determine a pattern for this difficult glitch, which always eventually showed up.

    Only after Pioneer was satisfied that I went to the wall - no matter how inconvenient - they authorized a replacement. The happy ending is that the replacement has worked perfectly ever since. I still would recommend Pioneer digital playback machines, but woe to anyone who has a defect. And sadly, manufacturing defects can happen to anyone.

    But you're in a tougher spot... you're out of warranty. Wish I could help more. But maybe an argument that indicates you know there have been recurring problems with Pioneer players will gain you a small measure of cooperation... good luck.
     
  6. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Luckily the place that's servicing it is at the store I bought it from, and the people there usually know what they're doing (nothing at all like the Circuit City people who ruined my last TV!) so I don't think it's that hopeless, but sure is frustrating. They say they don't want to mess with the machine until they actually see the problem themselves, since otherwise they might just make it worse. I'll give 'em a call during my break at work tomorrow and either bring them some of my discs or take it home again for a while- I'll have 30 days to bring it back and have them look at it again without another charge. I watched at least 1 LD on it per day during the week I had it back before, and it skipped once on an old Vestron LD the 2nd day, then was fine til it did it on a newer disc on the 7th day and then did it again on other random discs I tried- again, all at the SAME spot (1:10 on CLV/CAA discs.) Looking at it with the cover off I can't see anything wrong, but the laser pickup seems to jump forward a little harder than usual around that spot so that's probably what's throwing it off.
    I just want to get this thing fixed while I've still got people nearby who know how to fix it, and while they're still making parts for it! I don't want a 919 since the DVD portion can't have Macrovision or region coding defeated, plus I've heard the LD section isn't as good. I might have to start looking for a used 909 for backup just in case.
     
  7. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Doesn't sound so hopeless after all... in fact sounds like a traceable mechanical problem... and your service people seem like they know what they're doing, based on their responses.

    By all means give them the LDs that are showing the problem... if nothing else, that should speed up the troubleshooting a little... although I did that, and the problem did not always show up in the shop, or so I'm told.

    Meanwhile, if you do get stuck, and find yourself with no other choice than a 919 replacement, I'd like to vouch for the LD section... there was a recurring buzz that the LD section produced a 'dark-ish' picture, and it did seem that way early on... not terrible, but did cause concern... after some playing time, however, that cleared up... LDs look terrific.

    I expect my 919 will have a long lifespan, like its predecessor (CLD-3030), 9-10 yrs(?)... and it will be the last one; I will dub the LD collection to DVD-R sooner or later.
     
  8. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Well, they said they did some adjustments on it and want to keep it for just a couple more days to make sure it's running OK, so I should finally have it back by the end of the week. It'll be a while before I can watch LDs without nervously watching the time counter on side 2 though [​IMG]
     

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