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After reading many pages on the internet of Rotel's rcd991 getting the better of people with challenges to reliability, I took a stand and would not let it beat me.

 

I have had the big Rotel for about 5 years and spent a fortune getting it from Greece to me in Malaysia. Why? because I Auditioned a Copland CD266 with dual BB pcm63p Dac chips and  the controversial pmd100 filter chip. To this day I don't think I have heard a better disc player.

So at the time I did not have the funds to buy and had to let it go. So armed with the knowedge of it's internals I scoured for a cheaper alternative with the same DAC chip and Filter.

I came across the much unloved Rotel rcd-991ae in greece. I did pay way too much for it and the shipping but hey are we not all crazy when Hi Fi is concerned.?

 

Once I got it home I listened to it for a few weeks and then decided I was under whelmed. At that point I decided to do something about it and Mod the hilt out off it.

Enter Audio GD with 4 discrete op amps and a new clock, Jantzen entered the fray with some silver Output caps and Solen and Wima provided the added extras.

After a few weeks of determined ignorance of a novice I finally had finished. Press Play and BINGO it was superb. I fell in love with this big chunk of Rotel metal and listened to it exclusively for weeks. I was 80% close to the Copland and I was a happy camper.

 

After a couple of years of use It got pushed back off the favourites list by the modded duo of Marantz Cd5000's with the amazing Philips TDA1549 Dac chip and discrete op amp and New big Jantzen silver output Caps, and the Modded Marantz cd50 with Nos, discrete output stage etc..

The Audio GD NFB3.2 arrived and that was now the house favourite being driven by my Modded Pioneer DV989avi as a digital transport.

 

Being the fair Hi Fi Father I am, I alternated between the players until my Rotel RCD991 started to behave like the petulant child it has been for so many people. I spent hours and hours inside it looking for why it sometimes would play CD's and sometimes would give me the finger with a "no Disc" message.

Sometimes when it actually got going it would go into track skipping meltdown and then I would spend another full weekend of changing yet another laser and checking every capacitor and resistor there was. But to no avail it beat me.. Up until now. I have spent another day of research and discussions on this petulant child and read and read until I could read no more.

Doing my best trouble shooting thinking on the Loo it Dawned on me. My enlightenment of the problem was a defining moment in my Amateurish attempts of days gone by.

Armed with the soldering Iron and some spare parts pilfered from my now defunct Cambridge audio 540cv2, I changed the spindle motor and the laser motor and prayed that I had demonstrated enough determination to succeed.

Load a disc, it reads the TOC straight up, press play and Music, beautiful music once more. Skip forward through a few tracks and tight and fast tracking once again!.

I sit before you happily listening to my now Non belligerent Monster Rotel smiling and writing this little experience hoping that my Hi Fi Brothers owning this Player will not give up hope and not let this temperamental piece of Japanese mastery beat you.

 

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I like your story and adventure in modifying CD player good stuff.

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Sometimes with any of the motors going weak, you can measure the supply V and see if it is within spec, they are usually connected to an onboard servo controller board or externally to the main circuit, there are few capacitors that supply the V and replacing them can sometimes bring the "weak motor" back to default, some Denon players have a trimpot to adjust the sensitivity to the motor and laser. With the read errors did you ever use isoprophyl alcohol or windex on a cotton bud to clean the laser to see if consistency is brought out again?

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