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Thread: Micromega CDP. "Err"

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jul 2016

    Location: West Wales

    Posts: 56
    I'm Jonathan.

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    I had an upgraded Stage 1 with the same problem. A new laser unit fixed it, which was a fairly generic and cheap Philips unit. Worth checking, and fairly simple to replace with a couple of solder joints.

  2. #12
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 917
    I'm Edward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aethelred View Post
    I have always cleaned lenses with Zeiss photo moisture tissues. Heck I have even cleaned my dslr sensor with them. Material is of a special type so virtually no scratch possible and special liquid cleans nicely and evaporates completely.
    Oh that is an excellent idea. I have tons of Nikon stuff as well as a sensor cleaner. I'll first try with a fine brush though. As well as lubricating etc. No point taking an unnecessary risk to start with.

    Quote Originally Posted by sq225917 View Post
    Edward, speak to Dowser over on pfm he's fixed and rebuilt a couple, very technically able guy.
    Thanks for the tip Simon. I'm not registered on PFM but may well do if all my efforts fail. I guess a major factor is the cost of getting someone to do a fix/rebuild vs the value of a fixed stage CDP. I can't imagine a Micromega Stage 5 is worth much these days. If I recall I paid something of the order of £800 (incl. the stage 5 upgrade) about 20 years ago. Give or take.

    Quote Originally Posted by bosa View Post
    I had an upgraded Stage 1 with the same problem. A new laser unit fixed it, which was a fairly generic and cheap Philips unit. Worth checking, and fairly simple to replace with a couple of solder joints.
    Excellent news Jonathan. I'll first try cleaning things but if things don't work out I may get a replacement. To save my googling do you recall which Philips unit you got and where?


    This Micromega resurrection is not vital though, more just interesting to get fixed. I'm basically all file based audio these days.

    My next interesting project is to get an original Rega Planar 2 up and running. Again the poor economics probably weigh against this.
    Source: Tidal/Roon
    DAC: Metrum HEX NOS

    Amp: Sugden Masterclass 2018 spec, Radford Revival STA25,
    Speakers: Tannoy Eaton


  3. #13
    Join Date: Oct 2010

    Location: Netherlands

    Posts: 17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwardlon View Post
    Oh that is an excellent idea. I have tons of Nikon stuff as well as a sensor cleaner. I'll first try with a fine brush though. As well as lubricating etc. No point taking an unnecessary risk to start with.



    Thanks for the tip Simon. I'm not registered on PFM but may well do if all my efforts fail. I guess a major factor is the cost of getting someone to do a fix/rebuild vs the value of a fixed stage CDP. I can't imagine a Micromega Stage 5 is worth much these days. If I recall I paid something of the order of £800 (incl. the stage 5 upgrade) about 20 years ago. Give or take.



    Excellent news Jonathan. I'll first try cleaning things but if things don't work out I may get a replacement. To save my googling do you recall which Philips unit you got and where?


    This Micromega resurrection is not vital though, more just interesting to get fixed. I'm basically all file based audio these days.

    My next interesting project is to get an original Rega Planar 2 up and running. Again the poor economics probably weigh against this.
    Actually sound wise I think Stage 5 is worth a lot. There is a guy, don't remember the name who was claiming this is the best cd below 10k USD. It still competes very well in musicality department. In 90s was accused of being too detailed but today if you compare to average implementation of Sabre chip it sounds just right. I still have mine. But I'm not details freak. My reference cd is bow zz8 BTW.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jul 2016

    Location: West Wales

    Posts: 56
    I'm Jonathan.

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    Hi Edward,

    The Philips laser in my Stage 1 was a CDM 12.4 and I got it off EBay from 1st Cameras (!) I believe. Can't see if they are trading now, but there are other sellers.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 1,784
    I'm Lawrence.

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    I found this interesting post online. I repaired my Arcam Delta 250 transport (cdm9) a few years ago, that was a cog deteriorating from the wrong grease, this seems to be different, dry grease issue. Happy to help if I can.

    "One of the most famous problems with CD mechanisms was with the Philips CDM12.4 used by Micromega and some other brands.Apparently in some batches they have used the wrong lubricant at the factory and after a short period it dried and the CD started skipping. Micromega distributed a repair kit with instructions describing how to clean the rails and two small plastic boxs with a brown lubricant for plastic/plastic parts and a white one for plastic/metal parts. Only a very small amount of white lubricant was needed, and if the old lubricant had been completely removed and carefully cleaned the problem was definitively solved. I did it for several friend's players that are still playing today. I have also been told that some lithium greases are good for this purpose, but I have not tested them."

  6. #16
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 917
    I'm Edward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence001 View Post
    I found this interesting post online. I repaired my Arcam Delta 250 transport (cdm9) a few years ago, that was a cog deteriorating from the wrong grease, this seems to be different, dry grease issue. Happy to help if I can.

    "One of the most famous problems with CD mechanisms was with the Philips CDM12.4 used by Micromega and some other brands.Apparently in some batches they have used the wrong lubricant at the factory and after a short period it dried and the CD started skipping. Micromega distributed a repair kit with instructions describing how to clean the rails and two small plastic boxs with a brown lubricant for plastic/plastic parts and a white one for plastic/metal parts. Only a very small amount of white lubricant was needed, and if the old lubricant had been completely removed and carefully cleaned the problem was definitively solved. I did it for several friend's players that are still playing today. I have also been told that some lithium greases are good for this purpose, but I have not tested them."
    Thanks Lawrence

    I spent a bit of time today on this Stage 5 after receiving bits and pieces from CPC/Farnell. Sadly my efforts have come to nought.

    Using Isopropyl I got rid of all the old grease around the runners, cogs and whatnot. Replaced with grease fortified with PTFE. Ensured laser lens is clean (but did not use any liquid just a fine artist brush) and replaced belt. Couple of times a CD was read correctly but mostly err.

    CPC/Farnell have a compatible Philips 12.4 mechanism for about £25 which I may try.

    But thinking about this more fully I'm not sure it is the drive or the laser mech. When I turn on the CDP (have to wait about 2 minutes for it to boot up) usually I get err without even a CD being on board - so no spinning/reading etc. So I suspect something flaky going on with the boards - perhaps a dry joint. It is beyond me to test for dry joints etc.

    I may contact the guy at PFM that Simon suggested - or give up.

    Or you can attack it.

    But this CDP is simply 'nice to have' rather than essential. As you know i don't use CDs - only file based stuff. And anyway I have a Marantz CD63II KI which does work.
    Source: Tidal/Roon
    DAC: Metrum HEX NOS

    Amp: Sugden Masterclass 2018 spec, Radford Revival STA25,
    Speakers: Tannoy Eaton


  7. #17
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Stäfa (near Zürich), Switzerland

    Posts: 290
    I'm Richard.

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    Hi - only just saw this. I think you're right, if you get an ERR with no disc inserted, it may not be the laser (could be, but not definite). However, it could very easily be the tray loading belt not fully closing the tray switch, so laser never even tries to read TOC. Tray should close until switch tripped, laser should emit a red light and bob up and down a few times while disc platter spins - if that is not happening, most likely tray belt, but guess it could also be a missing supply.

    Donberg.ie have reliable (so far, I've used 4 over last 18 months or so) cdm12.4s at €17 each - be aware there are many dodgy ones available! Good luck - well worth repairing, stage 5 is a really good dual TDA1305 implementation that I used as a reference player in stock form when modding other players. The Stage 3 is even better though

    Good luck, Richard

  8. #18
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 917
    I'm Edward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dowser View Post
    Hi - only just saw this. I think you're right, if you get an ERR with no disc inserted, it may not be the laser (could be, but not definite). However, it could very easily be the tray loading belt not fully closing the tray switch, so laser never even tries to read TOC. Tray should close until switch tripped, laser should emit a red light and bob up and down a few times while disc platter spins - if that is not happening, most likely tray belt, but guess it could also be a missing supply.

    Donberg.ie have reliable (so far, I've used 4 over last 18 months or so) cdm12.4s at €17 each - be aware there are many dodgy ones available! Good luck - well worth repairing, stage 5 is a really good dual TDA1305 implementation that I used as a reference player in stock form when modding other players. The Stage 3 is even better though

    Good luck, Richard
    Thanks Richard

    Sorry for delay in coming back to you.

    Since I last posted I have not tried to do anything further. I rather suspect it is something on the boards. I may try dismantle everything and see if anything untoward on a board like a loose soldered joint.

    How come you say the stage 3 is better than stage 5? My unit was originally a stage 3 which I upgraded to stage 5 which gave a significant improvement in SQ.

    I've been watching prices for the Micromega stage CDPs and they don't go for much these days. Well here in the UK that is.
    Source: Tidal/Roon
    DAC: Metrum HEX NOS

    Amp: Sugden Masterclass 2018 spec, Radford Revival STA25,
    Speakers: Tannoy Eaton


  9. #19
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Stäfa (near Zürich), Switzerland

    Posts: 290
    I'm Richard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwardlon View Post
    Thanks Richard

    Sorry for delay in coming back to you.

    Since I last posted I have not tried to do anything further. I rather suspect it is something on the boards. I may try dismantle everything and see if anything untoward on a board like a loose soldered joint.

    How come you say the stage 3 is better than stage 5? My unit was originally a stage 3 which I upgraded to stage 5 which gave a significant improvement in SQ.

    I've been watching prices for the Micromega stage CDPs and they don't go for much these days. Well here in the UK that is.
    Has the disc tray belt been changed? Worth checking that first. Quality of PCBs and soldering is pretty good on those I have seen. 5 vs 3 - I like the sound of both, and the 5 I used as a reference while modding other "players for a while, but the 3 simply sounds better to me ears. If you search PFM for a thread started by me with "Micromega Stage" as search text in the DIY forum, you will see pictures of the differences between them. Stage 3 has an extra transformer per channel for decoding and audio stages, Stage 5 shares a single winding off the main transformer. Stages 1-3 were the first series, with 3 being the best. 4-6 was the second series, with the 6 being top of the line (which by the second series was the same as a 5, but with a modified clock fitted.

    They're all rather under rated players in my opinion, and under valued (I'm currently selling my mint Stage 5 on a local auction site, CHF 200 start price and no bids yet ). If you can't fix yours, I'd be interested in buying cheaply to bring back to life (will need to be cheap though, as I'll also need to pay postage to Swissieland!).

    Have fun, Richard

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