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Audiomeca Mephisto skipping - fixed
Audiomeca Mephisto skipping - fixed
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Old 21st December 2008, 05:54 PM   #1
oldmancoyote is offline oldmancoyote  Switzerland
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kanton Schwyz
Default Audiomeca Mephisto skipping - fixed

Hello all,

First post here and thank you to all the community - you have inspired me to attempt repairs that I would not have dared to take on...

Apologies for the long post to follow.

The problem: my faithful Audiomeca Mephisto I transport had started skipping - sometimes whole seconds at a time, other times just a "click" and a subtle sense of a note missing or timing being off. The issue was very apparent on the first couple of tracks, where the CD is spinning fastest, but sometimes it would appear throughout the record, making music totally unlistenable. It also had problems recognising discs, coming up with an error until switched off and left to cool for a while. The Mephisto is 14 years old - I have had it for 12 - so the first thing that came to mind was faulty tracking due to pickup wearing out.

I have to admit that I brought the machine to a dealer asking to fix it - it was returned three weeks later, saying "it needs a new pickup, but we can't source CDM9 pro anymore". Rather than throwing away the thing, I decided to try to fix it myself using a CDM9/44 mechanism which I ordered (second hand) from Grandata... after all, I read over here it was easy to replace the pickup head and they are supposed to be the same unit.

I started to take apart the machine, and after removing the top cover I noticed that the foam pads on which the whole mechanism is suspended were sagging. This prompted a bit of experimenting, ending with the conclusion that actually the pickup was fine - but the servoes could not cope with being on a slope...

I sourced some closed-cell rubber foam, 10mm thick, cut five 25mm square pads (the originals are round, but my skills in cutting foam are very far from Giotto's), drilled them with a 6mm bit and roughly shaped them to avoid interference with other parts. Two of the pads are glued to the acrylic "joists" that hold the lot up - superglue seemed to work fine on both the rubber and the acrylic plastic.

Replaced pads, paid a lot of attention at keeping things level, lubricated the pickup pivots, and voila - the player now reads all discs, does not skip and is back as good as it always was.

Total cost: about 3 hours of work, 5 for the rubber (I bought a lot more than I needed) and 30 for an unused CDM9/44 mechanism - I may keep it just in case the laser ever does wear out!

Lessons learned:

1. Don't trust dealers. Too many vested interests.
2. The Mephisto is fitted with a CDM9/44, not a CDM9pro
3. Sometimes the very simplest things work
4. I still cannot take the CDM9/44 laser pickup apart...
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