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Old 26th September 2010, 06:47 PM   #1
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Default Meridian 508 Transport Problems

New to the board - my first post. Hi all !

Hoping you can help with some intermittent problems with my Meridian 508 CD player

I've had it around 18 months and bought it as a 508.20 upgraded to 24 bit which Meridian have confirmed. The transport, according to them, is a CDM12.5 due to it's solid black bezel. Apparently the CDM12.4 has a silver coloured circle in the bezel

Problems - the player has skipped intermittently and on a couple of occasions has failed to read discs, mainly after it has been out of use for a while (I like to switch my equipment round from time to time). Also, when selecting a specific track (as opposed to playing the disc through from the start), playback begins a fraction of a second into that track

My local Meridian dealer has been less than helpful, preferring to offer an upgrade instead. Meridian themselves have been marginally more helpful, explaining that the CDM12.5 is no longer available and that were they to service it (at a cost of around 260) they would swap out the laser head only

I'm reluctant to send it to Meridian. The cost is exhorbitant (I swapped out a complete CDM12.4 on a Marantz CD63 MKII KIS last year at a cost of around $20.00). More worryingly, I'm not sure I'd get it back in working order if they can't fix it

It's behaving at the moment but doubtless the time will come when it fails completely so I'm keen to try a fix myself. Difficult because Meridian won't release the service manual to me

Does anybody have knowledge of working on this machine ? Any thoughts as to what may be wrong and how to fix ?

I'd have to spend *serious* money to better this player - it really is as good as it's reputation - so I won't entertain the idea of letting it die slowly for the cost of a $20 mech !

All help and comments gratefully received. Thanks
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Old 27th September 2010, 07:03 AM   #2
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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In order to fix this you are going to have to remove the pickup assembly. The main problem with all these is hardening of the grease on the sled drive gears and slide.

Photos... post #10 here on how to attach them,
Sony cd player CDP-102

It would help to see the insides, and to see what the mech and loader is. Usually it's a Philips LT1210/65

Sourcing a "new" CDM12.4 or 5 could be next to impossible... if you have read the many threads on this mech you will see that most that are offered for sale seem to be reclaimed old units or inferior chinese stuff... so fixing the old one is probably the best option.

The "silver" and "black" bezel bit is a puzzle... can't think what they mean by that as the CDM12.4 etc usually refers to just the pickup and it's subchassis. The turntable on the CDM12.1 etc although it looks the same is black from memory... and the difference is the magnetic clamp is of "opposite" polarity so it won't work with a 12.4 clamp. Can't think of anything else.

Do you mean CDM12.4/05 ? as that's the number given to the chassis and pickup complete.
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Old 5th October 2010, 06:31 AM   #3
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Pics attached. Firstly, just to clarify my earlier post. Meridian referred to the "bezel" as being the circular plastic mount on to which the centre spindle of the CD sits. It was explained that mine being solely black in colour indicates the transport being a CDM12.5 as opposed to the CDM12.4 which has a silver and black circular plastic mount

From reading, I understand that the CDM12.4 and CDM12.5 are not mutually compatible due to different motors and control electronics on board. I believe though that the laser blocks are compatible and that these can be sourced new as a separate unit, VAM1250

Anyway, back to the pics. The top shot of the drawer speaks for itself.

The second pic is the underside of the drawer, this being the only way in to the transport that I can see. There's no way that's immediately evident of removing the drawer

The third pic shows lid off with the loader/clamp exposed. The loader isn't like anything I've ever seen before and appears to be a Meridian OEM part

This was as far as I was willing to go with disassembly until I have a whole day to devote to it

** So to summarise, I need to know how to access the transport assembly for removal. Can you or anyone else assist **

Merdian have been the proverbial chocolate fireguard this week. I've been in touch with them and they say they have no service manual for this machine and no notes as how to remove the transport. Great "life" support for what was a 2K machine new.

I'll never buy another !
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 001IMG_6696.JPG (894.1 KB, 273 views)
File Type: jpg 002IMG_6701.JPG (742.4 KB, 244 views)
File Type: jpg 004IMG_6709.JPG (897.2 KB, 237 views)

Last edited by TooManyTurntables; 5th October 2010 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 5th October 2010, 06:55 AM   #4
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Unusual for sure... in that the whole mech is incorporated in the drawer.
I'm sure it's easy to work on though. You will have to carefully remove the plate under the drawer and see what it looks like then. It could actually be easier to work on than the normal loader which usually has to be removed from the player.

Just take it slowly and take pictures so you know how it goes/run of any cables/ribbons etc.
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Old 5th October 2010, 08:37 PM   #5
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The drawer-housed mech is the trick with some Meridian units. Apart from the 508 which I currently own, the 206 and 602 which I have since passed on both have similarly housed transports.

I agree - that bottom plate seems to be the key to getting to the transport. It's not going to be that easy to drop off though - what you can't see from the pic is one of the screws can't be accessed while the drawer is in place. So, the drawer definitely needs to come out.

Anybody else worked on a 5XX player with a CDM12 mech ? Anyone know how to get that drawer out ?
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Old 6th October 2010, 09:00 PM   #6
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Are these not the genuine article ? (I have no connection with the seller by the way)

New original Philips VAM1204 laser mechanism CDM12.4/05 on eBay (end time 02-Nov-10 09:43:52 GMT)

Philips VAM1204 CDM12.4 CD Laser Head New

Last edited by JonHarrison; 6th October 2010 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 7th October 2010, 05:59 AM   #7
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Sorry, didn't see your post... still under moderation.
No specific details for you but as a ex service tech I know although it probably looks complex it won't be. Usually the more you dismantle the easier stuff is to work on.

Quite often front panels have to be removed... look if the mech as a whole is fixed to the chassis. One Philips audio unit with the mech at the bottom had around 50 screws to remove in total... easy
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Old 8th October 2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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It could be either the CDM12.4 or the 12.5. The 12.5 were very common. My 500 Transport has the 12.5. The draw is tricky to get apart, first undo the single screw at the front of the draw, this releases the end of the draw. after this there are some more screws under there that release the plastic on the draw, remove this and the mech is bolted on to a steel plate. Can take a while to disassemble but it's pretty simple, there is no need to remove the casing of the player it's all in the draw.

Let me know how this goes as I'm interested in sorting something for mine when the time comes. It's such a shame on the lack of 12.4 and 12.5's. Meridian are very good at keeping stock of spares for many of there products.
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Old 18th August 2015, 05:43 AM   #9
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Hi! I`ve been searching for some info about Meridian 508 CDP problems and found this topic. The trouble to my player consists in: 1) player "sees" the disc, reads T.O.C. 2) In "PAUSE" mode I can change tracks, I hear the pick-up doing the job, everything seems to be OK. 3) But! When I put the "PLAY" mode, the disk stops, then starts rotating in reverse direction, accelerates the rotation, then CDP displays "NO DISK" message and hangs up untill I open/close the disk drawer. The pick-up is new.
Suggest any idea about my case, or maybe someone could send me a service manual, please?
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Old 18th August 2015, 06:28 AM   #10
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First instinct is to say that the "new" pickup is defective. This is VERY common with CDM12/VAM12xx lasers. Wouldn't waste time looking for another cause until a new laser from a different source is tried.
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