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Old 11th November 2011, 03:01 PM   #1
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Default Meridian 207 tilt error

Afternoon all,

My first post here - forgive me if my question is naive.

I have a Meridian 207 CD player / pre-amp that has been bullet-proof for the past 15 years or so. However, CDs will no longer play, I get an 'Error' display and then 'Tilt'. The drive does start up but the error appears after a couple of seconds and the CD stops spinning. I understand that these units are no longer serviceable, neither my local hi fi repair shop in North London nor Meridian themselves could help. Does anyone know what might be the problem, whether this is an economical repair and whether anyone (hopefully in London) could help?

Yours in hope.
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Old 11th November 2011, 09:03 PM   #2
amc184 is offline amc184  New Zealand
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A Meridian 207 should be using either a Philips CDM-2 or CDM-4 laser mechanism. These are very good LMs with a long service life, it's likely that the fault isn't the LM itself, but the circuitry that drives it. It will almost certainly be repairable, but I wouldn't have the first clue about where you could get it done in the UK.

If you're keen to fix it yourself, have a search for threads about fixing other CDM-2 and CDM-4 based players, they're all pretty similar in the area that's faulty. I wouldn't have much confidence in getting it fixed at a commercial electronics shop, some are good but far too many are bad. A UK forum member might be able to help, I would but unfortunately I'm half a world away.
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Old 11th November 2011, 09:32 PM   #3
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Half a world away but good advice all the same. Thank you.
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Old 12th November 2011, 12:49 AM   #4
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If you want to fix the 207 yourself, it should be quite easy if you have desoldering/soldering experience. Your symptom exactly describes simple capacitor failure with this generation of Philips based players. All you need to do, almost certainly, is simply replace any electrolytic capacitors on the boards for the cd player that are not Nichicons(which can be counted on the be fine), preferrably with Nichicons. It's always the European made caps that cause trouble. Once done, the player should be good for another decade or two.
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Old 12th November 2011, 07:55 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I can solder and desolder but my my electronics experience is next to nil. Faced with the choice of binning the 207 I am happy to give it a go, though. How do I identify which capacitors to change? Are the Nichicon components straight swaps? Why does capacitor failure lead to a 'Tilt' error?

Thanks again.
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Old 12th November 2011, 06:58 PM   #6
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The worst caps in the unit, assuming Meridian used Philips cd boards(I don't specifically remember the innards of this model), are those that have a semi-transparent, aqua-blue plastic jacket, made by Philips or Siemens. The next worst are the Panasonic/Matsushita, which will have either a stylised "M" in a box logo, or a tiny triangle of three connected diamonds logo. I don't know the UK sellers, but, over here, Digikey & Mouser are the two best stocked Nichicon sellers. You'll simply replace value for value, same capacitance, same or higher voltage rating, but I would stick with VX or higher(you'll tell by pricing what's higher, generally) grades. Some of the old caps will be axial(wire at each end), but perfectly fine to replace with radial leads if axial are not available(haven't shopped for axials in a decade).
Honestly, I have no idea what the "tilt" message means, as there is no tilt servo or mech in a cd player, but your description of physical behaviour tells us it's 99% surely a cap issue.
Your 207, in my opinion, whether a 14bit version(TDA1540 dacs) or 16bit(TDA1541), is a better player, fundamentally, than almost any successor model. If I were shopping for a Meridian player, it would be a 207 or 206, and no other. I can only imagine Meridian refusing service because they figure you won't spend enough money on it to make it worth their time. I would certainly have no hesitation accepting one for service, and even serious upgrading, in my shop.
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Old 18th November 2011, 03:56 PM   #7
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Thanks again. On dismantling the unit I find 3 circuit boards, one at the back attached to the power in, a large one under the CD tray and a smaller one located immediately under what I presume is the laser. I have attached images.

Are the components that I need to replace likely to be on any particular board? Due to ease of removal I have only removed the large board for photographing, I can get at the others but they aren't as straightforward so I'll leave these until I have to. As far as I can see, none of the components on this board match your description of 'semi-transparent, aqua-blue plastic ' or having 'a stylised "M" in a box logo, or a tiny triangle of three connected diamonds logo' but I may well be overlooking something blindingly obvious to the more practiced.

Advice gratefully appreciated.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Board at back.jpg (502.9 KB, 174 views)
File Type: jpg Small board.jpg (545.6 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg Large board.jpg (675.5 KB, 134 views)
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Old 18th November 2011, 04:35 PM   #8
guido is offline guido  Netherlands
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start with the three philips caps top left in the last picture; the blue ones.
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Old 18th November 2011, 04:40 PM   #9
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Guido: thanks. Is there any way of testing these to see which to replace or do I just remove all three and replace?
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Old 19th November 2011, 02:01 AM   #10
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You would have to remove each cap to test with a capacitance meter, but there's no point. The Nichicons will all be totally good, and a good number of the rest will be dying. As Guido said, those lighter blue axial caps on the servo board ALWAYS are dead or dying, and replacing them is about 90% sure to make the unit work fine for now. On that rear board, all of the caps I see there, Siemens, Rubycon & Matsushita, were terrible to start with & likely on their way to failure. I don't recall off hand if there are any suspect caps on the platter motor board attached to the mech, but don't recall ever needing to replace any on that board.
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