Meridian 500 Transport TOC Error, Help Needed! - diyAudio
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Old 24th December 2011, 08:13 PM   #1
1303 is offline 1303  China
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Default Meridian 500 Transport TOC Error, Help Needed!

I recently bought a used Meridian 500 cd transport.

The transport is having problems reading some cd's in my collection that could usually be played using my other players. I'd say at this time that about 30% of my cd's are having this problem.

When it failed to read a cd, it would display a 'TOC' error message and stopped with the number of total tracks displayed. Occasionally, it would tried to read the cd but would jump from one track to another a bit, sounded really noisy and within seconds would eventually do a 'TOC' and then stopped with the numbers of total tracks displayed.

On the other hand, when it can read a cd, it plays very well and sounds very nice. It appears that this issue is cd dependent. There are just some cd's the transport refuses to read/play.

Anyone has a similar experience? Is this a sign of tired laser? Does anyone has a copy of the Meridian 500 transport service manual (I searched hard and have not been able to find one in the internet)?

Your help is much appreciated.
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Old 25th December 2011, 12:39 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
The likely fault depends on which version of 500 you have. If the drawer has a curved opening, it is the better, early CDM-4 version, in which case, the fault is a light blue, axial 33uf electrolytic capacitor in the middle of the servo board. If the tray has a straight cutout, it's the later & far more common CDM-12 based unit, in which case, it will be a dying laser. I don't recall specifically, but pretty sure it uses a CDM-12.1, which has been superceded, meaning you should order a VAM1202(drop in replacement laser/mech), which is about $30 these days from MCM, even cheaper on ebay. You'll need to pop open the unit to find out which CDM-12 version for sure, for which there should be a label on the back end of the mech. If you order a replacement mech, buy two or three, as you're not unlikely to be replacing it every 2-5 years. If you're lucky, and have the CDM-4 based version, once you replace that one capacitor, it should be fine for many more years.
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