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Old 1st March 2005, 06:52 AM   #1
chokh is offline chokh  Hong Kong
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Default PS Audio Ultralink II DAC

Hi Very body,

Does anyone has the PS Audio Untralink 2 DAC schematic diagram or service manual? I need the help for repairment of it.
It always unlock many weeks ago and now has no sound.

Thanks:
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Old 24th March 2005, 05:12 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Hi Chokh,
Unfortunately not even PS Audio has the schematic for the Ultralink II. I have one that works fine, but have been having problems with my Lambda Drive for years and tried to get any information I could find. I thought it would be wise to try to get service info on all my PS Audio gear before I have serious problems - no such luck though.

The Ultralink, and Lambda series stuff was all built by Theta Digital, but sometime after the two firms split all of the documentation for this product line was apparently lost. When PS Audio went through its bankruptcy and before the current principles took over someone apparently trashed all of the existing product information.

Its a sad story, but even worse is the fact that Philips sold them and a lot of other outfits CDM9pro mechanisms for use in very expensive cd players and transports and discontinued the drive shortly thereafter, knowing full well that these devices weren't intended to be throw aways, and that their crummy mechanism was not all that durable. I honestly had less trouble with a 15yr old Sony with about 5K hours on it than I have with the mechanism in the Lambda which is roughly half as old and has maybe 1K hours on it tops.

Makes you want to stick to the high end offerings of majors (HK mostly) and stay away from all small manufacturers.
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Old 25th March 2005, 01:47 AM   #3
tubenut is offline tubenut  South Africa
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Default What is the problem with your Lambda?

I am also trying to sort one out. I have sorted several Theta Data Basic units (same thing) by doing the swing arm optical swap from CDM9/44 into the pro with great success. The lambda I have is stumping me though....

Guillaume
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Old 25th March 2005, 06:48 PM   #4
mourip is offline mourip  United States
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Default Re: PS Audio Ultralink II DAC

Quote:
Originally posted by chokh
Hi Very body,

Does anyone has the PS Audio Untralink 2 DAC schematic diagram or service manual? I need the help for repairment of it.
It always unlock many weeks ago and now has no sound.

Thanks:

I contacted PS Audio a few months ago and they sent me a copy of the schematic for my original Digilink DAC. Give them a call.

Best,

Paul
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Old 26th March 2005, 02:00 PM   #5
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I have talked to people at PS Audio and Theta Digital about the Ultralink II and the Lambda Drive and they have no information as I indicated above. Copies of the owners manuals are all they have. They do have the schematic for the original ultralink as do I, however it is quite different from the Ultralink II.
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Old 26th March 2005, 04:26 PM   #6
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Hi kevinkr,

What; they (and you) have the schematics for the Ultralink I? They said me they don't have those.

Could you email me those please? My Ultralink I has started to so show some age and is loosing the lock sometimes. So at least I'll replace the lytics and see if that does it.
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Old 27th March 2005, 05:36 PM   #7
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Edit: 2012: I am no longer able to provide schematics or any information on the Lambda Drive or Ultralink/Ultralink II beyond what is contained in this thread. I sold the offending unit more than six years ago. Please don't ask.
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Old 27th March 2005, 06:09 PM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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hi tubenut,
I meant to reply to your question about the problem with my lambda - well it is really two fold, but the symptom is exactly the same in both cases : the spindle motor simply refuses to spin up.

About every 3 - 6 months I have to disassemble the drive and clean the low profile tin idc connector on the mechanism as it becomes intermittent - sometimes I think there might be more to it than this, but have not been able to identify any issue. The obvious solution is to replace the ribbon cable assembly with something better, provided that that is the only real issue, and I am not sure it is..

Relatively frequently (say every week or two) I have to cycle the power switch on the back panel to do a hard reset. The reason for this is that the spindle motor refuses to spin up and the disk is not read when the drawer closes.. Usually, but not always holding down the play button on the lambda front panel results in an error message and then disk plays. Sometimes nothing happens except a loud clunk and the error message. Cycling the power clears the problem temporarily or even for days or weeks at a time.

The power here glitches relatively infrequently so it seems that the lambda mechanism may have a reset or other issue due to line transients or the instruction bus clock and data get out of sync over time.

I have owned my Lambda almost since new and know its previous history.. It is a low hour unit and I have owned it since early 1997, and have not used it over much.

I talked to Philips about getting technical data on this drive and despite the fact that it is obsolete they are unwilling to provide me with any information.. I have to say I now have a very negative impression of the quality of Philips products, and of their support policies. I will NEVER and I mean NEVER purchase a cd player or drive that contains a Philips mechanism again. IMHO their stuff is bottom of the barrel when it comes to reliability. (See my comments about the CHEAP Sony I recently gave to one of my friends. It's design is somewhat older than the cdm9pro mechanism but not by much, and very much cheaper, but it still works and has never missed a beat.)

Companies like HP/Compaq/Dell and others publish the complete maintenance/service documentation to their products online when they are obsoleted - which makes it almost a snap to keep old machines alive.

I love the PS Audio stuff, it was amongst the best in its time, but I don't feel that I should have to throw this drive away in a couple more years because I can't get any parts or information for it. Unfortunately PS Audio is basically a different company today, having been through a messy breakup and bankruptcy - and they have been as helpful as possible under the circumstances. (Kudos) It's not like it was a $100 cd player. I am simply trying to protect my investment..

Kevin

Edit to correct date typo
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Old 27th March 2005, 06:10 PM   #9
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Sure I have some that can handle a file that big. One at gmail for example.. I can't email you the address because you have email disabled, though. Shoot me a message so I can send you my email address. Thanks!
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Old 27th March 2005, 08:03 PM   #10
tubenut is offline tubenut  South Africa
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Default Kevinkr... I may be the bearer of good news for you...

Quote:
well it is really two fold, but the symptom is exactly the same in both cases : the spindle motor simply refuses to spin up.
My Data Basic and a friends did exactly the same.
Hard booting helped but I stripped the mech many times suspecting a dud or dirty motor. Once re assembled the problem would not surface for weeks. I also purged the motor with alcohol and thought this sorted it. Few weeks later the problem returned....
I did another purge but this time I squirted to much all over the place and afterwards the thing would not even do the backward spin on the hard boot....
Having nothing to loose I then fitted the optics from a CDM9/44 I had bought as a spare into the 9 pro and miracle of miracles, she spun up and read TOC firts time!!! This is more then 6 months ago. 2 weeks later I fitted new optics to my friends unit and he has not had the problem again either...
Subsequent e mail with Theta established that most problems they have with Data Basic is laser related, they charge USD450 plus shipping for this fix BTW.

I have now found out that the CDM9 does a focus before it spins up to read TOC and can only conclude that being disconnected from the power supply while stripping gave the tired lasers a time to cool dowen and relax to work with a little new vigour.

Interestingly both myself and my friend believe sonics improved across the board after the new lasers were installed.....

Hunt down a CDM9 mechanism (forget about finding a pro, better luck finding NOS Mullard EL34s) and fit the optical swingarm into the pro plate. Patience, a torx wrench and static safe procedure is all that is needed!

Regards
Guillaume
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