VAM1202 spares ....poorly made ? - diyAudio
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Old 26th March 2006, 09:29 AM   #1
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Default VAM1202 spares ....poorly made ?

I had to replace the laser assembly on my CD-17 and bought a VAM1202/12 from the local market. It seems to be Chinese made though the plain white box says nothing on it but the model number.

The flexible conductor that plugs on to the small pcb on the mechanism looks inferior to the original assembly. However I went ahead and changed the unit and the machine refused to spin the disc motor. I disassembled the unit and discovered the 'plug in' end of the flexible cable was damaged. Three tracks ( the plug in section )has lifted off and got bent backwards and apparently loosing contact.

I straightened it carefully and put it back. It works OK now but I assume it will fail if removed again.
So anyone changing the laser assembly be extra careful when pluging in this connector. Remember that there is a lock which need to be pulled out a bit to loosen the connector.

I can't say for sure if the new unit sounds any different from the original. Maybe the HF seems to be cleaner ( finer).....maybe! The original could not read a CD-RW. Now it can read CD-RW's .
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Old 26th March 2006, 01:24 PM   #2
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I've purchased three replacement VAM units in the last six months! Everytime I mod my Cambridge CD4se I have to remove the laser. This always seems to stress the flexi cable at the laser end which ultimately breaks the ribbon and gives the "No Disc" error. Two of these units were marked as original Philips units and the other was perfectly identical although not labelled as being Philips (from dalbani). This is seriously hampering my modifications at 23 a time (entire mech). I can't seem to find a way to "unlock" the connector. It's funny how we're having problems with opposite ends of the ribbon. I haven't found any new ability to play CDRW with my new VAM 1202/12 but I'm hoping it's perhaps just a media brand issue.
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Old 26th March 2006, 02:31 PM   #3
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Hi Sonusthree ,
Luckily I do not have to remove the laser assembly.
I'll have a look at my old module to see if this can be done safely(!).
About the ability to read CD-RW . In my case it was not the media problem. Previously it never read ANY CD-RW and I have several brands with me. Now it reads them all. Even the the very old ones .
I tried some today.

Cheers.
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Old 26th March 2006, 02:39 PM   #4
ash_dac is offline ash_dac  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sonusthree
I've purchased three replacement VAM units in the last six months! Everytime I mod my Cambridge CD4se I have to remove the laser. This always seems to stress the flexi cable at the laser end which ultimately breaks the ribbon and gives the "No Disc" error. Two of these units were marked as original Philips units and the other was perfectly identical although not labelled as being Philips (from dalbani). This is seriously hampering my modifications at 23 a time (entire mech). I can't seem to find a way to "unlock" the connector. It's funny how we're having problems with opposite ends of the ribbon. I haven't found any new ability to play CDRW with my new VAM 1202/12 but I'm hoping it's perhaps just a media brand issue.
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...454#post366454

Try asking the designer of the CD4SE. He might be able to help.
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Old 26th March 2006, 06:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by ash_dac


http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...454#post366454

Try asking the designer of the CD4SE. He might be able to help.
I'm trying to resist the urge to hassle Mr Westlake. I love my player and am in awe of his work. Especially since he delivered some great designs to mere mortals like me for Cambridge Audio. I fully intend to annoy him one day but only when it's a big one since I know he's busy!! I guess I can live without CDRW since it plays CDR fine.

As a side issue a friend of mine has snapped one of the 'suspension rubbers' on his VAM 1202.12 mech. Apart from buying a scrap player with a VAM12 / CDM12.x from Ebay I can't find a place to acquire them? Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 26th March 2006, 07:27 PM   #6
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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VAM1202 are made in China for Philips.

There are no spares. Just entire the mech.

The quality is highly variable and the RF pattern is about the worst I have seen on anything.

I hold on to dead mechanisms for the small parts I can't get. Just pick up a "dead thing" Sonusthree.

-Chris
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Old 28th March 2006, 07:20 AM   #7
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I've run in the VAM1202 in my CD-17 MkII for three days.
I feel that it has some loss at the low end and the HF is brighter , maybe sometimes a bit brash.
HF sounds upfront compared to earlier and I think uncomfortably closer than before. It tends to make it sound "loud".

I might add that I was running the unit with all copper covers off from the pcb. After puting in the new VAM1202 module I put back the copper shields.

Is this change in sound possible ?
Cheers.
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Old 28th March 2006, 01:35 PM   #8
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi ashok,
The transport is only responsible for the RF wave form carrying all the information from the CD. A good transport will yield fewer errors in the data stream. This will affect all frequencies across the band. What the decoder / error corrector and concealer / DAC does with this afterwards depends on the circuit layout and chip set.

The shielded covers will reduce the amount of external RF interference to the signals (and keep the CD's RF interference inside). This has the effect of reducing the error rates depending on how strong the external interference is. Or how badly the CD interferes with your other equipment.

-Chris
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Old 28th March 2006, 03:35 PM   #9
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Hi Anatech,
Thanks for your explanation. I was aware of those factors but wonder if they could make such a large difference in sound. Unfortunately I cannot go back to the old laser ( which still works ) because the new one might become unuseable after removing due to the damaged flexible pcb connector.

Meantime after some more listening I find the bass is tighter and leaner. I only miss some very low notes that " I thought" were louder earlier. Apart from that the new mechanism certainly reads disc content faster. The original laser used to have a very tough time during humid weather and often used to stop showing "ERROR".
Cheers.
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Old 28th March 2006, 03:46 PM   #10
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi ashok,
That may be due to the highs and mids sounding "clearer" after being freed from so many digital errors.

Who knows, the mind is a funny thing.

-Chris
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