VAM1204 VAM1205 VAM1206 VAM1250 VAM1252 VAM1254 CDM12pro VAU1254=CDM12.4 compatib

VAM1204 VAM1205 VAM1206 VAM1250 VAL1250 VAE1250 VAM1252 VAM1254 CDM12pro VAU1254 = CDM12.4 compatible - Which VAM laser head (optical pick up) successor is compatible to Philips "CDM 12.4" ?

Between CDM12.1 laser head and VAM1201/VAM1202 laserhead there are compability although hologram laser diodes of different outline to be used. CDM12.1 use TO-outline, while VAM1201 use resin package.
In opposite to this one the complete mechanism isn't compatible through different behavior by the magnetic properties of turntable (disc motor pulley) There are only a 3 transistor APC unit (autom. power control) included, both CDM12.1 and VAM1201 laser head

Now to the actual topic concerning the CDM12.4 head
There are TDA1302 on board of the optical pickup (APC+RF amplifier)
In the last time (since arround a year) I note an increasingly poor quality, so that I need other solution for successful service and repair by older high quality cd players - e. g. Naim Audio, Meridian, Primare, NAD,Thule Audio, TAG McLarren, Classè and some other brands with CDM12.4 inside.
But I am confused regarded the interchange between the compatibility of CDM12.4 and VAM-Versions

by URLs and so as

I find only broken but not complete informations. By other places I find additional fragments of informations so as some datasheets and photos. Follow informations I have found on the web:

1) CDM12.4 without brushless disc motor (hall motor) no detailled datasheet

2) VAM 1204: without brushless disc motor (hall motor) no detailled datasheet

3) VAM 1205 with brushless disc motor short form datasheet:
inside in NAIM CDX NAIM CDS II MERIDIAN 508.24 (VAM1205 im Meridian 508)

4) CDM12.5 unknown, no detailled datasheet

5) VAM 1206 unknown, no detailled datasheet

6) VAM 1250 both with brushless disc motor (hall motor) and normal DC motor, datasheet VAM1250/21 Nov. 2002: (deleted schema page 18) (Loader VAL1250) (VAM1250 head) (VAM1250, dhort form data) (VAM1250 in use by Naim CDS3)

7) VAM 1252 with brushless disc motor (hall motor) no datasheet sketch, schortform data, really same as CDM12 - CD-PRO? The CDM12 CD-PRO (VAM1252) diy project incl schem (Marantz CD7 CD 7 service manual)

8) VAM1254 CDMpro2M CDpro2LF
VAU1254/01 version August 2000 Hologram LTOH30PA + RF-amp TRIGINTA, datasheet August 2000: (schema page 24)
VAM1254/11 with brushless disc motor (hall motor) datasheet August 2000 and Nov. 2003 (several PDF downloads, also newer datasheet from November 2003 with Sharp GH6C005B3BA + RF amp TZA1022 )

9) Miscellanous
"There is a huge difference between VAM1252/00 and VAM1254/01.
Different chip (CD-7 laser uses TDA1302T) and pin config of flatcable is different".
CDM1210 = VAM1205 but not CDM12.10 and not CDM12.1 !!! (replace VAM1204 through VAM1205) Vam 1205/1250 CDM 12.5 Naim CD5 VAM1205 or CDM 12.5 fro Meridian 506 How To Convert VAM1204 To VAM1205? VAM1205 (Naim CDX) Problems describtion "The CDM12 CD-PRO (VAM1252) Project" describtion of components NAD S500 - CDM12.4 (VAM1202+1250)
CDM-VAM informations in foreign languages (Polish, Thai, Chinese) and very nice photos) Detailed description concerning the quality (dissass'y hologram-laser) (photos diy cd player)
Which VAM laser head (optical pick up) successor is compatible to Philips "CDM 12.4" ? - continued

10) sellers (delivery sources) of laser heads (optical pick up) VAM1205, only head, 111,20 US-Dollar
VAM1250 head 93,90 Euro
CDMPro2 optical pick up ***'y 79,95 US-Dollar
CDM12 CDM-Pro optical pick up ***'y 49,95 US-Dollar
CDM12.4 Head between 7,80 Euro and 15 Euro
CDM12.4 Head 18,99 Euro
CDM12.4 Head 30,50 US-Dollar
CDM12.4 Head 17,45 US-Dollar

11) sellers (delivery sources) of complete mechanism and diy kits
CD-PRO2M/LF = 289 Euro
CDM1210 = VAM1205 but not CDM12.10 and not CDM12.1 !!! incl. mechanism 35,90 Euro (wholesaler) CD-PRO2LF 232,-- Euro Nico Thevissen Nico Thevissen (smartech - Manager of VCD-pickup) (only complete diy kits with CDM12)
http://www.akustik-perfekt.homepage...rfekt/highendaudio/tonale_cd-player_dacs.html diy kits diy kits diy kits diy kits diy kits diy kit diy kits

12) NSM jukebox cd players
different images of CDM12IND, VAU1252/10 (CDMpro) und VAU1254/11 (CDMpro2)
also of interest to order for high end audio Jukebox CD Players CDM12 - CDMpro - CDMpro2 replacement parts of CDM12 - CDMpro - CDMpro2 service overview

13) Examples of CD player models, there are CDM12.4 inside:
Thule Audio CD150B
TagMcLarren CDT20, CD20
NAD S500
T+A CD1210R
Cyrus dAD1 dAD3
Sonic Fronties SFT-1

14) datasheets of Sharp hologram laser diodes:
Sharp LTOH12M datasheet (cdm-9) (10pol TO-outline, metal, CD+CDR)
LT0H33P (Mini Disc)
Sharp GH6C005B
Sharp LT0H30PA, LT0H30PB, LT0H30PC (mentioned in US patent 5511059) (please fill in 5511059 before download)
LT0H43M (CD-ROM to x16 speed)
GH6C005B5A/B GH6C005B Ser. for Philips (CD CDR and CD-RW compatible, use in CD713)

In this case I have only four questions:
1) Are there compatible optical pick-up's to this one of CDM12.4?
2) What is the main reason of the huge price difference between the laser heads of VAM and CDM12.4 - could it be the different quality standart of the hologram laser diode?
3) The original manufacturer of the hologram laser diodes was Sharp Semiconductor. Now there are no longer available and supported. Which brand name produces currently this hologram diodes (daisylaser don't know this - because he is only wholesaler - also VCD-pickup and Three Sixty) ?
4) Where I can find/order a detailled datasheet of hologram LT0H30PA or their successor from todays production?

Thank you very much for your advices.


Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
Hi tiefbassuebertr,
All the Philips mechanisms and possibly heads are offered with options, so you end up with a ton of part numbers - and they can be completely different.

One thing is cetain though. Once Philips started manufacturing in China, the quality control became non-existant. I do use the VAM1202 both in a complete transport, and as a subassembly. The quality ranges from non-working to working okay, but never really good. The VAM1202 is different than the CDM12.x.

Chasing down specs for the actual laser diode will be unhelpful. Sharp sold these as a large OEM order for an industrial customer. They were not available for individual sale to the best of my knowledge. Not only that, but the quality ranges pretty far up and down the scale. It's possible the laser diode can be supplied as die, in which case you can forget messing around with them. I've never wasted the time to crack one open. Suffice to say that many manufacturers of CD product has either ditched Philips or are scrambling for another OEM.

If you want to pursue this, go ahead and search. If you are attempting to repair a head, I think you are wasting your time. Don't forget the alignment for the optics, then calibrating the laser power sensing diode.

Philips VAM1202/12


I would love a list of units that the VAM1202 mechanism was used in.

My thinking is perhaps it might be possible to order direct from Marantz or some other vendor and still be able to get an original module that is new.

I have a beautiful Esound E5 that I love the sound of. Unfortunately, it no longer works, and the two past laser assemblies that I installed in it were "rebuilt" even though they were sold to me as new.

I'd love to get the unit working properly again.

I've also considered attempting to swap in a different transport assembly VAM 1250 perhaps?) but don't know if there are any that are compatible...

And yes, I did contact the original manufacturer (Cattylink) and they don't support anything that is out of warranty. VERY disappointing!

Also contacted Daisy Laser and they are able to get them, but I would have to order in quantities of 100 minimum...

Any help would be much appreciated!



PS - A message to Philips - Fire all of the bloody accountants that are running the company into the ground!!!!


Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
Hi Steve,
This is a good opportunity to mention that failure rates for VAM 1202 are really high. The odds of getting working one are slightly better than 50:50.

A rebuild makes no sense, it would have to go back to China, and they only ship out, not in. What you got must have been a "pull" from another unit. It was likely in for the same reason. I do understand why the manufacturer does not want to get involved in this. They can't win and they will lose money on this. It would be better (and less expensive for them) to simply ship two for every order of one.

Information on these transports is difficult to find. We don't normally get any information at all.

Stones said:
Don't use the pinvan guys for CD Pro parts or repair, I had the worst experience I have ever had the misfortune to encounter, one issue after another with these guys. And no end resolution:smash:

"The pinvan guys" - a new keyword, even by google. If I put in thos one there, only this thread comes as proposal. Also my english isn't perfect.

What means "pinvan guys" ?
The question of compatibility from the above mentioned mechanism types to the CDM12.4 isn't longer important for me, because I replace in the last time always the hologram laser diode (LDGU) itself. Instructions with some pictures you will find there:

Instead of this I want to know the currently producer of Sharp's hologram laser tubes in both TO and RESIN COMPACT outline - go to
I have find out, that there are only three (electrical) different laser heads for the VAM12xx resp. CDM12.x and CDM12pro/CDpro:

1) such with only three transistor APC unit on board (not CD/RW compatible)
2) such with TDA1302 (RF amp +APC unit) on board (not CD/RW compatible)
3) such with TZA1022 (RF amp +APC unit) on board ( CD/RW compatible through automatic switch voltage gain factor, also in use:TZA1022TS)

All this mentioned laser head uses Laser diodes (LDGU = hologram laser diode) both in a round TO outline and compact resin design.
On some sources on websites from China is additional to read about different quality standarts, but I don't understand, whether the reason therefore is only the different outline or some unknown brand, that clone formerly's Sharp diodes LT0H30PA (to-outline) resp. GH6C005B3BA (resin compact)

I will post in the next time, which laser head inside in which CDM12/VAM mechanism.
Philips Laser head's (Optical Pickup's) for CDM12.x, CDM12.xx and VAM12xx/VAU12xx

Philips Laser head's (Optical Pickup's) for CDM12.x, CDM12.xx and VAM12xx/VAE12xx/VAU12xx

A. Laser head without IC, only three transistor APC part:

CDM12 ind CDM12.1, VAM1201, VAM1202, VAM1223 - noted differences: only magnet from disc motor pulley;
because only for outdoor RF amp use, both suited for CD and CDRW. Mostly to find in cd player equipped with Philips CDM12 mechanism. I recall to some older CDM 12-Pro, CDM 12-IND and CD-Pro also equipped with this laser unit without RF amp IC. In this case only the die-cast carrier of that Philips professional mechanism without the suited decoder-PCB (but with hall motor instead brushed motor) was in use. I forget the model numbers unfortunately.

B. Laser head with RF-amp TDA1302 (TDA1302T), actually developed for interactive compact disc player = CDi:

1) Plastic:
- CDM12.4 (brushed disc motor), in use for example: AURA Designs CD-100BK, Tag McLaren CD20R, NAD s500, Cyrus DAD3, DAD1, DAD3q, Oracle CD1000/1500, T+A CD1220R, Audiolab 8000 CD Classe Audio CPD-5 and CDT-1, Exposure CD player without model No, Helios 1S, 2S, 3S and Helios Stargate, Meridian 506, Micromega Stage 2, Quad 77, Primare D20, Thule CD100, CD150B and TR200, Sphinx Project 32
- VAM1204 (rare),
- VAM1205 (hall disc motor) in use e. g. Naim CDX, CDS-II (CDS 2) CD5-CD3.5 Revox E426

2) die-cast (hall disc motor and sometimes screening solder site of hologram diode)
- CDM12 IND CDM 12IND CDM12IND (first generation) Laser pickup outline like that one from CDM12.4
- CDM12 PRO Laser pickup outline like that one from CDM12.4 (APC+ RF-amp: TDA1302)
- CD-Pro (CD-pro MK-I, VAU1252, VAM1252 in use e. g. Audiolab 8000 CDM-II MARK LEVINSON No 390S, Marantz CD7, ORACLE CD DRIVE, Burmester 001, (short form character of VAM1252-1205)

C. Laser head with RF Amp TZA1022 TZA1022T (Triginta) for CD/RW (successor for TDA1302T):

1) Plastic:
- VAM1250/VAL1250/VAE1250, in use e. g. T+A 1230R, T+A 1240R, Burmester 006, Naim Audio CDS-3 (CDS III, CDS three)

2) die-cast (hall disc motor and sometimes screening solder site of hologram diode and foil PCB)
- CD-Pro2 (VAU1254/11) successor of CD-pro, CDRW compatible through new RF amp IC TZA1022T
- CD-Pro2M (VAU1254/31) also CDRW compatible, successor of CD-pro2
???????? ???????CDPRO2M????VAU1254/31 - ??????
- CD-Pro2LF (VAU1254/31LF) LF = lead free RoHS compliant version of CD-pro2M

All mentioned laser heads uses hologram laser diodes with two different outline:
1) TO-outline and 2) Resin Compact. The currently manufacturer is unknown for me, Sharp inform me, that all hologram laser diodes for cd player are obsolete. Cause cloned versions of this hologram laser diodes (LDGU) much CDM12/VAM12 laser heads have short live time and bad character already in new condition. Very important is therefore, that the supplier knows, from where the laser heads do comes.
check out this URL

Unknown RF-Amp and Philips transport mecheanism laser head's:
1) Laser head with RF-Amp TZA1015 (HDALAS)
2) CDM12.6/VAM1206 (hall motor), some versions of Cayin CDT-17A and Beosound 9000
Cayin CDT-17A
Bang & Olufsen Center Essen, Dortmund, Mülheim
3) VAM1210: April Music Stello CDT200/CDA320, Brand name "original" , model number CD-9.8 da-Vinci
SSA_Original, Original Electronics Ltd.
6moons audio reviews: Original CD-A9.3 Leonardo
4) VAU1253: Beosound 3000
5) VAU1255/VAM1255
6) VAU1256-VAM1256 (stickers, post #7)
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I still want to know the currently producer of Sharp's hologram laser tubes particularly in the TO outline.

Independend of this I bought a couple of VAL1250 units from early Philips production series (remaining stock) for remove the Sharp hologram laser tubes (for replace in CDM12.4 heads of various cd player models).
There are inside TO hologram laser diodes from Sharp and seems to be working perfect (at least the first two devices by a first try).
But nevertheless I will additional try to replace the completly head include the new RF-IC TZA1022. The flex connector is compatible from the mechanical view, but not from the electrical view (see attachement). I. e. instead the mechanical adjustment procedure and the adjustment of the APC unit I must now perform a cutting/re-connection of nearly all PCB connections behind the flex connector plug on the decoder PCB.
Before I carried out this task, I will ask here, whether other members have do this.
Thank you for comments.


  • CDM12.4 head schematic.pdf
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  • VAM125x head schema TZA1022.pdf
    17.8 KB · Views: 358
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in the attachement VAM1252 schematic (from Marantz CD7) - the same I need from the VAL/VAM1250


  • Philips VAM1252 schem.(LTOH30PA-TDA1302T-SAA7372 Marantz-CD7)-I.pdf
    152.5 KB · Views: 302
  • Philips VAM1252 schem.(LTOH30PA-TDA1302T-SAA7372 Marantz-CD7)-II.pdf
    60.8 KB · Views: 244
  • Philips VAM1252 schem.(LTOH30PA-TDA1302T-SAA7372 Marantz-CD7)-III.pdf
    87.3 KB · Views: 229
  • Philips VAM1252 PCB comp site (LTOH30PA-TDA1302T-SAA7372 Marantz-CD7).pdf
    89.6 KB · Views: 239
VAL1250 is not only in use by T+A 1230R, T+A 1240R, Burmester 006, Naim Audio CDS-3 (CDS III, CDS three) and various Meridian and BAT CD player.
VAL1250 is acording the ebay auction item number 160310319946 also in the player parts from follow Philips recorder models in use:
- CDR 570
- CDR 700
- CDR 770
- CDR 771
- CDR 775
- CDR 776
- CDR 777
- CDR 778
- CDR 779
- CDR 785C
- CDR 786
- CDR 800
- CDR 802 and
- CDR 950
For Sanyo optical pick up's there is now follow high quality manufacturer (finding by chance):
||Dongguan TAIYO Co., Ltd.,
||Dongguan TAIYO Co., Ltd.,

And for Sony's optical pick up's are this:
UKC Electronics -Semiconductor / Electronic Component-
Sony Device - Optical Disc - KYOSHIN TECHNOSONIC(KOREA).CO., LTD.
Formerly Kyoshin Technosonic. Kyoshin and UKC are merged in the meantime.

The same information concerning Philips laser heads I want to have, mainly for the CDM12.4.
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