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 Post subject: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2022, 01:15 
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So I've been losing my mind trying to figure this out. Unfortunately this will be a long post. I only have a few DTS Laserdiscs in my collection. They played fine with my previous setup. I just got a new receiver (Integra DRX 5.4), and I have my McIntosh 7020 hooked up to it. It's been playing my non-DTS movies with no problem. That was until I put in The Lost World DTS. The DTS logo on the Integra's display will flash on and off repeatedly and I wont get any sound. It's all distortion and chirping noises making it unwatchable. I purchased it new only a few years ago and watched it several times with no issue.

I then popped in another DTS disc--Jurassic Park. It played fine all the way through. I was thinking that Lost World had rot which is unfortunate because it worked fine not too long ago.

Then I loaded Titanic DTS and it was just as bad as Lost World. I swapped optical wires and the issue remained. So I went ahead and purchased Casper DTS sealed. It actually played well for the first 20 minutes or so but still had chirping noises and mild distortion. It then got worse around the 30 minute mark.

Now I'm thinking it's some sort of issue with the receiver. There's just no way I could have 3 rotters in a row. So I went out today and bought a new receiver! It's nothing special...Just a basic 5.1 Denon. I put in The Lost World and the issue continued and the new receiver and had the flashing DTS logo as well.

I put in Jurassic Park and of course it played fine.

Casper had less distortion noise with this receiver but it still started acting up halfway through.

So I'm really burned out over this. Is it my LD player? Why would it play certain discs fine and others go crazy?
I really hoped it was the receiver (as I had no issues with my previous one), but I was able to duplicate the issue while playing The Lost World.

I will add that I played a DTS CD in the McIntosh and it played fine without issue. It goes through the same wires as my Laserdiscs.

So I guess it's either rot or something up with my player? But why the heck would it play Jurassic Park with no issue? My 7020 is my only player with AC3 so I have no way of testing the DTS discs in another player.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully someone can give me some advice.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2022, 05:07 
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You mention rot on your discs. Can you visually see the drops out in the video that would indicate laser rot?

If yes, laser rot can affect everything on the disc especially Dolby Digital (AC3) and DTS since both formats are lossy in nature and even a little bit of lost data can translate to pops and other audible distortion.

Another thing to consider is also your optical output (even though you said it worked fine on some discs) as maybe the light output is not as bright as it should be. Have you tried the coaxial digital out as well?
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2022, 06:25 
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Curious about this comment "So I guess it's either rot or something up with my player? But why the heck would it play Jurassic Park with no issue? My 7020 is my only player with AC3 so I have no way of testing the DTS discs in another player. "

The DTS is in place of the digital audio track and has nothing to do with AC-3. Any player with a coax or optical digital output can give you the DTS output.

Have you ever had the normal digital stereo out of the optical or coax digital outputs also breakup? If the Strength of the RF output from the laser is starting to weaken the first thing you start to loose is the digital sound tracks were the DTS is also stored. Also depending on the quality of the pressing the strength of the RF output from the laser can vary from disc to disc, so when it is starting to go it does not happen the same on all discs.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2022, 10:55 
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Dang, the ultimate 5.1 rot noob thread!

It’s the player, possibly grip ring related, possibly bad caps. It’s not the discs.

Also, yeah, we are helluva confused about the DTS/AC3 thing. They are totally separate things. Which one are we talking about?
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2022, 12:45 
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Have you tried both TOSLINK and Coax ?

Same result?

Julien
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2022, 16:45 
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Just wanted to thank everyone for their replies. I really appreciate it. Yeah...I'm still new to LD, but I enjoy the format. Be nice to get to the bottom of this issue. It's crazy how everything worked fine for me with my previous receiver. Now that I'm able to duplicate the issue on a brand new out of the box Denon...the plot thickens at this point. Still troubleshooting as best as I can.

krbahr wrote:
Curious about this comment "So I guess it's either rot or something up with my player? But why the heck would it play Jurassic Park with no issue? My 7020 is my only player with AC3 so I have no way of testing the DTS discs in another player. "

The DTS is in place of the digital audio track and has nothing to do with AC-3. Any player with a coax or optical digital output can give you the DTS output.

Have you ever had the normal digital stereo out of the optical or coax digital outputs also breakup? If the Strength of the RF output from the laser is starting to weaken the first thing you start to loose is the digital sound tracks were the DTS is also stored. Also depending on the quality of the pressing the strength of the RF output from the laser can vary from disc to disc, so when it is starting to go it does not happen the same on all discs.

Thank you for the clarification.

I've primarily had the player hooked up via optical. I have not had the digital stereo out breakup. Which is why I've narrowed this down to DTS issue. But then again...Jurassic Park plays fine. Along with DTS compact discs.

ldfan wrote:
You mention rot on your discs. Can you visually see the drops out in the video that would indicate laser rot?

If yes, laser rot can affect everything on the disc especially Dolby Digital (AC3) and DTS since both formats are lossy in nature and even a little bit of lost data can translate to pops and other audible distortion.

Another thing to consider is also your optical output (even though you said it worked fine on some discs) as maybe the light output is not as bright as it should be. Have you tried the coaxial digital out as well?

Thanks for the reply. The odd thing is the video still plays fine and has no dropouts. I did try the coax digital as well. Still get the flashing DTS on (both) receivers and all the crazy distortion noises.

signofzeta wrote:
Dang, the ultimate 5.1 rot noob thread!

It’s the player, possibly grip ring related, possibly bad caps. It’s not the discs.

Also, yeah, we are helluva confused about the DTS/AC3 thing. They are totally separate things. Which one are we talking about?


Haha...yeah I'm a noob! Guilty as charged! ..I got the DTS/AC3 thing all backwards. Talking about DTS.
admin wrote:
Have you tried both TOSLINK and Coax ?

Same result?

Julien

Thanks for the reply, Julien. Yes...I get the same result. However, I have not tested the second receiver with Coax digital-only optical.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2022, 18:33 
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Just a quick update. Looks like I solved it or at least gotten down to the bottom of it.

I pulled an old Pioneer player I had up in the attic and hooked it up to the Denon. I finally have sound and full DTS lock! So it's something with the 7020. It's really bizarre because like I said..it plays Jurassic Park fine along with DTS CDs and it's all going through optical for sound.

So I pushed the Denon aside and hooked up my Integra receiver and it also plays fine. So it's the player. Anyone have any thoughts as to why it's being so temperamental with DTS discs?
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2022, 01:31 
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As I mentioned above, if you take an oscilloscope and watch the RF coming from the laser you will see it returns various strengths off the disc. If the signal is just a little weak the digital decoding for the sound (this is where the DTS is also placed) will start to have dropouts way before you see any dropouts in the video. You can completely loose the digital tracks and the video still looks fine. You can open the player, adjust the RF level and experience this on any player.

With LD all discs are NOT pressed equally, normally a calibrated player is adjusted properly and these variations in RF signal will not cause dropouts but if the RF signal from the laser is weakening in the laser or electronics then the variations in the signal can cause dropouts, and YES some discs can play fine and others have dropouts.

The 7020 is a repackaged Pioneer CLD-97 (no McIntosh improvements, just many have an AC-3 board added and in a McIntosh package) and many of these have a problem with age where the signal in the unit signal degrades with time and they eventually totally stop playing. This is not the actual laser failing but somewhere in the electronics there is a failure, I have not had the time to trace the issue but I'm afraid it's going to be one of the IC's as I've done full cap replacement on the mainboard with no help.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2022, 19:54 
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krbahr wrote:
As I mentioned above, if you take an oscilloscope and watch the RF coming from the laser you will see it returns various strengths off the disc. If the signal is just a little weak the digital decoding for the sound (this is where the DTS is also placed) will start to have dropouts way before you see any dropouts in the video. You can completely loose the digital tracks and the video still looks fine. You can open the player, adjust the RF level and experience this on any player.

With LD all discs are NOT pressed equally, normally a calibrated player is adjusted properly and these variations in RF signal will not cause dropouts but if the RF signal from the laser is weakening in the laser or electronics then the variations in the signal can cause dropouts, and YES some discs can play fine and others have dropouts.

The 7020 is a repackaged Pioneer CLD-97 (no McIntosh improvements, just many have an AC-3 board added and in a McIntosh package) and many of these have a problem with age where the signal in the unit signal degrades with time and they eventually totally stop playing. This is not the actual laser failing but somewhere in the electronics there is a failure, I have not had the time to trace the issue but I'm afraid it's going to be one of the IC's as I've done full cap replacement on the mainboard with no help.

Appreciate that info….very unfortunate. Do you think the AC-3 would still work on the player? I was looking to pick up a Sony Ep9 or E800, but no point now if the player is acting up. It’s my only player with AC-3. I should’ve had the guy who sold me my S2 put it in.

S2 is spinning well so it will be my primary player moving forward. It sure does have the fastest loading tray.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2022, 04:07 
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The AC-3 is on the right analog audio track which can stil lbe good when the digital starts dropping out so it could still work but I've never tested that scenario.

Any players can have an AC-3 RF output added, just need to add the mod to the analog audio decoding board in the S2.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2022, 18:23 
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krbahr wrote:
The 7020 is a repackaged Pioneer CLD-97 (no McIntosh improvements, just many have an AC-3 board added and in a McIntosh package) and many of these have a problem with age where the signal in the unit signal degrades with time and they eventually totally stop playing. This is not the actual laser failing but somewhere in the electronics there is a failure, I have not had the time to trace the issue but I'm afraid it's going to be one of the IC's as I've done full cap replacement on the mainboard with no help.

The CLD-91/92 has very similar video section to CLD-97. RF goes into PA5010 demod IC, then to PDB005 TBC and PDB006 memory/spindle control. There is something failing with these. I know of two situations where PA5010 can get really hot and draw so much -5V it burns the -5V supply. I don't think it is the IC, rather the IC is receiving insane input.

For this MLD7020, is IC301 (surface-mount CXD2500) hot to the touch after it has been running a while? Another thing to check is PLL Gain adjustment.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2022, 19:49 
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It would be great to find a reason for this issue for the sake of keeping the 97/7020 chassis running well into the future. I haven't tested my 97 in awhile but I didn't notice anything odd when playing digital sound discs.

I kind of agree it may not be an IC but I wouldn't know how chip failure symptoms sound / look like. I'm still struggling w/ my SDP-E800 giving me sound loss fits every 20 days which is crazy as there is no consistency. I'm currently now looking into possible bad diodes in the power supply stage now as my VFD is now having some odd pulsing effect that could be related.


Last edited by ldfan on 04 Jul 2022, 23:31, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS Issue, receiver or rot?
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2022, 20:39 
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ldfan wrote:
It would be great to find a reason for this issue for the sake of keeping the 97/7020 chassis running well into the future. I haven't tested my 97 in awhile but I didn't notice anything odd when playing digital sound discs.

I agree that it would be great to find out exactly what is causing the issue and perhaps prevent it on other 97/7020s. Perhaps I would have noticed the issue sooner if I owned more DTS discs.

If Kurtis is still debugging these days and wants to look the player over I would gladly pay him for a once over. I also have a 7020 parts player.
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