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 Post subject: Hello, need LD repair
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2020, 21:54 
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Hi, I have several high-end LD and combo players including an HLD X0 muse Pioneer and Theta Voyager needing service. I don't want to hear the K Bahr name really, for he wont help me and is too busy. Is their anyone else who would like to replace and optical pickup laser lens for my Theta (pioneer 919 clone) or perform general service on my Pioneer HLD player? I'm new and could really use someone's help. Thanks
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 Post subject: Re: Hello, need LD repair
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2020, 19:25 
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Between Kurtis' backlog, and Duncan going rogue, I get the feeling you may be in for a challenge. Especially with the X0. Other than forum member Grasshopper, I can't name anyone known for LD repair. It would be hard to even canvas surviving local TV shops in hopes of finding a veteran tech familiar with LD, as the era of disposable flatscreens has wiped out those places.

Parts for the X0 are pure unobtainium at this point and a new pickup or spindle motor would require a parts machine if you get unlucky have have a bad one. The Theta situation is much better as the base chassis they used is a much more common Pioneer.

No wonder some on here have talked about getting the equipment, like a scope and reference disc, to DIY this stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: Hello, need LD repair
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2020, 16:34 
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harlock wrote:
Between Kurtis' backlog, and Duncan going rogue, I get the feeling you may be in for a challenge. Especially with the X0. Other than forum member Grasshopper, I can't name anyone known for LD repair. It would be hard to even canvas surviving local TV shops in hopes of finding a veteran tech familiar with LD, as the era of disposable flatscreens has wiped out those places.

Parts for the X0 are pure unobtainium at this point and a new pickup or spindle motor would require a parts machine if you get unlucky have have a bad one. The Theta situation is much better as the base chassis they used is a much more common Pioneer.

No wonder some on here have talked about getting the equipment, like a scope and reference disc, to DIY this stuff.


No kidding. There are two repair places in basically the entire KC metro that could handle CRTs when I checked. This was in 2018 and both guys already had white hair, so at this point who knows. The best part is they are right next to each other, more or less. Seemed like one place still did a lot of tv work (walked in on someone paying a big repair bill on a large plasma) whereas the guy I ended up having work on my amp does a lot more on that kind of stuff, vcrs, receivers etc... This comment does not apply to LD players but it's amazing what some people will get repaired instead of just buying a better replacement for less.
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 Post subject: Re: Hello, need LD repair
PostPosted: 27 Feb 2020, 06:20 
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Those old school shops are a dying breed. This video about the last days of one is really interesting:



Now that flatscreens have reached truly disposable commodity levels, it's really amazing you still see people getting the things fixed for what a new one would cost. Back in the day it made sense when VCRs and CRT sets were still big bucks. VCRs were a great revenue stream for the old time TV shops that kept them going well into modernity - I can remember my family bringing the Goldstar in for a pro head cleaning at an ancient place that had stuff like a futuristic 1950s Philco Predicta set on display, and the shop had been there since the 50s.

Thing is, LD repair is a specialized subset of this already nearly extinct business model. Before Duncan went off the radar, his standing as a trained Pioneer LD tech was like the last saloon in town with the Bayview shop - I wonder how many other people are even alive anymore with that Pioneer certificate? Guess the money from our hobby might not be enough to bring them out of retirement like how Cobol programmers keep creaking old legacy mainframes alive.
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 Post subject: Re: Hello, need LD repair
PostPosted: 27 Feb 2020, 11:27 
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Very interesting video harlock, the guy has a lot of good electronics lying in the shop, even has some LD player (like at 7:31 on the right).
It truly is sad that no more people will have the technical knowledge to deal with old electronics a few years from now, truly will be a lost art.
In any case, good luck with your players oldchemist, maybe you could find some clues to help you out by searching the forum a bit.
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 Post subject: Re: Hello, need LD repair
PostPosted: 27 Feb 2020, 17:24 
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harlock wrote:
I wonder how many other people are even alive anymore with that Pioneer certificate? Guess the money from our hobby might not be enough to bring them out of retirement like how Cobol programmers keep creaking old legacy mainframes alive.


Or bring them back from the dead, or bring new parts to the fold.
To think that CED may outlive LD in the end, they do have some people who are still repairing or refurbishing the stylus needed for
them to work.
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 Post subject: Re: Hello, need LD repair
PostPosted: 27 Feb 2020, 18:43 
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It's pretty nuts that that sort of vinyl record stylus technique can keep those things going - whether that's a good thing or not is up to them to decide :lol: . Analogously, the very first LD players may be some of the last kept alive perhaps - HeNe gas tube lasers could even be repaired given gear like a vacuum pump, gases, and some basic lab glass blowing skills. For instance, this page on repumping gassed out tubes: http://technology.niagarac.on.ca/people ... rsHeNe.htm
The high vacuum gear looks expensive, but I've seen six figure lab equipment make it's way into surplus for pennies on the dollar so where there's a a will and all...or one could settle with a crummier vacuum and having to rebuild the tube more often. I'm always amazed at things like NMR machines that cost as much as a very nice house (like an scientist's MRI) for a couple grand like this thing https://www.ebay.com/itm/NMR-magnet-w-c ... 0784603642

Not sure how many custom ICs are in the early machines, but it has to be a better situation than everything later.

I imagine surgery on a highly integrated diode pickup to somehow transplant a generic laser is nontrivial.

Of course we're nowhere near that stage yet, but it's fun to think about. Like how the CRT people in the arcade and classic gaming community hoard tube sets and pickup curb sets for arcade tube swaps. Rebuilding a CRT is a lot harder than a gas laser.

Nice find ryosaeba84 on the LD players in the shop video, that's the kind of guy it would great having in town to trust all the old treasures with...sad to see the end of this cottage industry that harks back to things like shoe cobblers and stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: Hello, need LD repair
PostPosted: 27 Feb 2020, 20:41 
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harlock wrote:
Those old school shops are a dying breed. This video about the last days of one is really interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_loKQa-ULs

Now that flatscreens have reached truly disposable commodity levels, it's really amazing you still see people getting the things fixed for what a new one would cost. Back in the day it made sense when VCRs and CRT sets were still big bucks. VCRs were a great revenue stream for the old time TV shops that kept them going well into modernity - I can remember my family bringing the Goldstar in for a pro head cleaning at an ancient place that had stuff like a futuristic 1950s Philco Predicta set on display, and the shop had been there since the 50s.

Thing is, LD repair is a specialized subset of this already nearly extinct business model. Before Duncan went off the radar, his standing as a trained Pioneer LD tech was like the last saloon in town with the Bayview shop - I wonder how many other people are even alive anymore with that Pioneer certificate? Guess the money from our hobby might not be enough to bring them out of retirement like how Cobol programmers keep creaking old legacy mainframes alive.


Thanks for posting the video, good stuff.

And yeah that's exactly what I was getting at earlier. Lots of really low value stuff being repaired. I guess people just get attached to what they have. Two years ago that guy still had some VCRs in the shop that he was repairing. I actually went with that guy because he had a Parasound license.

Completely agree, there is barely enough business of all these things to keep these other places open. Doing just LD has to be for the love of it.

harlock wrote:
Of course we're nowhere near that stage yet, but it's fun to think about. Like how the CRT people in the arcade and classic gaming community hoard tube sets and pickup curb sets for arcade tube swaps. Rebuilding a CRT is a lot harder than a gas laser.

Nice find ryosaeba84 on the LD players in the shop video, that's the kind of guy it would great having in town to trust all the old treasures with...sad to see the end of this cottage industry that harks back to things like shoe cobblers and stuff.


That's cool to hear. Where there is a will there is a way. Hoping to have enough CRTs to last me.

Interestingly enough there is a guy that repairs shoes in Lawrence, KS still. He operates out of the Birk store there. An incredible guy to just sit and talk with. Last I knew he was still doing it, I forwarded a friend to him a couple years ago. He's known my mom since well before I was born, was friends with our old land lady way way back. Goodness this all brings memories flooding back.
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