Phillips drives are crappy. The drives were used in many supposed hi-end players such as Krell, Audio Research, Mark Levinson, BAT etc. I would avoid anything that uses one. That being said you may find one on eBay. There's usually a few on there but you need to know which drive your machine uses.
I can't answer your question directly, but I was also caught up in the MF Tri-Vista/Phillips transport debacle back in 2004/5.
The generation of SACD transport used in the Tri-Vista was universally unreliable. They all go bad at some time. Yours has lasted much longer than most.
The situation was compounded by Phillips who refused to support that drive with replacements and parts. MF and a number of smaller high end manufacturers were left badly in the lurch.
MF didn't handle the situation particularly well, in that they insisted they would repair the drives in-house, while at the same time (in a letter I received from Antony Michaelson) stating that Phillips would not support the drive with parts.
I was left without music for the best part of a year while this played out. My Tri-Vista was "repaired" by the local distributor but remained faulty. I refused to accept it after a second repair, because I didn't want to be stuck with a $12,000 boat anchor were the drive to fail again (something I considered inevitable) once the warranty had expired.
The impasse was resolved by a direct exchange of the Tri-Vista for the then new kW 500 amplifier, which I still own and love. I don't want to be too hard on MF: the blame in this case rests firmly with Phillips while MF (and their distributor) came through for me in the end.
Unfortunately, you are in exactly the situation I was anxious to avoid. Your dealer is right in what they have told you. I would however try emailing MF directly to see what they say.
You could try to chase a replacement in the general market. I know that most spares of this particular unit were used up as replacements for the many early failures but there may be some out there.
The problem you will have is to verify that the unit is genuinely new and not a failed unit. The second problem is that even a genuine new unit may fail within a year.
The best option would be if someone is able to replace the unit with a later generation SACD drive from Phillips, Sony or TEAC. However I don't know if anyone is doing this.
I hope someone else can add something positive to the thread. You have my sympathy, for whatever that's worth.
In my experience, Philips is no worse than Sony in this regard. In fact, I've personally found the Philips CD transports night and day better than the Sony units of the past few years, though I can't speak to the Philips SACD units.
Like Gtfour45, you have my sympathy. Being the former importer/distributor of a line of high-end audio components showed me first hand the absolute frustration that CD transports/lasers truly are. In fact, it was one of the factors in my decision to give up the line. I consider them the achilles heel of the high-end audio hobby, and do not recommend costly CD players in most instances, as one is simply buying a glamorous case and (hopefully) well designed/implemented power supply and output section all wrapped around a cheap piece of junk that is more than likely destined for the type of failure that leaves one's machine not much beyond a large, expensive doorstop.
I agree with the advice to contact the manufacturer. Make some noise, and hopefully, they will consider your plight in a favorable and sympathetic light.
Buy an Oppo and use it for SACD. You might find it good for other formats too.
Sony's certainly not as good as they used to be. At one time they made the best transports available. Phillips has been crap from day one.
Rwwear...The first CD player I bought was a Mission, which was actually a rebranded Phillips with an upgraded audio output module. The damn transport crapped out after only abour fifteen years!
For the line I represented, all but the flagship player used a Sony CD laser/transport. I'd never seen one of the Philips lasers fail, whereas the Sony's from 2007 had an 85% failure rate. Of course, as Rwwear says, at one time (most likely, when they were made in Japan), they made the best transports.
It is well documented, even Stereophile mentioned it in a recent article, Phillips transports have caused much embarrassment for many hi-end companies. I am sure Phillips has made a few decent transports at one time but I don't trust them because they don't support them. Sony has turned to crap too in recent years. But at one time Accuphase and McIntosh used Sony because of their quality. The transport used in the X707ES is considered the best transport ever made.
My experience over the past 2 years is having to fix approximately 60 Sonys, yet only one Philips. Today, the one with the Philips is the only one I recommend with no caveats. Another company makes a pretty well regarded player here, the cheaper one uses the Sony, the more expensive one, the Philips. Guess which one I'd buy?
But, you're right, Philips doesn't support them. My advice to the guy who brought me the aforementioned 5 year old player with the Philips transport, I can't get the part, so if you can't locate anyone else who is willing and able to help, trash can it.
I have an especially low opinion of stuff made in China these days from having to deal with it first hand. I also have had players with Sony transports that were as good as people in this thread have testified to. However, like a lot of companies, they've moved production to China. Things seemed to have stabilized somewhat about a year ago when we switched over to a different Sony factory there in Sanya, but the previous year was an utter disaster. During that time I once got a case of 10 Sony transports in to fix a few units that had come in for repair. Fully 10 of the 10 were defective. 10 out of bloody 10!!! I didn't think a company could do that if they tried.
GTfour45 has it right. I have a still working (knocking on wood) Trivista SACD from Jan 2003 when I was a dealer. Phillips did hose them. MF did offer an exchange or paid upgrade depending on age. I think its too late now.
I would pop the cover and at least make sure the lens is clean and the rails are lubed. If you are reading redbook but not DSD it may be something simple (knocking on wood for you)
Please follow up and let us know. email me if you need instruction to do this, it's pretty easy.
2008 hasn't been my year. Just a few hours after my post above I went to listen to music on my Trivista and it didn't get through a whole disc. (add expletives)I will never bother to knock on wood again! I took off the cover and laser cover which requires a little T-6 torx and nothing looked odd or dirty. I cleaned some dust in the laser compartment with dry Q-tips and lubed the rails for the laser and the CD tray. I blew air over the laser which looked fine.
I also found the player wasn't level and corrected that. While apart I tried playing discs and they all played fine now! I played another disc for half an hour and used the remote to change tracks every few seconds. It seemed OK and I put the unit back together. I listened to a 45 minute disc and it cut off during the last song. Oh well, I sure have an above average DAC now. SACD's will be listed here soon. Bah humbug! I celebrated a year of being unemployed last week too, 2009 has to be better.
I have a now-ancient Philips/Magnevox FD1000, the first CD player to be reviewed by Stereophile......
Can I still get a laser for it?
Also, What transport does my CA840 use?
SACD adds one more layer of complexity by using pit modulation. Modulated pit cannot be copied on standard CD-R transports and there is no SACD writers.
I also need to repair my CD-SACD with Philips module SD5.2.
I found it to DAISY archive (http://www.daisy-laser.com/products/SACD/sd52/sd52module/sd52_module.htm), but they do not sale to privat users.
Thank's for future help.
Phillips drives are starting to show up on eBay if you know the correct one for your player you can check there.
What a crackup. I have a Philips / Magnevox FD-1000 in the next room. It needs a laser head. And being a toploader, still otherwise works fine.
It was the 'core' of many early CD player mods for hi-end use. Couldn't afford the Mission at the time, but the Magnevox works fine.
..then any competent tech should be able to repair any of the Philips Screwed-over brands; EMM, MF, Accuphase and dCS (P8i and Verdi Encore).
I am dCS US Service Manager and I repair Philips transports weekly (as long as it's not a motor, which in that case: game over).
My post had several early paragraphs cut off.
What I had tried to say was that although Philips ceased supporting the 5.2 SACD/DVD Mechanism, at least there are some OPU's (Optical Pickup Unit=Laser Block) left and thank God the laser still fixes 80% of the disc reading errors!
If it is failing because the disc rotation motor is bad (common enough w/ Philips), different story.