If the reason for skipping is laser alignment any tech place would probably charge you around $60. The CDM-9 transport in the RCD970 was/is well regarded, so you may have that one in a million.
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I wouldn't bother fixing it. I have two Sony players, a 608es and x77es from 89 and 92 respectively. Both units are totally reliable. The 608es has over 6500 hrs on it and has not even needed a bulb. By contrast, my Linn Karik/Numeric combo has been in the shop at least four times, thankfully all under warranty. Also the Linn is sometimes picky about what it will play. The Sony's are never picky, everything plays just fine. So find a nice used Sony. I saw a 707es listed at less than 400.00 and these were over 1700.00 new.
Revdog, glad to hear your problem is resolved. I believe it to be an extremely abnormal failure rate. In 1989, I purchased a Magnavox CDB650. I used it as a player, then as a transport. I no longer use it, due to upgrade, however after 11 years of use it never failed. I listen to music often, albeit, mostly vinyl and master dats, ect. However, I also listen to plently of disc's and no problem with the transport. IMO, this is completely unacceptable an indicates either bad engineering or a lemon. It is good to hear that Rotel has accepted responsability.
yes, czbbcl, i do use a c-j P9 with a dR1 transport for some
three years now. no problems, extremely musical and with the
Genesis Digital Lens, sounds even better ( some other CD's
like my previous Phillips 1000 - excellent also, for its time- didn't seem to benefit from the Lens, but the c-j does . The c-j has a remote controled volume, so it's hooked
straight into the amps ( bryston 7ST's they are ), as the 1V
that's delievered is exactly the input that the amps need.
Playing with tubes is also a good ideea: so far the NOS Mullard proved to be the most musical choice for this set up. Have no ideea what such a c-j would sell for, as they weren't too many around, but personally I like it very much.