DCS reading problem

I recently aquired a DCS Elgar plus and La Scala. My La Scala seems to have problem reading disc. After many trails and erros, I realise that it could only ready SACD Dics amd had problem reading CDs. Can anyone pls tell me if this is the problem with my player or with my connection?

Thanks in advance.

Hi KC,

You need to give us more information on what you mean when you say it won't read CD. Do you mean you don't get sound out from CD or literally that the CD is not read?

Does the La Scala display errors? Do you get the TOC messages when the CD is first loaded? Does the track appear to start when you press Play and the track time display show progress through the track?

The following assumes the CD is at least being read by the transport.

You have a Verdi La Scala and an Elgar Plus. That means you are probably having CD upsampled by the La Scala to DSD sample rate and output across the 1394/Firewire connection. You have sound from your SACDs so we can assume the 1394 connection is functioning and the Elgar Plus is locking to it (you should see "1394" set as the input on the DAC's display).

Are you changing any settings on the DAC when you try to play CD? You shouldn't need to change anything. (However when switching from CD to SACD or vice versa there can sometimes be a delay of a few seconds while the different parts of the system recognize and lock onto the alternate signal.)

Do you have another digital cable between the transport and DAC (on the AES/EBU or RCA digital outputs)? If you do, try removing it so you just have the 1394 and clocking cables.

It is worth checking your clock connections although I would think any problem there would affect both CD and SACD.

dCS recommend that you'll get the best results from having the DAC as the master clock. Go into the DAC menu and set it as "Master". Go into the La Scala menu and set it as the "Slave". Then ensure that the clocking cable runs from the WCLK OUT on the DAC to the WCLK IN on the transport.

Do those checks, provide us with some more information and we'll have a better chance of answering your question.
Hi Gtfour45

Thanks very much your advise.

When I switched from SACD disc to a CD disc, the LaScala responded firstly by showing TOC, after which it show "0", When i pressed the play switch , it show "1" (the first track) After which it just went dead, the display keep showing "1" nothing else, no sound, no mvement of the digital display. After a couple of minutes, the display revert back to "0".

I will try your suggested setting and see if it works.

Thanks again for advise.

Hi KC,

The dCS transports are a bit cranky in that they take their sweet time to do things and don't like to be interrupted in the middle of the process. If you do interrupt them, they get sulky and refuse to obey commands until they are rebooted.

I have a Verdi Encore (the later version of the La Scala), so my information may not be accurate for your machine.

When I load a CD I get the TOC message, then an ascending count through the tracks in groups of 5, then a STOPPED message, then the process halts displaying the number of tracks on the CD. Only when all of that is completed can I press Play.

Do a cold start on both the transport and the DAC. Then put in a CD and leave it alone (at least 2 - 5 minutes) until you are sure it has completed everything it wants to do.

Then press Play.

If it doesn't start, post all the messages that were displayed here. If we are lucky a La Scala owner will join in and advise what's normal and what isn't.
Hi Gtfour45

thanks your advise and hope it works. will update.

Tried all type of connection, waited for more than 10 minutes, nothing happen on the CD portion.

Hi KC,

It doesn't sound encouraging. I have one idea left - are you testing it with a commercial CD or a burnt CD?

I don't know specifically that the Verdi won't play burnt CDs but I would never use one while diagnosing a reading problem. By using a variety of commercial CDs you can remove at least one unknown variable.

Other than that it looks likely to me that your machine may be faulty. Does anyone else have any ideas?
hi Gtfour45

I only use commercial CD> I also suspect that the player is faulty and are communicating with the agent to have it repaired.

Thanks again.
Your problem sounds familiar.. With mine, symptoms were at times my Verdi would just read the sacds, and on another, quite the reversal--reading only red books. Error or toc kept appearing when playing the sacds, then finally '0' on the display. Might just be a case of bad optic (wear and tear). Had mine replaced 3x in the span of 6yrs. More likely to happen if you do not use the unit much or through humidity or so I was told.

Purchased from dCS the whole optical assy (parts only) costs 450 pounds (3-4yrs ago). In fact it's a Sony unit they are using, so for my 2nd and 3rd replacements I sourced them direct from a local Sony authorized and had my technician friend do it. All up it cost me around U$D100--so quite a saving there. Parts code are : Device, Optical KHM-230AAA, SCD-333ES, Sony. Hope this helps.

thanks very much your adv. Will try and see if i can find the Optical pick up and get someone to replace it for me. Thanks your advise, Hope it works this time.
The KHM-230AA unit is used in a lot of players. The quality control of these units is not the best and they can go bad in a short amount of time. The only solution is to replace and hope for the best.
I guess that's why dCS opted to use Esoteric units in their latter transports. But when committed to the 'old stack' there's no other way going about this routine maintenance (I consulted dCS direct). Anyhow, they are quite readily available and not too costly too. A good optical assembly in my experience will last at least 3yrs.

Kctan, if you decide to have just a technician do it, best if you can ask from dCS an instruction sheet (comes with my first factory unit). A clear step by step guide on how to replace them--quite essential actually. As I recalled, there's a solder point which needs to be 'thoroughly cleansed' during the process before your La Scala be able to read any SACDs. Good luck!
Thanks Bvdiman for advise> To be on the safe side, have arranged to send the player to the agent for replacement of the optical assy.