Esoteric VRDS-NEO not reading discs

I have an Esoteric K-01 cd/sacd player that is around 7 years old.  Recently the transport tray began to have a problem.  It would only open part way on the first 3 trys.  I was told that it needed a new transport drive belt, so I replaced the belt and the tray opened fine.  However, now the laser does not read the disc consistently.  It has played fine for a few hours, but most of the time it reads "no disc" or "disc error."   have contacted Esoteric and there only response is that I need to send the unit to an authorized Esoteric repair center.  They also have told me that the service manual is not for sale to the public.  This unit has been off Warranty for many years.  The cost to send it to the repair center is over $100 each way.

All this trouble for a part that costs around $0.40 for a generic replacement, and $16 for an authentic belt from Esoteric.  This player cost around $20k new and it is  rendered inoperable after 7 years because of the failure of a cheap belt. I do not think I should have to pay hundreds of dollars to have it repaired.  It does not seem fair to me that Esoteric will not help me to fix this problem myself.

What do you think?  Is there anyone out there who can help me to understand what the problem is with the laser not reading discs properly?  I am willing to pay someone for their help.


best on the market no doubt

in case it happens again.

if the laser fails, replace the optical pickup.

Russ, Greetings

Have you got the K01 squared away and spinning?

Curious how you made out with the repair and if it is completed to your satisfaction?

Appreciate an update.


Not wanting to pile onto OPs problem, but I am wondering what is this Esoteric laser alignment jig that we have heard about repeatedly over the years?

What makes the jig so special that until recently there was only one at Esoteric overseas?  And why, at least for me, have I have never heard about any other brand having a problem sourcing or using a jig to fix their cd players? Whatever the jig is.

I started this discussion complaining about the fact that my K-01 Esoteric SACD player would not read discs properly.  I ended up sending the player to TAP electronics and my cost ended up to be around $1500 for their service and shipping costs.  The first time they sent the player back the door still had problems opening but the discs played properly when they eventually seated properly.  TAP had me send the player back, they again worked on the player and returned it, all at no expense to me.  When I got it back after the second repair, the opening and closing of the door is improved but still reads "tray error" at times.  Disc reading is fine.

I feel that TAP treated me fairly, even though there is still a problem with the door.

 My complaint is with Esoteric.  I believe a product at this cost should be more reliable.  I will not buy another Esoteric product.  In less than 10 years of very light use the tray does not function properly. and the upsampling function does not function at all.  Luckily I have gone to a music server and streaming, and the cd/sacd player is less important in my stereo system