Help needed with defective Proceed PMDT


In December 2004 I bought a 4 and 3/4 year old Proceed PMDT that had been imported from the US. The Swedish buyer then sent the player to the Danish distributor and paid about 500 Euro to convert the player to 230VAC and region 2. I paid 1800 Euro for the player.

After having had the DVD player for 3 months, it started having major problems during CD playback - the first 5-10 minutes of many (but not all) CD's are accompanied with a kind of howling/whistling noise from the drive. On top of that, the drive tends to skip a lot during this time.
After these horrible 5-10 minutes there is no more noise and no more playback problems. DVD playback generally worked with no skipping - on some burnt discs however, there were be very few problems.

I contacted the Danish distributor who suggested a faulty laser which would require a completely new drive - the repairs would cost me approx. 1400 Euro. This large amount is totally out of proportions considering the price that I paid for the player, so I contacted Harman Specialty in the US - there was actually still 3 weeks of US warranty on the player at this time. Several mails to Harman Specialty resulted in absolutely nothing - they more or less told me "Well, you can't get the machine to us within warranty, so forget it and pay the Danish distributor" who - off course - didn't sell the machine, so no warranty there.

So I contacted a local repair shop, who found out, that the laser was a Pioneer model; they exchanged the laser but were unable to locate the correct drive motor. So I got the player back with a new laser. At first the problem wasn't that bad, but over time skipping is an increasing problem. The noise from the drive is also present on most CD's.

So my question is now:
> has anyone else had this problem and solved for less than 1400 Euro?
> does anyone know which Pioneer drive is used in the PMDT?
> does anyone know if it is possible to change the entire drive to a Pioneer model?

To illustrate the costs, I can add, that 1 Euro is approx. 1.20 US$

Hoping that someone out there can give me some advice ...
There have been a lot of problems with that player in general and they are not related to the Pioneer drive as Pioneers are far more reliable. Most of the problems have been software related but yours dose sound mechanical It may be worth sending to Harmon even though it will take a while becuase when they repair it they will also update the software which should be much better now. Another option is to contact Classe in Canada as a lot of the engineers that worked at Harmon now work for Classe. If that doesn't work there is a repair place in St. Louis Missouri called Alphatec that has a very good tech by the name of Zaw. He has been able to fix a lot of things that are strange or no longer in buisness. If you do a Google search for Alphatec in St. Louis it their number will come up.
Hi Duane

Thanks for your reply to my post; the PMDT already has he latest firmware, so no hope there. And your suggestions for repairshops is a bit problematic, since I live in Europe and insured shipping to the US and back will cost me more than $200 each way, so this is a bit unrealistic.

Regarding Pioneer drive reliability, I agree with you. But you must remember that Proceed didn't you take a drive a put it in another box - they more or less tore it to pieces and obviously managed to rip reliabilty out of the original drive.

/Jens - who still has a defective PMDT.
Hello again. Have you tried contacting Arcam or Linn as both are very good transport design companies in Europe amd may have people they know or could recomend?
Hi again
No - apart from the disappointing answer from the danish distributor and the arrogant answer from HarmanSpecialtyGroup, I haven't contacted any other companies. At any rate - I was rather hoping for someone to point me in the direction "well - I have had the very same problem. I found out that the Pioneer abcde drive is the one used in the PMDT" and thus avoiding contact with larger companies, who always seem to focus on their bottom line. I'll see if anything else interesting comes up - otherwise I'll give it a try.

Final follow-up:

someone told me of the possibility of a trade-in where customers could get their PMDT exchanged to a Lexicon RT-10 for 1.600 Euro. The Danish Lexicon distributor was very helpful and I got my RT-10 this evening :-)

So - happy end at last.