The "LASER" is good for about 10 years of moderate to heavy use. It must be replaced. If Krell won't service it, see if they can sell you a new Laser assembly and find someone who can (not rocket science).
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Try making a CD with a bunch of short tracks and see what happens. If its a mechanical problem with the transport, the problem should start when the laser moves out to a certain distance. The track number shouldn't matter.
Next, play a few songs and don't stop until the problem occurs. (or in this case, goes away). Lets say it takes 5 tracks for this to happen. Now play the CD with the short songs on it. If you get the same result of 5 tracks, the problem may lie elsewhere because the laser isn't moving the same distance as it did with the first 5 songs. If the issue is mechanical, you would need to play more than 5 of the short songs to get the same distance.
The OP’s problem with his Krell CD player is a very common problem that occurs with many older CD players and is easily remedied for little or no cost
Your laser rides on guide rail(s) as it reads the data off the spinning disc from the inside of the disc to the disc’s outer diameter … the guide rails(s) have lubricant on them from the factory to prevent the laser itself from binding on the guide rails … with age the lubricant on the guide rail(s) dries up in spots and hardens … when the laser assembly riding on the guides encounters a dried up spot of lubricant it basically Stalls or Bogs down for a very brief moment trying to overcome the dried up lubricant on the guide rail(s) … once it Bogs down it loses lock with the data stream on the CD and skips momentarily until the laser moves beyond the dried up spot of lubricant on the rail(s) … it then regains lock with the data stream of the CD as the laser’s forward motion on the rail(s) is back in the proper relationship to the spinning disc’s speed and all is restored
It’s an easy fix especially on your top loading Krell Cd player … clean and re-lubricate the guide rails which you should be able to see once the CD hold down clamp is removed … IPA will clean the rails and then lube lightly with white lith
The laser will stop stalling and bogging down on the dried up rail lubricant and the skipping will stop
If the laser itself failed because the capacitor in the power supply that feeds the power to the laser has expired .. then you would get a .. NO DISC .. message in the display window as the laser cannot read the CDs data stream and thinks that there isn’t a Cd in the tray
Your problem is the dried up lubricant on the guide rails
It is definitely the distance and not tracks. I guess I should have defined the problem more clearly. Definitely DISTANCE. If the first track is very long, it would play towards the end of that same...first song. On the other hand, if the first song is very short, it would keep skipping through the middle of the second song.
What do you think? I have the option of keeping the player and asking the seller for a considerable discount or return the item for full refund so I need to decide pretty quick. Thank you all for your quick response.
Your unit has the Philips CDM-9 pro swing arm transport in it, the last of the best transports built by Philips. The problem is mechanical, something is preventing the laser from reaching the innermost position freely, most likely there is some dust/hair that has managed to get in there. If you aren't comfortable opening it yourself and cleaning out the debris, find a trustworthy qualified audio technician and I'm sure they can take care of that for you. It may just need a slight bit of lubrication, but be careful as the lubrication needs to be applied only to the bearing for the swing arm, and only if cleaning the debris doesn't help. The transport/laser mechanism should be perfectly fine based on the description of the symptoms. For those that don't know.. CD's are always read from the inside to the outside, totally opposite of how an LP is played, meaning the TOC is at the innermost area of the disc, followed by track 1, 2, etc... and as it plays the last song would be at the outermost area of the disc. Discs with 70 to 80 minutes of songs on them will be the most difficult for most players to play as they get to the final tracks. Older machines will have some play in the spindle motor bearing which will result in excessive cd wobble at the outer most edges, and the servo may not be able to track through that wobble resulting in skipping etc...
Anyway, IMO your problem is something that can be easily cleared up by a decent technician who has experience working with CD players, and is honest enough to not try and cheat you with some story that the transport has to be replaced. That's a fine machine and worth having serviced.