Loud bad noises

Recently, playing CDs I suddenty get some very bad distortion...loud rapid static. If I'd been listening to an LP I'd describe it as "skipping". It's extremely random. The CDs are not scratched. Things start out OK and then part way through a track this loud bad noise starts. It happens on various CDs. Running a Cambridge Audio D500SE to Theta DAC to Musical Fidelity Tube Buffer. I'm thinking the Cambridge Audio being used as transport is failing. I can do some further testing...just wondering if this seems familiar to anyone. Thanks in advance.
Laser is most likely dying.
Celtic66 -
Thanks for the response. The Cambridge does have some years on it. Do you think a laser failing is more likely than a malfunction of the DAC? The noise is centered, coming from both channels simulaneously. I was concerned the DAC wasn't processing properly and was sending an unconverted digital stream to the amp.

To better describe the noise, I'll hear an occasional snap, then a few more in rapid succession and finally a continuous stream of very close spaced snaps...like a ripping or buzzing noise from both channels. If I stop play, and then restart, things are OK for a little bit...but the problem soon returns. This happened on a few widely separated occasions over the last weeks. I thought the Herbies Black Hole CD mat I'd been using was losing its grip so stopped using it. Last night, unlike other occasions, the problem did not go away. Thanks for any other comments you might have.
Try listening to the player's analog output. If that is OK the problem is with the DAC. However, it does sound like a transport problem.
Lasers are a little like light bulbs in tnat they evetnually wear out and need to be replaced.
Will do Eldatford. I almost hope it is the CDP. Just bought the DAC used and don't want to think it was faulty or is now faulty.
>>"If I'd been listening to an LP I'd describe it as "skipping". It's extremely random. The CDs are not scratched"<<

Here is a long shot ... When the lubricant on the guide rails that the laser assy. rides on dries and cakes up, it can cause the laser assy. to bind/stick and lose lock momentarily with the CD's flags and skips, sometimes emitting some strange noises

Pop the top, and clean, and lubricate the laser's guide rails ... if this doesn't help ... the capacitor that charges the laser's power supply may be on it's way out and causing this intermittent problem

Once this cap fails totally ... the laser (no power) will not be able to read the Cd and you will get a "NO DISC" or "ERROR" message in the CD display

HTH Dave
I had a similar problem and someone suggested the lens was dirty and buying a CD that has a little cleaning brush on it. I tried it and cured the problem. So you might want to try this cheap possible fix prior to sending in your unit. I think I originally bought mine at a record store.
Or you could try a very soft brush and a can of compressed air on the assembly. It worked on a skipping Sony player I had.
Thanks all. I will try these "maintenance" suggestions on the CDP. Not to string out this thread but I did switch out the Cambridge for a Sony DVD/CD player I had in the home theater. Twice last night on start up of a disk or track I heard a brief burst of this loud static-like noise. It's like a rapid. ripping noise or machine gun fire...not music - just some kind noise. I shut down volume and stopped the disk. It did not return on re-start and did not occur once a disk was playing. I'm thinking the DAC is losing lock but am not sure why. Thanks again for your input. I'm going to switch digital cables next.
Have you tried your setup without the MF tube buffer? The problem could be in that unit as well...
Its usually not cost effective to replace the laser..
Thanks again to everyone.
Satch - haven't pulled out the MF tube buffer just yet. That was my first suspect as some older threads had indicated noise from this piece. After some futher communication with A'gon posters - I don't think what I'm experiencing is similar to the "static" they experienced with the MF tube buffer. None-the-less, as I have time - I'll check on this possible source.

Stringreen - I agree. If this noise is due to failure of the Cambridge CDP now serving as transport - and simple "maintenance" won't fix it...I'll be looking for a new transport!

hmm...Christmas and later my birthday, are not that far off....
Replaced the Cambridge CDP with a Sony from the home theater. After ~2 hrs the static/zipping noise was back. It's not the CD laser. Next up, need time to replace the digital cable see if that might be the problem. 2ndarily pull out the tube buffer. I have a bad feeling it is the DAC.
The DAC has been out of the chain while the Cambridge CDP is back in with the MF tube buffer. No loud bad noises and all has been good for weeks. The DAC is in for servicing but nothing wrong can be found with it so far. I'm told this model (Theta Pro Prime II) is very sensitive to static buildup and the noise might be static discharge. Room air humidification is recommended. Anyone else ever confront this sort of problem? BTW the Theta did add some magic to the system (air, detail, bass extension) and I miss it!