I have the same problem, I've read that it is a hardware problem, need a new laser to fix it. This appears to be a common problem with these units.
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I had the same problem a couple of years ago with my unit and it's related to calibration of the transport. I posted a procedure on fixing this problem on Audiogon but it's gone. Do a search using google or yahoo under sfstereo, my user name and follow the instruction that I wrote and it should work. It will take a few minutes and cost nothing.
Here is Sfstereo's original post:
I have the same problem with my 9000ES and I was able to fix it tonight by recalibrating the laser. I bought a service CDROM and it provides instruction for recalibarating.
When the unit is in power off status with the power button push in, press the following buttons on the remote in this order:
title, clear, power
This will bring you to the service menu on your tv display.
select item 1 - auto adjustment
Then select 0 - ALL and it be prepare to follow the displayed instructions. You will need the following kinds of disks:
DVD - Single layer
DVD - Dual layer
SACD - not hybrid
I had to use a couple of each kind of disk. It kept aborting the test until I found SACD disk that it would play but once it plays the disk, it will store the calibrated value in an EPROM.
It takes about 15-20 minutes and now all my hybird SACD work just fine.
I was really stoked to find this thread, having just encountered my first hybrid disk - LET IT BLEED!!! - whose SACD layer will not play on my 9000es.
So I've gone through the 15+ SACDs in my collection, and every single one of them is a hybrid! Dang....
Can anyone recommend a musically worthwhile classical or jazz sacd that is SACD only (not hybrid)?
I tried the procedure that Sfstereo described and it did not work for me, although, I did not have a "DVD - Dual layer" disc. (Not even sure what that is.) Also, I was surprised that a hybrid SACD disc was not required for the callibration.
Anyway, I think I need to return it for service. Any ideas how to find a service center for the 9000ES? I tried Sony's website but struck out there.
Today I tried the procedure above and it didn't work. Prior to beginning, I bought what I thought was a single layer SACD (Silk Roads, 'When Strangers Meet', Yo-Yo Ma and friends) but when it came time to insert the SACD, it produced the message 'Error' followed by something about the 'sled' being opened or loaded or something. Could it have been that that SACD was not single layer? It has multi and stereo programs, but is supposed to work only on SACD players, so I thought it would be fine (very nice music, in any case). Interestingly enough, when I initiated the #1 auto calibrate selection and then selected '0 - All', it never asked me for an SACD. It read the CD, single-, and dual-layer DVDs fine but then ended without asking for the insertion of an sacd. Then I selected '4 - SACD', got the error mentioned above with the Yo-Yo Ma, but then tried the offending Let it Bleed hybrid sacd (2 different copies of the same hybrid) and that worked insofar as satisfying the calibration procedure requirements, but the Let it Bleed sacd layer would still not play subsequent to all of that.
Oh well. Any suggestions (other than to send it somwhere for servicing)? Is my assumption that all 'Sacd player - only' discs are in fact 'single layer'?
I performed the procedure (Big THANKS! to Sfstereo & Ncarv) and my 9000ES is humming along again.
While I performed the alignment procedure first, what MAY have done the trick (I see it didn't work for some others) is starting at option-2 "drive manual operation" then option-6 "memory check" and then "clear" for default settings.
I did this and a bunch of numbers changed and 9000ES once again playing ALL of my DSD disks.
It worked for me.
3/22/06 - Dang! Thought I was using DSD only disc!
Turns out that player will only play CD layer NOT SACD!
This is progress as previously would't play either layer.
Player will play DSD only disks, however.
My DVP S9000 ES has gotten to the point that it would no longer play "Let It Bleed" in SACD mode, but will always play it in CD mode. It's first bit of acting up was to recognize it as a SACD, but refuse to play; most recently it recognizes it as a SACD, but auto switches to CD mode and plays. It plays other SACD disks, even the multichannel hybrid "Jazz at the Pawnshop" in SACD mode. Could there be something weird about the "let It Bleed" disk? I'll try another copy of that.
I have been unsure of having the required disks, so I have not tried reformating. I'm especially unsure what a single layer SACD and dual layer DVD are. How do you tell, and are there specific examples to buy?
Before I forget this thread completely, I should add an edit to my post above regarding my 9000es unit's inability to play the Let it Bleed SACD, even after having performed the calibration protocol.
It turns out that it was not even an SACD - just a DSD remastered redbook CD - which I failed to notice because the product I bought was advertised as being a 'hybrid SACD' when in fact I was ripped off (inadvertently most likely, by 'Fetchadisc' on Ebay) and received the redbook versions instead.
So at least I can now say that there has not yet been a SACD whose SACD layer would not play on my particular 9000es.
Hope this help, by way of balancing some other testimonials, to inform any future purchasing decisions.
My Sony DVP S9000ES is an existance proof that it is supposed to play hybrid disks, because until recently it played the SACD layer of "Let It Bleed" and a number of other disks. It still recognizes the disk as SACD before reverting to CD. I intend to fix and use my elegant S9000ES in my secondary system even after I buy a SCD-1.
I came across my first hybrid for which my 9000ES would not read the SACD layer: Bela Fleck's "Drive". It happens to be a MoFi disc; I recall at least someone else (maybe multiple people) on a'gon mentioning that the 9000ES has problems with MoFi's.
I tried the recalibration steps mentioned above, did the memory clear also before recalibration. Always had to do SACD calibration by itself; the unit never selected it from the "All" routine. Also, the unit would reject SACDs frequently; had the least success with discs that had multi-channel material (and were not hybrids).
Another MoFi disc I have works fine, one of the Kinks hybrids. Don't know offhand if I have any other MoFi hybrids, but I'll look.
I have had intermittent problems with a few other hybrids, but the unit eventually was able to read/play the SACD layer. I noticed that all of these offending discs were not pristine - scratches and/or smudges (how'd that happen!). I cleaned most smudges off a particularly finicky one with smudges and scratches, and it improved the 9000's ability to read the SACD layer. Fleck disc appears pristine, though.
I think I read in another thread, maybe on audio asylum, about the possibility of getting an updated laser assembly or similar for the unit. The thread mentioned model numbers for the original and newer assemblies. I'll have to find it again.