Repair a Sony SCD 777ES?

My 12 year old Sony SCD-777ES stopped working today. After the disc is inserted and the cover closes it makes some unhappy grinding and clanking noises as it attempts to spin the disk. It also switches automatically to SACD mode even with a redbook cd, but never starts to actually play the disc.

Can these old Sony's be repaired? It is a decent player and an excellent transport for my dac, I hate to just junk it! Any recommendations on the best way to get it repaired?
Check with Sony in Laredo, Texas. They are out of some of the parts for this player because the parts are no longer manufactured.
Junk it! It needs serious restoration apart from the immediate issue. Not worth the money.
I would look for a Sony repair facility. They will do a great job of returning your CD player to factory specs. Providing they have the parts, as Stereo5 mentioned.
I have read plenty of negative stories about the current situation with Sony repair.
It is totally outsourced now. And not very good either from reports.
My own Sony repair horror story was rather negative too. So i just accept they suck.
Flip a coin. Those are your chances of a satisfactory service trip to Sony in Laredo, Texas.
I sent them my 777 in it's original box.
The first thing they do is recycle your box. Then they fix the player on a flat rate schedule.
My player came back to Phoenix in a single box, with the heavy CD puck in a plastic bag, duct taped to the top of the player, with one piece of duct tape. This allowed the puck to slap against the surface of the player, marring it.
And, most importantly, the player still wouldn't play CDs or SACDs.
I had to wait for a Sony tech to call me (in a 2 day window) before I could get an RA # from Sony.
The biggest insult came next. The tech said every piece is thoroughly tested before it is shipped. I actually had to return the player with (1 each) non playing CD & SACD.
He said it was probably my discs. Yeah, right!
The player came back, this time with a new transport. Since I had already paid $220.00, the 2nd repair was "free".
Sony had my player tied up for over a month. When I questioned why my original box disappeared, they said this point is clearly stated in their FAQ section.
I immediately sold the player, and sold my XA7ES a year or 2 later. I'll never buy another Sony player.
You might try here

Bill Thalmann offered to help me with my sled drive motor issue on my SCD-1.

Sony Repair is legendary for their bad service. And Sony Suctomer Service is equally as bad. After dealing - for 4 exasperating months!! - with Sony on the repair of a very expensive monitor, I sold the damn thing and vowed to NEVER buy another Sony product again.

So far, I've kept my vow...

Sony repairs are a waste of money. Buy a Sony refurb, direct from SonyStyle, is a better deal, at least you will have a 90 warranty. Typically if it is bad it will prove to be so withing a few days of start up, and Sony will come get it, for free, refunding all your money. I've purchased four Sony 595's, mostly for $60 a piece with free shipping. I use two, and have the others as backup and for resale. These are five discs, SACD players and they sound and work well. Sounds almost as good as my Sony 777es and 5400. I have purchased other Sony refurb cd units and have have always been pleased.
Another avenue, Dan Wright or Warren Gregiore.
Remove the top cover, the transport billet section, and clean and relube. This solves the problem 80% of the time:

SCD-1/777ES Transport Maintenance

1. Tilt up top cover at rear of CDP and disconnect ribbon harness that secures top cover to Main Board at front of CDP. Remove cover and set aside.

2. Remove ground wire to transport billet & screws securing transport at corner stand-ups. Lift transport with attached RF PCB straight out, while carefully pulling out two wide ribbon cables that secure transport assy at rear edge of Main Board.

3. Remove transport assy to grounded anti-static mat, being careful at all times not to touch laser lenses or to lean laser pick-up against any surfaces.

4. Remove retaining washers from round gears, taking care that they don't fly away. Remove round gears. Remove Sled Motor together with its bracket/PCB. Leave small plastic drive gear attached at end of sled motor shaft. Remove cast CD drive spindle motor assy. Remove cover plate from end of CD spindle motor assy, exposing sapphire bearing, brass bearing cup, and spindle motor coils.

5. Use swab and solvent to clean grease & dirt off all round & straight gears of transport assy & jewel bearing and bearing cup of CD spindle motor. Desolder and remove sled motor from its PCB, noting motor polarity before dissembling. (Motor runs backward if reassembled with incorrect polarity.)

6. Spray Deoxit into sled motor housing through holes exposed after desoldering sled motor from bracket/PCB. Apply opposing polarities of a 12V battery to motor poles, so as to spin sled motor in opposite directions and burnish brushes for about 30 seconds. Resolder sled motor to PCB. Reassemble sled motor assy to transport.

7. Confirm that there is almost no lateral play between CD spindle and its cast housing. Replace spindle motor assy if there is excessive lateral play or if spinning operation has become noisy. Put a drop or two of mineral or telfon oil into the collar bearings at each end of the spindle shaft housing. Remove any dried brown grease from jewel bearing cup and motor coil areas & replace with a small dab of white lithium grease or automotive moly grease. Reassemble CD spindle motor and reattach assembly to transport.

8. Apply white lithium grease to metal spindles of round gears. Put on round gears and confirm that they rotate smoothly. If they're tight, then you may have found the source of SACD read problems. Proceed with caution, but you may need to slightly enlarge the bore diameter of the plastic gear with a drill bit one size up from the stock bore. The drill bit must be inserted and turned by hand only.

9. Reassemble and lubricate all plastic round & straight gears sparingly with white lithium grease. Put a drop of mineral or teflon oil on each metal sled rail. Run the reassembled sled back and forth a few times by hand to make sure it runs smoothly and to spin off excess grease. Take care not to get grease on the tiny electric eye.

10. Reassemble transport to CDP, taking care not to peel back metal traces along edge of two ribbons as they seat to the Main Board headers. If any metal traces peel back, then retrim the ribbon using paper scissors or replace the ribbon.

11. If you continue to have read problems, then replace the sled motor, which has been discontinued as a Sony part but is still available from OEM manufacturer.
The verdict is in. I actually hate Sony and will never buy a product from them again for reasons already stated +. Like Bell, their customer service is "0". Besides, lots of companies with good reputations make products equally as good or better. Pick yourself up a used Oppo 83SE. It'll spank Sony's flagship model for about $400.00.
There are 2
I did exactly what Dgarretson suggests when my scd-1 was giving me disc read issues and mine has worked great ever since....Still runs fine and this was a few years ago. Not sure yours is a sled drive issue or a bad motor/spindle problem.

Dgarretson- do you know where I can find a similarly detailed maintenance procedure for the transport in a Denon 3910?
Swampwalker, sorry, I wrote that Sony mntc. procedure from personal experience and with input from Richard Kern, an early Sony modifier. I have no experience with Denon.
OK, thx. Anyone else?
Not sure if anyone is following this thread any longer but my 777ES is still mechanically-functional but appears to have an electronic component issue. After loading, the display will go blank and it just stops working. I have to recycle the "on-off" switch to recover the disc. It will not play, or will do so only for a few seconds. The display is intermittent.

My unit probably also needs the lubercation protocol detailed by Dgarretson but I've had no transport issues.

I've suffered a stroke and am unable to perform ANY repairs / servicing myself, so am looking for the recomendation of a name & contact number for someone who is competent to do so.

I'm hoping to keep this unit in service, its a great transport, an good sounding player and still draws incredulity when folks attempt to lift it!

Thanks for your input.


check out Sony's reapir facility in Laredo TX.
Ask for Adrian.

Happy New Year!
Thx Jfant. I talked to Sony Laredo (but prob not Adrian) prior to my post and they were not confident of having the parts. Round-trip shipping & ins would be on me since well out of warranty if they would be unable to repair - and the fellow I spoke with seemed both highly knowledgable and familiar w/the SCD-777ES.

I'm hoping to find an independent repair facility that will stay "on-task" until the unit is repaired. From what I understand, they are out there - just need to find one!
Triller -

perhaps Dan Wright ( Wright Mods ) could be of service?
Happy New Year.
Post removed 
-- to dgarretson, czbbcl, or anyone who can answer...

Please describe the proper method to disconnect the ribbon harness on the Sony SCD-1 to remove the top cover. I tugged on the harness and it did not come loose, so I just rested the top cover on a box about the same size as the CDP and left the harness connected while doing some of the maintenance described by member dgarretson.

SCD-1/777ES Transport Maintenance

1. Tilt up top cover at rear of CDP and disconnect ribbon harness that secures top cover to Main Board at front of CDP. Remove cover and set aside.


Instead of tugging on it, try worrying it out with a rocking motion, or maybe working a jewelers screwdriver into the seam of the header. Don’t tug at the ribbon itself. Honestly it’s been a long time since I did this.

Thank you for the response. This was helpful.

Can you provide the name of the OEM manufacturer for the sled motor ?

"11. If you continue to have read problems, then replace the sled motor, which has been discontinued as a Sony part but is still available from OEM manufacturer."
Steve,  My files from the mid-2000s indicate that the sled motor is a Mabuchi RF-300CH 11400. 
Are you guys still listening to this spinner?

The old Sony repair center in Laredo TX is now in Michigan.
There are other authorized Sony/Sony ES repair techs in other states as well.  Happy Listening!
Hi Jafant,  I moth-balled my heavily modified SCD-1 for an Esoteric K01X with Rubidium clock.  There is not a huge difference in performance, but only after modifying the Sony to the point that it became unrecognizable as such.
I still listen to CDs as well as vinyl. The SCD-1 is the best digital source I have. So I am very motivated to get it working again without issues. It would be a shame for a $3 motor to prevent enjoying this excellent CDP.

Hopefully, the sled motor can be replaced. There are 2 reputable electronic repair shops within 25 miles of where I live. The Sony recommended repair facility is in NY (United Radio Service). Did not get a good feeling about sending it there after I called.

I tried to remove the transport assembly to perform the maintenance recommended by dgarretson. Two corner screws came out easily with the correct screw driver, but I messed up the head on the other 2 screws with the wrong size screw driver and cannot get them to loosen.  Lesson learned. I am going to the local repair shop next week.

Good to see you- dgarretson

I liked the Esoteric for SACD playback only. DV-60 model.
I have not auditioned the true higher end spinners.  Happy Listening!
Right On! stevebraxton-

Yes, there are parts still avail for the SCD-1. Lots of searching and researching these forums on A'gon and Audio Asylum will yield the intel you seek.  Rick Rubin and Henry Rollins still uses this CD/SACD player.
Highest praise there.  Keep us posted on your repair situation.

Happy Listening!
Thanks jafant for encouragement on the SCD-1 repair!
To all on this thread who care to provide feedback...

I went to a local repair shop and described the symptoms.
Without looking at the unit, the technician concluded the problem is with the reader (lens assembly) and not likely the sled motor.
Do you agree?

The symptoms are listed below.

Dec 2016 problem with SACD & RBCD playback. Also, an occasional thumping noise inside CDP occurs. The noise can be heard across the room.

Intermittent error: No Disk
If play starts after loading a CD it will usually play all the way to the end.

If play does not start then eventually the "No Disk" error will occur.
I can hear the disk spinning during the load process.

When attempting to select a specific track, the track number shows on display but eventually, the "No Disk" error occurs.

you have enjoyed some milage out of your SCD-1. What year did you purchase it?  I thought of another avenue- if you are close to Texas, Pyramid Audio in Austin, may be of service as well.
Keep me posted.
I purchased the SCD-1 in 2003 from J&R Music World.
The build date is Sep 2001.
I'll keep Pyramid Audio in mind.  However, Texas is not close.  I am in the south eastern coast.
The local repair shop tech stated he will search for a replacement lens assembly.  Waiting to hear back.  In the meantime I cleaned and lubed the sled rails again.  Its working better today but still making a thumping noise.

Excellent! stevebraxton-

Happy New Year!

an update on your SCD-1 ?
Hi jafant,
 Yes.  I sent the SCD-1 to Music Technology in Virginia for diagnosis and repair several weeks ago.  Still waiting to hear back.

Thanks for asking.  Will update this post when I know more.

Been there and done that. Well, actually didn't do it. I had an old Sony SCD608ES, from the late 80's. Wow what a great sounding player! I kept it for 25 years! And it got to where it would not read discs. So, I contemplated having it repaired! I shopped around for parts, I found a laser assembly online for $800! Since they are so rare now. And little parts like the toothed sprockets and strange parts that operate the drawer. (Most likely the gears are stripped on your drawer, not the motor.) but just the parts were far more than I ever wanted to put into the darn thing. I could spend $800 on a Marantz player and have a nicer unit! So, the unit got trashed. I hated to see it go after such a long and healthy relationship, but once I got a new modern player, (Cary 306) I never missed it. 
Nice! alpha_gt

I like the Cary 306 as well. There are some that have problems w/ the Cary spinners, hopefully, the company will continue to offer parts/service for their cd/sacd players.
Happy Listening!
I look forward to your follow-up stevebraxton


do you have an update?  Happy Listening!

it is April- any updates stevebraxton?
jafant and all,
I am very happy to report that Bill Thalmann at MusicTechnology repaired my SCD-1 player. It plays great now.

Per Bill "disassembled, cleaned and repaired gear bearing surfaces to get friction levels back to normal."
Thanks! for sharing-