Repair Exemplar 3910 or ???

My John Tucker modified 3910 U-player is showing unmistakeable symptoms of incipient laser death (the dreaded 0h 00m 00s, cannot load disk errors). John says he can replace the laser for $200. It's a secondary source for me as I have all my cds ripped as FLAC files on an MV2 server and play back via Modwright Transporter. I have about 20 SACDs and a handful of DVD-As. Looking for opinions on the cost-effectiveness of having the repair done vs. getting an Oppo U-players or maybe a used Sony 5400.

Rest of system is Doshi Alaap pre/Doshi Lectrom JH-50 or VAC Ren 30/30/Merlin VSM-mme or Ref 3A Suprema. TIA.
Consider yourself lucky that you have a player for which the laser actually is still available. Those Exemplar players are very special and certainly worth the cost of repair at only $200.
Oh, I dunno, the Oppo BDP-93 is a very good player with far more format capability than the Denon. I might fix the Denon and then sell it and pay for the 93. Or 95 if ya really want to get all audiophile-like...

I'm in the same boat. I bought an Oppo 95, thinking it might at least equal the Exemplar 3910. It didn't. Much inferior. I ended up keeping the Oppo just to use in another video system, though. It was far to superior to the Oppo 83 I had. If I replace my 3910, it will be with a modified Exemplar or ModWright 95. For now, I'm just living with laser problem, since only a relatively small number of discs are not playable.
OK, thx gentlemen. I've read all the great comments about the Oppo and Son 5400 players so I was curious to get some feedback. Maybe i'll get the 3910 repaired and keep the 2910 I use in my mini HT as a laser donor and get an Oppo there to try out blue-ray.
Swampwalker, I owned the Exemplar 3910. I have also owned his Oppo mods. I think his Oppo 93 is clearly better than the Denons.
Interesting,Question: Does the Exempler mod include a digital input for Oppo 95 ?
Ozzy, no but it does have USB and Esata like the 93.
OK, I'm confused. Tbg says no digital input but it does have USB??? Does that mean it plays digital files from a thumb drive but no networking capability?
Swampwalker, just check out the manual on line. All I know is that there is a USB port. Since I won't use USB, I cannot use it as a dac for my music server. John does not change the inputs and I suspect the USB is synchronous.
Thank you, Tbg.
I agree with JFZ... I had an Exemplar 2900 and unfortunately replaced it with an unmodified Oppo-BDP93. The Exemplar just killed the Oppo (which I just returned to Amazon). I still miss the Oppo's blu-ray video (much better than a PS3), but it was not even close to the same league as the Exemplar. This was true even when both were being used as pure transports into a PS Audio PW DAC. I still wish I had that Exemplar, especially since they don't sell for much these days...
Hi Cal,
If I do get a modified Exemplar 95, I will be happy to sell you my 3910 at a very reasonable price; after replacement of the laser assembly by John Tucker that is.
Thanks for the offer... but unfortunately I'm completely out of shelf space and am currently using a macmini (stuck on the same shelf as my turntable) as a transport. I wish I had the ability to truly compare, but I think the pure computer audio route (i.e., playing ripped CD's from the hard drive) does end up beating out the Exemplar's digital output. It's not by a ton though. You'll have to report back on the comparison between the two Exemplar models. I'm certainly curious... especially since John went with the non-tube based output on the Oppo.
John now has a tube-based output that he says is considerably better than the solid-state.
The exemplar is still a very good machine imo
I have had or heard every digital product that John has made. His tube gear alway out performs the Ss gear after some time. He told me that the new outboard ps Oppo 95 just destroyed the proto type dac that I have, but it is nearly impossible to put a digital in on the Oppo 95, so I will await the coming Exemplar tube output dac with the Sabre chip.
Musicfile: I don't know which Exemplar you are referring to. I loved the 2900 when I used it, and then bought the 3910 after hearing for myself how much better it was. I know people who upgraded with Exemplar mods on other subsequent Denon, Oppo, and other models. They say each step up has been a significant improvement. Having said that, I will say that the 3910 is still a very, very good player. I bought a stock Oppo 95, and was disappointed to find it was not even close to the Exemplar modded 3910.
Would you like to attempt the repair yourself? I found the link on how to replace the laser and it was very easy to do. Cost me $30 and less than 30 mins of time to do it. I own the Modwright 3910 as well as Exemplar 5910. Boths are wonderful sounding with an edge to th Exemplar unit.
I think you should post that link (and potentially a link to a source for the parts)... if only for archival purposes. Given that this is a somewhat common issue, I think a number of people in the future might benefit from knowing how to do this.
Purk- Pls do post the link.
Michael, I think it really comes down to whether you like and use the Exemplar. If yes to both, fix it. If no, don't.

Aside from that, if you intend on selling it, fix it. A machine which doesn't read discs loses more than the $200 repair at sale time.
Good point, Joe.