Repair my Sony CDP 608 ESD?


I have a very clean Sony 608 ESD, I bought it brand new in 1986. So I can not complain that it has been a good sounding and flawless performing player all these 29 years. So, lately it is getting touchy, and skips at the slightest footfall, the laser head must be going out? I've been shopping for a replacement, looking at used Esoteric's and Marantz's, used in the $1k to $2.5k range. and am wondering if I may be better served if I just had this unit repaired? In fact, even if I do buy another used CD player, maybe I should have it repaired anyway, just so I can resell it and save it from the scrap heap? Does anyone know of a good shop that I could have the repairs made at a reasonable cost? Any thoughts on a replacement? Thanks in advance.

Russ
alpha_gt
There is also a good chance there are no parts available to fix it...
The sound quality on those really old CD players is horrible. Best you could hope for is a collector wanting it for some other reason than to listen to it. Just pick up an entry level CD player and you'll have a big upgrade.
So much more detail in the newer player's...went for an oppo105d...hate to say it but my old player just sound,s... old.

The good thing about not opting for another expensive boat anchor...you can afford another player (1000.00) to have.
Thanks, food for thought. You're right J135, that thought hasn't occured to me, probably couldn't find anyone to fix it. I've read up on that new Oppo 105, it is truly amazing feature wise, 30 years ago remote control was cool, now! Wow so many things and formats, sound quality aside.

But for any machine to last that long I guess I was spoiled, and was thinking I could buy something that would last that long again, but I guess that's not realistic either. Who knows what formats we will be listening to in 10 years? No sense in taking out a car loan on something that may prove obsolete in 10 years.
Lucky for you there are probably no parts to repair your unit. The Sony 608 ES was amazing in its day, but that day passed a long time ago. You will be floored by the improvement in sound of a new player, when you do get one. If you insist on the retro style of the Sony there are many great players that you can pick up used for half your budget (Sony SCD777 and 9000ES come to mind). Do what you think is best, but for my money (or yours) I would check out that Oppo line. Great value for money!
The Oppo makes sense only if the OP needs to play multiple formats. It looks like he just needs a Redbook player. If that's the case, buy a good CD player. Why pay for features you don't need?
I disagree with the other responders regarding sound improvement in something like the Oppo. I have both a new 105D and a 26 yr old 608 ESD. I have not performed a direct shootout between those two, I will say I prefer the Oppo as a transport with a 19 yr old VAC tube dac to the Oppo itself.

The Chord Hugo is better than either although it produces a more energetic up front type of sound.

Since the Sony is aged, have you tried a lens cleaner type disc?
"I disagree with the other responders regarding sound improvement in something like the Oppo. I have both a new 105D and a 26 yr old 608 ESD. I have not performed a direct shootout between those two, I will say I prefer the Oppo as a transport with a 19 yr old VAC tube dac to the Oppo itself."

In order to disagree, you need to be talking about the same thing. Others have compared the new Oppo to the old Sony. You're throwing a tube dac into the equation that no one here has access to, but you.
Zd542, I seriously doubt that "others" have directly compared a Sony 608 ESD and an Oppo 105D.

I happen to own both right now although they are in different systems.

I am not a believer that a so called modern dac chip is that much better than a high quality 20 + year old chip. The performance of the Oppo is proof enough for me.

I have a Sony X779 ES that I use as a transport for the Hugo. I have plenty of inputs on my VAC preamp so I can try an A/B of the Sony analog out directly against the Oppo using identical cables and report my findings. I could also switch the 608 esd from the second system.

My point is there's a lot of hype about the superiority of a model year 2015 dac/player over anything older that I find is simply not true.
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06-01-15: Rhljazz
Zd542, I seriously doubt that "others" have directly compared a Sony 608 ESD and an Oppo 105D."

You didn't even read my post. Or yours for that matter. Have another look.

"I have both a new 105D and a 26 yr old 608 ESD. I have not performed a direct shootout between those two, I will say I prefer the Oppo as a transport with a 19 yr old VAC tube dac to the Oppo itself.

How is that even relevant to the discussion? You prefer the Oppo when its used with a 19 year old dac. Great. How does that help the OP?

"My point is there's a lot of hype about the superiority of a model year 2015 dac/player over anything older that I find is simply not true."

That's your opinion based on what looks to be very limited experience. You'll no doubt try to argue me on that, but before you do, did it ever occur to you that people have different taste in equipment than you? If you sat 10 different people down in front of your system, and demoed the CD players and dac that you have, do you think everyone will have the exact same opinion on them as you?

"My point is there's a lot of hype about the superiority of a model year 2015 dac/player over anything older that I find is simply not true."

What you find to be "simply not true", is not based on fact. Its based on your opinion.
"I have a very clean Sony 608 ESD, I bought it brand new in 1986. So I can not complain that it has been a good sounding and flawless performing player all these 29 years."

That is good run. My Cary CDP went 10 years before replacing the laser. Not cheap to fix; I just did not want to scrap yet, like you say. You have earned an excuse to "upgrade".
Thanks for the input. And yes RhlJazz voiced his opinion, nothing wrong with that, I asked for opinions. And while I cannot say I've had many CD players in my system over these years, I had listened to others, and did have my daughter's $800 Marantz in my system about 3 or 4 years ago for a direct comparison, and I found them to sound different, but it was not better. I haven't heard anything that made me want to upgrade, and that's why I haven't.

It's also true that I honesty don't need a multi format player. I own a DVD player I use for video, it is not in my stereo rack. I intend to use it for Red Book CD's, and maybe a few WAV file CD's of my own making.

Sure we all want detail, we all want to listen deep into our recordings and hear more than we've heard previously, don't we? But there was a quality to the Sony that made it my favorite, it had dynamics! Not bright, but certainly not smooth or laid back. It had bass slam, it was most effective on rock music, really delivered the venue, from studio to live concert halls, it was lively and envolving. I guess I'm from the camp who say, "if it works don't fix it", and that's why I have not upgraded it in all these years. In fact, the only piece of stereo that I have not upgraded in that time, many pieces 3 or 4 times in it's life. Perhaps the Sony 5400 is worthy of an audition? I also see in the listings a Cary 306 with a new laser, that has my interest, along with an Ayre 7, and two Esoterics. I'm sure it's a win/win situation, any of the above will make me happy, I can't see how they couldn't unless I got a lemon.
In the price range you listed, there are very many, very good players...
Jl's got it right...lots to love out there for that coin...got to admit part of my decision was wanting to see what all the rhetoric was about these oppo players...while it does sound good...it has features that I will probably will never even delve into...but saying that...its ready if I decide to.
To those who posted, just thought I would follow through with an update. I found the replacement laser head for my old Sony and it was $850 just for the part! So that squashes any notion of fixing up the old bird. I am buying a Cary 306 that's 4 years old, hopefully it will last me a good while and it is reported to have that punch and slam I desire, along with just glowing reviews all over. Thanks everyone for the great advice!
Greetings.

unlike most people responding to this op, I own a 608 esd since new. It will go head to head against any player I've tried. The technology to properly reproduce 16 bit 44k has been perfected long ago, and this Sony was way ahead of the pack. I've had marantz 6004 and  marantz 8005. I still own the 8005. I also still own my 608. The Marantz is a great cdp.., but no better than the Sony 608. That's a fact. The 608 is truly an unbelievable cdp both in build quality and performance. 
Russ-

I too enjoy those older Sony ES spinners. Parts will not be easy to find.
You can search eBay for another player like yours and strip it for the part(s) needed.  Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
"I am buying a Cary 306 that's 4 years old, hopefully it will last me a good while"

I congratulate you on deciding against repairing your Sony. FWIW, it's a familiar dilemma. If the Cary gives out, take a serious look at the Oppo 105D (or 103D). Right out of the box, it's crazy good (and affordable). 
yes the Cary is fantastic! Maybe not as dynamic as the Sony was, and sounded kind of bland at first. But after listening to it all these months and really listening, its just smoother in the treble and is less fatiguing. but the BASS! wow such nice bass. clear, strong bass, I'm a bass player and I've never heard what the bass player is doing as well as I do now. Tight extended bass, but not bass heavy, of course the mids are beautiful, but I find that good mid range reproduction is not hard to come by, its the extremes that are difficult. It will be a long time before I shop for another CD player, the Sony lasted me 30 years! so i can't complain. 

And thanks Tony, I have heard many great things about the Oppo, it was up for consideration but I just got the price on this Cary, sometimes money talks. 
I like Cary spinners as well.  The only thing that Oppo has going, in that, it is a catch all player.  Othewise, there are much better separate DVD + CD/SACD players.
I looked at many modern models that play SACD, but seeing I don't own any SACD discs. And frankly, there aren't many titles that I like available in SACD, so, I really didn't see the need for a universal player. Maybe I'm just old school? 

alpha_gt-
which Cary do you own?
It's the CD 306.200, I forget what's different about this particular model, over the other 306's. But I'm very pleased with it. Best digital playback I've had in my system so far! In fact, it has digital in and out on the back, I haven't attempted to use that function. Built like a tank, very heavy! Sold aluminum drawer, feels very rigid. And when the drawer shuts, it instantly displays the track info, in less than one second! But of course it sounds amazing, lots of detail and extension in both directions, excellent bass! Nice air around instruments, decent soundstage. I've always been an analog guy, and still am, but this CD player has brought my digital playback up to the same level. I'm enjoying my CD's again! 




Thanks! for sharing- alpha

I want a Cary 306 or 308t for SACD duty.