Skipping CD's

I have a Karik CD player that is about 8 years old. Can aging lasers cause CD's to skip? It happens only with some CD's and it does not matter if they are originals or CD-R's
Lasers will typically "fall off" in output as they age. As such, their ability to recover data also declines as they age. Whereas some "scuffed" discs may play fine in a new machine with a new, high output laser mechanism, the older laser with lower output is more easily "confused" and can't read the disc quite as well. One might consider this akin to "reduced mental capacity" as one gets way up in the years : )

In many cases, there are adjustments in the player that allows one to "tweak" a laser back into spec. If one has to resort to doing this, you can bet that the laser is getting weak and may need replacement sometime shortly. "Shortly" might be two weeks or it might be two years, depending on how far out of whack it was to begin with and how often you use the player.

If you've got a really old player that you absolutely love, you can have the laser replaced. Depending on the machine and where you have it done at, this should run somewhere around $50 - $125 for the laser. This does not include about 1 - 1.5 hours worth of labor to remove the old one, replace it with the new one & calibrate it for proper operation. As such, you could end up with $125 - $300 invested in reviving your "beloved". Since CD technology ( especially in the DAC section and the filtering being used ) really HAS gotten much better as time progresses, doing such may not be such a good move unless the player really is quite special to you.

The only time that i would recommend replacing the laser with no hesitation would be if one were using a high end transport and the laser failed. Since most of the performance improvements have been in the areas of filtering and DAC's, the transport can still do its' job quite well and you can upgrade the DAC as deemed appropriate. Sean

Thanks-yes, the laser did go really out of sync and had to be reset. Since then, about 10% of my CD collection is not playing. I am trying to get a laser replacement . They also tell me that the Karik transport is very good indeed and with a new gen, DAC, life will be great.
Sean, that hurts: reduced mental capacity as one ages? Well you did say "way up in years" so I will simply consider that I have not yet reached this stage. Aside from that, I will have to chalk up another great answer to your credit. Regards.
Yes, the laser can become out of alignment and not perform as well. In many ways like a poorly aligned turntable cartridge.
It can also go bad, but so does everything else.

In some ways I guess we might be somewhat guilty of having a plug and play mentality with CD's. We spend hours aligning and issolating our vinyl rig to perfection; but then throw a CD player on the rack without a care, and then wonder why it does not perform near as well.
I agree with Sean totally. Love or hate Linn, their CDP's are as reliable as you can buy. I only have one observation that I would like to share with everyone. I burn CD's to play in my truck and have found the most generic, plain, non-labeled disks to be great. I'm not talking about sonics, just playability and the frequency of burning coasters. After 9-11 there were disk companies selling premium priced CDR's with heavy graphics and I bought two batches since the proceeds were going to the 9-11 victim families. I had no problems burning them but they didn't play well in my Linn CDP. Upon close inspection I determined that they were simply out of balance due to the heavy graphics on one side of the disk label surface. I might be wrong but this seems to be a real potential problem area. I no longer use these for audio.
I agree with Sean,but my experience, with my cdp
is because of moisture, I open my player and wipe
the lens with smooth auric illuminator cloth,You
can also try the auric illuminator to apply with
your cds, dont do it with the chesky, read the
instruction.This solve the skipping problem,
alignment problem?Posssible too.Dont get excited
replacing the lens yet. Do basic things first.
Good luck.
Ajpat, my 7-8 yr old Karik is having lots of problems w CD-Rs and only a very occasional problem w commercial CDs. If the laser indeed is the problem, I may be out of luck, because parts for the laser assembly of older Kariks are no longer available. If I am able to get a replacement laser assembly, I'll probably keep the Karik for quite a while and update with a DAC -- I agree the Karik is a very good transport. I've sent my Karik to Linn in Jacksonville to find out exactly where I stand, and I'd be glad to let you know what I hear from them.
Heard from my dealer that Linn USA said there is nothing they can do to upgrade or improve my Karik... kind of disappointing. My machine's serial number is around 9400.

Ajpat, did you get anywhere with your inquiry?
I just got my Karik III back from Linn. It was skipping just as Ajpat describes. The dealer was not optimistic, as he said that parts unavailability is killing older Kariks. But Linn fixed it and sent it back in 10 days, including shipping, for $235. Good as new. Needed springs in the transport. So, based on that experience, I doubt it's the laser. But I also doubt it's reparable.