Ticking noise in Audio Research Reference CD7

I have a relatively new CD7 (probably with about 1,500 hours on it) and it recently started making this ticking noise each time I press "play" or move between tracks ("forward" or "backward"). While just playing the noise isn't there.

Any ideas where this noise could be coming from/caused by?

Sled motor.
The rails may just need a little lubrication.
Actually you can open up the unit and move the overgrease already in there back onto the rails for free.
Usually it is a white grease in lumps at the end of the rails. Just spread it around back on the rails with a toothpick. Don't waste it, just use half of it. leave the rest for next time.
Thanks Elizabeth, I'll check this out and report back.
Hi Elizabeth, I've opened the unit but can't see the rails. Do I have to also lift the CD tray to access those?
Is there anywhere where this process is described with pics for my layman self?
Also, I live in a very big city and there's a lot of dust/dirt/smog in the air at all times. How do you clean the guts of those units (CD 7, Ref 5, etc) that have practically no protection from all that dirt?
Did you expose the mechanism completely ? You need to take the player's top lid off first, then the square black metal element that covers the mechanism (it is beeing hold by 4 screws), and then the black plastic part that covers the rails (it is beeing hold by 4 allen bolts AFAIR).
Loud and clear.
I'll do just that.
Amuseb, I used to own the CD-7, and now the 8. If you check my System, I'm all ARC. I strongly recommend that rather than take the unit apart and fiddle with stuff you probably know very little about, that you call Calvin at the factory. He's there to help folks who own ARC gear. He will be able to diagnose the problem and advise you on what to do. It may be that the unit has to go to a service center or back to the factory. Dunno -- but Calvin will.
Hi, indeed I reached the second phase of the process and just before attacking the black plastic cover of the rails, decided to maybe discuss the matter with ARC first.
The issue for me is that, living in France, the local rep tends to charge tremendous amounts of money for service, may the sums be justified or, mostly usually, may they not.
Question: when lifting the square metallic cover, from underneath it's left side, a 1 inch long piece of a plastic tube (like the one used for shrink or the edge of the cables that run through the unit) fell into the palm of my hand. Is it possible that this piece serves for anything or is just that the person who built the unit didn't finish the cleanup properly?...
Thanks again.
Amuseb - must be a left over.

There is very little you can do to damage the transport mech. Worst case scenario, you can get a brand new CD-Pro2 transport mechanism from any shop that carries them in EU, and replace it by yourself. It is an easy 10 minutes job. No soldering necessary, jest a screwdriver and an allen keys set.
Thanks Elebroth. Will check that out.

Btw, taking advantage of the ARC experts on this thread and bringing back to life a sort of already discussed matter, does anyone here have an opinion about the power supply tube upgrade of the CD7? Is it worth the while namely sound wise?

hello Amusb , before the power supply upgrade I already replaced all the 6H30P tubes by the DR versions .Absolutely worth the price , more dynamics .After the power upgrade I
have now two DR tuhes as spare , and directly replaced the penthode regulator tube by a NOS Tungsol 6550.Wow another step forward heavensgate .So DO THE POWER SUPPLY UPGRADE.
Regards from the Netherlands Hans
Yes, definately, go for it.
Thanks guys.
Anyone knows of a reliable and reasonably priced source for the DR version tubes?
Cheers from Paris.
Amuseb ...

ARC has all the tubes you need in stock. Also, as others have said, the power supply upgrade is well worth the nominal cost. Get the upgrade and new tubes at the same time. Hmm ... I wonder what the shipping cost will be from France?
Thanks Oregonpapa.

Do ARC also sell out of manufacturing tubes such as the DR or the NOS 6550's?
I thought they were only selling tubes that are still available from existing manufacturers and their current tube types.

It would cost a lot to ship to the US and back and the local rep in France takes 450 euros for the upgrade (a hefty equivalent to 600 USD)...
Again , it's not a ton of money in the perespective of a good hifi system but yet it's not a given either.

Thanks for anymore comments if one has them.
hello Amuseb send me an Email at jg.kaspersen@kpnmail.nl
I have pictures to install the power supply upgrade
hello Amuseb , not interested , if you can do the upgrade yourself by bying the parts needed , or know somebody who can do it for you , you will save a lot of money , as I know that ARC France is asking crazy prices ( same as in Germany )You will need two resistors , a tubeholder ,a 6550 tube and some wiring .Time to install about half an hour .I got the upgrade as service in Holland , so i 'm able to help other ARC people .BTW I don 't sell parts .
Regards Hans ( Netherlands )
Hi Hansk46, just noticed your response here... sorry.
Thanks again and I'll immediately send you an email!
Cheers and good luck tonight in the Euro, we're crossing our fingers for your team.
Hello, now the player would also sometimes make this spinning noises on some CDs.
Any thoughts?

Also, I spoke to ARC about the power supply UG of the CD7 and they say this is needed essentially due to a design issue of the dual 6h30p tubes in the original CD7 design. Seems a bit awkward to me to have to pay and/or tweak yourself something like that in a unit that is so expensive instead of having ARC do it for free or a recall the original units.
Elberoth2, I can't find the Allen key that opens up the 4 little screws holding the plastic cover of the rails. Would you know what I should be looking for?
For people interested in maintenance Philips CD-PRO 2 laserunit as also used in ARC CD gear google with the following :
Philips maintenance instructions premium 10501
Its free

regards Hans ( the Netherlands )
Thanks Hans for all your help with the CD7. Highly appreciated.

Now this spinning noise (other than the ticking noise that is as it has been before) is almost constant, unless someone here has a better idea, I'd have to take this unit for a repair, hopefully somewhere where I don't have to break my piggy to be able to afford it...
Must admit it's slightly disappointing to have such a high end component fall apart on you so quickly.

All have a good musical weekend.
Amuseb, I checked the on-line manual. As an owner of the ARC CD-8, a $10,000 piece of gear, I would need to have my head examined if I fiddled with the Phillips transport -- or anything else in the CDP innards for that matter. Maybe for someone with experience and training, repairing the CD-7 is a "no brainer." But for me -- if I had concerns, back to the factory the CDP goes. I'm not even sure the problem with your CDP is a job for an ARC service center.

Amuseb, I rarely if ever have posted negative comments on A'gon, but I can't help but being surprised this OP has gone on so long. Unless you have experience and training, and after having checked the Phillips manual, I am puzzled why you want to fiddle with the CD-7. It's an expensive piece of gear that still commands respect in the audio world. I gather that Euro repair costs are expensive. Sorry to hear that. But there's an expression used in the States that goes, "cheap can be expensive."

Sorry to harp here, but I realize that I answered your OP about dropping a 6550 tube into the CD-7 power supply. Again, I am surprised. As I said in your other OP, I used to own the upgraded CD-7. The upgrade calls for a 5881 tube in the power supply. Why would you drop the wrong tube into the player unless you checked first with the factory??? Maybe the Euro upgrade is different if your country line current is 220v???? Or maybe the fcatory said ok. If so, my apologies in advance.

I have an idea. If the Phillips transport can be easily pulled without messing with mechanical or electronic connections, perhaps it would make sense to either order a new transport and drop it in, or if that is too expensive, just send the transport back to the ARC factory in the States or maybe the Phillips factory in Europe.

Sorry to wax on and on here, but I have great respect and pride for the American workmanship that goes into making ARC products. As I said above, it's a shame to fiddle with a fine instrument like the CD-7 if you are not trained and experienced.

I sincerely apologize if I am coming off judgmental and negative. I mean no disrespect. I just love ARC gear -- that's all.

bifwynne, thanks for your feedback...

I don't think that taking off the cover screws with a Philips screwdriver then doing the same with 4 screws of the plate and then to the 4 Torx screws of the transport plastic cover is calling for substantial engineering background. I have not fiddled with anything further nor I had in mind to do so.

And yes, I'm disappointed that such a unit after a few thousands of hours falls apart.

And yes, I'm also disappointed that I have to pay for the power supply upgrade which is a design failure of ARC, as explained to me personally by Calvin.

And yest, the costs of repair out of warranty in France, where I live, are outrageous and I think this is another failure of ARC to not be able to control the behavior of the people who represent them over seas. This isn't what I'd expect from a market leader towards its customers.

And the worst part of the failure, more even than the cost, is having to send the unit somewhere for repair which takes a long turn around time and in the meantime I just can't listen to music.

Bottom line, I love how the CD7 sounds but I think some aspects here, both commercial and technical, cold have been handled in a more customer friendly manner.

Sorry for being grumpy at your beloved manufacturer but this is what I'm feeling.

Enjoy the music.
Sorry, forgot the 6550 matter...

This idea came to me from people who have actually done it. I'm by no means an expert who would have come with such a thought from scratch.
Your posts on my other thread indeed put the doubt in my mind and I'm verifying if indeed this is possible to do.

Again, I had no intention of bypassing the instructions coming from the big leader.


I'm married to an American lady hence know and respect all that is American workmanship, culture, etc (maybe excluding the food...).
Amuseb, sorry if I came off as the "Ugly American." Sorry also about your trouble.

My experience in the States is that the ARC organization has bent over backwards to provide excellent service and support. Check my thread where I passed along a situation where my amp, still under warranty, had a blown bias resister. ARC sent the local authorized service rep to my home that night and fixed the amp in 45 minutes. My cost -- zero! I tipped the tech for his coutersy. Some service, huh??

I suggest that you call Cal back and tell him what's going on. I know he'll do what he can to help out. Unfortunately, your problem is that you live across the pond so to speak and that complcates everything and makes even the ordinary cost $$$$.

Please report back how you make out. Tell Cal that Bruce sends his regards and ask if the timing has changed regarding when ARC will start doing the Ref 5 SE upgrade. LOL

Cheers and good luck.
No worries Bruce, I probably am also a bit tense as in-laws are vising here from Allentown, PA...

From what I know of the local ARC rep, the chances of him coming to fix my CD7 in the middle of the night or even in broad day light are smaller than the chances the supreme court will reverse its call on the Obamacare

I'll surely give Cal a call on Monday, as soon as the time difference between Paris and Plymouth permits; will make sure to pop your name in the conversation.


You should have mentioned that your wife's family hails from Allentown. That's practcially in my backyard. I live in the Philly burbs. Don't know how feasible this idea is but here goes.

The ARC service rep I'm thinking about lives in Elkins Park, PA. Cal can give you his contact information. The tech's first name is Dan and he works with Cal and Chris all the time.

So here's the idea. I bet Dan can fix the unit and do the upgrade too. He is very accomodating. Anyway, check with Cal and talk to Dan. If your in-laws can bring the CD-7 back to the US with them, it's about a 45 minute drive from Allentown to Elkins Park. Heck, Dan might even drive up to Allentown if you pay for his time and miles.

After the unit is fixed, your in-laws can either ship it back or bring it back on their next visit. Hopefully, replacing or fixing the affected parts in the transport may not be too big a deal. This may hurt a bit, but it might just be easier to buy a new replacement from ARC and have them send it to Dan. He can bring the new transport with him to Allentown and one, two six, he's done. I gather the PS upgrade is a snap and the drop in of the transport a 30 minute or less job. I bet Dan would spend more time in the car then with the CD-7.

If this doesn't work, maybe something in the middle, like Dan fixing just the transport and have the PS upgrade done where you live. Anyway, talk to Cal and Dan and see what you can arrange.

Let me know how this works out for you. As you see, the ARC community is a like family.

Good luck.
Amuseb - I'm surprised you haven't solved your problem yet.

Why don't you get a brand new CD-Pro2 transport mechanism from ARC (or any DIY vendor in Europe) and replace it yourself ?

This is a 10 to 15 minute job, no soldering necessary, you just need to remove 4 hex screws that are holding the transport mechanism, and then reconnect all connectors (from what I remember there are 4 or 5 connectors total).

That will solve all problems you are experiencing, as the new mech will come with a new servoboard.

You can contact DAISy for the ne CD-Pro2 transport - they are the OEM CD-Pro2 supplier and have their warehouse located in France:


A complete new transport mech will cost less than a return trip of the unit to the US.
Bruce, thanks for the Allentown connection idea but I think that sending the unit back and forth to the US would be very cumbersome. Only the thought of sending this big box with my in-laws back to the US makes me sweat, namely after what my mother in-law had to go through the time she brought over to Paris a King Cobra 3 wood I had ordered in the US... her experiences with security, customs, etc will be told forever around the family Christmas table while I feel bad and sorry...
Maybe we'll just keep your proximity in mind for a little audiophile encounter the next time we're visiting PA...

Elberoth2, indeed, it's taken sometime to take action. First of all there was only the ticking noise and speaking to ARC, Cal and the their service manager, they suggested to just leave it alone as they thought the issue wasn't serious ("it could happen that the transport ticks when looking for the next track"). Now the spinning noise is more serious (it's that one side of the disc the CD seats on is lower than the other and it touches the metal body of the transport when spinning) so since yesterday I just turned off the unit until it's fixed.
Looking for a transport in France brought zero result (believe it or not) and I have to move forward on ordering it from another EU country.

Can you remind me, from your knowledge, if the cd-pro2 is a straight on one-2-one replacement in the CD7 that doesn't call for any SW/HW modifications on the COTS unit?

Regards from a sunny Paris.
elberoth2, I guess replacing the cd-pro2 is a straight forward drop in that doesn't call for any specific ARC SW modifications or such, isn't it?
Yes, it is plug and play.
Thanks elberoth2.
BTW, I spoke to ARC and they claim they "modify the cd-pro2" but I don't really believe them and assume this is said for commercial reasons only.
I have to take my words regarding ARC back.

Actually, the cd-pro2 isn't a drop in replacement as the CD7 version needs a connector on position CL16 for the clock signal, this connector isn't part of the standard cd-pro2 transport sold by daisy or any of it's resellers.
Elberoth2, have you seen cd-pro2 units that come built in with the CL16 connector on the PCB?
would you know where I could get those?
hello amuseb , saw on the layout of the powercontrol board of Philips that there is an optional 16Mhz connection , this is the one ARC is using , It says in the document :
configuration option connecter X1007 not stuffed ( default )
connector can be stuffed if 16Mhz is needed.In your case you can use only the mechanical part of the unit , and still use the ARC board .
Hello Amuseb , as I think you have a mechanical problem , you can order only the mechanical part of the assembly ( called VAM 1254/21 , source daisy-laser )The PWB ( power control board ) original stays in your CD player .Remember
the laserunit is very sensitive to static discharge , but can easely be done by somebody who knows to handle.So no problem with the CL16 clock signal
Regards HansK
Thanks a lot Hans for your continuous support on this case. It's highly appreciated.
I dropped the player this morning at the techinican's for the PS upgrade and the PCB swap on the transport unit.
I'm crossing my fingers...
How did your CD7 turnout after the work that was done ?
hello Rugyboogie,

The transport was fixed. For future reference, the COTS transport isn't a plug and play in the ARC gear. The PCB plugs are modified by ARC.

The CD7 after the 5881 mod is better and even much (much) better when using a 6550 instead, IMHO, and the NOS the better.
I currently have a TS Grey Plates but when I heard what it's Black Plates sister did to my Ref5, I'm now awaiting another of those to arrive so I can plug it in the CD7.

Enjoy the music.