To Repair or Replace

My 1995 vintage CAL Audio Icon II CD player has started skipping and is having tracking problems. The only place I know that still services CAL says it needs a new laser ($350 + shipping). Is it worth investing that much in a 13 year old player or is it smarter to invest the money in a new one? I tried a budget DVD player but it just doesn't have the presence and depth of the Icon II. Thanks in advance--Joe
Dump the Icon, for parts. If you like the Cal Tube sound look for a used Alpha/Delta unit, maybe even one with a 96k mod. I have both an Alpha and Sigma II and it sounds better then my Sony SCD on red book cd's.
An economist would say this is a simple decision. If you can buy something you like just as well for $350 or less, then replace. If something else costs more than $350, then repair.

However, you should also factor in that even with a new laser, you have thirteen years of wear and tear on the mechanical elements of the player, i.e. drawer and disc motor. That would make me a bit nervous. I think maybe you should start shopping around a bit.
Technology has vastly improved with digital. I replace an older Krell with a much newer Marantz because it sounded so much better. I didn't even try the newer Krell digital because my son is in private school and I couldn't afford it even if I liked it.

(All my other electronics remain Krell)

Thanks for all the sound advice. I think I knew the answer to my own question but sometimes you just have to bounce the idea of someone else for validation.
After reading the thread about the Sony PS1 I found one in a local pawn shop for $15 so I'm going to explore that before moving forward. Who knows, I may have just saved myself a LOT of money. :) Thanks again.

Are you brave enough to attempt a DIY replacement of the laser mechanism? I have recently done this, successfully (!!), in my Delta. The most challenging part was finding a source for the replacement mechanism. The cost for parts was about US$80. This mechanism included motors and other mechanical parts that spin the CD and move the laser head.

Some more details can be found in the lower half of this thread (posts by Silica).

Good Luck!

Thanks for the link. Having a background in electronics and a love of tinkering, I'm certainly brave enough to try a DIY replacement. I wanted to attempt this on an old Yamaha CD player I have but ran into the same issue of not finding a source for parts. I'll check it out and see what happens.
Thanks for the suggestion. I decided to give this DIY repair a shot. I ordered the transport from the source you found in the UK and it arrived yesterday (only took 7 days). Using your excellent instructions I successfully swapped it out last night and after only one minor mis-step the ICON lives on. Hopefullly its good to go for another 13 years. Thanks again!