What's likely to go wrong with a used CD player?

I came close to buying a ARC CD3 that was about 5 years old, had been "well-taken care of" by the owner and he assured he had operated it properly as per leaving it on 24/24. He has been the owner since it was just a few months old. But I just couldn't pull the trigger.

All I could think of is sure it's been problem free for 5 years, but the problems start after I take it over.

So considering the reputation of ARC gear, build quality, yada yada yada, and that hopefully it has had a good home, am I worrying needlessly and passing on what seemed to me to be a pretty good deal.

My primary interest in this player, other than the fact that it is an ARC is I'm looking to upgrade from my Rega Apollo to a balanced CD player to go with my upgraded system of a balanced preamp and balanced power amp.

Thanks for any thoughts,

1.laser may need to be calibrated
2.product may be relatively obsolete compared to newer - and cheaper - items

- if I were you, I'd do a careful audition to make sure it's an upgrade and not a lateral move; can you do an A/B comparison in which both CDPs have been on for a day (to make sure they're both warmed up)?
No, no A/B tests, unless of course I buy the ARC. Which of course then is very likely.

Most probably I'd be getting a properly operating player. So my real question is, considering this particular brand and model, what's the likelihood of anything going wrong for a while given it's already around 5 years old. I don't consider myself a heavy user.

I'm trying to decide if this is a good move vs. let's say saving my pennies for a while and maybe buying something like the MkII that is only a year or 2 old.

sorry Gene mine sold today, the buyer recognized a good deal...sometimes you gotta move quick around here.......good luck
Hello Gene,
I recently sold a Rega Appolo (damn fine sound!).
Wanted to be ready for Dolby True HD (way underestimated its transition from vaporware to reality).
Would love to hear the Saturn (which has quasi-balanced outputs).

As for your question, with moderate use, expect the laser to fail at the ten-year mark.

Purchased a Sony 10-disk changer around 1987.
Needed to replace laser in year 2000.

Otherwise it's still humming along!
The comparison test was accomplished in my system. I tried the ARC CD3 MKII and the Apollo. In my system there was a significant difference. The issue of something going wrong always exists however my choice for sound was the ARC unit. The build quality of the ARC is better. The cost is more so it will be more expensive to repair upon need. The trade off is the better sound justifies the possibility of a pricey repair. Steve
If your looking for balanced connects there are not two many choices. ARC makes great stuff, but they are not good values. However, ARC service has been, while expensive, always there. It will interesting to see what their new owners will do. to maintain that record. To protect your downside I would not pay more then 45% of the original list on the unit. The latter is about what a dealer would allow on a trade in.
One of the main problems with older CD players (2nd hand or not) is that various parts (including transport mechanisms, for example) go out of production, and you end up with something that's hard to repair.

With ARC, I would expect less of that issue, but it's worth talking to them about it before buying used. That happened to me one time--I was about to buy a particular well-regarded CD player, and heard that the transport mechanism was hard to get, called the distributor, and had the information confirmed.