Vivaldi transport displaying “no disc” sometimes

Hi everyone. My Vivaldi transport displays “no disc” on about 30% of all of my music cd’s. These discs are not copy protected and have been playing fine in the past on my Paganini transport. If the problem is with the laser, then why would it play some discs and not others? I would imagine that it would display “no disc” when reading all cd’s. Is it possible that cleaning the laser would help? Are there any lens/ laser cleaners that anyone would recommend? If is there another solution to this problem without having to send it back for repair, I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks so much!

How old is the Vivaldi transport? Has it been used regularly or only occasionally?

Your transport could now be <11 years old. Even if younger it could be very well used. The kind of issue you cite is often caused by the laser unit wearing. The laser diode reduces in power over time and eventually there is not enough power to read dual layer discs which is why single layer CDs may be read but not hybrid SACDs ( hence your 30% figure).

See if there is a pattern confirming that the problem is with bybrid discs. I f so I am afraid you will need to contact your dealer for the above reason.

I would not recommend commercial lens cleaning devices as there is a chance of knocking the collimator lens from the laser unit. Using an air brush can shift dust that may accrete on a laser lens but I doubt the latter is likely to cause the issue that you give. In any case getting directly at the laser lens is not straightforward and I do not recommend trying.

Although my expectations are above here is afurther thought. You talk about cleaning the laser lens but what about the discs? Take one that won’t read and clean it. In the absence of something like Disc Doctor Miracle CD cleaner I would just use distilled water with a little drop of washing up liquid. Use with a pure cotton pad ( used for makeup removal). Rinse with purified water then blot dry ( don’t wipe) with a lint free cloth.

I guess your cd player is rather old, and played a lot of cds…Then, after some years, the laser beam weakened…It means the problem shall increase over time.
The only one option is changing the laser part in your cd. Not very expensive normally. But you will have to return the Vivaldi to your local dealer…
In the mean time, get a streamer, use it (with Qobuz or Tidal), and by the time your cd player returns, there is a chance you don’t want to use it anymore…

Try a CD lens cleaner CD, if you haven’t done so yet.

Hi Tom,

We don’t recommend the use of lens cleaning discs - at best they tend not to make much difference and at worst they can drag dust onto the surface of the lens and cause more damage.

It’s very rare that disc reading issues are caused by contamination of the optical pickup lens so if your Transport is having issues then I would strongly suggest getting in touch with your dealer and getting the unit back for diagnosis and repair.

Best Regards

Phil Harris

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Thanks for your response. None of the discs are hybrid. They are all standard redbook cd’s and are all perfectly clean. Some of them are brand new out of the wrapper. Looks like I have to send the unit back. Thanks again!

:+1:t2: thanks for your reply!

Will be sending it in for repair, thanks so much!

I got the No Disc message this week with four new to me SACDs exclusively.
The four SACDs not recognized are three of them Ars Produktion, and one Channel Classics.

Up to now all CDs and most SACDs I have work perfectly, although I hardly tried all of my collection yet. The SACDs not recognized by the Vivaldi transport do play in an Oppo Bluray player and as CDs in a normal CD-player.

Being only four up to now and exclusively SACDs I don’t consider this as being a problem yet although I will be keeping a closer eye on what plays and what not. A relatively easy test for me would be to at least try all of my other SACDs, I have about 76 titles currently (some multi disc sets so total of discs will be higher) of which 4 are not playing currently.

Does anyone know the brand/type of the laser assembly that is in the Esoteric drive? I would think of having at least one as backup.

After some years, the laser beam weakened, you have to get it replaced…Normally not expensive, but not convenient ! And these days not even sure they have spare parts…But in the case of dCS I guess they anticipated that…

That depends on where you are economically. I think that many may find the replacement of the OPU for the original Vivaldi’s Esoteric Neo mechanism more costly than anticipated. It isn’t just the cost of the component but labour and transport too.However it is well worth doing. Yes, I expect that dCS have the parts though the model’s replacement by Vivaldi Transport Mk.2 probably indicates a diminishing supply.

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Agreed. Any relatively low-cost part will turn into at least a €/$/£1000 dCS bill in the end because of shipping and labour and maybe distributor margins? I understand this, and of course the unit does get the proper treatment but things tend to get expensive rather quickly. I could spend this amount but welcome some more technical insight if available as has been done regarding the batteries by one other member if information is available. Then I can make an informed decision. As an engineer myself I wouldn’t consider replacement of the laser assembly out of my comfort zone unless specialty equipment/alignment tools are necessary. In the end it’s about increasing the lifespan of your valuable component.

@Phil has already been helpful providing me with a firmware for this unit. Phil could you comment on the availability of laser assemblies?

Now getting this message just very recently on only some discs might give an indication of the laser slowly fading, but I want to be prepared in case it fails more often.

I recall that there is a video on You Tube of the OPU replacement process for this mechanism. However, given that you have the skills, the barrier may not be the ability to replace the OPU yourself but to obtain the component in the first place. I would not be hopeful of finding one on the internet and dCS may be the only practical source these days. Whether or not they are in a position to do this may depend on several factors including existing agreements with your local distributor.

Some mechanisms require calibration after such a replacement which involves test equipment including a special test disc and oscilloscope. I do not know if that is the case here.

Phil will be able to be more useful.

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We do have spare parts to maintain Vivaldi Transports (and should have for the foreseeable future) but we don’t supply parts directly as these units aren’t end user serviceable (so I’m afraid I’m not going to discuss doing so) … but be aware that it’s also not necessarily the OPU itself that may be causing the fault.

Obviously I’m going to recommend that the unit is properly checked over, diagnosed and repaired by us



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Thanks Phil. In the current state I will wait. If it gets worse I will send it in.

Curiosity got the better of me. I opened up the unit (don’t try it at home) and took it a bit more apart than when I changed the voltage. You would never guess: I found two discs lying inside on the bottom in between the drive and the transformers, two different SACD versions of Daphnis et Chloe by Ravel. How they got there is beyond me, maybe the previous owners toddler had found out a special way of loading discs?

Anyways, just checked out what it was like. Did a tiny careful bit of cleaning, minimal dust.
In the mean time, got three of the four discs to play after a power cycle. So now only one not playing, plus one of the found ones (badly scratched).


That sounds like good news and it may appear to have resolved your issue if the discs remaining unplayable are damaged.

*Touch-wood*, in a decade of use, I’ve [n]ever encountered a single case of “No disc” with my Vivaldi Transport. August, I’d say bite the bullet and get your unit properly serviced by dCS.

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They do still play in my oppo bluray player though. My wife jokingly(?) said I could use that from now on since it is obviously better :sweat_smile:
So the discs found inside totally unrelated to anything but strange enough to mention and good to have out. Current succes rate of playing is high enough to keep it like this for a while. Will expect to have it serviced sometime in the future though.