Has anyone had a laser replaced in a Audio Research CD-3 MKII

Audio Research wants 1806.00 to repair the laser in my CD-3 player.........There's got to be a better way ???   W
That's crazy. I owned a CD3 mkII, isn't that the going price for a used deck? 
There must be a place that has used parts for ARC.

Its crazy, the laser costs about 50.00....So somebody needs to go to school and learn how to fix something instead of replacing a 1500.00 transport because the laser is bad......Boy it would be nice to go back to the good ole days of ARC..............W
Find the particular laser assembly used and go to EBay. Buy it and do the replacement yourself! ARC in the post-William Zane era has become a bespoke company catering to wealthy snobs!
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TVAD;     Thanks for the information, I called them and they seem to be closed for the Corona 19 .....I actually think I can change it but I would need to make sure it was the proper replacement part.....There seems to be quite a few marginal replacement parts......This Philips Pro 2 transport is used in a lot of high grade cd players.....Even some of the better jute boxes......So as soon as I can find the right one, I'll give it a go............W
Beware of some of the ebay replacement parts.  I've replaced the laser drive in my Cary 303/300 three times now over 15 yrs or so.  Instead of buying the part from Cary I tried an ebay seller and the part was DOA.  Tried the same laser drive out of a used DVD player and it didn't fit just right even though it worked and was a noisy POS.  You'll like this - Cary wouldn't warranty the part if I did it myself claiming folks ruined them trying to do the install.  Good luck...is this Will the renoun ST70 builder?  Should be a piece of cake for you.
autospec OP
Has anyone had a laser replaced in a Audio Research CD-3 MKII
Audio Research wants 1806.00 to repair the laser
 That's a ripoff!!!!!!!! 2hr labour at $120 per hr and $150 for the laser $390.

Your  Audio Research CD-3 MKII uses a Philips CD pro 2 mechanism, which has a VAU1254 laser head in it.
If you have patience, are handy using tools and have a bit of electrical skills you can do it your self, in a couple of hours.
Get the laser here

Cheers George
Penhare:    It is me the amplifier builder person......I figured I could do it if I could buy the correct part.....And now George has come along with the people with the correct part.........I hope it all works.............W
George:  Have you done this laser replacing yourself ??   If so I would love to talk to you about it......Knowledge is a great thing..........Will
I’ve done many lasers, not yet on an Audio Research, shouldn’t be any problems from what I saw inside on the net.

Some lasers have a "shorting " ESL protection solder blob on the ribbon connector strip, or sometimes on the sub-board, this needs to be removed, (open circuited) the reason so many diy'er say their new laser they just put in is no good, and blame eBay




Cheers George
George :    Is there any aligning or electrical adjustment to make......I watched a person on You-Tube do it and I would have a problem with that.......Do these lasers have any instructions or information with them ??     How would you know to remove the solder shorting bridge.....Is these anyway I could call you ???    Will
George :     I can see you are not in the US, so it wouldn't be good to call...Anything you can tell me about this laser changing would be of great help.....One of the things you could tell me is a Laser made by Philips, but a New Old Stock better than a new  replacement laser made by someone else .......W

If you want to pay extra, get the genuine Philips ones, I've used the clones and never had a problem with them.

Like I said before are you this guy? If so then you can do it
" If you have patience, are handy using tools and have a bit of electrical skills, you can do it your self, in a couple of hours."
If not then pay someone who is. Not at AR rates

Cheers George
George:     You have been a lot of help on this........I am the tube amplifier builder in Idaho..........Thanks    W
Guessing you're way ahead of the curve on proper workstation grounding & hopefully the laser will also include a precaution note but they can be finicky buggers if you're not careful, especially for the desoldering. 
I am the tube amplifier builder in Idaho..........Thanks W

If you’ve built amps then you’ll be fine, just take pics before each dismantling step, so you then know what went where, there no adjusting, measuring, calibrating to be done, basically "plug and go". 

Cheers George
2 Channel:    This laser seems to plug in , with out any soldering....I put a read out in one of those CD's and I can tell that's changing a motherboard .......About 40 tiny-tiny pins.......but nobody said it was easy...........I ordered a NOS laser last week and now the guy tells me its one of two type............He's the guy selling it, you would think he would know......But he doesn't, so I'll order one from someone else....Right now the world is in stress......I hope we all survive it.....W
Encosystems.net has great expertise with the Philips CD Pro mechanisms. And they sell replacement CD Pro transports and optical pickup units. The CD Pro transports are expensive but are user-installable. You might get lucky and only have to replace the optical pickup.
This is 9 months after your post. I don't know where you got the price for the laser repair but I just had a CD3 completely rebuilt by AR and it only cost $1500.00. An original AR laser runs around $300.00, I am pretty sure they do not repair them if they did it would cost more than a new one. 
I just purchased a replacement laser assembly for my CD-1 from Audio Research for $75.00 plus shipping.  Plan on doing the work myself; not an expensive way to give my old player a few years more life!
Let me first say that Audio Research has changed hands and there repair polices have changed, secondly they repair 5-7 units for me a year....They have maybe found a source for lases now, so they don't have to replace the entire transport......My understanding is also that Philips is not supporting that transport anymore either, but I have found in this world of information we do not always get correct or true information.......I do know that most of the "Chinese made lasers are of very poor quality .....Because I have had some of the on-line repair guys (e-bay) use them with poor results.......So that's all I know for now..........  
The laser assy I purchased from AR seems to be identical to the original in my CD-1, but it is not obvious how to do the remove/replace, as it seems to be attached to a floating assembly.  Don't want to force anything and potentially break parts; does anyone have the instructions on how to do this?

I just contacted AR and for my CD-3 they want 350.00 for the entire assembly. I will probably go for it.



Not a bad price at all. Keep me posted on your repair progress.


Happy Listening!

I’m in the same spot on a CDT-1. Original behavior was skips and errors reading disk. Replaced with eBay laser, player always says “no disk”. Replaced they with official ARC laser, same issue! I feel like there must be some sort of ESD solder blob I’m not seeing? It doesn’t even spin the CD. This is exactly like a Rega unit I repaired, before I realized there was a solder blob that needed to be cleared. Can anyone point me in the right direction?