new laser/assembly for Cary 303/300 cdp

The laser is going south on my CDP giving me a lot of "no disc" messages. Just wondering can the laser or laser assembly be sourced a lot cheaper anywhere else but Cary?
I had a CDP 300 with the same problem. Cary was using Pioneer transports and the glue used to hold the laser cover would fail. Mine came completely off and would not read any cd's. Cary was able to re glue mine and service the player for around $150.
Cary may have had the transports redesigned to their specs. These seem to be the basis of their system: ( (
The SL-710A drive can be found in some very inexpensive dvd players. My Resolution Audio Opus 21 also uses that drive. When mine was having trouble I did a lot of research trying to find the drive at a reasonable price. My research also showed that drive to be a fairly problematic drive.
Ended up buying what was claimed to be an almost new dvd player on ebay that had that drive in it. Sure enough for about $30 I had a like new transport ready for install from ebay.
Unfortunately, I threw the case away or I'd take a look and get you the model number. Google is your friend if you decide on that route.
As for cleaning the lens, I'd take a qtip with a light alcohol dip and swipe it. Be CAREFUL though as it is delicate. You can also get a can of compressed air and blow GENTLY at the lens. Good luck.
thanks Nozz & Timrhu...I'm going to find the part & do it myself. Is it easy to replace the tray with your existing one so the drawer end matches the faceplate or am I way off here? Without taking it apart I can't tell. Thankfully the player still works with some effort reloading discs.
I've used this type: ( and this liquid with both a Q-Tip & the included disc: ( All have worked for me. I've had a couple transports(someone else's) that wouldn't read a disc enough to use the cleaning disc, and resorted to the Q-Tip/alcohol method too.
I haven't removed the end piece from my Opus 21 but did take off the piece from the drive that came out of the dvd player. I don't really remember how difficult it was but the drive is intact so it must've been fairly smooth.
The Apex AD-3201 is the model that uses the DSL-710A drive.

Go for it.
Many thanks Timrhu! I just snagged it. My cdp has played perfectly today (of course) but it's only a matter of time & this is a great find.
My post may be little late , but thought to share my experience with Cary CD player CD-303. CD303 uses Philips drive mechanism model CDM12.1 . It uses Laser Lens Assembly part no. VAM 1202/12 which fits into CDM12.1 drive.
After purchasing from Cary Audio in around year 2002 , within 1 year I had problem with laser lens . Since I am based in India , it was not possible for me to send the CD303 to Cary, so I purchased from local Philips part VAM 1202/12 ( price about USD 35-40) and replaced old defective part. It worked great for 13 years and now about two months back , again the laser lens has gone bad . Philips has stopped production of this part , so purchased Chinese fake from Mumbai (price USD 12.00) but it did not work perfectly well ( "skips " occasionally during play ) . So now I ordered from eBay what is said/claimed to be genuine Philips part VAM1202/12 ( USD52) , still waiting for it to arrive , will see how it goes.
Pehare, if I may suggest, you just find out from your Cary manual what CD drive mechanism it uses , mostly it should be Philips CDM12.1 , and in that case all you need is to replace laser lens assembly VAM1202/12 which are available a plenty on eBay . Just take a search of Philips VAM1202 on eBay and you will see.
In case your CARY CD player CD-303 has has Philips drive model CDM12 , here is a link which may be of interest to you.
thanks Radni I think yours is the older 303/100 or 303/200. I was able to buy a used DVD player off ebay which has the exact part I needed thanks to Timrhu. Now that I have the part the player is doing fine so its a backup at this point.
Oh Yes, mine is 303-100 . Yours being 303-300 is having different drive . You have been very lucky to locate a DVD player with same part for replacement giving a new lease of life to your otherwise very good CD player .
I had the 303/100 years ago & it never gave me a bit of trouble & really liked it, enjoy!

which brand(s) of DVD players uses this drive?
Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
The 303/300 uses the drive out of this as per Timrhu....

"The Apex AD-3201 is the model that uses the DSL-710A drive."

not sure about the 303/100 player...
FYI diy folks - outcome of the laser transplant out of the aforementioned Apex dvd player to the 303/300 is it plays fine but the drawer mechanism snags somewhere & hangs up leaving the drawer ajar about 1". The drawer can be closed w/a slight nudge but it isn't perfect. The drawers are almost identical but must not be readily interchangeable w/each other. The laser drive seems to be a little noisier than the original too. There were slight different physical differences which appeared to be cosmetic between units. The laser drive out of the Apex was dated 2001 which was probably 5 years older than my 303/300. But bottom line it works if you can live w/the drawer hanging up. I'll probably wind up ordering the exact replacement from Cary & swapping it out now that I have practice.
You might try swapping the laser assy into the original drive mechanism that came with the Cary. I have replaced laser these lasers (not SL-710) and they are not difficult. If the original drawer works smoothly, this may be an option.
Thanks Tim! I'll give it a shot. BTW, I saw a Resolution Audio CD50 awhile back for I believe 550(which also has the volume control) & I was real tempted to jump on it. Are those fixable too?
If this is the CD50 you're referring to, it was mine. I sold it for $350 about six months ago.
yes! that's it Tim - a very good sounding player I'm told & w/the built in analog volume control it's tempting.
Much Thanks! for the update- Pehare.
It is good to know that there are some guys still "modding"
cd/sacd players. Our hope is that they nor trade will never go away. Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
Just replaced the laser drive again today, 2 hr job but I'm slow.  Last replacement was done in 2015.  Cary charged me $311 delivered for the laser drive in 2015.  This one I bought NOS on ebay from Taiwan for $75 delivered.  Back in business!  If anybody needs help let me know....Cary no longer does on the phone tech support.....receptionist said you have to email inquiries for tech help....WTF?
Much Thanks! for keeping your player and this post alive.
Happy Listening!
Update, 1 day later the laser drive died after playing fine for 4 hrs the day of replacement.  Upon inspection of the replacement unit it felt lighter and was stamped "B" whereas the Cary unit was heavier and stamped "A" otherwise cosmetically similar.  Does anyone know what those blue ink stamps are on electronic parts.....A stock, B stock?  The replacement no longer spun the disc to read upon insertion of a disc.  Looks like I'll be getting another from Cary, lesson learned.