Worth fixing?

I have a Rotel 951 CD player paired with an Arcam alpha7 amp and Paradigm speakers. One speaker cuts in and out occasionally. (Which doesn’t happen with the turntable). Swapped it with an Onkyo CD player and problem solved so it’s clearly the CD player issue.  But it has some sentimental value. Ideas about what the problem might be and is it fixable by me.  Or should I junk it. 


Simply put, this was a budget unit from new and it’s a poor idea to invest more money in it ,

The FMV of the unit in working order is a nominal amount that faces expensive pro  tech time costs at prevailing rates. Add in the further cost of a replacement laser unit (…if you can even still source another one ,,,) and you under water cost-wise from the get-go.


Accept that it has hit its end of useful life and the expected repair costs kinda kills a reason to plan any repairs,  so just move on. You can easily find a better unit for the expected amount you will face to attempt repairs.

I`ve been there, and done that.

Agree with prior post. Unless its over a couple of grand, brand new, not worth fixing.

Look at current models from Rotel, Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha.

I had a nice basement system including a Classe Tuner 1 and a Classe CA 100 amp.

When the tuner failed, I left it with the repair shop and after a month they said it needed a part that had become unavailable. I looked up the part and it had been made in Europe and out of production for a while. So I bought another Classe Tuner 1 used.

Some years later, the CA 100 amp lost a channel. After three months, my repair shop said Classe had changed ownership and no longer supported repair of pre-acquisition products. So I replaced it with a used working unit.

I eventually gave the system to a son in college. When he moved and threw it all away, I didn’t feel too bad.

Of course, I never bought another Classe product.

Get a new player. Audio Lab, Pro-Ject or new Rotel. Just a few examples in this category.  

Could be just dirty connections. Try cleaning RCAs & IEC. Happened to me for my LFD phono stage. It was my IEC, I just kept plugging & unplugging my power cord & it was fine & has been fine since. Mike Morrow (cables) advised me of this for an issue of noise from my LFD which helped before I had the other issue. My LFD was bad, it was just all distortion.

I had 2 old Rotel amps not working and posted them very cheap. They both sold quickly and the money went towards other equipment. Can’t hurt to post it as working /needing a repair and get a few bucks for it ….

Also agree that ripping cds and getting the up scaled quality is the way to go regarding cd’s in general

Best of luck to you 


I like @vinylvin 's suggestion to try cleaning the contacts.  A zero cost approach to the problem is a good starting point.

Only YOU know the sentimental value of this unit.  I spend one day a week with my tech of 25 years doing exactly that -- keeping old stereo gear with an emotional attachment to the owner(s) from ending up in the dumpster.  I refer to it as my "involuntary not-for-profit organization" in that we bring in about $1 for each $3 we spend taking care of business.  We make sure the customer is informed of "current market value" of a "questionable" piece and let them decide if they want to make the investment.  It's pretty rewarding to see grown up's brought to tears when a deceased family member's, or close friend's unit comes back to life.  Or, push the power button on piece that went to college with them and survived multiple divorces, light up and play music once again.

IF the cleaning does not solve the problem, I'd suggest contacting someone in your area that does repairs, and see what their opinion (including a rough price range for the repair) and see if your attachment to the unit exceeds this price.  $300 spent on a piece with a "current market value" of $59 (in working order) is $241 spent for sentimental reasons.  I can think of worse ways to spend money.

@jwei. I invested $80 for a repair shop to fix my Pro-Ject P1.2 turntable which it turned out needed a motor no longer made. Won’t make that mistake again. 

@waytoomuchstuff.  I did clean the contacts and checked the cables,  I’m definitely not $300 worth of sentimental. 

Off to the recycle bin it goes.   Thanks everyone. 

hmmmm.... if the unit does something or does something in a way that no more modern unit quite does, i’d move heaven and earth [within affordability or availability of fundage] to fix it. case in point, i have an old DBX CD player, unfortunately parts are not available to fix it, but it did something NO OTHER cd player before or since would do, it had a dynamic range adjustment [expand or compress], a stereo image adjustment [ditto] and an impact adjustment [made musical leading edges sharper], those were very handy features, sometimes i had to listen to music when people were close by and i didn’t want to disturb them at night, so i’d dial back the dynamic range. on some old Elvis CDs the PTB decided to record them in very narrow stereo, so i’d use the stereo width adjustment to fix that.

i also have an old Koss ambience enhancement box that when it worked back in the day, it gave me a pretty fair [for primitive digital] approximation of a virtual room behind my listening position. cool. same thing though, no parts available to fix it. a pity. but if there were parts i’d go into hock restoring them to playability. so if you like your old Rotel CD player for similar reasons, go for it.

@vinylvin I agree. Try cleaning, swapping. 



Did you swap interconnects to see if the problem swapped channels?


Did you use the same interconnects with the replacement player? 


I sold a guy an integrated and tested it with/for him. He called when he made it home and said one channel stopped working. I told him to do some testing (swap cables) and return for a refund if he couldn’t figure it out. It was the cables. 

Good luck, let us know…

You should just get a newer Rotel RCD-1572MKII, you can find them for around $1,200.00 or try to find a new older RCD-1572 I have 2 of them and I paid around $700.00 for each, just take your time and you can find some deals on demo models from many different brands.

Wish it well, and replace it with an Audiolab 6000CDT…..great unit, but transport only…..you didn’t mention if you had a DAC

When I finally get rid of a piece of equipment, I thank it for it's service. Sounds weird, but it makes me feel less guilty. And FWIW, if you thrift or recycle it, there are hobbyists that love fixing stuff on their own time.

Could just be a cold solder joint……..

Worth opening the hood to check…? 

Update. I believe I have been blaming the wrong device. The new CD player also started doing more or less the same thing.  Took @uncledemp ’s advice, recnnected the Rotel and started switching cables around. I think the issue is in with the Arcam receiver on CD setting connecting to the left speaker.  (Turntable setting doesn’t have this problem).  Does that seem plausible ?  

I switched  to the SP2 connects and  both speakers work.  Might actually sound better. Since I only have 2 speakers this isn’t a problem.  Or is it.



Glad you narrowed it down! If it sounds good I’d let it roll, but I’m sure seasoned members will have some better informed input. 


recnnected the Rotel and started switching cables around. I think the issue is in with the Arcam receiver on CD setting connecting to the left speaker.  (Turntable setting doesn’t have this problem).  Does that seem plausible?

Entirely plausible and sounds fairly likely given what you’ve said.  Also, Arcam does not exactly have a sparkling reputation for reliability, so there’s that.  Maybe it’s time to start thinking about upgrading the Arcam if that’s really the source of the problem. 

Not worth fixing.  Same thing happened to me, but the transport device gave out.  Wrap it up and keep it down the basement as a memento to fond memories....If you don't have the space be wise and recycle the unit...

Clean the amp with deoxit.  Especially the switch that makes the problem when you try it. Especially clean the potentiometers deoxit will do a great job I. The deoxidizing department.  

I purchased Rotel CD player in 2009 @$750. I think, at the time, the player was the only player Rotel made. So, though I don't remember the model No., you can get the info from internet search if you want. Anyway, 5 years- service, then the Rotel died, that's it! Right before the death, I got Musical Fidelity CD player as used @ $750 again. The M.F. player still work flawlessly. M.F. usually put manufac. date in rear side. The player was made in 2003!!!. For 20 year use, nothing wrong at all!!!

Maybe, 20 -30 years ago, Rotel was good audio system, price-wise. I also got a used Rotel turntable, it works but with some hum. The hum is louder than my other tables (Sansui SR-929, Immedia RPM). Tried ground cable modification, etc, nothing worked. Finally I wrapped the table's cable with food-aluminium foil, then the hum become very small. Meaning Rotel seems to use cheap parts everywhere possible. 

Reliability (we talk a lot the reliability with cars) M.F >>>>> Rotel