Skipping CDs

I don’t buy or play that many CDs these days but when I do they are often compilations that tend to be on the long side (70 minutes plus). I’ve had a recurring problem with these longer CDs skipping and sticking towards the end which I thought was down to my elderly player but I’ve just bought a brand new (pretty decent) CD player and it’s still happening.

Does anyone else have this problem? Is there a solution?

Not really a solution but I found with a few CDs that skipped in a standard CD player they were fine in my iMac (could be the vertical orientation of the player maybe?) So I was at least able to rip them.

Edit - or maybe computers have better buffering?

Having just spent £300 on a new CD player that WhatHiFi reckons is the business I’m just feeling a bit deflated that it doesn’t work any better than the one I was ready to take to the tip.

Although I don’t have that many 70 minute CDs, I can’t recall any specific issues like this when I have played any. Could the discs just be a bit dirty/damaged/old? Or is it happening on too many to be a coincidence?

No, they’re brand new and it’s happening on more than one. The only common feature is that they are all over 70 minutes long and they skip near the end. I had assumed it was something to do with the mechanism on my old player but as I say it just happened on the brand new machine that arrived today.

Strange. Do they only skip when played in full? What happens when you insert the CD and skip straight to one of the last tracks?

I’ll try and make a point of playing a long CD sometime soon to test it out

Well that’s annoying

I might try skipping forward to the tracks at the end - I haven’t done that before.

STOP PRESS: it still skips.

You can fix skipping CD’s with toothpaste

You probably have dry rails for the laser transport. Seems to be fairly common - 70min + CDs are in the minority, so if the tracks that the laser travels on lacks lube at the end it can cause the CD to skip towards the end of the disk.

Get some lube on a q-tip and give it a try!

Even with a brand new machine?

Yeah - it’s unlikely to be the laser itself on a brand new machine. Most likely when they manufacture and test the units they do it on a ‘standard’ 45-60min disc assumption. The end of the rail can dry out if its not moving to the extreme all the time. It’s bit like a block of cheese - the corners dry out first.

It’s worth a try I guess. Could just return the machine and get a new one - might just be unlucky…

I’m not keen to start poking around inside a brand new machine. Should have tried what you suggest with the old one though!

Get the complaint into the retail outlet you bought it from. The manufacturer will likely have a response and should get the situation fixed. It’s shit luck to be honest, if you had played all the faulty discs in the previous player I would have wondered if that wasn’t damaging the final segment somehow but if they’re new then that isn’t the case.

I spent a serious amount of money on a CD player which wouldn’t play certain cds because they weren’t produced to the redbook standard (boring boring boring)…fundamentally I wanted a CD player that would play my cds so they took it back (after testing at the manufacturer revealed the issue) and I got a new one which we demoed before I took it home.

Tl;dr - tell ‘em and see what they say

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I’m going to try it to with a couple more long CDs - as you say, if it’s not working still they’ll just have to replace it. It’s not a super expensive model but it’s a Marantz CD6006 which won the WhatHiFi award for the best in its price range (rrp £349). I reckon playing CDs to the end ought to be part of its basic specifications.

Normally I would do this straight away, it’s just with it being essentially exactly the same problem as with the old one I wondered if I was missing something somewhere.

I’m interested in what you say about the old player damaging the discs - the one I tried the new player with today had been played once on the previous player (the only time it had been played at all from new) and had skipped in the same way. Do you think that might have damaged it? Would any damage to the disc be visible?

That’s a nice CD player, my dad has it I think - does it have the USB input so you can use the dac for your digital input?

Take some previously skipping cds to check in store if you replace it but there will be someone at marantz who will very likely have some input and a fix. Hope the guy at the shop isn’t a helmet, those dudes can be a nightmare.

I got it from Richer Sounds - they’re usually ok.

I think I might try a genuinely 100% new disc. Maybe I’m being really dim but I wonder if the laser on the previous player could have damaged the playing surface if it wasn’t moving across the surface of the disc?


I’ve been waiting for this - surprised it took so long.

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STOP PRESS: I gave the disc that was skipping before a clean and it now seems to play ok. There was nothing visible on it, and it had only been played once before but I wonder if with a long CD where the data goes right to the very edge of the playing surface it might be more likely that you leave a little trace of oil from your fingers at the very outside. It’s pretty much impossible to pull a disc out of a card folder without touching the very outside of the playing surface a bit.

Good news seems to be that my new CD player is now working ok. Bad news seems to be that maybe I didn’t need to buy a new CD player.