I have the same problem since the early beginning after purchase. I'm very upset with NAD for the zero-value technical service in Italy. After 2 months they gave me back my C541 with new defects (the tray now doesn't work properly). They have tried - they said - different optics without fixing the problem. Does anybody know if a compatible optic / tray exists?
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The blue lines you mention should flash when trying to find the 'Table of Contents' of your CD, even if a CD isn't loaded. If when a CD is loaded and these lines flash for a while without any CD info e.g track no. / disc length then it's more likely that a problem has occurred with the laser. Various NAD CD players use the Sony KSS-213 Laser unit and for some reason particularly with NAD CD players, they tend to drift out of calibration over time so what i usually do when i come across this is very finely adjust the pot trim on the laser itself and testing a CD between adjustments.
Given that the machine will read disks it has written itself but not play regular discs, I suspect the lens assembly is slightly out of alignment and needs adjusting. This is not normally something you can do at home unless you have the correct test gear. It will need to go to a repair shop.
One thing you can try before that is to clean the lens. Buy a quality (Scotch 3M, Philips ) cleaning disc and try it. Could be it's only a speck of dust on the lens.....
if i'm right it will have the sony mechanism so if you take the lid off and unscrew the 2 screws, 1 at either end of the cd clamp and remove it, you should see part of a large cog just under the front of the cd tray, try turn this clockwise and the tray should open. once open, you should be able to see a small plastic cover, loosen this slightly and replace the belt as this is prone to slipping on this mechanism stopping the cd tray from opening and also clamping the disc properly when closed.
hi, i've had a few nad C541i's and not so long since the sound on one of them cut out for milliseconds and on some occasions the sound would make the noise very much like a severely scratched vinyl record, i thought it was a faulty laser so i tried another KSS-213C laser out of a scrap kenwood and the fault persisted. to cut a long story short, i took the main PCB out and there were various dry joints. once these were resoldered i was blessed with a fully functioning player. hope this helps?