I bought this TEAC VRDS 25 CD player at ebay about 15 years ago when I did my graduate study at University of Pennsylvania in US. I listed this CD players on the internet for sale a couple times with not so positive experiences. Since I don't need money that bad so I just keep it on the shelf. I rarely turn it on after I start messing around with my Studer A725 CD players.One day my friend Xiang visited me and we tried to compare many CD players. In the end we decided to give the VRDS 25 a try but the CD tray didn't open when plugged in. When the open button was pressed nothing happened except a motor noise. Looks like spending some money is inevitable.
As usual, I started by searching the web for discussions and service manuals. From the discussions I learned that it's most likely the belts. Then I started searching replacement belts and after 3 weeks I received a bag as pictured. I was almost saying the F word when I got this bag. The belt can be easily found at a local electronics store at around USD$1 and I paid EUR$10 for these. Let's just hope these imported belts last longer.
From the information I gathered, the belts used inside VRDS 25 are notorious. They are the Achilles' heel to a such rugged structure. And it's painful to replace them. The information indicated it might take up to 8 hours for the first-timer. I waited for a suitable time slot such that I can focus on it with no interruption.
One evening I had a scheduled ITU-T conference call at midnight and the kids all went to bed around 8pm. A perfect time to deal with this player.
The first step is opening the covers with hex wrenches. There are a total of three covers covering the three sections of the player: The power supply section, the transport and the DAC circuit board.
The next step is to remove the aluminum alloy frame on the right hand side. Before removing the frame the hard cable connecting the panel should be removed first otherwise the cable might stay in the way. Do not force the cable to loose. There are latches are both side of the connector that can be pulled. Pull them up and the cable is set loose. To connect the cable back put the cable end into the connector and then push down the latches. The next thing to remove is the frame and the DAC circuit board on the left hand side. The circuit board needs to be removed first. Besides the 6 screws that fasten the PCB, the BNC connector and the RCA connectors on the back panel also need to be removed. If everything goes well the CD transport can be removed from the chassis. The whole transport module is mounted on a copper plate. There are three soft cables need to be removed. The two hard cable can stay since they do not affect the repair work.
The next thing to disassemble is the symbolic feature of the VRDS system: the CD weight and it's support frame. Only 4 screws need to be removed. The cable can stay as it's long enough not to hinder the future works.
Pull the CD tray out, when it is stopped pull the latch on the track on the left hand side and the tray can be pulled out completely. The first belt is now ready to be replaced.
the second belt is much trickier to work with. It makes you to say the F word when you see it the first time. Firstly a mechanism that push the CD up needs to be removed by removing 3 screws. pull the cylinder up the and the module should come out smoothly.
Here comes the big boss.
The replacement belt needs to be mounted on a cogwheels set. There are two safety pins need to be removed in order to take the cogwheels set out. There is a micro-switch also needs to be removed. I don't have a good method to remove the safety pins except using a needle-nose pliers to push them out. Be careful or the pliers will go directly into your finger and that's PAINFUL.
After both belts are replaced just put everything back in the reverse order. It took me about 3 hours for the whole process. There was a washer left on my work bench. I consulted the service manual and figured it belongs to the cogwheels set. I took the CD player apart the next day to put the washer back and this time it only took around 1 hour.
The construction of the VRDS 25 is very sturdy. It is even stronger compared to the already solid enough Studer A725. If a Studer A725 is a Mercedes Benz then the VRDS 25 is a M1A1 tank. If the sound quality can be judged by the build quality the VRDS 25 will stand out far beyond the A725. I don't know what went on with my VRDS 25 but the coating on the CD tray became sticky over the years. I used gauze and alcohol to remove the coating and they did the job pretty well.
Hope after this surgery the VRDS-25 can stay healthy for the next decade. The price for a new Sony KSS-151A laser head used by the VRDS-25 is sky-high now. But there is a secret method to swap the laser diode only. The laser heads are available at Taobao. I am considering to get a few for stock. I don't use the VRDS-25 much hence the laser system still run fast and stable. I would not worry about the laser head in the near future.