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I have a Denon DVD-2930. Used it primary for CD/SACD playback in my HT setup. And it works fine. The only drawback is that it couldn't play DVD-Rs. After a few minutes the player will just freeze. The player is also very noisy in general. Updating the firmware improves stability but I've never got DVD-Rs to play. It's not an issue for me because I don't use it to play movies. But since I have too many DVD/SACD players. Why not chance it and try replacing the laser?
So in the end I've ordered two lasers from e-bay. Purchased a soldering station and a earth wrist strap from Jaycar. And went on replacing the laser.
With a new laser. I'm surprised that everything still works. Not only that, DVD-R discs seem to work now. And the unit is a lot quieter. So the minor hassle I had with DVD-R turns out to be an aging laser, a laser that's in use for only 183hrs..
Follow the steps below to replace the laser.
Unscrewing the player and removing the optical unit is easy. Here are the steps I did (from memory) *:
I've no idea if it's correct to go into Test Mode and reset the laser numbers. But I did that anyway and everything seemed to work. You must reinitialise the player after resetting the values. Else it will not play anything at all. Refer to the service manual on how to get into test mode, how to read the laser values and how to save them.
The new laser's value is 3025 for me, but I assume every laser unit is different. Time will tell how long this second. For a $10 AUD part, not that bad..
* Disclaimer: Of course you do this totally at your own risk!