Unfortunately Creek Audio like many other brands are at the mercy of large laser manufacturers when we build CD players. Back in the 90s when we made the CD60 it used a Philips laser that was built to a very high tolerance. To date I think we have only had maybe 20/25 units back for service with laser related issues.
Laser issues are a big problem for all Hi-Fi manufactures these days. The main reason for this is the producers of the lasers used in CD/DVD transports are now working to a much lower QC tolerance level. The end result for the likes of Creek, Arcam, Cambridge Audio and others is that brand new CD players can pass our own QC reading errors of >1.2mm and seem to all purposes a fully working player that should give years of enjoyment. The sad reality is that modern lasers might only have enough light output to pass QC but age very quickly or simply stop working altogether shortly after installation.
It leaves the end-user with a bad taste because, as they rightly see it, a new unit they have worked hard to buy should work without problems for years to come. It also leaves us with a big problem, as consumers see it as a faulty Creek product and therefore it must be either poorly designed, or carelessly made; nothing could be further from the truth. In the past 6 to 8 years 95% of all faults with CD players have been related to the lasers and not of our design or brand.
This leaves us with very limited options, as changing suppliers mid-production would mean redesigning the unit from the ground up, with the exception of the DAC. Plus, there are no guaranties that the new supplier would have any better tolerance levels. Over the past years we have tried almost every supplier on the market. In fact, the laser we now use in the Evolution 2 and Destiny 2 is the most reliable laser we have found since the CD60.
The other option we have is to provide the best possible support for our customers that we can.
As you can see there is no ideal solution, but we try our hardest to make sure that once you have joined the Creek family we will fully support you during your time of ownership.
Posted in: CD Players