Repairing a Sony MDP-650 Laserdisc player

It took me years to find a decent Laserdisc player in Austria, and a few years ago I managed to get a Sony MDP-650 at a foreclosure auction. I was the only bidder. There is neither supply nor demand for LD players in this country, which isn’t surprising as the system was never really popular here, so barely anyone even knows that these things exist.

Anyway, my player worked perfectly fine for a few years (I just had to replace the belt that connects to the gear lifting the LD at first), but recently it stopped working.

What happened was:

  • The disc gets raised
  • The disc gets lowered (this is how it always goes, so nothing unusual here yet)
  • I press play
  • The disc gets raised again
  • The laser module moves back and forth around 4 times, with about 1 second between each try
  • The disc gets lowered again, the player just displays “disc”

It was the same for CDs and LDs, which made it unlikely for the Laser to be the issue as it was unlikely for both Lasers to break at the same time. I suspected the skew motor, which keeps the Laser in focus, but upon closer examination the skew motor was fine. I did however manage to get the player to play discs by turning the skew motor in a way that the Laser is very low. The player could then read discs for a few seconds.
Thanks to a suggestion by the user rein-o in a thread I posted at the forums I figured out that the discs were at the wrong height, so I found out where to adjust that and got it to a height where the player seems to be working after a few tries. It seems that the platter slipped down slowly over the years and just needed some readjustment.

Spindle of a Sony MDP-650 LD player
I adjusted the height of the Spindle using the little screw on the side.

I hope this helps if you’re experiencing the same problem. I also have a PDF of the Sony MDP-650 service manual, so if you’re in need of that, just drop me an e-mail!

8 thoughts on “Repairing a Sony MDP-650 Laserdisc player”

  1. There is a whole movement of repairing stuff, especially old one that most of us would through away. Did you already heard about Repair Cafés?

    And there is also a web page that collects and provides HowTos for all kind of things:

  2. Hallo, thank you very much for your advice. I had exact the same problem with my Sony MDP 650D Laserdisc player. After adjusting of the position of the disc ‘spinner’, I have inserted a LD for a test. Now, I hear the motor roaring, but the laser doesn’t move as it used to move 4 times to change several position. As far as I know, during the whole operation I didn’t damage anything. Do you know what this might cause? Your advice would be very appreciated. Could you please send a service manual by email? Thank you.

  3. Hi there and thank you so much for this much interesting information, didn’t have a clue that you could change the height in such a manner, now I actually hope that’s the problen. (:
    I would very much appreciate if you have the time to e-mail me a copy of your Sony MDP-650 Service manual , I’m also looking for a service parts list for the MDP-533s. I’ll glady supply you with different kinds of service manuals for Pioneer laserdisc players if you are in need or just for the fun of knowing.

    Thank you very much!!!


  4. I have been trying to get a Sony laser disc working.
    It won’t raise the platter. With just a cd in it, I can reach in and pull the platter up and then it will play.
    I would really appreciate the manual as well.
    Thank you in advance!

  5. Hi,
    I’ve a similar problem with my MDP-650D. The disc spins up 2-3 times and the laser tries to focus, but that’s all. Could you please mail me a copy of the service manual?

    Thank you!

  6. My MDP-650D hasn’t worked for a number of years. Discs go in and out a couple of times and then it stops. I’ll try adjusting the spindle, but would be very grateful if you could email me a pdf of the manual.

    Thank you

  7. I had problem with may sony mdp-v9k ..the belt was broke and i dont know what kind of belt no. to be replace to loading tray belt.. And when i turn on the power just trip and not working ..hñp me to this pls.

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