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Who's got the oldest operating CD player?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Matt J. McCullar, Aug 8, 2007.

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  1. I'm not sure who manufactured the first CD player (Japanese market?
    European? American?); was it Sony, or Philips, a combination of two or more

    I first saw a CD player (with a whopping huge price tag) in the early 1980s
    and I forget who manufactured it. I think I saw it at a store called Video
    Concepts in a shopping mall, and the only discs you could play on it at the
    time were all classical music. Those weren't cheap, either.

    These days the manufacturing processes have been debugged enough so that
    it's not unusual for a tabletop CD player to last for quite a while. I've
    been through at least two such players over the years. When these things
    were brand-new in the early to mid '80s, they were economical to repair.

    There are always some iron-horse items. Who has a first-generation CD
    player that is still in use? How often have you used it? Who manufactured
    it? Where did you get it?

    Just for fun!

    Matt J. McCullar, KJ5BA
    Arlington, TX
  2. Dani

    Dani Guest

    I have a Hitachi DA-4000 three beam laser, single cd player, it will
    even "play" Windows 98 cd!! You can hear the information from the cd
    while it's spinning, cool! I paid $ 350 plus tax Canadian in 1985! It
    still works great, but went almost totally dead, just needed a
    thorough soldering, never failed since! I'll never sell it! Dani.
  3. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    I had a Fisher CD player from I think 1985, it still worked fine but I gave
    it away finally.

    I had an old portable CD player too, one of if not the first one to come
    out. It had a separate case it fit in with the battery holder, I think it
    was made by Technics. Unfortunately it never worked while I owned it.
  4. UCLAN

    UCLAN Guest

    I have an operating Sony CDP302 including original remote and manual.
  5. Guest

    I have a Revox B225 (1983) and an original very first Sony Discman
    (also 1983), both in excellent operating condition and used daily. I
    even have the remote for the B225.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  6. GregS

    GregS Guest

    I don't know the model or year, but it was early, I bought a Hitachi unit for
    about $200. I also bought the service manual. I gave the unit to my sister who
    should still be using it. I used it with a DJ setup at a couple times. I had
    to hand hold it in one instance so it would not skip on a heavy foot stomping

  7. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    Sony and Philips both came out with players at about the same time
    (late 1982). I have a Sony CDP-101 which was Sony's first CD player.
    It's actually my only CD player right now. It doesn't have any
    trouble playing CD-Rs, but for some reason it refuses to play a small
    number of my pressed CDs. CD-R copies of those discs work fine
    Andy Cuffe

  8. Meat Plow

    Meat Plow Guest

    I have a 1984 Philips that still operates as did in 1984.
  9. Sharp (Germany), Kyocera, Carver all had vertical units (they were the same
    inside). in the early 80's.

    So basic they didn't even have a counter, just a red LED pointer which gave
    a relative indication of playing position.

    Mark Z.
  10. Gary Tait

    Gary Tait Guest

    My oldest player is a very late 80s/early 90s external NEC SCSI CD-ROM
    drive,that has a base the drive its in, so the player can be taken
    portable, although you need exteral power. There is a place in the base for
    a supposed battery pack. It has a decent set of CD player transport
    controls and track incicator, for a CD-ROM drive.
  11. whit3rd

    whit3rd Guest

    I've got a working Meridian MCD; the model dates from 1984, but
    I'm not sure what the date on the unit is. Don't use it much,
    though; mainly I just go with the iPod.
  12. Madness

    Madness Guest

    My oldest working unit is a Fisher AD-850. An unusual vertical-loader w/
    a November '83 date on the back. It's about maybe 3/4 the width of an
    average audiostack component. Reason being that the player has a
    companion ADP-110 CD holder attached to the right side. Pull-out drawer
    that holds maybe 6 CDs in full-size jewel cases. Except I have it loaded
    w/ CD-R backups in paper sleeves (and it holds quite a few of those!).

    The loading system is very interesting. There's a motorized door that
    looks like an oversized cassette one. It opens forward to about 30
    degrees revealing a slot at the top. You slip a CD in and push it down a
    bit. Then the door begins to close and gradually moves the CD into play
    position as it does. There's also a window on the half opposite to the
    laser position so you can see the disc spinning. Upon ejecting, it opens
    and pushes the CD back up, gradually, so that it can be removed when
    fully opened (kind of like a slot-load CD-ROM).
  13. Guest

    Got a CDP-101 April 1 1983 for only $750 which was $150 below list.
    Saw them a month later in Dallas selling for $1100. The CDP-101 gave
    up the ghost and looked to be having fractures in tracks on the PCBs.
    Didn't seem worth the bother to fix. That early DAC was nothing to get
    excited about but is the same DAC in my PCM-701. Takes audio and makes
    monochrome video to record on a Beta or VHS to record digital audio BC
    (Before Computers) with the same sample and bit depth as CDs. Dang,
    it's almost 25 years old. I remember seeing a vertical disc Hitachi CD
    unit about that time.

    There were 11 titles on 4-1-83, all on CBS / Sony. When somebody asks
    why I have a Barbra Streisand / Andy Gibb disc, well, it was one of
    the first 11 along with Also Sprach Zarathustra, Beethoven's 5th and
    some others I forget. Never liked Springsteen which was one of the
    first 11 but at the time, the discs were $18.50 and I was making
    $11.50. Should have bought it anyway. The name of the format was not
    finalized back then and were sometimes referred to as DAD, Digital
    Audio Disc.

    I DO have a 20 year old CDP-302 fully functional which has the most
    outstanding sled servo I've ever seen. It uses a linear motor - no
    gears - and is FAST to search anywhere on a 60 minute disc in 1
    second. Works great after you clean out that garbage Sony oil and
    replace it with synthetic Nye oil 2. I also remove Sony lube from the
    300+ Sony VTRs we have at work.

    BTW, was there EVER a CD player manufactured in the US?

  14. Tim Schwartz

    Tim Schwartz Guest


    There have been several US made CD players, such as McIntosh,
    California Audio Labs (CAL) and Conrad Johnson. However, every one I've
    seen has had Asian or European mechanisms in them, if not everything
    else (all of the boards)as well. So, I've not yet seen a US made
    mechanism. Even the Wadia that I saw open had a 'professional grade'
    TEAC mechanism as I recall.

    Tim Schwartz
  15. msg

    msg Guest


    My JVC "R-X400 Computer Controlled Sterero Receiver" has a 'DAD' (and no 'CD)
    source switch ;)


  16. clifto

    clifto Guest

    I never noticed that! (Mine's on the floor, hooked to the computer.)
  17. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    I have one of those, but it's not working. It has a problem reading
    the TOC. It plays the TOC area all the way through as if it were an
    audio track (it even displays the time and calls it track 0), but it
    never actually loads the TOC. I have the service manual, but the
    player is stored away at the moment.
    Andy Cuffe

  18. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    The main problem I've seen with the CDP-101 (the 2 I've worked on) has
    been the STK ICs used to drive the lens (focus and tracking), and the
    sled and drawer motors. On both players, the lens would start
    chattering soon after it was turned on. One sometimes ejected the
    disc while it was playing. The ICs are impossible to find, but I was
    able to substitute an LA6510 power op-amp.

    I have a slightly newer Sony with the same linear motor system.
    Technics, and even Fisher made some players like that too.
    Andy Cuffe

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