On this day in audio history

Kpatch

Junior Member
From the Writer’s Almanac:

On this date in 1982, the first compact discs for commercial release were manufactured in Germany. CDs were originally designed to store and play back sound recordings, but later were modified to store data. The first test disc, which was pressed near Hannover, Germany, contained a recording of Richard Strauss's An Alpine Symphony, played by the Berlin Philharmonic. The first CD commercially produced at the new factory and sold on this date was ABBA's 1981 album The Visitors; the first new album to be released on CD was Billy Joel's 52nd Street, which hit the stores in Japan — alongside the new Sony CD player — on October 1. The event is known as the "Big Bang of digital audio."
 
Remember not being able to wait to get our first CD-player. It was not unit '84 when dad came home with a Yamaha CD2.

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Can't remember the discs anymore, but remember dad taking a few CDs back because they didn't sound right to him. Instead, he came back with the vinyl versions of those albums.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I didn't hear a CD until around 1986 when my sister started dating a guy who worked at an audio store. I recall his whole system being Nakamichi and the first CD I heard was The Talking Heads' "Into the Gap" ( he let me pick). It blew my mind, because I don't think our family's phono cartridge had been changed in decades and the Elac 50H it was on had seen better days. My own setup was a Soundesign boombox and tapes that were mostly recorded off of the radio, and Aiwa's version of a walkman. He sent me home with copy of U2's Unforgettable Fire recorded onto a metal cassette from CD, which I wore out to the point of needing to splice the tap with scotch tape. To this day I expect there to be a silent gap at a certain point in the song "Bad" off of that album.

In 1988 the family got a Sony CD player but I didn't get one until Christmas of 1992.I was buying records then because they were dirt cheap, but very much preferred listening to CDs until over a decade later. Even now I'm kind of getting back to them as I'm finding I like listening detached from the internet.
 

airdronian

Radar Member
I had a hard time remembering which model I had at first. I bought this and a CD of Joe Jackson's "Night and Day" which was/is terrible sounding. (LP issue is better in this regard, IMO) Think this was in 1985.

In those days the most popular audio/video/music shop was a place called A&B Sound. (RIP) You could shop for CD's but stock was low, poor selection. Back then they were happy to order in a copy of whatever you wanted, as long as it was available.

Yamaha CD-X2

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I had one of these. A Hitachi DA-1000. Had to order it grey market back in the day. Turned out to be not very reliable after a while--that thing was crammed with circuit boards and a lot of adjustment potentiometers.

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I actually still have it, but haven't attempted to use it in over a decade. And back then, it wouldn't read a disc. Denon's first player was the same unit--it's possible Hitachi may have made it for Denon and one other manufacturer. (Memory's fuzzy on that.)

Here's a lengthy page on opening up the DA-1000...

 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I had one of these. A Hitachi DA-1000. Had to order it grey market back in the day. Turned out to be not very reliable after a while--that thing was crammed with circuit boards and a lot of adjustment potentiometers.

View attachment 26680

I actually still have it, but haven't attempted to use it in over a decade. And back then, it wouldn't read a disc. Denon's first player was the same unit--it's possible Hitachi may have made it for Denon and one other manufacturer. (Memory's fuzzy on that.)

Here's a lengthy page on opening up the DA-1000...

And when you're done listening you can warm up leftovers in it!

Hi Fi News has reviewed several first generation CD players in their current reviews of vintage gear column, and it's quite interesting how many of them were different versions of the same players underneath the brand/exterior. Despite my microwave dig I think that Hitachi looks really cool. I have a soft spot for gear of that era as it's what was cool when I was a kid going to stores looking at things I couldn't afford. It's my version of most people's '70s silver-faced receiver fascination.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I always thought the Kyocera disc players were highly underrated, very well made for the money.

Did yours have a ceramic base plate?
No. Just the ceramic rails for the laser assembly. Was still a good unit, using the Sony(!) CX20152 2x oversampling DAC chipset.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Iirc, this was my first go at a CD player. I found it to be a bit underwhelming, and it died and early death.

It oddly made very little impression on me. Strange for such a cool piece of 80s tech, but I barely remember it.


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prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
It’s follow up I remember incredibly clearly. I paid a massive amount of money for it ($699?) on a boxing day sale in 1989. My first piece of serious audio gear. It lasted until I got my Marantz CD-63, which was a dramatically better sounding player, and relegated the Luxman into the backup pile. The Luxman got used again many times, And didn’t leave my possession until 2003.

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Kpatch

Junior Member
Denon DCD1500, circa 1987. The other players I heard back then at friends’ digs made music sound like a glass piano being thrown down an ice stairway in a crystal palace. Couldn’t stand it. Perhaps because friends were listening to a lot of rock cds. The music was bad, the cds were worse. I had stopped listening to rock in the late 70s and was listening exclusively to jazz and classical, mostly on vinyl. A lot of rock in the 80s and 90s on cds was overproduced and glaring, such an embarrassment. However, jazz was a major leap forward ... thank you Threadgill, Air, David Murray, Art Ensemble, Rypdal, et al. Thank you Tower Records in NYC.

But no fatigue with the Denon, no knitting needles jammed in my ears. And was this my first piece of gear with a remote?? I think so!
 
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I've had bad luck with CD players. The Hitachi was obviously not all that good--after a while it would take 5-10 seconds to advance to the next track if I tried to skip one. But I have to say it was still the coolest looking player I've ever owned.

I next got the Sony D5 portable, but used it as my main player. It lasted until it tumbled off the bed at the wrong angle and stripped out the gear for the laser assembly. I did get a new laser assembly, but then ruined one of the ribbon cables trying to get the player further apart. By then they had a slimmer player available and I bought that a few years later. My mother also bought the D5, so I still have hers around.

The Nakamichi OMS-7 was another grey market purchase. I have to say it sounded wonderful...until after a year or so when it started having problems reading discs. I shipped it back to Nak service (California-ish?) and they replaced the laser and did some work on it, but it never worked right after that. It probably needed some sort of alignment. It would play a track and not advance to the next.

Finally in 1988 I got a Magnavox 6-disc magazine CD changer--I haven't used it in a long time, but it never failed to work whenever I hooked it up. Ol' Reliable. It was a pain to load the CDs to play something, but I lived with it for many years.
 
One of the coolest looking early CD players was made by Revox. It kind of had that aluminum/industrial vibe happening
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
My first unit was an early Sony, which died a quick death. Then I got this Emerson after finding out they were re-badged Yamahas!
It lasted for over a decade of constant use! Sounded pretty good too!

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I'd totally forgotten about that brand. We had a VCR from Emerson that was pretty terrible, but...it was my family's first VCR so many movies were brought into my life, however fuzzy, by that brand.
 
From the Writer’s Almanac:

On this date in 1982, the first compact discs for commercial release were manufactured in Germany. CDs were originally designed to store and play back sound recordings, but later were modified to store data. The first test disc, which was pressed near Hannover, Germany, contained a recording of Richard Strauss's An Alpine Symphony, played by the Berlin Philharmonic. The first CD commercially produced at the new factory and sold on this date was ABBA's 1981 album The Visitors; the first new album to be released on CD was Billy Joel's 52nd Street, which hit the stores in Japan — alongside the new Sony CD player — on October 1. The event is known as the "Big Bang of digital audio."

I remember that Sony CD player. I recall it being $1000 or so. I knew someone that had record stores and he said CD's would be easier to ship, store etc.
 
First one in 1984 a Philips CD 104 then in late 1985 an Mission DAD 7000.mission DAD7000.pngphilips cd104.png
 
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