Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

The History of the CD Player

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 7:32:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

I am looking to write a white paper on technological development and
continuous improvement. I would like to use the CD player as an
example. Specifically I am interested in the small incremental changes
that take place every model upgrade that at the time do not seem much
but when viewed over a 20 year period they are amazing.
Can anyone help me find a history in pictures?

More about : history player

Anonymous
October 14, 2004 11:47:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Unfortunately, much of the developement since about 1989 has been to reduce
cost, not to improve sound, function, or reliability. This would make an
interesting aspect to your paper, however.

Mark Z.


<presspley@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1097793162.537275.138450@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>I am looking to write a white paper on technological development and
> continuous improvement. I would like to use the CD player as an
> example. Specifically I am interested in the small incremental changes
> that take place every model upgrade that at the time do not seem much
> but when viewed over a 20 year period they are amazing.
> Can anyone help me find a history in pictures?
>
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 7:03:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

presspley@hotmail.com wrote:

> I am looking to write a white paper on technological development and
> continuous improvement. I would like to use the CD player as an
> example. Specifically I am interested in the small incremental changes
> that take place every model upgrade that at the time do not seem much
> but when viewed over a 20 year period they are amazing.
> Can anyone help me find a history in pictures?

You want pictures ? How does that help.

Best technological improvement ever IMHO - so I finally bought a CD player
- *oversampling*. My Denon DCD 1700 is still in use.


Graham
Related resources
Anonymous
October 15, 2004 8:57:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Continous development is an interesting subject to reply to both of
the replies sent. I need photos to show the incremental change in
size. I suppose being an F1 engineer I am more interested in the
proportional size change of the part. I believe it shows real
engineering gains in design.



Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<416F2FEC.9113661@hotmail.com>...
> presspley@hotmail.com wrote:
>
> > I am looking to write a white paper on technological development and
> > continuous improvement. I would like to use the CD player as an
> > example. Specifically I am interested in the small incremental changes
> > that take place every model upgrade that at the time do not seem much
> > but when viewed over a 20 year period they are amazing.
> > Can anyone help me find a history in pictures?
>
> You want pictures ? How does that help.
>
> Best technological improvement ever IMHO - so I finally bought a CD player
> - *oversampling*. My Denon DCD 1700 is still in use.
>
>
> Graham
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 3:49:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Mark D. Zacharias" <mzacharias@yis.us> wrote in
news:2t8l0gF1t2v6jU1@uni-berlin.de:

> Unfortunately, much of the developement since about 1989 has been to
> reduce cost, not to improve sound, function, or reliability. This
> would make an interesting aspect to your paper, however.

Meridian recently released a 20 year anniversary overkill CD player:

http://www.meridian.co.uk/m_800_bro_800DVD.htm

These CD/DVD players have all the latest and greatest features developed
over the last 20 years.



--
Lucas Tam (REMOVEnntp@rogers.com)
Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 5:53:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Presspley wrote:

> Continous development is an interesting subject to reply to both of
> the replies sent. I need photos to show the incremental change in
> size. I suppose being an F1 engineer I am more interested in the
> proportional size change of the part. I believe it shows real
> engineering gains in design.

Well, the size of the box hasn't changed that much ( you need room for the controls and display ! ) but a lot
more of it is full of fresh air now !

Also there's no weight in most modern CD players. My DCD-1700 in comparison is actually quite heavy.


Graham
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 8:14:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In <1097793162.537275.138450@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>, on 10/14/04

at 03:32 PM, presspley@hotmail.com said:

>I am looking to write a white paper on technological development and
>continuous improvement. I would like to use the CD player as an
>example. Specifically I am interested in the small incremental
>changes that take place every model upgrade that at the time do not
>seem much but when viewed over a 20 year period they are amazing.
>Can anyone help me find a history in pictures?

Unless you want to track radical changes in style, pictures of the
outside won't be very interesting because component size is still about
17" wide. Colors? They were mostly black, but we seem to be tiring of
black. Silver and gold seem to be making a comeback.

More interesting would be pictures of the inside. As others mentioned,
transports haven't changed drastically, but the electronics have. Early
units were stuffed from "floor to ceiling" with components. Now, the
units are embarrassingly empty inside. Each model year there are less
and less wires, fewer and larger chips.

Current units tend to have fewer front panel buttons. Buttons have
migrated to the remotes.

I'm not sure where to find appropriate images. If you have the time,
you may be able to find some older units at flea markets or estate
sales. -----------------------------------------------------------
spam: uce@ftc.gov
wordgame:123(abc):<14 9 20 5 2 9 18 4 at 22 15 9 3 5 14 5 20 dot 3 15
13> (Barry Mann)
[sorry about the puzzle, spammers are ruining my mailbox]
-----------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 9:35:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Lucas Tam" <REMOVEnntp@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:Xns9583CA009973Cnntprogerscom@140.99.99.130...
> "Mark D. Zacharias" <mzacharias@yis.us> wrote in
> news:2t8l0gF1t2v6jU1@uni-berlin.de:
>
>> Unfortunately, much of the developement since about 1989 has been to
>> reduce cost, not to improve sound, function, or reliability. This
>> would make an interesting aspect to your paper, however.
>
> Meridian recently released a 20 year anniversary overkill CD player:
>
> http://www.meridian.co.uk/m_800_bro_800DVD.htm
> snip>

I'm sure it's a nice player, but I'll bet it uses the same laser and chipset
as a low-medium priced consumer model, right down to the D/A converters,
though it probably uses "selected" ones. It's likely their only significant
addition is their own analog output stage. It's doubtful their design is
"cutting edge" so much as a refinement of the analog stage.

Besides, I didn't know we were talking "high-end" models, but the
advancement of the general state-of-the-art, which for cd players hasn't
changed much for the past 15 years.


Mark Z.
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 9:45:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Mark D. Zacharias" <mzacharias@yis.us> wrote in message
news:2tcbqfF1ta4iiU1@uni-berlin.de...
>
> "Lucas Tam" <REMOVEnntp@rogers.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns9583CA009973Cnntprogerscom@140.99.99.130...
>> "Mark D. Zacharias" <mzacharias@yis.us> wrote in
>> news:2t8l0gF1t2v6jU1@uni-berlin.de:
>>
>>> Unfortunately, much of the developement since about 1989 has been to
>>> reduce cost, not to improve sound, function, or reliability. This
>>> would make an interesting aspect to your paper, however.
>>
>> Meridian recently released a 20 year anniversary overkill CD player:
>>
>> http://www.meridian.co.uk/m_800_bro_800DVD.htm
>> snip>
>
> I'm sure it's a nice player, but I'll bet it uses the same laser and
> chipset as a low-medium priced consumer model, right down to the D/A
> converters, though it probably uses "selected" ones. It's likely their
> only significant addition is their own analog output stage. It's doubtful
> their design is "cutting edge" so much as a refinement of the analog
> stage.
>
> Besides, I didn't know we were talking "high-end" models, but the
> advancement of the general state-of-the-art, which for cd players hasn't
> changed much for the past 15 years.
>
>
> Mark Z.
>

P.S.

The rules have apparently changed - the Meridian mentioned is a DVD player,
not a plain CD player.
BTW I would agree that the engineering SOA generally has improved - one only
has to look at the circuit boards inside any DVD player to marvel at the
digital processing that is now possible. If we are now to include DVD in
this discussion, which is fine, I will concede the engineering
improvements - but the fact remains that Meridian could not have built the
most essential parts of their 800 player. The laser ass'y, IC chipset and
DVD processing (servo, video etc) were surely made by Pioneer, Philips (ugh)
or another of the general electronics manufactuers. Meridian probably added
a nice box, their own power supply and an analog audio output stage -
perhaps even a gratuitous one, then charged what - perhaps $20,000?

Mark Z.
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 11:32:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 15 Oct 2004 16:57:57 -0700, presspley@hotmail.com (Presspley)
wrote:

>Continous development is an interesting subject to reply to both of
>the replies sent. I need photos to show the incremental change in
>size. I suppose being an F1 engineer I am more interested in the
>proportional size change of the part. I believe it shows real
>engineering gains in design.

There has been *no* incremental change in size. The original Sony
CDP-101 was a conventional 'full size' component, same as you'll find
in most ranges today, while the Hitachi DA-1000 was much taller due to
featuring vertical disc positioning, and the Philips/Marantz CD63 was
a very compact top loader, an elegant unit that might still be
regerded as the best looking player ever made. In 2004, you'll find a
similar range of sizes, from ultra-compact portable players barely
larger than the disc, to monstrous 'high end' players, some of which
even have brightly glowing valves on display! It should be noted that
these esoteric players mostly contain at their hearts the same basic
Philips or Sony transport mechanisms used in mass-market players.

If you are looking for some kind of F1-style reduction in mass and
increase in performance, you're simply not going to find it. The basic
transport technology has changed very little in 20 years, since it was
very thoroughly engineered in the first instance. The only significant
change in the mechanics is the almost universal use of all-plastic
construction, rather than the mostly alloy construction of the early
transports. Indeed, there are those who consider the late '80s vintage
all-alloy Philips CDM-9 PRO to be the finest transport mechanism ever
made. It was the last of the radial arm transports, later models being
linear-motion sled designs. You'd find an examination of CD-ROM drives
of more interest in a racing-related sense, since increased playing
speed has certainly been a feature here, modern drives being able to
cope with 40x playing speed while still producing a functionally
perfect datastream.

As for Pooh's comment, that original Philips/Marantz player used a
14-bit DAC with 4x oversampling, so that was not a 'development'
either, although the introduction of the 1-bit 'Bitstream' DAC around
1990 could certainly be regarded as a sea change in the basic
technology. Otherwise, there have been no significant technological
changes in CD players, merely a steady improvement in the well-known
techniques required to improve the linearity and dynamic range of a
wideband mixed-signal system. To see this progress at its most linear
and with the best engineering credentials, you merely have to study
the Meridian range.

BTW, should anyone mention the dreaded 'upsampling', it should be
noted that this is merely a remarketed form of oversampling, taking
advantage of DVD-A 24/192 technology, and can produce no increase
whatever in recovered information from a Red Book CD.

>Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<416F2FEC.9113661@hotmail.com>...
>> presspley@hotmail.com wrote:
>>
>> > I am looking to write a white paper on technological development and
>> > continuous improvement. I would like to use the CD player as an
>> > example. Specifically I am interested in the small incremental changes
>> > that take place every model upgrade that at the time do not seem much
>> > but when viewed over a 20 year period they are amazing.
>> > Can anyone help me find a history in pictures?
>>
>> You want pictures ? How does that help.
>>
>> Best technological improvement ever IMHO - so I finally bought a CD player
>> - *oversampling*. My Denon DCD 1700 is still in use.
>>
>>
>> Graham

--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 4:52:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 23:49:58 GMT, Lucas Tam <REMOVEnntp@rogers.com>
wrote:

>
>Meridian recently released a 20 year anniversary overkill CD player:
>
>http://www.meridian.co.uk/m_800_bro_800DVD.htm

"...The result is so astounding that Stereophile magazine has created
a new Class A+ for the 800...."

I wonder how it would have sounded in testing if the price wasn't
known :-)
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 4:54:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Laurence Payne <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message news:<np22n09dbjou4pcief1ircpvq0d0opfkl3@4ax.com>...
> On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 23:49:58 GMT, Lucas Tam <REMOVEnntp@rogers.com>
> wrote re: http://www.meridian.co.uk/m_800_bro_800DVD.htm
> "...The result is so astounding that Stereophile magazine has created
> a new Class A+ for the 800...."

This is not correct. As it says in the prologue to Stereophile's
"Recommended Components," we created Class A+ to recognize the fact
that the 24/96 DVD and SACD media have the capability of sounding superior
to conventional "Red Book" CD. That the Meridian player is rated in that
category recognizes that it offers, for now, one of the best realizations
for DVD-A playback. But there are other components also rated in that
category.

> I wonder how it would have sounded in testing if the price wasn't
> known :-)

You need to read the review coverage, available in the free online
archives at www.stereophile.com.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 7:38:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sat, 16 Oct 2004 12:52:09 +0100, Laurence Payne
<l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:

>On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 23:49:58 GMT, Lucas Tam <REMOVEnntp@rogers.com>
>wrote:
>
>>
>>Meridian recently released a 20 year anniversary overkill CD player:
>>
>>http://www.meridian.co.uk/m_800_bro_800DVD.htm
>
>"...The result is so astounding that Stereophile magazine has created
>a new Class A+ for the 800...."
>
>I wonder how it would have sounded in testing if the price wasn't
>known :-)

It would indeed be interesting to compare the 800 under level-matched
DBT conditions, to any old transport hooked up to a Benchmark DAC-1.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 11:20:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"John Atkinson" <Stereophile_Editor@Compuserve.com> wrote in message
news:113bd5e2.0410161154.51609d65@posting.google.com
> Laurence Payne <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in
> message news:<np22n09dbjou4pcief1ircpvq0d0opfkl3@4ax.com>...
>> On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 23:49:58 GMT, Lucas Tam <REMOVEnntp@rogers.com>
>> wrote re: http://www.meridian.co.uk/m_800_bro_800DVD.htm
>> "...The result is so astounding that Stereophile magazine has created
>> a new Class A+ for the 800...."
>
> This is not correct. As it says in the prologue to Stereophile's
> "Recommended Components," we created Class A+ to recognize the fact
> that the 24/96 DVD and SACD media have the capability of sounding
> superior to conventional "Red Book" CD. That the Meridian player is
> rated in that category recognizes that it offers, for now, one of the
> best realizations for DVD-A playback. But there are other components
> also rated in that category.

Yet another example of a scientific-sound claim presented without a shred of
anything like scientific proof.
Anonymous
October 17, 2004 12:56:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sat, 16 Oct 2004 07:32:16 +0000 (UTC), Stewart Pinkerton
<patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote:


>There has been *no* incremental change in size. The original Sony
>CDP-101 was a conventional 'full size' component, same as you'll find
>in most ranges today, while the Hitachi DA-1000 was much taller due to
>featuring vertical disc positioning, and the Philips/Marantz CD63 was
>a very compact top loader, an elegant unit that might still be
>regerded as the best looking player ever made.

Was that its name, really? I remember the top loader to be the
Philips CD100, I never saw the Marantz version at that time.

Is it this machine you are thinking of:
http://www.hupse.nl/radio/images_1960/PhilipsCD100.jpg ?

The CD63 was a name used for a good meidum priced player for many
years in the nineties by Marantz, but perhaps the tag has been on an
M. machines since 1982?

Ah, the Hitachi DA-1000 aka the Toaster!
http://www.joeres.de/da10001.jpg

Sweet memories of the times when they CD players were expensive and
rare. My first player was the first NAD (model number forgotten) model
that came to Sweden. Price at that time (1983) around $700. It still
works, by the way.

Per.
Anonymous
October 17, 2004 8:49:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 16 Oct 2004 12:54:12 -0700, Stereophile_Editor@Compuserve.com (John
Atkinson) wrote:

>Laurence Payne <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message news:<np22n09dbjou4pcief1ircpvq0d0opfkl3@4ax.com>...
>> On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 23:49:58 GMT, Lucas Tam <REMOVEnntp@rogers.com>
>> wrote re: http://www.meridian.co.uk/m_800_bro_800DVD.htm
>> "...The result is so astounding that Stereophile magazine has created
>> a new Class A+ for the 800...."
>
>This is not correct. As it says in the prologue to Stereophile's
>"Recommended Components," we created Class A+ to recognize the fact
>that the 24/96 DVD and SACD media have the capability of sounding superior
>to conventional "Red Book" CD. That the Meridian player is rated in that
>category recognizes that it offers, for now, one of the best realizations
>for DVD-A playback. But there are other components also rated in that
>category.
>
>> I wonder how it would have sounded in testing if the price wasn't
>> known :-)
>
>You need to read the review coverage, available in the free online
>archives at www.stereophile.com.

That is not an answer to the very relevant question.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
October 18, 2004 6:12:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Stewart Pinkerton wrote:

> On Sat, 16 Oct 2004 20:56:52 +0200, Per Stromgren
> <per.stromgren@telia.com> wrote:
>
>
>>On Sat, 16 Oct 2004 07:32:16 +0000 (UTC), Stewart Pinkerton
>><patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>There has been *no* incremental change in size. The original Sony
>>>CDP-101 was a conventional 'full size' component, same as you'll find
>>>in most ranges today, while the Hitachi DA-1000 was much taller due to
>>>featuring vertical disc positioning, and the Philips/Marantz CD63 was
>>>a very compact top loader, an elegant unit that might still be
>>>regerded as the best looking player ever made.
>>
>>Was that its name, really? I remember the top loader to be the
>>Philips CD100, I never saw the Marantz version at that time.
>
>
> The Philips was CD100, the Marantz was CD63.
>
>
>>Is it this machine you are thinking of:
>>http://www.hupse.nl/radio/images_1960/PhilipsCD100.jpg ?
>
>
> Yup, that's the one. Philips was silver, Marantz was 'champagne', but
> otherwise the same player. I had the Marantz, which cost an
> eye-watering £480, serious money in 1983.
>
My first player was the Meridian version of the Phillips player. Cost me
about $650 US ($800 Canadian--I bought it in Vancouver, B.C.).
Great-sounding; I sometimes wonder if any player I've owned subsequently
has been much better.

Bob Harper
Anonymous
October 19, 2004 5:33:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 14:12:53 GMT, Bob Harper <bob.harper@comcast.net>
wrote:

>My first player was the Meridian version of the Phillips player. Cost me
>about $650 US ($800 Canadian--I bought it in Vancouver, B.C.).
>Great-sounding; I sometimes wonder if any player I've owned subsequently
>has been much better.

Have any been much worse?
Anonymous
November 9, 2004 1:09:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

I think most people are missing the point of continuos development.
The less wires, fewer parts etc is exactly what I am talking about. I
was under the impression that portable units were getting smaller?
Certainly the old TEAC portable CD player I had way back couldn't
handle bumps, was cheap moulding, larger than the size of the actual
CD, bad mechanical mechanisms, low battery life, etc etc.....

>
> Unless you want to track radical changes in style, pictures of the
> outside won't be very interesting because component size is still about
> 17" wide. Colors? They were mostly black, but we seem to be tiring of
> black. Silver and gold seem to be making a comeback.
>
> More interesting would be pictures of the inside. As others mentioned,
> transports haven't changed drastically, but the electronics have. Early
> units were stuffed from "floor to ceiling" with components. Now, the
> units are embarrassingly empty inside. Each model year there are less
> and less wires, fewer and larger chips.
>
> Current units tend to have fewer front panel buttons. Buttons have
> migrated to the remotes.
>
> I'm not sure where to find appropriate images. If you have the time,
> you may be able to find some older units at flea markets or estate
> sales. -----------------------------------------------------------
> spam: uce@ftc.gov
> wordgame:123(abc):<14 9 20 5 2 9 18 4 at 22 15 9 3 5 14 5 20 dot 3 15
> 13> (Barry Mann)
> [sorry about the puzzle, spammers are ruining my mailbox]
> -----------------------------------------------------------
!