25 January 2016

The Road to CD - Prototypes and More

cd prototypes

The use of digital audio began in 1973 when Nippon Broadcast (with DENON) in Japan and BBC in the UK installed the first digital tape based recorders in their studios.

In 1977 at the Tokio Audio Fair Mitsubishi, Hitachi and Sony presented the first digital disc prototypes for audio reproduction. Below you can see a SONY prototype, using a 30 cm audio disc, presented in 1978 (left) and the SONY DAD-X1 digital audio disc prototype from 1979 (right)

cd prototype

During this time PHILIPS was working with MCA on a 30 cm laser read video disc that was introduced to the market by PHILIPS as Laservision in 1978. This video disc had analog audio channels, not digital. (Digital audio was introduced to this format later by PIONEER who promoted the system as Laserdisc, however you can also find earlier Laserdisc units and software with analog audio too.) 

PHILIPS Laservision

On 8th of march 1979 at a press conference PHILIPS presented a small 115mm diameter (1 hour playtime) digital audio disc and the PHILIPS "Pinkeltje" prototype player using the Compact Disc name and logo (without the additional Digital Audio text) There were 10 PHILIPS "Pinkeltje" prototypes built using a CDM-0 prototype laser mechanism.

philips cd press 1979

Other companies were also working on their own disc format. Below is one of them, the SHARP digital audio disc prototype using a 135 mm disc and the SONY Goronta prototype using the 120 mm Compact Disc in 1981.

sony gornta sharp pcm

As a result of the cooperation between SONY and PHILIPS it was agreed a new standard for a 120mm digital optical disc that we know today as Compact Disc. The first hearing demo was held in Saizburg in April 1981 where both PHILIPS and SONY presented their prototypes playing the same 120mm Compact Disc. The picture below shows from left to right, Joop Sinjou (PHILIPS), Herbert von Karajan and Akio Morita (SONY).

cd press conference

Take a closer look at the two prototypes shown to Herbert von Karajan by 
PHILIPS (left) and SONY (right)

philips sony cd prototypes

Finally here are the two "world first" CD player the 


Presented by www.1001hifi.com - The Stereo Museum

19 January 2016

CLASSIC minis - part 2

1001hifi classic minis

AIWA my Pace - mini series 80 (1980)
Shown components: L80 stereo cassette deck, R80 digital tuner, C80 preamplifier, P80 power amplifier 
See the AIWA 80 in our collection.

aiwa my pace 80
AIWA my Pace - mini series 80 (1980)

BLAUPUNKT Micronics (1980)
Shown components: A-60 amplifier, T-60 tuner, C-60 stereo cassette deck

blaupunkt micronics
BLAUPUNKT Micronics (1980)

Cybernet Minipack 50 (1981)
Shown components: 50-A power amplifier, 50-T tuner-pre-amplifier, 50-C stereo cassette deck
Cybernet sold these components to other brands who sold them as rebadged components such as the KRAUS 50A,  Lenco-Italia MC 70
In the US they were sold under the Realistic brand name by Radio Shack.

cybernet minipack kraus lenco realistic
Cybernet Minipack 50 (1981)

ROTEL Micro 90 (1982)
Shown components: RMA-90 amplifier, RMR-90 remote control center, RMT-90 digital tuner, RMC-90 stereo cassette deck. A different model from ROTEL was rebadged as UHER PACO2

rotel micro 90
ROTEL Micro 90 (1982)

SANYO System PLUS 20 (1980)
Shown components: PLUS T20 digital tuner, PLUS C20 preamplifier, PLUS P20 power amplifier, PLUS D20 stereo cassette deck. We have in our collection the rebadged version of this system 

sanyo plus siemens
SANYO System PLUS 20 (1980) / SIEMENS 666

Technics Concise System C01 (1979)
Shown components: SE-C01 power amplifier, SU-C01 preamplifier, ST-C01 stereo tuner, SH-C01 power supply, RS-M02 stereo cassette deck

technics concise
Technics Concise System C01 (1979)