22 February 2015

Vertical CD player (part 1 HITACHI)

Various vertical CD players were built during the first 30 Years of CD but in this article we would focus on first generation vertical CD players. These are interesting because both inventors of the CD player, SONY and PHILIPS made their first generation CD player as horizontal playing CD units. SONY opted for tray loading while PHILIPS went with top loading, closely followed by a tray loading model.

The two biggest first generation CD player manufacturers were of course SONY and PHILIPS. While SONY havent supplied it's units to be rebadged by other manufacturers PHILIPS had many rebadged versions. The biggest supplier of these first generation CD players was however HITACHI. Below you can see the HITACHI based models that came from japanese manufacturers:


cd player

Lo-D DAD-1000 
(Brand name used by HITACHI for the japanese domestic market) 

cd player


cd player

Victor XL-V1
(Brand name used by JVC for the japanese domestic market)

cd player


cd player

With an intense activity around the launch of compact disc, french company THOMSON became the main supplier in Europe for these vertical loading CD players from HITACHI. THOMSON owned by this time several french and german brands, so the HITACHI vertical cd player was sold under at least 7 different brand names, including a THOMSON rebadge as well. These are the THOMSON distributed HITACHI vertical cd players:


cd player


cd player


cd player


cd player

NORDMENDE Audio Digital System 2000

cd player


cd player


cd player

Continue reading: Part 2   Part 3   More CD

09 February 2015

Compact Cassette Changers

Before playlist existed there were compact cassette changers. Juke box heroes. They didn't seem to catch on like record changers or CD changers however from time to time a manufacturer made such a unit. Here are some of them and the various concepts they used to implement the ideea.

PHILIPS N2502 (1969)

This cassette changer is from 1970 and is one of the first models. 
It used a slide mechanism for 12 cassettes.

Panasonic RS-296US
This Panasonic is a 20 cassette carousel changer from 1972. 
Advertised as the cassette player that can play up to two and a half days of music.

This PHILIPS is 6 cassette changer from 1976. The first version of this model dates back to 1969. It uses a funny accesory to flip the casssettes to play both sides of the loaded tapes.
This also makes it one of the first autoreverse cassette decks as well.

The SONY MTL-10 is a 10 cassette cartridge format cassette changer from 1982. They were available in several colours - for supermarkets as advertised in the brochure. It has Laser-Amorphous head and on the slide out cassette compartiment there are preset switches for each cassette for tape type and dolby on/off preselect.

5 cassette changer from 1985 in a dual well construction where cassette compartiment 1 is the cassette changer for playback only.

The PIONEER CT-M601R is a 6 cassette changer from 1992. It is one of the last models that was also available as a dual well construction just like the previous AIWA.

You can read more about the (PHILIPS) Compact Cassette format here.

31 January 2015

SONY ELCASET and other prototypes

Here are a few of the ELCASET prototypes presented in Japanese magazines and hifi shows between 1976 and 1979.

SONY ELCASET preproduction/ prototype from 1976.
With minor changes this became the SONY EL-7 model in 1977.

Technics ELCASET prototype as seen in a 1976 Japanese magazine.

TEAC ELCASET prototype as seen in a 1976 Japanese magazine.

SONY ELCASET EL-D9 presented at a Hi-Fi show. If I understand correctly the model now belongs to a collector.

Technics RS-7900U ELCASET prototype from a private collection in Germany.

SONY ELCASET as envisioned by a SONY fan. This is not a real model, not even a prototype just a fun project by member Vincei from the Audiokarma forum.

You can see all the manufactured ELCASET models in this previous post.