Do You Remember Your First CD Player?

I had owned the first of the first. I purchased the unit in 1982. It was a Sony CDP 101. It was the most obnoxious, raspy, annoying, piercing, grading, non-musical component I had ever heard.

Also, at the time, the complete CD library that was available consisted of about 15 CDs.

Now? I listen to my newest CD rig more than I listen to my turntable. My, how times have changed.

What was your first CD player and when did you purchase it?
Still have mine in the basement. My brother still has his and my dad still uses his! Symphonic brand. All 3 still work. Bought them in 1983. We did side by side comparisons with a sony es about 12 years ago and they still held up.
I still have mine. It is a Nakamichi OMS-7. It was a great CD player in the late 80s and still plays but skips on some CDs. It is in its orig. box in storage and I have seen what used price I can get for it; a measly $150 when I pair $1298 for it new. Now I own a Mark Levinson 37 and 360S. I bought them used--no more new digital for mw!! Analog again--never!
It was a Yamaha. Bought it in 1984 or 1985. It cost $450 but that seemed like a deal since before that most were $1000 or more. I remember playing Yes 90125 at max volume and amazing all who listened. It started skipping at age 3 and I threw it away.
I was a late converter. In 1986 I bought a Magnavox;can't remember the model #. My present player is at least 10 yrs. old: Theta Data 3.
It was VERY early on for me, there were two CD's available when I bought my machine (1812 Overture and Peter Gabriel). It was a Yamaha Natural Sound CD-X1 (I think)... I bought it thinking the days of caring for vinyl were over. No more cleaning records, worrying about surface noise (clicks, pops, skips...), getting up to change sides, you name it. The "perfect sound forever" sure sounded like an awesome technological feat and I was first in line to sign up. Digital sounded horrible back then, I kept wondering why the sound was so incredibly bright and what the hell happened to the soundstage? No centerfill and certainly no depth to the sound at all. Fast forward to today and yes digital has improved but it still does not compare with a good analog set up. Happy listening, Jeff
A Sony CDP-45 and my first CD was ZZ Top Afterburner; I purchased this in the mid 80's, 1986 maybe.
Yamaha CDX1 for me as well. Followed by a Magnevox 480 or 482, still buried under a layer of dust in my office at work, connected to a Sansui AU6500 integrated, still churning out digititus...
These are memories best forgotten. Those who do remember may need to seek treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder! I remember the first one I heard in Boulder Colorado through a pair of Acoustat 2+2s. I was friends with the staff there, and we looked at each other in disbelief. None of us could convince ourselves that the horrible sound we were hearing was the promised perfection, and that we just needed to get used to the lack of distortion associated with analog.

I then owned a high-end store during the early years and refused to sell those horrific things. I eventually sold the Sonograph because it was rolled off in the highs, relatively cheap and could be listened to for up to 5 minutes without complete audio fatigue. Those were dark (perhaps bright) days best forgotten. As recently discussed in Stereophile by Art Dudly, there are no classic early CD players. Seek treatment if necessary.

I remember my first actual cd player and my first "good" cd player. My first was a Sharp that came with a rack system I received for xmass. My first CD was Cream...dont remember the album. My first real cd player was a Nakamichi MB2s music bank cdplayer with dig out and gold rca connectors. That was actually a great sounding player!
Next question? Does anyone remember the ridiculous 1 foot long cd boxes that cds came in at first!!
Wow how we have evolved...
happy listening,
Custom Audio LLC
I had an early Sony myself. I experienced the same results as Buscis2, and could hardly bare to listen to it. One day, I had a CD playing, and had walked in to another room. Moments later I heard a horrible screeching sound, and ran back into the room to find the CD tray open and the disc 10 feet away on the floor. The machine had the nerve to spit out the CD. I guess it didn't like jazz.

Anyhow, I took it in for repair, and it was DOA. The model was no longer in production, so the store gave me credit towards a new one of my choosing. I took the opportunity to move up the ladder quite a bit, and settled on a Denon DCD-1560 which performed quite nicely. I sold that unit about 4 years ago, but sometimes wish I had kept it as a transport, as it had a really heavy duty mechanism.
Magnavox FD-1000. The original top loader, no numeric readout. Shortly, thereafter, Meridian modded it into the first "high end" player, the Meridian MCD
Bang & Olufsen CDX. I still have it in my office system. Amazing for a piece of equipment purchased in 1984.
I bought a Sony 101 in the early 80's and very few CD's - just couldn't stand one or the other. A few years later I discovered Cal Audio's Aria II - it really fleshed out the music - but still didn't compete with Vinyl - I bought some more CD's. The I up-graded to the Cal Alpha/Delta - at last I had something that sounded like music - bought lots of CD's. Still have it.
H. H. Scott in 1986, I forgot the model #. Paid $200. I was one of those fooled by " perfect sound forever". However, I was listening to rock (full volume) at that time through Dahlquist Monitor 7s ( It must have made all my music sound bright anyway). I was using all my spare money to buy CDs and replaced many of my LPs (sigh).

I sold the player to a friend in 1989 for $100. She is still using it in a vintage system. I replaced it with a Nakamichi Changer CDC3 or 4A (can't remember which).
Um, I had this little Magnavox boom box thing. It was awful. Just awful. It was soo bad, that...I'm sorry. I'm unable to continue.

(breaks down in tears)
When I first heard a CDP I thought it was awful & held out until Beatles CD's came out. I bought something (?) that I had for about 2 days then took it back & got a Mission PCM7000. Next I traded that in for a Nak MB-2s (like Joe above) so I could make tapes for the road. I gave the Nak to my brother when I bought a MF & although I have since moved on to other stuff, I recently got back the Nak from my brother. It still looks like new & works great in the bedroom system.
Yeah, a Sony CDP-302, now residing with much dust at my sister and brother-in-law's house.
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My first CD was Madona's Blue (something...) I remember that I cried like a baby on 12/31/84 while listenning to this CD...NO, it wasn't because of the CD..I was watching the news and saw a Hotel on fire and people jumping from it. Imaging the impact on New Years Eve. Several people died burnned and squashed from the jump. It was terrible, and YES , the CD player too.....

V1rowt8, I think you might have had the "Auto Off" function activated:-)
Nakamichi OMS-1 purchased for $300 in 1988. I still have it and it works most of the time. Still sounds better than most of the mainstream junk out there.
1987 JVC model who knows? But it had 4x oversampling hadn't had a real system yet so I guess ignorance is bliss sounded better than cassette tape. Digital is much better now that's for sure.
My first was a Denon DCD-1500 purchased in 1986. It's still going strong today at my friends house. Hav'nt listened to it in several years but as I remember it the sound was prettu decent for a $600 player.
Mission PCM-7000. I thought I had hit digital nirvana. Problem was, digital nirvana was pretty bad at that time! Time and again, side by side comparisons with my far less expensive AR turntable showed just how much my expensive CD player was lacking.

Years later of course, digital has greatly improved. Better than the best vinyl set-up? Not yet.
I also purchased a Sony CDP 101 way back in 1983. However, unlike you I thought it was a quantum leap over turntables (Transcriptor Hydraulic Reference, SME 3009 and Shure V15 mk IV) and LPs. I never looked back. I also thought the CDP 101 looked great!

Now I am older and wiser (?), I have to admit, there was something magical about the old analogue sound. For instance, Dire Straits Telegraph road was simply wonerful (IMHO) on vinyl. I now have 2 CD versions, neither of which capture the fantastic sound I remember on vinyl. Is this a fact or simply old age creeping up on me?
My first CD player? In 2001 I bought a used Rega Planet. Yeah I guess you could say I held out and waited a while..
Yep! Mine was a Meridian 206B. Still have it and it is used regularly. Not as good as my vinyl front-end Platine Verdier, Allaerts MC1B and Schroeder model 2. However, still pretty musical and reliable.
An NAD 502(?) in 1985. Reasonably mediocre, but more listenable than most available at the time. I agree with Art Dudley, there are no classic early CD players.
A Radio Shack 1985 model. I still use it in my kitchen with a pair of active AR speakers.
There are in my humble opinion no classic CD players.The 1st one I had was the Akai,the one that the door or lid opend up like a slot to put the cD in.1st CD was Stevie Wonder with the cut Part Time Lover.
The news was a surprise to me when DGG announced they will digitalize all their recordings more than 20 years ago and it triggered a new era.
But I was a late converter. For the first 5 years, the sound was too bright for me to make a purchase. I waited and waited until Luxmann 105U and Ariston CD players became available. They were reasonably priced CD players can really sing at that time. Ariston was the choice in 1988 for about $650 in Taiwan. That was all allowances I saved in my undergraduate days. No other entertainment for me for the rest of my undergraduate days except playing tennis. Purchased a Carver 490T (very similar to Luxmann 105U) after I came to USA and ends up with BAT VK-D5 now. The CD library is now above 1,200.
Mine was a Proton CD player, My first CD was the soundtrack
of Miami Vice, the best selection the record store had in the then new format. The Proton sound was very bright compared to My turntable a Dual(can't remember the model).
It broke about a year later, the company was no longer in operation so a Sony unit soon took over, then came a Technics, another Sony, Adcom and finally a Linn Ikemi.
I bought the first Sony CDP-101 in Columbia MO with the exception of one at the local NPR station. It was awesome, digititis and all. It's gone as it lost its internal control chip and its not worth fixing. Now its a Sony transport and a Musical Fidelity TRI-VISTA 21 DAC. What a difference!
I waited for a while and bought a Magnavox CBD 650. I don't even remember what happened to it, but based on the junk most of us had at first it's amazing that they caught on at all.
The year 1989, the player, Luxman DZ111. I used it for 10 years, then it started to skip.
An Hitachi which was given as a gift in early 80's. Still works perfectly today!
Like Timo above, a Sony CDP 302MK-2, a lot of in betweens, current; CEC TL-2X / Modded Cal Alpha.
I held out longer than most, listening to a Sota Sapphire/Alphason Xenon/Grado combination. But in about 1990 I realized there just wasn't any new music coming out on LP any more, and I caved.

I bought an Arcam Alpha, and it was ... well ... OK, I guess. I upgraded it with an Assemblage 2.6 DAC and it started to sound acceptable.

But, things change. I now have an Audio Note digital front end that runs with the big dogs, and I just agreed to sell that 1983 Sota, the Xenon, the Grado and a NYAL SuperIt for $500 to a new acquaintance who's just inherited a record reviewer's vinyl collection. I'm happy, he's happy, and the music quotient of the universe is increased.

Good digital rocks. 1984 Sony players rocketh not...
Yep, I remember it, because I still have it. It's a DBX DX-5 single disc player. I picked it up some time in the 80's while stationed in the germany.
Am I the only one who got suckered into buying a Carver with a "Digital Time Lens" that was supposed to take care of all of the digitis? Taking it home and putting it in my system easily ranks as the biggest disappointment I have experienced in audio - so much so that I can't, off the top of my head, think of number two. My Pioneer direct drive TT with a Stanton 681EEE cartridge blew it away. But the saleswoman at Magnolia was so cute...
I don't remember! My second CD player was made by Kyocera. My first CD was Peter Gabriel 'So'
I held out for quite some time after hearing the best that CD had to offer ( Nak, ReVox, Kyocera ) in the early days. Even so, i bought a Sonographe model for next to nothing and that is the only reason that i bought it. If i remember correctly, this was really just a modified Magnavox unit. Conrad-Johnson took out the Magnavox DAC and installed their own, possibly doing a few other tweaks along the way. I think that one of my buddies is still using this unit in his bedroom system. From what he told me, it sounds better than the newer, cheap models that he's gone through. Sean

PS... Isn't it funny how far "perfect sound forever" has come since its' inception??? : )
I had the same Philips CBD-650 as Nrchy (circa '86 maybe?). Couldn't tell you much about how it sounded, as I wasn't an audiophile back then and didn't have a particularly revealing system. I do remember my brother getting an inexpensive Panasonic a few years later with the "MASH" circuit (described as '18-bit' I believe) and auditioning them both through my father's system and coming to the conclusion it sounded better than my player. I gave mine away to a friend years ago, and I don't know if he still uses it or not.

Speaking of my father, at the time he was still using his original player, the first Mission, that I believe was one of the earliest models available (bought in '83?), which for some reason I recall as having been specified as a '14-bit' machine. It had a very attractively designed, smallish but unusually solid chassis, with (I think) some heat sink fins on the rear (!), but was also trounced by my bother's Panasonic. My father couldn't hear any difference.

After the Philips I got an Adcom changer, and then my current (well, not a term that really fits them anymore) Theta separates. For some reason, I can also remember the first CD I ever got: Thomas Dolby's "The Golden Age of Wireless", which sounded so bad I think I listened to it maybe twice before getting rid of it.
Yeah, we didn't use any protection and I was really excited and came
right away. It didn't really work too well after that so I threw the thing
out. It wasn't till much later that I discovered girls. For you younger
(male, heterosexual) audiophiles who may be reading this; trust me, skip
the CD players and go right for the girls! Y'all can thank me later....

A Sylvania-branded 2040, which of course is really a Magnavox, which of course is really a Philips. By whatever name it was barely listenable, and yet better than others of the same vintage. Truly the Dark Ages of audio.
Magnavox, My wife bought it for me for Christmas. I shook the box to try and guess what it was. Well that cracked the lazer lens and it never worked right. I still have it. I was too embarased to tell her I broke it. That was 1988 I believe.
It was a Dual. I don't remember the model number. It was terrible, but I quickly had a buyer. Then I got the Magnavox 2020, etc.
Dopogue: Right you are! I didn't even remember that my first player was branded Magnavox, not Philips. And I had just read Nrchy's post! Guess I had some issues (at the time, and apparently still) thinking that my bitchin' mid-fi system had something in it made (only not really) by an old-line manufacturer of TV's... :-)
Mine was a Techniques $199, Best Buy special. Circa, 1988ish, it had the MASH circut that Zaikesman referred to earlier. I used it to play CD-R's until late last year until it finally took it's last breath and refused to to spit out a Miles Davis CD-R.

I can even tell you the four CD's I bought with my first player back in '88. Metallica, Aerosmith, Eagles, and ashamedly a Nugent colaberation with the guy from Lover Boy or Sticks or some such.