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Sony CDP-101: The World's First CD Player

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On October 1, 1982, Sony released the first ever CD player in Japan. Seven months later, it finally arrived in the U.S., complete with a vast library of 16 available albums. Its price? $1000.

At the time, it was seen as too pricey for the average consumer, but well within the fiscal wheelhouse of audiophiles. Stereophile Magazine loved it's lack of background noise and deep bass. They frowned at the digital compression (it's flat and cold, after all). But ultimately looked past that little problem and called the CD the most exciting thing since the advent of the LP. But what's most entertaining is their description of using the player.

This one is lower and wider, has a horizontal drawer that slides out to accept the disc, and has much more flexibility of control. Audiophiles will however be dismayed to note that there is nothing on it to adjust; there isn't even a knob to diddle. But there are plenty of buttons.

After the unit is turned on, a touch of a button opens the loading drawer. The disc goes in label-side up, playing-side down. To close the drawer, you can push the same button again or simply select a band for playing.


CDs maybe in their twilight years, especially with the rise of streaming music, but the CDP-101s combination of quality, portability and durability made it a legendary device for its time.

Image via Atreyu/Wikipedia