Kyocera 900 Series

October   1 9 8 1 october 1981
1 9 8 4 june 1984
1 9 8 8 1988

What if, out of the blue, an affiliate of a big industrial conglomerate were to take a dive into High End audio ?

What if that affiliate made excellent audio components, filled with cutting edge technologies, a special ceramic resin and carefully balanced looks ?

That's basically what happened to Kyocera after it bought, in full, in 1982 one of the major audio OEM/ODM providers : Cybernet.
After the 1979 first interest take in Cybernet, this allowed Kyocera to secure quite a few OEM deals when CD was about to happen : Alpine (itself a major OEM provider !), Akai, Tensai, Betalaser, Audio Analyse, Rotel, Phase Linear and Micro Seiki all bought basic DA-01 chassis assemblies and made their first CD players.

Cybernet naturally had the resources to develop something else than cloned CD players and since Kyocera wanted to go full-tilt into high-end audio, the 900 Series development started in earnest, within a lineup of lesser components mainly meant for the export market.

Looks :
Seemingly designed by a Luxman recruit - this should explain the overall elegance, especially the B-910 and T-910.
However, finish-wise, bar the export A-910 and B-910, Cybernet was far from offering the quality Sony, Victor or even Luxman in its best periods were capable of : anodizing type & quality, color schemes, textures and overall assembly all fall short of the drawing boards' obvious ambitions...
The results are very far from approximative but in many spots look somewhat bare, almost un-finished.

Circuits :
The actual design remains a complete blank for all ex-industry members I could reach, but the staple Single-Stage push-pull isn't far from what Luxman was doing since 1979.
In fact it came from Junji Kimura, former... Luxman engineer ! Kimura-san designed the two Kyocera turntables and integrated amplifiers.

The turntables are easy to trace : plain and simple Micro Seiki, the 901 having seen a 1982 prototyped version for... Luxman :)

october 1981
PL-901 : turntable
C-901 : preamplifier
B-901 : power-amp
The C and B-901s were made and presented before CD developments started : they were the very first Kyocera component (still named "Kyoseki"), probably made direct with Micro (for the PL) before Cybernet acted as industrial chaperon ; therefore, the PL-901 predates the Luxman X-5P prototype by a year...
The few USA export PL-901s are named "Kyocera" but the back sticker has a distinct "Cybernet Electronics Corp. Japan" added, a sticker also present for the (very few) EU export PL-901s - but the latter kept the japanese T-tag : Micro Seiki.

june 1982
DA-01 : CD player

As enthusiasm (and curiosity) grew, complements were devised, two replacing two of the originals and one as export-only item...
C-910 : preamplifier
B-910 : Class A power amp
DA-910 : cd player
PL-910 : turntable
T-910 : am/fm tuner

... plus less expensive components, a revised version and an accessory :
A-910 : integrated amp
(mainly export)

A-710 : integrated amp
(japanese version),

A-710 : integrated amp
(export version, very different),

DA-910 : cd player with IR remote
(export only),

CX-S1 : fine ceramics spacers/feet

In hope of capitalizing on the fame of its high-end components and the excellent sales of the original DA-910, a few more affordable items were designed (DA-810, PL-701, DA-710cx, DA-7cx etc) and made somewhat available in several markets until 1987 - mostly in the US and to a much lesser extent Japan.
None of these sold too well and even less as the decade elapsed, despite their visual elegance and solid engineering.

What if, after a few years, the conglomerate's head said : "Nay - crowded market : let's make printers instead !"

Kyocera entered the audio arena at the dawn of the CD era with a set of critically acclaimed separates, carried on throughout the 1980s with more affordable components and... withdrew from the market.

No crown inherited from a glorious audio past was to support the new brand - bye bye.

Kyocera 900 Series, image 1 Kyocera 900 Series, image 2 Kyocera 900 Series, image 3 Kyocera 900 Series, image 4
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page online since : 2006
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