Marantz DD-92

Marantz DD-82

1 9 9 2 1992
1 9 9 6 1996

MiniDisc didn't fail, ELCASET didn't fail, DAT didn't fail and Laserdisc finally didn't.
DCC, however... that is a truly failed format.

Sadly, DCC failed to succeed although it did comply to what once was a definitive marketing imperative : backward compatibility.
The astronomical amount of tapes bought or recorded since 1963 could replayed in a DCC machine ; with the added benefit of digital recording, that was to be DCC's key feature. Surprisingly, and preceding in that JVC's D-VHS... it didn't work.

With a smaller number of heads, DCC more or less complied with old prototypes from Grundig, Optonica and even Sony's professional DASH (DASH means Digital Audio Stationary Head).
Like the latter, DCC belongs to the S-DAT type : Stationary Head (vs. R-DAT, R for Rotary). With a sound quality far better than MiniDisc's original argh and backward compatibility assured for all users of Philips' Compact Cassette (ie. everybody on planet earth), DCC had absolutely everything to win.

Philips by 1992 was in financially very bad shape and started a spiral of rushed decisions. DCC suffered from bad marketing, too, even if heavyweight Matsushita backed the format.
Also planned were recorders which could be plugged to exchange files with computers ! As we all know, that was the market's no so distant future. If Sony took quite some time to get MiniDisc there, it seems Philips suddenly got cold feet and kept the DCC-175 only available in its home country...

Exit DCC.

The Marantz DD-92 is the ultimate DCC recorder (timeframe-wise and quality-wise), technically equivalent to the Philips DCC-951 but built so much better than the original with reinforced chassis and copper-plating everywhere.

The DD-82 only differs by its color and absence of diescast sideburns.
Changed from the first generation were the d/a section and the welcome addition of title text recording. Said d/a is no less than the revered DAC7 BitStream, here with 18bit resolution.

The looks of the DD-92 fall within the contemporary Marantz CD players like the CD-10 or CD-11 : not exactly beautiful or coherent, especially in black, but impressive.

P.A.S.C., Precision Adaptive Sub Coding, DCC's compression format was excellent and the rest is like any other... DAT deck ;-)

An accurate technical description here ; a useful resource here and another one here.

Marantz DD-92, image 1 Marantz DD-92, image 2 Marantz DD-92, image 3 Marantz DD-92, image 4
Marantz DD-92 specifications
Title Value
Digital Heads : 9 tracks (8x 185µm for data + 1x for control/sync/text)
Analog Heads : 2 tracks
Motors : 1x Servo
2x reels
D/A section : Bitstream DAC7
A/D section : 18bit + 64x over-sampling
Frequency response : 20Hz...22Khz (digital, 48Khz)
20Hz...20Khz (digital, 44.1Khz)
20Hz...19Khz (analog playback)
S/N ratio : 90dB (digital)
57dB (analog, Dolby off)
65dB (analog Dolby B)
74dB (analog, Dolby C)
Dynamic range : 100dB (1Khz, digital)
Wow & flutter : 0,15% (analog)
Dimensions : 45,4 x 14,6 x 33,4cm (DD-92)
42 x 14,6 x 33,4cm (DD-82)
Weight : 11kg (DD-92)
7kg (DD-82)
Features : Text Display
Syncro Rec
Variable & fixed outputs
Optical & Coaxial digital inputs/outputs
Optional : MPB132 diecast sideburns
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