Philips CD303

1 9 8 3 1983
1 9 8 4 1984

The CD303 is an updated CD300, still fully first generation Compact Disc Player, although the last of the three original Philips to reach its definitive shape and layout.
The update consists of the addition of a digital display. The rest is exactly the same and can be found under the Marantz CD-73 and Grundig CD7500 banners.

Inside is the everlasting Philips CDM CDM1 which many still consider as the best CD drive ever produced. It is no wonder most of the 1982-1992 CD players using the CDM0, CDM1 and the first two versions of the CDM4 are still playing as if the 30 years separating them from today hadn't existed !
The very early production units sported the CDM0.

If the CD300 and CD303 didn't sell as much as the smaller, cheaper, but mechanically identical CD100, there are plenty of them around just the same.
I for one was lucky enough to find a new-old-stock CD303 in its original and never opened box.
I am now using it daily and if the sonics ar no match for my Sony CDP-R1 / DAS-R1, let alone the d/a section of my DTC-2000ES DAT, they are still fully respectable.
The digital to analog section is the same as in the CD100 or later CD104 : TDA1540 and SAA7020.

Looks-wise much more impressive in the flesh.
The green LEDs set inside the drawer siding the spinning CD give a mysterious and glowing atmosphere which no other CD player I have seen managed to evoke as naively and, thus, effectively.

Said green beams were also an early way to be a DIY audiophile : remember those green pens that were to be applied to the sides of the CDs to isolate the red laser from the (blue) surrounding light ?
Well - those beams do the same, only with much more elegance.

Also, I know that when my CDP-R1's KSS laser block will have died, my CD303 will still be playing CDs like it did in 1983, in 1993 and in 2003. And like it will in 2013, in 2023 and, quite probably, in 2033.


Much more about the CD303 at the indispensable vintage-audio-laser.com.

Philips CD303, image 1 Philips CD303, image 2 Philips CD303, image 3
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