Philips CDM

1 9 8 2 1982

Opening statement :
The Philips CDM1 is the ONLY CD mechanism of the EVERLAST kind.

The lens, optical formulations & coatings were originally designed by Rodenstock in Germany, on Philips' specifications.

Manufacturing was done at Philips' facilities in Belgium, with actual production partly shifting to Japan (CDM1 Mk2) then gradually shifting to Asia at the time of the CDM-4's later versions.

While most, if not all, japanese 1982-1986 CD drives have long since died or require extensive surgery, the original Philips heavyweights are still going strong, as if time, thirty years, hadn't passed. Which is what recordings are all about : to stop time.

The CDM0 is more of a pre-production item and was delivered only on the very first batches of Philips' players : it proved difficult to manufacture and adjust.

The CDM1 is the King of the Hill : unmatched and everlast. Although there were quite a few versions of the associated servo / control PCBs and of the motor itself (single-phase vs. triphase), the lens, articulation and diecast chassis remained exactly the same.

Seen as a "high-end" item today, it was the basic base for everybody back then : the thousands and thousands of cheap CD104 or CD-34 all have a CDM1 inside !

The CDM1 Mk2 was a revised CDM1 and mainly a Marantz Japan part. Just as reliable as the original CDM1, it gave way to the first CDM4 (CDM4/12, all diecast).

The CDM2 was an attempt at a more lightweight design. It proved unreliable and was used in very few players - exit.

The CDM3 was designed for portable players - portable still was diecast aluminium :)
It is almost as reliable as the others but was finally mostly used in the Studer A730 / D730 broadcast players which Studer teamed with (non-Studer) custom PCBs ; this assembly didn't work for long term reliability - exit.
The CDM3 was also used in the Proceed CD Library and the Luxman D-500X's among others but nobody has the tooling anymore to repair or adjust the CDM3 - stay away from it if you can...

The CDM4 was designed when it was clearly time to make smaller and cheaper. Therefore the CDM4 came in many versions, most in resin-cast chassis of varying sizes. The only one worth keeping and the most reliable of all "4s" are the original CDM4/12 and theCDM4MD shown here.
The CDM4MD isn't as everlast as the CDM1 but is still worth the CDM name ; the CDM4M was used in a gazillion CD players.

After that came the CDM9, in two or three versions : still a swing-arm although very lightweight but lasting a fair amount of time.

After that came the CDM12 and its trizillion variants : plasticky cheap linear and definitely outside of anything related to long term reliability. The times had by then definitely changed.

The only other CD mechanism with not everlast but a fair 20 to 30 years' lifetime is the Sony BU-1 + KSS and variants : BU-1 /1D /1E, KSS-190 /180A /151A.

I find it ironic that the one system able to do what it was supposed to - to stop time and repeat a fraction of it ad infinitum - was the very first.

Closing statement :
The Philips CDM1 is the ONLY CD mechanism of the EVERLAST kind.

Philips CDM, image 1
Philips CDM : 0 topic
(last updated topic shows up first)
page online since : october 2007
page updated : not yet
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 599.21 Kb / 463.99 Kb

You must login to access your account.

I forgot my password

Log me automatically on each visit
Hide my online status for this session
> Create an account

  • TVK Talk Forum
  • TVK Museum
  • Specials
  • Timelines
  • Utilities
  • Games