Remembering when CD's first hit the market......

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treitz3
treitz3 Posts: 18,527
edited October 2007 in 2 Channel Audio
Does anybody remember back when CD's were first coming out?

The things I remember were that the advertisements, usually over the radio, said we could "throw the disc as a frisbee" and still be able to play it with no problem, unlike a record.

That "they" could sell a CD for the same price as a LP. (around $7-$9.00)......"Not at the moment, but that the price would get lower as soon as production costs went down due to mass production."

Yet, ever since I was around 14 years old, prices never came down. CD's were introduced in the DC market at $11-$13.00 and everytime I (as a kid) tested the "frisbee" idea, the CD's would never play afterwards.
~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
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  • disneyjoe7
    disneyjoe7 Posts: 11,435
    edited July 2007
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    treitz3 wrote: »
    Yet, ever since I was around 14 years old, prices never came down. CD's were introduced in the DC market at $11-$13.00 and everytime I (as a kid) tested the "frisbee" idea, the CD's would never play afterwards.


    And right then and there you should have stop believing everything you heard or read. ;)

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  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,102
    edited July 2007
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    I remember the long boxes, then the crappy blister packs. I remember the store 2 friends of mine opened in 1986 called DIGITALS which was the only type of store of it's kind at the time that sold only cd's and nothing else; long before the big box retailers entered the cd market. It was great because their policy was that you could listen to anything in the store for free, actually demo the music before you bought it.

    They made a lot of money the first 5 years they were open. They would get very obscure stuff, imports and they opened at the time of bootleg cd boom with all the lax copyright laws in every country but the US. Profit on boots was thru the roof as well as as the supply of boots.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • Danny Tse
    Danny Tse Posts: 5,206
    edited July 2007
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    heiney9 wrote: »
    I remember the long boxes, then the crappy blister packs. I remember the store 2 friends of mine opened in 1986 called DIGITALS which was the only type of store of it's kind at the time that sold only cd's and nothing else; long before the big box retailers entered the cd market. It was great because their policy was that you could listen to anything in the store for free, actually demo the music before you bought it.

    They made a lot of money the first 5 years they were open. They would get very obscure stuff, imports and they opened at the time of bootleg cd boom with all the lax copyright laws in every country but the US. Profit on boots was thru the roof as well as as the supply of boots.

    And do you know how much those long boxes, blister packs, and first pressing CDs are worth right now?
  • Polk65
    Polk65 Posts: 1,405
    edited July 2007
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    heiney9 wrote:
    I remember the long boxes, then the crappy blister packs.

    I still have nightmares and real scars from trying to open those @#^&%$ blister packs. I didn't read into the marketing but was impressed with the lack of snap crackle and pop. The best D/A converter of the moment made good reading. I didn't know it at the time, but a few years after listening to my Discman I would be flexing my walls with vinyl and SDA's.

    (c)1983 Made in West Germany WEA Records, Ltd. I wonder if these cd's are worth more than a frisbee...
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,102
    edited July 2007
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    Polk65 wrote: »
    (c)1983 Made in West Germany WEA Records, Ltd. I wonder if these cd's are worth more than a frisbee...

    The very first cd I bought was a German WEA Led Zeppelin-Houses of the Holy cd. I didn't even have a cdp back then. I was trying to build a collection for when I finally did purchase one.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • sucks2beme
    sucks2beme Posts: 5,568
    edited July 2007
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    I remember waiting for new shipments of cds and going through them to see if there was anything new. It took forever for anything but new releases to be put on cd. And then they did such a horrible rushed job that the cd was
    unlistenable. That's what caused the rift that exists today. Some classic rock/blues recordings are better on cd. But that is a lot less than the number
    that suck. I heard a bunch of side by side comparions a while back of the
    same records VS. the cds on quality gear. Most of the time the record was better. But not always. The remastering process is one best done by people who care. If done right, the cds are good. If not, they become rearview mirror
    bling.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson
  • avguytx
    avguytx Posts: 1,628
    edited July 2007
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    Danny Tse wrote: »
    And do you know how much those long boxes, blister packs, and first pressing CDs are worth right now?

    One of my home/car audio dealers in OK has a bunch of the original "long box" CD's still in his store for sale. He doesn't keep them out with everything else because the younger crowd (as he calls them) doesn't care about those as much. Next time I'm there, I'm going to have to check out some titles and see what he has. There might be a few hundred or more.
    Richard? Who's your favorite Little Rascal? Alfalfa? Or is it........................Spanky?.................................Sinner.
  • steveinaz
    steveinaz Posts: 19,531
    edited July 2007
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    I remember my first CD; it was Christine McVies' (Fleetwood Mac member, for those that don't know) first solo album. The only reason I bought it was because it was 1 of about 12 CD's they had on-hand. I still have that CD, and it sounds very good---surprising for one of the first CD transfers. It's also thicker and heavier than later CD's...hmmmm
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  • sucks2beme
    sucks2beme Posts: 5,568
    edited July 2007
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    steveinaz wrote: »
    I remember my first CD; it was Christine McVies' (Fleetwood Mac member, for those that don't know) first solo album. The only reason I bought it was because it was 1 of about 12 CD's they had on-hand. I still have that CD, and it sounds very good---surprising for one of the first CD transfers. It's also thicker and heavier than later CD's...hmmmm


    A number of my original cds won't play on some cdps. Robin Trower's Bridge of Sighs WILL NOT play correctly on any Pioneer Elite unit. Not a scratch on it. It will start making noises and start skipping on the second track on.
    Elton John's Yellow Brick Road is another. Works in almost every other unit.
    I had a Pioneer here for a while that puked on these. I tryed many Pioneer
    Elites in the demo rooms. Strange, eh?
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,102
    edited July 2007
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    sucks2beme wrote: »
    A number of my original cds won't play on some cdps. Robin Trower's Bridge of Sighs WILL NOT play correctly on any Pioneer Elite unit. Not a scratch on it. It will start making noises and start skipping on the second track on.
    Elton John's Yellow Brick Road is another. Works in almost every other unit.
    I had a Pioneer here for a while that puked on these. I tryed many Pioneer
    Elites in the demo rooms. Strange, eh?

    Perhaps the mysterious "cd rot" they talked about in the late 90's. My 1st cd the above mentioned LZ-Houses of the Holy, still plays fine. I should compare it to the recent release just to see how different it sounds.

    They used a slightly different process back then to press the cd's so perhaps those just weren't compatible with the particular Pioneer unit. It happens but it's rare. CD blanks back then were a bit thicker and they used a slightly different mixture of chemicals to make the die layer than they do today.

    My Nak( older) sometimes has trouble playing cdr's because of the slightly different process used for making cd's on a computer vs. a commercially produced cd.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • Jim Shearer
    Jim Shearer Posts: 369
    edited July 2007
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    I remember just before CDs make their commercial appearance....

    I was working at Kodak back then (as an analytical chemist.) We had a meeting w/ (IIRC) folks from the Smithsonian. They were wondering if this new medium would have archival storage properties--at least 100 years, but preferably 400 years. We looked everything over & told them: no way! if you treat them carefully, you should get 20+ years before they start to lose data due to the aluminum layer oxidizing. Sure they're polymer coated, but in the long term, oxygen will permeate through the coating & attack the aluminum. They left disappointed.

    It was late 90's before I started buying CDs.

    Cheers, Jim
    A day without music is like a day without food.
  • Music Joe
    Music Joe Posts: 459
    edited July 2007
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    I bought Roxy Music "Avalon" back in 82'. The only compact disc in Wherehouse at the time, it was an open copy. I didn't even own a player yet and remember a salesman demo where he tossed a disc on the floor ,stomped on it then played it. This impressed me at the time, My vinyl bred mind expected to hear scratch & pop after that demo.
    I remember the record industry blaming the long box for high pricing. Record company payola scandals surfaced big time about then too. I still have that first disc along with a far superior remaster, which still falls short of the original vinyl.
  • Yashu
    Yashu Posts: 772
    edited July 2007
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    I think the fact that CD prices have not gone down is proof enough of the absolute greed of the major record lables.

    Infact, with inflation, the price for a CD has gone only upwards. I remember thinking "oh it's new tech, the price will go down as the manufacturing advances"...
  • madmax
    madmax Posts: 12,434
    edited July 2007
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    I remember listening to the first few CD's on my new Sony CD player thinking they were SO superior to the records I had. Of course I had a run of the mill pioneer table ($220 new plus cart) which pretty much didn't play anything but surface noise. The Sony was $440 new and it was certainly a few steps better. I can't remember the first CD's I had.
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  • reeltrouble1
    reeltrouble1 Posts: 9,312
    edited July 2007
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    One toke over the line..............

    Sweet Jesus

    Ahhh.........I remember it well..........

    RT1
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,527
    edited July 2007
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    I don't recall a "long box", as I was probably too young. What is that?

    I do remember going to my favorite record shop on Little River Turnpike north of Springfield VA one day and finding all of the vinyl GONE! This happened over a two or three week period. Boy, was I shocked. The store owner told me that the CD was the new medium and that there was no use for vinyl anymore. He also said that he was happy that he could hold more selections in less space. The only reminder of vinyl was the jackets pinned to the walls as wallpaper. My only wish is that I had made the closeout sale.

    At that point, severe disappointment set in because at the time I had a seven disc Pioneer unit...........oh, boy.........if memory serves was about $324.00 or so and as a 14 year old, I thought I was hot ****. "High end" technology is what I thought I had and back then, when I A/B'd the vinyl to the CD's, the higher frequencies were so "tinny", I went and got an EQ.

    The thing back then that I did like about CD's was the fact that I could load up the CDP and play music on "shuffle" and listen to "my very own radio station", as I called it. That and for the first time, no tape hiss and "crackles" and "pops" from vinyl.

    I sure do miss that record shop and the fellas that worked there.
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • duksbak
    duksbak Posts: 134
    edited July 2007
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    treitz3 wrote: »
    I don't recall a "long box", as I was probably too young. What is that?

    The "long box" as far as I can remember, when CD's were packaged, they were inside a cardboard box. It was paper thin cardboard and looked like you could fit 2 CD's (one on top of each other if they were standing on end) inside. But of course there was only one in there. The package had all the CD graphics you would find on the CD itself but it was just alot of extra packaging that really wasnt needed.
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  • Danny Tse
    Danny Tse Posts: 5,206
    edited July 2007
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    The long box packaging was created so that 2 of them, when placed side by side, can fit into the standard vinyl record bins used by music retailers at the time. As far as I know, long box packaging was only used in the US. Because the actual CD was inside the long box, many early CDs didn't have barcode printed on their back covers. The long box was eventually phased out due to environmental concerns. However, if you are a CD collector, long boxes remain highly collectible.

    CD will celebrate its 25th anniversary on October 1st. Fifty titles became available in Japan for the first time on October 1, 1982. Here's Sony's version of this story. Here's another version. Billy Joel's "52nd Street" (catalog number 35DP-1) is widely regarded as the first commercially available CD, although on October 1, 1982, several other CDs, in different music genres, were released carrying the "1" in their respective catalog numbers.

    As a collector of early CDs, my oldest CD is from October 1, 1982....although I purchased it only a couple months ago. And it's still in mint condition.
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
    edited July 2007
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    I got a single disc Pioneer CDP in '88 for my b-day. Didn't have any CD's though. Went to Rolling Stones Records with my girlfriend the next day and picked up Van Halen "1984". Yes it was the long box. I believe I still have the long box tucked away in a memorobilia droor. I haven't listend to that CD in a long time. I'll give it a spin tomorrow. Great thread.

    Just FYI - 1984 was also the first cassette I ever purchased - while on a trip to Canada with the folks. The cassette was / is a WEA product.
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  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,102
    edited July 2007
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    I have been going down memory lane tonight. I got out about 2 dozen of some of the cd's I bought in the mid/late 80's of a music genre I don't listen too often enough anymore. Almost all is what was considered alternative/new wave back then.

    Depeche Mode
    Cure
    Sugar Cubes
    INXS
    OMD
    Propaganda
    Art of Noise
    One Dove
    Xymox
    Yaz
    Nitzer Ebb
    New Order
    Ministry
    Book Of Love
    Siouxie and the Banshees
    Yello
    Front 242

    Even though most of these are all analog based keyboard type instruments and drum machine loops and noises, etc., they are recorded a hell of a lot better than most things today. Very clean, clear properly recorded levels with great dynamic range and seperation. It's actually quite amazing how good these older recordings sound even though they are a bit unconventional in the sense there are very few real instruments.

    I really wish someone in the recording industry would get a clue. :rolleyes: .

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • Systems
    Systems Posts: 14,873
    edited July 2007
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    I bought the first CD player available in a car. It was a Sony deck that was so large that it had no built in amp. I bought a cheap amp and the old school Pioneer 6X9's and rolled around in high school as one of the first guys with a "loud" system in their car (note soon after that dudes started putting like 3 15' subs in their mini trucks). Each and every bump in the road made that thing skip. In fact when I put good stuff in it like Ice Teas "color's" it would skip on base.

    The first CD's I remember buying:


    Colors sound track (Ice Tea)
    Billy Joel Storm Front
    Milli Vanilli (lol)

    I was only 14ish so I couldnt exactly buy a ton.


    I seriously remember getting into music in about 1979 when I was 6 years old. My Dad bought a hot stereo with a new 8 track. He would play opera 24x7 but he had this one tape that my brother and I listened to all the time... They had a ton of records but hell, we didn’t want to listen to those cruddy things :) (ok, maybe we just couldn’t figure out how to use them)

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  • Music Joe
    Music Joe Posts: 459
    edited July 2007
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    Sam'sclub continued selling cd's in the generic windowed longboxes till recently.
  • snow
    snow Posts: 4,335
    edited July 2007
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    treitz3 wrote: »
    I don't recall a "long box", as I was probably too young. What is that?
    Heres a couple of pics of a long box cd.

    REGARDS SNOW
    Well, I just pulled off the impossible by doing a double-blind comparison all by myself, purely by virtue of the fact that I completely and stupidly forgot what I did last. I guess that getting old does have its advantages after all :D
  • WolfKiyoshi
    WolfKiyoshi Posts: 96
    edited July 2007
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    holy crap you rule and i want that cd snow cuz The Who freakin rule :o
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,527
    edited July 2007
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    I had no idea that these were referred to as longboxes until this thread. The local Sam's club still sells them here in Charlotte. Multi-set packages are way more common in the longbox version, though.
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • madmax
    madmax Posts: 12,434
    edited July 2007
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    I saved a big stack of the long boxes. Not quite an album cover but still a good thing.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D
  • Danny Tse
    Danny Tse Posts: 5,206
    edited July 2007
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    You would think that after almost 25 years of existance, there would be some kind of price guide for CD collectors. There's hardly any on the market.

    I remember those first generation CD player that plays the CD vertically and you can see the disc spinning.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,527
    edited July 2007
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    That I don't remember. Anybody got a pic?

    Also, curiosity is getting to me.......was there a "first" CD like there was a "first" video. [music playing] Video killed the radio storm [music ends]?
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • Danny Tse
    Danny Tse Posts: 5,206
    edited July 2007
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    The first commercially available CDs was mentioned in post #19 of this thread.

    I recent came across a press release from Bayer, the drug company, that it played an important part in the development of the plastic coating used in CD. In the press release, it mentioned the first CD pressed was ABBA's "The Visitors" (and that ABBA was a "Swedish cult band"....LOL). However, it was a test pressing and proved the CD can be manufactured.

    The first title on CD that sold a significant amount was Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms". Most would consider this to be the breakthrough title for CD as a mass-market format.

    Here's a link to a pic of the Kyocera DA-01

    http://www.thevintageknob.org/THEVAULT/KYOCERA/DA01.html
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,527
    edited July 2007
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    Agreed with Dire Straights BIA's.

    Whoops, missed that post #19 somehow. Thanks!;)
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~