Don’t be fooled by the “Digital Audio Laser Disc” label on the CD 120. It’s just a CD player, but an unusual CD player it is. It loads like a cassette deck. Hit the Open/Close button and the door tilts out and ejects your CD. Push another one into the slot, hit Open/Close again, and it sucks the CD down and closes the door. The CD 120 has useful but now-rare features like variable-level output (so you can connect it straight to an amp or powered speakers) and a headphone jack — but oddly enough, there’s no track skip button. According to Sauck, this is a first-generation CD player from 1983 or 1984.
I thought the mechanism would be trouble-prone, but according to Innovative Audio repair technician Brian Street, the early CD players were pretty bulletproof.
“The first-gen players had long-life lasers and long-life sealed optics, so they last quite well,” he said. “Some are beginning to reach the end of their life. Often the motors are failing but the optics are still running.”
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