Rare 1986 Sony D-700 CD player true HI-FI?

  1. WalkmanJohnFL
    Greetings members my first post here in long while. First a note that I am a serious cassette walkman collector (284 ) and just starting PCDP's. I am looking for more information about what I believe is a rare home CD player. The SONY D-700 UK,EU,AUS model (D-170 US model #) came out in 1986 and was the smallest home player CD player made. It was called portable I believe due to its very small size and ease of moving to another system but was never meant for battery operated portable use. I was lucky to find a excellent working example recently and would like more information on this model as it appears very little is on the internet about this model.
    My questions are:
    1. How rare is this model in good working condition?
    2. From what little I have found on this model it is supposed to have a very
    high quality build and sound even for today's standards. Is this true?
    3. How does this unit compare to some of the better ( not as to ultra high end) cd players of today?

    I was lucky to find a new condition service manual and have included specification page. Also pictures I recently took. I may not be using the search function parameters correctly on here as it brings up hundreds of posts none directly on d-700. Thank you for helping out.


    You can clearly see the small size of player on my secondary equipment stand
  2. OneMalt Contributor
    Try posting this at AudioKarma.org. There are a lot of vintage equipment "specialists" there that might be able to help you out.
  3. memepool
    Wow that's very rare. I have a small collection of early Sony Discmen including the D20, D-50, D-Z555, D-88...etc but I've never come accross this one before.

    From the styling it looks to be a contemporary of the D-50 ( D-5 in the USA) which would be around 1985-6 by the time it was comercially available worldwide although models of this vintage were around since the early '80s and were practically prototypes.

    As such build quality is generally very high as mass production hadn't begun in earnest and you often find many of the parts had to be bespoke. Sound-wise I really like the signature of the first generation Sony PCDPs. To my ear it's often preferable to the full sized Sony units of this period which were not as musical as the early Philips based machines. I'd expect yours to sound like the D-50 which has a rich warm slightly rolled off sound with really impressive bass compared to a modern portable CD player ( if they are still available) or MP3 player.

    Machines like this don't offer the levels of detail which the best modern DACs can extract but they are still often musically very satisfying and the superior build quality generally imbues them with a sense of solidity lacking in all but the very best high end CD transports available today.

    Products like this were completely focused on squeezing every last ounce of music from a CD, coming almost hand built straight out of the R&D department of a Sony at the peak of it's powers, as it's statement product for the whole company. From an engineering point of view this is pretty impressive stuff and it will appreciate in value to serious collectors of this kind of stuff which as you no doubt know from walkmans there are many.

    Presumably you're familiar with sites like

    TVK °1: Sony
    Walkman Central - Sony Walkman Reference
    Vintage Electronics Have Soul - The Pocket Calculator Show Website

    where you can read more about this sort of stuff. None of them seem to have an example of your discman so I'm sure there will be considerable interest there. They do have some nice pics of your Biotracer though.
  4. WalkmanJohnFL
    Thank you gentleman for help. I will join AudioKarma. Memepool thank you greatly for detailed information on what you know. I have also a D-5 which truly does sound way to good for its age very warm full and wide sound stage. Also have the D-88 NIB,D-EJ885 last of the high end PCDP's from Sony. Just added a very rare Technics SL-XP7 ( released one year after D-5) mint working condition with ultra rare battery/protective case and A/C adapter. A/C adapter has unique plug nothing else works with these. So if find one must get adapter aftermarket wont work.
    SONY D-5 next to TECHNICS SL-XP7
    Notice substantially smaller size believe this Technics at release was smallest
    TECHNICS RARE SH-CDB7 battery/protective carry case
    Sony D-5 with A/C clip on adapter
  5. WalkmanJohnFL
    The D-5 Sony usually all you can find it with is the A/C adapter that fits under and on back end. It came with TWO portable battery pack add on items. Mine is the EBP-300 which has 6 yes SIX C battery's weighs in with player at over 3 pounds ! Not too portable. Other was a case that the D-5 slide into and was completely enclosed except for the front face.
  6. memepool
    I was also lucky to get two connection options with my D-5(0) a similar battery pack to the one you show there but with a strap instead of the metal handle at the front and also a similar looking one with mains adaptor and line out rca sockets. I have seen an example of the fully enclosing case you describe which I think is probably rarer and older than the version I got as these were quite long lived as PCDPs go, still being very expensive at the time.
    I stopped looking for them really after getting a D-Z555 as portable CD doesn't really get any better but I would be into finding the early Technics ones as I have a few of their miniature things which are lovely like the SV-260 DAT and SB-F1 Mini monitors.
  7. WalkmanJohnFL
  8. linuxworks
    ha! I also have an old original sony d5 and its plastic (not shown in this thread) battery carrying case. what a huge monster of a case that is!

    I also have the service manual for it, somewhere.

    when cd's first came out, it was very 'hip' to have a small cdplayer on your office desk. a lot of guys at work (mid 80's) had them and I had to, also [​IMG] was not a cheap purchase, either, iirc.

    someday I'll try tapping its internal signals to see if I can find i2s or something to get me to spdif out from it. otherwise it sits here as a collectors item as the first portable cd player, in the US at least. all metal and nothing like the cheap sony stuff that's out today.
  9. WalkmanJohnFL
    In the past 2 + years since I originally made this post I have learned some additional information about this player. Felt it was appropriate to add here as this is the only thread on this model. I have also decided to sell this player.

    This is a very unusual and rare early generation CD player made in 1986. It has been well cared for over the past 26 years ( am only the 2nd owner) still functioning as it was designed to do. IMPRESSIVE. The front load drawer still opens with lighting fast speed ( see below video link you tube). Display still lights with soft warm green glow and characters show clearly still.  I have the very hard to find ORIGINAL (not printed from pdf ) SONY SERVICE MANUAL for this player in near mint condition. A note on power this unit is the European model with 2 prong 220 V ac, 50 Hz. It is not switchable on the player to 110. I live in the USA and use a Simran AR-350 (350 Watt) step up voltage transformer which has worked flawlessly many years. It can be purchased new for $39 on Amazon following link http://www.amazon.com/Simran-AR-350-.../dp/B00526JO5O

    I am a serious collector of cassette Walkman ( 403 in collection grin was 283 when I started this thread Jan. 2010[​IMG]) and have several early PCDP players and a dbx DX-900 and an Onkyo that I rotate CD playing among. This player has added value of seeing only occasional yet regular use thus assuring future longer life of laser. NOTE although having the appearance of a portable CD player (PCDP) this D-700 ( D-170 USA/CAN) is NOT portable and uses power from house current. Although the rare D-88 which I have a boxed unit is much smaller it is a PCDP. .

    They also were very expensive in the early days and production numbers were limited. Engineering wise this player is a very impressive achievement with construction and materials approaching the most high end players out today. y. The build quality is impressive to say the least, the movement of the tray is “SWIFT”, function keys have a firm solid feel and unit is heavy weighing 3.5 pounds ( 1.6 kg ). This player has a most unique feature of a line out for headphones that has its own rotary dial volume control and a 10mW + 10mW output at 32 ohms. You could put this player on your nightstand and plug in quality headphones thus able to have a quality player at your bedside or desk with far better sound reproduction than nearly all PCDP’s. A unique usable feature.

    Another interesting feature of this early player is the SUBCODE OUT on back of player. Sony manual states this connector is provided to extend the utility of this compact disc player by allowing for the connection of optional equipment which will be available in the future. As graphics were planned to be used within CDs - a little bit like the display one can see on one's TV when using an LD(Laser Disc) player as CD player. It was however supposed to have images, not only text and digits. Simply in these earliest days they built in ability for CD player to have a graphic video output for images. Simple example is Karaoke with tv monitor prompts. Nobody ever put graphics on a CD or made a decoder available to my knowledge.




    · * Extremely compact size

    · * Convenient front loading type

    · * High performance and high fidelity

    · * AMS ( Automatic Music Search) for quick location of selections

    · * Search function for quick location of a desired point in a particular selection

    · * RMS (Random Music Sensor) allows selections to be played in a specified order

    · * Shuffle play function repeatedly plays selections in a random order

    · * Repeat functions for the whole disc and for a particular portion

    · * Digital readout display – the track number on the disc and the elapsed or remaining playing time are shown in the LCD window.


    Error correction Sony Super Strategy Cross Interleave Reed Solomon Code

    D/A conversion 16 bit linear

    Frequency response 20-20,000 Hz +/- 1/3 dB

    Total harmonic distortion Less than 0.0095%

    Dynamic range More than 85 dB ( 1 kHz )

    Wow and Flutter Below measurable limits


    5 1/8 X 2 1/8 X 7 ¼ inches

    130 X 48.4 X 193 mm

    Weight 3.5 lbs ( 1.6 kg )

    This actual player is the unit pictured on www.walkmancentral.com a excellent reference site. Several pieces of my audio collection have been chosen for use on this site. I am honored and grateful to Tim and Nick Jarmin. Copyright © 2005-2012 Tim Jarman and Nick Jarman. All rights reserved.

  10. MusoSam
    Hi WalkmanJohn,
    I too have a D700. I bought it new and it's still in its original box and packaging. I haven't used it in years as it basically stopped working and I was told it was a 'power supply problem' with the required part being unavailable! The back panel of mine has a different stick that indicates that it will run on 'AC 110v-240v'. I presume that this means it has a switching PS inside. The s/n is: 213786 which appears a bit later than yours(if you still have it).
    I don't want to junk it as it's in 'as new' condition apart from the p/s problem. I have thought about taking it apart and maybe seeing if I can either:
    - replace the internal p/s with something off the net from China or...
    - maybe simply bypassing the internal supply and installing a DC input on the rear panel and then finding a suitable external wall wart p/s.
    For the latter I'd have to identify what internal BUS voltage is required. I'm wondering if your workshop manual might indicate what this is...?
    I agree with your observations of the high quality of both build and sound! I've retired and am 'downsizing' to a smaller-everything - including my hi-fi system - so I'm quite interested in getting this thing going again! If you could identify the BUS voltage for me I'd appreciate it. I'd also be very interested in a p/copy of the workshop manual if it might be available (happy to pay).
    From memory the D700 was actually part of a miniature 'separates' hi-fi system. Wish I'd bought the lot...!

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