Sony CDP-520ES CD player Specifications

Sidebar: Specifications

Description: Programmable compact disc player with wireless, full-feature remote control. Loading system: front drawer. Frequency range: 2Hz–20kHz. Dynamic range: 96dB. Channel separation: 95dB. Total harmonic distortion: 0.003%. Maximum output level: 2V.
Dimensions: 17" (430mm) W by 3.25" (80mm) H by 13.25" (335mm) D. Weight: 14 lbs (6.7kg).
Price: $650 (1985); no longer available (2015).
Manufacturer: Sony Corporation of America, One Sony Drive, Park Ridge, NJ 07656 (1985). Sony Electronics Inc., 16530 Via Esprillo, San Diego, CA 92127-1708. Tel: (858) 942-2400. Web: (2015).

Sony Electronics Inc.
16530 Via Esprillo
San Diego, CA 92127-1708
(858) 942-2400

rexp's picture

Thanks for the interesting comparison Larry, so you played the same CD using the CDP-520ES in both systems and one sounded like the vinyl version and one sounded bad (be honest)? We really need to know why??

deckeda's picture

rexp, Mr. Archibald is a former publisher of the magazine; he hasn't been involved with Stereophile since 1999. This is a reprinted article.

John Atkinson's picture
I chose this 1985 review for the archives because of this statement of Gordon's "Although I was initially very impressed with many aspects of the first Sony CD player (footnote 1), the CDP-101, it has since proven to be one of the worst- sounding players ever marketed."

Gordon's review of the CDP-101 is still being touted by some audio skeptics as support for their claims that the first CD players were already as good as the then-new CD medium cold be, yet Gordon himself was honest enough to admit that his praise was misguided.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

volvic's picture

I have had two CDP 101's and two CDP111's for background music I loved the look but not the sound. Even by early 80's standards long listening sessions were bright and tiresome, violin playing would never sing like vinyl. But first listening sessions always sounded impressive and I bet fooled a lot of people. I laugh when I see people on ebay pawning them off for ridiculously high prices. They were lovely constructed machines but horrendously unreliable; servos, lasers failing after a few hundred hours and sticky doors. But the review brings back great memories of the early days of the CD and the mass marketing the record companies did to get people to buy. I remember Deutsche Grammophon promoting Karajan on CD and Decca doing the same for Solti and Philips for Haitink with posters and banners in every record store. Horrible sound but great memories of great musicians and record stores with physical media as far as the eye could see. Today we have better sound but no great giants in classical music and even fewer great record stores, sadly.