Erwin from the Netherlands here.
In 1991, I was 13 going on 14 and a fan of Philips. My dad worked there, and the company was part of our lives. I owned a cheap hifi set and dreamed of owning an 800-series one day. I once had all the catalogs from 1990 up until about 1997 and knew them by heart from front-to-back.
When the 900-series and DCC came along, I first saw them on a Philips Family Day (where family members of employees could tour the facility). They were on display with all the new products for the following year in the employee shop on the premise, but couldn’t be listened to (quite possibly those were dummy units).
From the start I was fascinated with the format. The prospect of taking CDs from the library and making perfect sounding copies at home sounded like a license to print money to little 14 year old me LOL. Btw, I still think this is why DCC was most successful here in the Netherlands. We’re cheap buggers after all.
Of course I couldn’t afford the 900-series at age 14, let alone the DCC900, but the interest remained. I read everything there was to read about DCC. In 1992 Philips launched their road show: a touring pavilion across the Netherlands showcasing (mainly) CDi, DCC and widescreen TVs. I must have visited it 20 times in the three days it was in my city.
In 1994 I was able to buy a CD950 from hard earned money and the coincidence that the employee shop needed to get rid of their demo unit. DCC came in a year later in 1995 when I managed to buy a new-in-box DCC900 for a steep discount in the employee store. At age 16 my friends all had mopeds and scooters, but I owned a 900-series top-of-the-line CD and DCC player. And a bike, as you can only spend money once.
Over the years I accumulated stacks of tapes and even a second deck (DCC951) just-in-case. That one was an absolute steal on clearance at 100 Dutch guilders (about $50 in 1998 money) including a number of prerecorded tapes.
I still have both decks and most of the prerecorded tapes (and of course all my own recordings).
I don’t own any rare things. I do own a Philips branded demo tape that comes in a large box along with an analogue tape that has the same music on it, so you could compare DCC to traditional tapes. No idea if this is rare, but it does mention that it’s not for resale.