When did you first hear about DCC?

For me, it had to be around 2011-ish. I was going through an old magazine from 1993 and I came across this ad. I had never heard of this format before. And by that point I was already collecting vinyl and analog tapes but I had never heard of a DCC before. During its initial run I was only a little kid (like 2-6 years old) and we never went into any store that sold them, so that’s how I was completely oblivious to their existence. It took me a decade to get a machine of my own, but now I’m experiencing something the world (especially in the US) was missing out on. And now I’m ready to bring awareness to my friends and family about this medium! I can’t stop talking about DCC!

So what’s your story? When did you first hear about DCC? Did you buy your machine brand new in the 90s? Or decades later because you were too young (like I was) and not aware of the medium?

Thanks.

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I vaguely remember hearing about it in 1991-1992 or about. I was an avid reeltoreel and Compact Cassette user (I was a tape lover with hundreds of tapes) and had a great interest in Audio.

I was still living with my parents, but was about to move out of the house. I was only slightly interested in DCC at the time, but could never afford the players. And soon my attention was on other things and I sort of forgot about it. And to be fair, in those years, audio was not on my mind anymore. MiniDisc and DAT also got past me.

Skip forward to the 2010’s and I am picking up my audio hobby again. Looking online for nice reeltoreel decks to buy, I noticed that you could find DCC decks fairly cheap here in Holland. So I thought: ‘Why not? Let’s try that out’ and got one (for 30 euros? I guess). That was my first encounter with DCC.

The rest as they say, is history. I now have way more DCC decks than reeltoreel decks, but I’m still loving tape!

-Philip.

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I was a subscriber to Stereo Review and Audio mags back in the 80s into the late late 90s. once I saw a blurb for it in one of those mags i waited until a local shop got the dcc 900 in stock and bought it that week. same for when the MZ-1 minidisc came out - bought two of those at their initial launch and still have them today.

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As I stated in my opening during the Premiere of the DCC Documentary, DCC… There is Still Music Left to Write, I was not onboard the DCC ship for a long time.

In 1988 I fully converted to CD and when DCC and MD came in 1992, I had just sold my Nakamichi RX-202 and all my tapes. I could not believe why Philips would go for another tape format and after listening to MD (horrible at that time in my opinion), I opted to wait for the recordable CD.

Basically I did not record anything during 1992-1994 when I got the first recordable CD, if my memory serves me right.

One of my friends that had won a DCC600 during a radio show, was selling it during a garage sale in 1998. I bought it, so that was my first recording experience with DCC. To be honest, I really liked the audio quality, but not the convenience. I was still a CD only guy…

In 2014 when I really regretted having sold all my Vinyl and Cassettes, I decided to try and get all formats in a big wall of shame. DCC/CD/MD/Cassette/Vinyl/Elcaset/8Track/DAT/NT2/R2R/ and other even more obscure (from Pock Rockers to Sabamobil) were added.

I had a big problem finding a DCC deck in the US (I moved to the USA in 2009) and I bought 2 DCC130 online in the Netherlands, that were in working condition. At least that is what the seller stated.

When I picked them up 6 months later, during a visit to the Netherlands, they both were not working.
That was the start of me getting back into Electronics and discovering the real story behind DCC.

How blind had I been, for nearly 20 years, regarding the story behind this awesome technology that changed the digital audio world in a major way.

Since there were so very few videos about repairing DCC, I decided to film my experiences. First only portables. I was liking the work and technology so much, that I decided to start the DCC Museum in 2015.

Big part of that decision was that Jac Goudsmit only lived an hour away, so we could work and share together.

Late start, but I believe that the DCC Museum has contributed in a major way, documenting the history, preserving the format and even producing new music since 2017.

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I don’t remember how or when I first heard about it.

I’m pretty sure when I first heard about a cassette that could be recorded digitally and a recorder that could also use analog cassettes, I thought it was a great idea. I already had a CD player (and I had made sure it had a digital output in case I would ever own some sort of digital audio recording device) and I was buying a lot of music at the time (end of the 1980s, beginning of the 1990s) and recording music from the radio.

I went to the Firato electronics show in Amsterdam in 1992 just like I did every 2 years, and was very impressed with DCC (and MiniDisc too by the way but as a Philips fan I preferred DCC). I know I saw a DCC recorder with a sideways drawer at the time, and I remember it was a German brand. Now I know this must have been the Grundig DCC380 which was under development at Philips in Hasselt (where I would work for a while in 1996 but that’s a different story).

Around that time, in 1992, I was studying Computer Science and I moved out of my parents’ house near Eindhoven, to a student house in Eindhoven (home town of Philips, where my dad worked at the time). I would have liked to have a DCC recorder but there was no way I would be able to afford it. But that was okay: The first DCC recorder was a 900 series anyway and I always found the 900 series ugly. Also from what I heard, it was missing some features like title recording. So like many others, I decided it could wait. I had a nice quality analog stereo system, top-of-the-line Philips (made by Marantz) 1987.

I remember (in what must have been 1993) Philips came out with the DCC recorders that had their drawers sideways, and I hung around the “V&D” store drooling at them. Those looked so much better than the DCC900! But I was still studying and had no money. And they still hadn’t fixed the problem that you could buy tapes with titles (I was totally not interested in buying prerecorded tapes at all whatsoever) but you couldn’t record your own titles on tape. It could wait.

In 1993 I graduated but it took me a while to get my first job at Codim, a small company that made CD-i productions. Now I could finally afford to buy an actual S-VHS VCR, an actual TV and a DCC recorder. This was the beginning of 1995. I got the DCC730 because I thought it was a beautiful machine and it finally had the title editing features. I didn’t care that it was an 18 bit machine; CD’s were 16 bits anyway.

In November 1995, I had just moved out of my student home to an apartment. My friends and I visited all computer fairs around the country a few times a year, and one of those was the “HCC Dagen” in Utrecht. The first thing I saw was a big Philips truck just past the ticket booth. I went in because I was a Philips fan, and I saw the DCC-175 with DCC-Studio. Editing DCC’s with a computer! That was AWESOME! They sold them at the truck but at first, I left without buying one because it was quite expensive: my DCC730 had been something like 400 guilders ($200?) and the DCC175 with PC-cable was 900 guilders. Ouch! I didn’t really have that kind of money.

But I walked around the fair for a while and decided if I was going to get off the train near my house and feel bad about a decision, it was going to be because I wouldn’t have bought it, not because I wouldn’t have money. So I went back to the truck and bought one. I still walked around the fair for the rest of the day but I don’t think I bought anything else.

At the time, (1995/1996) I had been a member of the DCC-L email discussion list for a while, and there were some Philips people on there that were saying things like PASC is almost the same as MP1. Eventually with the help of someone at Philips whose name I forgot, I wrote the “DCCConv” program to convert an MPP file to MP1. So now I could convert DCC-Studio files to MP1 which many audio players could play. Unfortunately, DCC-L no longer exists and the Wayback Machine doesn’t have any archives of it. Also I didn’t have any websites back then so the DCCConv program was hosted by someone else who got tired of it and took his site down and my program with it.

In 1996, two weeks before Philips announced the demise of DCC, I wrote the DCC-FAQ page which is still online today, at dcc-faq.org. I kept it online even after I emigrated to the USA in 2000. It became more or less the de-facto main source for information about DCC because there wasn’t anything else anymore. Later on, Jonathan “John-John” Dupré, a French guy, put another website online and some Youtube videos, but that was all.

At the end of the 1990s, also thanks to my job at Codim where they used CD-R way before it was available to consumers, I got heavily into recordable CD and recordable DVD. I became a beta tester for Plextor and ended up with a lot of CD recorders and DVD recorders. DCC got pushed to the background a little, and when I bought a new stereo system in 1997 or so (a Marantz Slimline – very beautiful but actually not as good in sound quality as my 1987 system), I got a Minidisc recorder too.

I didn’t take my 730 when I emigrated; I had left it behind with my dad who eventually moved to Spain with his wife and took it with him and stored it for many years. I didn’t take my Marantz Slimline either and my dad sold it to his ex-neighbor (with my permission) so I could use the money to pay off some student debt.

But I had taken my DCC-175 and PC-cable with me when I emigrated. In my suitcase, because it was one of the rarest things I own. Over the years I used it every once in a while to play my DCC’s and cassettes, but eventually it stopped working for no obvious reason (turned out it was the belt, of course). So I kinda lost interest in DCC.

In 2014 due to circumstances I got in a nostalgic mood and I bought a DCC600 and an Optimus DCT2000 from eBay. The 600 was kinda iffy and the DCT2000 didn’t arrive at all at first, and eventually did arrive but had been smashed to death by the post office, thanks to some crappy packaging. I digitized all my old tapes and also played a bunch of analog cassettes because I didn’t have any other way to do that at the time. That was fun but I put those away again too.

In 2015 my dad moved back to the Netherlands and had to downsize, so he couldn’t store my stuff anymore. He sent me my DCC730 and a preproduction Philips CD100 that I once got as a present from a colleague (but that’s another story). I had to buy a step-up transformer to provide power, but everything still worked, even though I didn’t even bother to put the transport protection screws in the CD100.

Shortly after that, I moved from Arizona to Southern California and I got this Facebook message one day from this guy called Ralf who was into DCC and had heard that I knew a few things about it. My answer was that I would be happy to help, and I actually lived not too far away. We met, and the rest, as they say, is history :slight_smile:

I’ve bought a number of DCC recorders to add to my collection, but I don’t have any recorders in my permanent setup. I’m mostly interested in the technology, and the possibility of adding features to DCC recorders that Philips didn’t think were important enough to bother with. When we got the DCC System Specification from a donor a couple of years ago, that was the Holy Grail of information that made it possible to continue with DCC into the future.

At least as long as there are heads and cassettes.

===Jac

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7 posts were split to a new topic: Other tape formats

Good question. I think I first heard of DCC around the early 90’s - I was an avid vinyl user (always have been) and had bought my first CD player around '87. The first one I bought was around '95 I think (cannot remember the model number) and bought it 2nd hand with a selection of tapes and liked what I heard and how it worked (solid clunks).
Sold it a few years later as decided that the limited catalogue was not what I wanted so stuck with vinyl (1000’s of albums, gulp!)
Got the current one a good few years back as still had a large collection of analogue tapes and remembered the DCC seemed to play these very well and all was good until around 6 months ago when it started to misbehave :frowning:

I reckon I first heard about it when the Optimus DCT-2000 made its debut in the 1994 Radio Shack catalog, actually. I do remember checking one out at the local Radio Shack, as well, though I didn’t actually buy it; not only was the Optimus a really expensive bit ot gear at the time, but none of the local music stores seemed to have any albums on DCC, so I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to do with the Optimus DCC unit that I couldn’t already do with the rather nice Pioneer cassette deck I already owned – especially since no one seemed to be carrying portables or car-stereo units around me, either, so any home recordings I made with the DCT-2000 would only be usable at home on the DCT-2000, or so I thought at the time.

(That “lack of ecosystem” issue is what caused me to get into MiniDisc a year or two later, instead; not only were several local stores carrying prerecorded MDs as well as blank discs, but Best Buy had a “bundle” package that included both a full-sized Sony deck and a portable unit, and the car-stereo shop down the street from them had in-dash car-stereo MD units. Who knows, maybe if the situation had been reversed, and DCC tapes and portable units had been more visible or widely available…)

I acquired my current DCC900 deck and a modest collection of tapes from an estate sale sometime in the early 2000s, I believe, and I’ve been slowly adding to the collection of tapes as I come across them. I’ve occasionally resorted to eBay, but it’s more fun to hunt them down at record-collectors’ conventions, “antiques malls”, estate sales, small-town record stores run by eccentric 80-year-old hippies… :grin: They’re not common finds, to be sure, but every once in a blue moon they do turn up in the most unexpected places!

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My first contact with DCC was at a visit to PolyGram in Baarn NL.
While being shown the process of making prerecorded compact cassettes,
a worker mentioned that within a year Philips would revolutionize tapes.
We were shown a specimen of the famous slider case and tape.
It was awesome.

However, studies and peronal misfortune drove stereo equipment to a back burner
for years. In 1997 a coworker showed me his DCC setup. A DCC600 in the livingroom
and a DCC car stereo.
However, being in a side hustle selling computers, I had begun cd recording in 1996 when I bought
a SCSI burner with a buddy of mine. So tapes were no longer in my mind.

In 2013 I moved to a larger apartment so I had space to start thinking about stereo hardware. I quickly discovered that many of the then unaffordable components were now up for grabs on marktplaats and in thrift stores.

Having been a Marantz and Philips fanboy, I started collecting Philips 800 series and Marantz to complement my SR7000 which I bought new at the turn of the century.
Another coworker came to me that she had a bag full of weird tapes in the attic. If I’d like them.
I said yes, and a few weeks later I got a bag with about a hundred DCC tapes.

I quickly searched for DCC decks and withn a week I had 2 DCC600 and 2 DCC170. Only one DCC600 worked. However, each had cost me only 50-75 euros.
I had all restored by ProAVS and soon was enjoying them.

Then in 2020/21 lots of DAT and DCC equipment started to appear on ebay and marktplaats.
I managed to secure some nice deals; 2x Philips DAT850 in pristine and recently refurbd.
Some 200 DAT tapes. Several lots of DCC tapes (have about 150 now)

On marktplaats I found DCC900 and DCC951 both pristine but in need of refurb.
I spoke to the seller, told him what was due and why i’d bemaking my offer. He accepted but
asked if the machines would be more valuable if restored. I said yes.

2 weeks later I got an email from him if i’d be interested in a refurbd Marantz DD82 in box.
Which i agreed upon.

And just last week my colleague gave me an RS-D8 which I hope is restorable.

So form zero to hero collection wise in about 2-3 years time.

Recently I purchased an ‘EMU0404’ audio interface to do pc-to-dcc and v.v. recordings.

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Great question.

I actually saw it first as a price that was given at the end of a tv show on Dutch television. Show was called “Ter land, ter zee & in de lucht” prijs Wasa DCC130

I was sold immediately. So I went to a local hifi store in Haarlem. They had only a demo model but liked it alot.

I ended up not buying it as funds had been limitedand DCc was pretty expensive.

I finally bought the next generation of DCC.

I got a dcc135 and one of the mini tower hifi sets. I sold everything soon after and moved to Minidisc:)

In the end I saw the great work that the DCC museum is doing and became a patreon and bought a few players. Never looked back:) happy playing DCC tapes for almost two years

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Hi!

My 1st post here and the encounter with Dcc started in 1992 in Sweden with a Philips dcc-730 that was on clearance in the shops at that time.

Working with electronics design and construction I became curious and just had to buy one.

It was a rather nice experience iirc but it didn’t replace my analogue tape decks mostly due to not being widely available.

I ended up selling it in 2019 - still fully functional - with two dcc cassettes - which were the only ones I ever purchased for it…

Now in 2022 - after a few years of re-visiting portable recording devices from the past like Minidisc (SO&Hi-MD) , DAT (D8) and various Walkmans I ended up with a DCC170 mostly because I wanted to see how they used Panasonics Ar90 in a new way.

To be continued :slight_smile:

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The DCC-730 didn’t come out until 1995. It probably went on clearance in 1996 after Philips canceled the DCC project.

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Ok thanks for the correction, still so many years ago :slight_smile:

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could you elaborate on that?

Yes, I used to have the Panasonic RQ-S60 from the early 90’s, which used the AR90 mechanic, and it had certain qualities which I liked and was also built like a tank. There was a reported problem with the springs for the pinch rollers being a bit too strong which caused the rollers to change form after some use resulting in increased (and audible) W&F.

I’ve heard (and seen 1st hand) that the DCC170 appears to be built around the same mech and was curios if they improved it apart from the obvious DCC-related changes.

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I’ve looked at a video about someone servicing this mechanism. It is indeed the same as the DCC portables.

I learnt something new there, that you can take the ‘lid’ of the motor gear, to clean underneath. I didn’t know that yet! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Yes indeed, a very convenient way to clean - in my case I didn’t remove the ‘lid’ since it appeared to be more fixed than in this video and was afraid of ruin it. :sunglasses:

It’s not the same but very similar.

Here’s another video of a repair of a Panasonix RQ SX20 that I saw a couple of months ago; I posted a comment on it that that was very similar to DCC portables too. This model is apparently slightly NEWER than the ones we know and love.

===Jac

but but… this one has 2 belts…

The first time I heared or rather read about DCC… Must be around 1992… I know I had this dispute with a colleague about DCC and minidisc. I claimed that if you played an ordinary compact cassette one could copy that digitally.(true). There is a SPDIF output digitally when you play an analogue tape. This appealed to me because in those days I recorded a lot on tape. Mostly with the band. Copies were always a bit cumbersome because of the loss. With DCC that problem was to go away… This was before the DCC170 came to the theatre… that recorder changed everything! Well the rest is history, and present day!

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