This early machine was known in some markets as a “Super Discman”. It was the top of the range and was the smallest and best specified of all the models. Our picture shows how slim it is, but once the BP-100 rechargeable pack is fitted it becomes nearly half as thick again. However, it was still one of the smallest compact disc players of the time. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Unlike the rather basic D-50, the D-100 was feature-rich. The tracks could be programmed to play in any order and there were a choice of repeat modes, including A/B where any portion of the disc, from the whole playing time to a single drumbeat, could be repeated indefinitely. An optional adaptor even allowed an infra-red remote control to be used, something that may have been useful when the machine was connected to a hi-fi system. For this purpose, a line out connector was fitted. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The D-100 was yet another example of Sony’s ability to squeeze a lot of complex electronics into a very small space. Several printed panels are squeezed into the tiny case, but it is the mechanical section that is most noteworthy. The slim profile makes the design of many parts of a compact disc player difficult, not least of which is the spindle motor that turns the disc. This has to be powerful enough to turn accurately, even at low speeds. A suitable motor could not be fitted into the D-100 so instead it employed a technique from the past - it was belt drive! This sounds odd in the context of the direct-drive LP turntables which were popular at the time, but it was the perfect way to increase the torque of a tiny motor. The belt was a specialised fibre-reinforced type and was not elastic like rubber belts are, so it was held in tension by a sprung jockey wheel. Using the belt drive allowed the motor to be offset to the side of the CD axis, allowing a really sturdy centre bearing to be used. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The D-100 offered little protection against “skipping” and so had to be carried carefully. A strap, complete with embroidered “Discman” logo, could be attached to the battery (to which the player itself was clipped), and so if one walked carefully the unobtrusive size and the high quality sound made for a pleasant experience. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.