Heading for article: Saving the Sony CDP-101 CD Player

Beginning with the story of how the pioneering Sony CD Player helped bring CD quality satellite audio to fruition, we delve into the hidden flaw which is bringing these historic instruments down.

We show you how to add the heatsinks which Sony left out, rescuing the first CD player available in the U.S. The article also covers replacing the failure-prone and rare, focus and tracking servo amps, with commonly available parts. Get it here: 

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Saving the Sony CD Player article (3MB)

Sony CDP-101 CD Player

Sony CDP-101 still playing after 27-years

Adding a heatsink to the RAM control chip
Replacing the focus and tracking servo amps and adding a heatsink

Adding a heatsink to the RAM control chip

Replacing the focus and tracking servo amps and adding a heatsink


Reader Comments

Posted by Steve L. December 07, 2018 - 03:21 pm
Hi Mike, It was kind of you to comment and thanks for posting the photo of your player in operation. It does indeed look mint! Happy listening.

Posted by Mike M. December 07, 2018 - 03:15 pm
Hello, I just wanted to thank you for dedicated page on this wonderful player. I purchased my CDP-101 from its original owner who bought it very early here in America. In fact mines dated March of '83, one of the first on its international release. Mine is still mint, and I still use it to this day as seen here: https://i.imgur.com/R4EEyLT.jpg

Posted by Steve L. March 21, 2018 - 07:55 am
Hi Steve H., The behavior you describe is simply what the player does when it cannot read a disc. Of course, there are countless possible causes, including a bad or marginal disc. Perhaps the first step after making sure the disc is good would be to confirm that the player spins it after insertion. Beyond that, I can only refer you to books on CD player troubleshooting. An older one would probably be best for dealing with the CDP-101 but you are unlikely to find much addressing this particular player, other than the Sony service manual. My books on the subject include Lenk: Complete Guide to Compact Disk Player Troubleshooting and Repair and Davidson: Troubleshooting and Repairing Compact Disc Players. I hope you can make progress with your player. The CDP-101 is truly a piece of history.

Posted by Steve H March 21, 2018 - 02:42 am
Hi I have a CDP-101 that while the drawer opens and closes fine. When a cd in inserted the drawer closes then around 5 seconds later the drawer opens again. When I took off the cover I noticed the arm closing over the disc then when looked like had engaged went back up and the drawer opened. Any suggestions on what the issue may be?

Posted by Steve L. September 10, 2016 - 02:55 pm
Hi J, Happy to help. The 1-ohm resistors are 1/4W (plain carbon film). The 0.22uF caps are ordinary, ceramic, 25V (or higher). Please let me know how it goes.

Posted by J September 10, 2016 - 02:40 pm
Hello Steve,

Apologies if youve moved on from the repair to this player, but I read your article with great interest and as I have a couple of CDP101s that are exhibiting the servo problems, I thought Id get some parts together and make up your solution. Could I ask what size resistors ( wattage) you used and what type of capacitors, are they ceramic or tantalum and what voltage?

Thanks in advance.

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