I used a predecessor of the Harris CD2001 compact disc player – Audimetrics by Harris, – at WNNK-FM, Harrisburg, Pa. Designed primarily for use in radio broadcast and production studios, its durability, small size and ease of operation made it suitable for use on the road in “wedding DJ” rigs and in sound reinforcement cases for that always-necessary background music before and after the concert. Its speed and simplicity of operation also made it a popular performer in live theater sound (effect playback et al).
Product PointsApplications: Broadcast
Key Features: Search dial; Up/Down track buttons; fuse holder; balanced analog XLR outputs; AES/EBU digital output
Contact: Harris at 615-370-9001.
Today, the CD2001 also has a built-in AES/EBU digital output, making it compatible with practically any pro or broadcast digital console. The unit was designed to be used with standard Denon-style CD cartridges and cues up quickly, can be fired by remote control and offers numerous display and playback options.
The front face of the CD2001 ($1,497) is slightly wider than 5 1/2″, making it possible to fit three of them side-by-side in a typical equipment rack. This is based partly in recent radio history: the CD2001 can be thought of as a direct replacement for ITC-type tape cartridge decks, which also fit three-to-a-rack.
Don’t look for a direct-entry keypad on the Harris CD2001. The fastest way to cue up a cut is to give the Search Dial a spin. Dial in the cut you want on the inner wheel before inserting the disc. Once the disc is in, the wheel automatically changes to Frame Search mode – every spin of the wheel advances the disc one frame. The outer ring of the Search Dial shuttles the Play Start position backward or forwards. How far you rotate the ring determines how fast the CD2001 moves through a desired cut for cueing.
On sound effect or production music CDs, where there can be as many as 99 tracks per disc, the dial is the fastest way to plow through many cuts. On music discs with fewer cuts, use the Up/Down Track buttons immediately above.
A cluster of four buttons control play, stop, standby and pause. It is easy to confuse the pause and standby buttons when cueing a cut to a beat – hit the wrong one and you suddenly find yourself where you don’t want to be. Standby returns you to your cue point. Pause stops you right where you are. Tap Play and the music starts at once.
The back panel features will please any engineer who has had to wrestle with consumer or semipro CD decks. The fuse holder is right inside the AC input socket and not buried inside the chassis. Individual trimmers on both balanced analog XLR outputs make it easy to balance levels going into the console: tune it once with a test CD and you are done. A third XLR socket is the AES/EBU digital output.
A cluster of DIP switches lets you choose mono or stereo output (a handier feature than you might think), display count-up or count-down, cue level detection for snug starts and segues, as well as activate a remote control.
There is a 25-pin D-sub socket on the CD2001 for a remote control of your own design. This can be as elaborate or simple as you wish; for example, a contact closure or open collector to activate play – all the way up to a full-function box with status lights and search buttons.
Harris made points with me on that one. Some rack gear I am familiar with needs to see a specific resistance across a pair of terminals to implement some function – 210 ohms for Stop, 280 ohms for Rewind etc – and I am not a big fan of building black boxes. The CD2001 keeps it simple.
The Harris CD2001 owes a nod to the established Denon line of CD cartridge players, now a decade strong. The front panel is familiar to Denon users, simple to navigate through and the same cartridges that fit the Denon deck fits them all.
For high-energy radio performance and tight production, the CD2001 is a workhorse. Starts are immediate, recueing with the standby button is fast and accurate with no slips or drifting and operators can work the wheel with great precision. A clever safety feature is the stop/eject interlock, which prevents the accidental ejection of a CD cartridge without first pressing the stop button. Nothing sounds lamer than ejecting the song that is playing on the air, and the CD2001 keeps that from happening.
The CD2001 would not be my first choice for club mixing. DJs need a varispeed CD deck, such as those made by Denon, Numark, Pioneer and others, to quickly slide and lock one CD to another beat-for-beat. The CD2001 does not offer varispeed, although there is a feature that hikes the playback speed of the CD2001 by two percent.
Opinions among the radio DJs testing our Harris CD2001 were extremely positive, especially where they needed a “panic cut.” (Suddenly realizing they were out of music and had to slam in a song – any song – and get it on the air.) The CD2001 quickly read the TOC on a disc and got them going fast.
The jocks were concerned that a hard bump could misalign the shutter, jamming the cartridge inside the deck if not noticed before insertion. This would require twisting a small screw mechanism on the side of the CD2001 to manually eject the cartridge. In extreme cases, disassembly would be the only way to recover a damaged cartridge.
In its defense, the Denon cartridge has been a dependable radio mainstay for a decade, so most users have learned how to handle them. New users should be shown how it’s done.
The Harris CD2001 is a dependable deck with solid features and construction. It is simple to use and maintain, with an easily accessible and replaceable laser head and access to all electronics.
Use care if installing a CD2001 in a remote broadcast van. Temperature and humidity concerns could clobber performance, especially if condensation should form on the lens or other parts of the laser head. If you put one in the studio, don’t nail it down in the rack. You will want to be able to slide it out for occasional maintenance and the odd jammed cartridge. In fact, buy extra cartridges. Someone is bound to crack a few.