What's the safest gift to give this Christmas? If you're thinking of a compact disc player, you may be right, depending on the givee. If he or she doesn't have one of these revolutionary wonders yet, then a CD player may be sure to please.
But wait a minute. It's not as simple as that. Once you've decided to get a player, which player is it going to be? Models range in price from $98 (recently advertised by a couple of Los Angeles stores for a Sharp player) to $1,500 or more. Once you hear the good news--that most experts have heard little difference in digital-sound quality between various models despite their cost--the problem seems solved. But you still have to decide whether to get a player with added features, such as remote control.
And there's something else. Most people who own or are considering CD players are still in the first stage of their love affair with the compact disc. They're still overwhelmed simply at how the CD player can handle tracks in any order or skip unwanted tracks.
However, there's a new element in the picture: the multi -CD player.
Until just a few months ago only Pioneer had a multi-CD player on the market. Now, though, other companies are offering such models. JVC has one that, like Pioneer's, uses a six-disc magazine; Mitsubishi has a five-disc. Also, for the car, Sony has been offering a 10-disc Discjockey that locks away most of the equipment in the trunk; and just this week the company began shipments of a home version. To deal with this competition, Pioneer will introduce a pair of "second generation" multi-play models in January--adding features like a digital filter, "improved random play" and, on the PD-M70 model, 8-disc capability.