Production: 1996 - 2011
Designer: David Lewis
BeoSound 9000, introduced in 1996, was a 6-CD music system offering radio on the FM Stereo and AM wavebands.
With the BeoSound 9000 Bang & Olufsen created an instant icon with the popular design looking like a work of art hanging on a wall or on its own specially-created floor stand. Equally the system was well-suited for placement on a shelf or table, when it could be made to lean slightly forward, although the full effect of viewing its CD-playing operation would have gone largely missed.
BeoSound 9000’s design was quite novel for Bang & Olufsen with ’show’ being definitely the word to describe it. Other manufacturers had devised their own way of storing and playing back whole CD collections (Sony offered a 200-CD deck for the random playing of tracks) but Bang & Olufsen’s philosphy has always been to do it differently. The original plan was for a machine which played back ten CDs but this was cut back to ‘just’ six before production commenced. Nowadays a purchaser would have special reason to buy BeoSound 9000 as digital media has all but taken over the playing back of music for a lot of people (hence the introduction of BeoSound 5 in February 2009. Again here the emphasis was on ’show’).
Read by a laser, a large clamper was driven at high speed by quite a powerful motor along the row of six discs. Protective screens had to be installed in order to protect sensitive eyes or damage to the unit while in playback mode. The sophisticated mechanics were ‘knowledgeable’ in recognising when fingers or other objects were detected along its path. Movement would then cease until the obstruction was cleared. In addition to this, when the glass lid was in the open position the motorised clamper would travel along its length far more slowly. Like a lot of Bang & Olufsen’s products the glass cover was mechanically operated, opened by the user pressing a button along its front edge. Further buttons situated at the side of each disc placement allowed access to each of the six compact discs. Good-sized LED displays showed the user exactly what was happening. An interesting point to raise here was that compact discs would finish their playback at the same angle as that at the time of loading them.
A good number of programming facilities were included with tracks and disc sequences being among the included options. Another very useful option - with potentially six dozen or so tracks being on offer in total - was that of the random sequence. Fascinating to look at, the user could witness the clamper racing up and down the six CDs in order to choose something desirable for the listener to listen to.
Compact discs - as the BeoSound 3000 and 3200 - could be given their own ‘names’ with track details being shown on the LED display. Up to 200 CD titles could be memorised by the internal memory and recognised when they were later placed in the machine for playback. The discs themselves were visible, a practice which has been in use since the inception of the Beocenter 2300/2500 in the early 1990s.
In connecting to loudspeakers, it was suggested that active speakers through the Power Link connections, be made. In the case of BeoSound 9000 the recommendation was for BeoLab 8000. If necessary, a 7-pin socket allowed for the connection to external equipment (selected by using ’A-AUX’) in order to use BeoSound 9000 as a CD player. The radio section was disabled in this case.
Full remote control was via the Beo4 which usually had to be bought as an accessory. A connection for MasterLink, for using the apparatus around the house, was also combined.
With later models of the BeoSound 9000 N.MUSIC could be used although a system upgrade could be made after purchase of MKII and MKIII variants of the machine. Only MKI could not be used with N.MUSIC.
BeoSound 9000 MK III also was fitted with a different CD mechanism and came complete with PIN-code security. The glass plate also went several updates as the earlier ones tended to come rather loose.
Mark 1: 2522, Mark 2: 2562, Mark 3: 2572
BeoSound 9000: 6 CD stations • extended programming • memory for up to 200 titles • FM/AM radio with 60 presets • optional Beo4 remote control operation • connections for Beolink® and headphones • wall bracket and floor stands are optional
Dimension W x H x D / Weight:
30 x 90 x 7 cm / 11.5 kg
Cabinet finish: Black/aluminium
Power consumption: Typical 12 W, standby < 1.2 W
Pre-tuned radio programmes: 60 FM or AM
Radio ranges: According to type
Compact disc: Built-in
Disc sizes: 6 x 12 cm, 8 cm
Frequency range: 20 - 20,000 Hz, +-1 dB
Signal-to-noise-ratio: Typical 101 dB, A weighted
D/A converting: Bitstream, analogue filtration
Naming (200 titles)
Power Link (two)
FM aerial, 75 ohm
AM aerial (Dedicated)
Master Link (ML)
Digital output (S/PDIF = Sony/Philips Digital Interface)
Beolink®: Master Link (ML)
Remote control: Beo4
Wall bracket, horizontal
Vertical wall bracket
Stand, adjustable in two heights