May 26th, 2013
A number of early commercial and promotional CD samplers have been posted here over the years. These samplers were issued to promote the new music format and, often times, a particular record label’s artists. Here we have an unusual promotional sampler, titled Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc. This CD was issued by Quasar in conjunction with Philips under catalog number QUA-VOL2. Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc is a classical music sampler and contains 12 tracks.
The Philips connection to this CD is no surprise. Philips co-developed the CD format with Sony. Additionally, Philips maintained a classical music label and began turning out classical music CDs in 1982. However, the Quasar connection is a surprise, at least to me. Back in the early ’80s, Quasar was owned by Matsushita, which also owned Technics. Technics is a well-known name for audio components — receivers, turntables, cassette decks, and yes, CD players. Various promotional CD samplers were issued under the Technics banner in the ’80s. Quasar, on the other hand, was known as a video brand — TVs, laserdisc players, and VCRs. (My parents bought a Quasar VCR in 1983. Solid unit. We got many years out of it.) As the CD format gained steam in the ’80s, it seemed that Matsushita felt the need to put the well-known Quasar brand on CD players. Hence the sampler discussed here. Quasar CD players were uncommon, so it is believed that this CD sampler is rare today.
Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc was pressed in Japan by the parent company, Matsushita. Although the disc and inserts are undated, the CD is an early Matsushita pressing. It has “MADE BY MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND.CO.,LTD.” and the Technics logo stamped on the clear plastic ring at the center. The inserts were printed in Japan. Both the disc and inserts are labeled “Not for Sale”.
Shown below are various pictures of the inserts associated with Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc, as well as the actual CD.
The cover for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2). Note the statement “Not for Sale” printed in the bottom right corner above the catalog number.
A page inside the booklet for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2) promoting the CD format. At that time, the format was promoted as providing 60 minutes of music playback. The actual capacity of a compact disc is approximately 80 minutes.
The back cover of the booklet for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2). Since the CD was new, it was common for handling and storage instructions to be included with promotional samplers and some discs sold at retail. As noted in the bottom left corner, the booklet was printed in Japan. Someone stamped the back cover of the booklet “SEP 3 1985”, which could indicate that this sampler CD was issued in 1985. However, the disc and inserts do not show a copyright or phonogram date.
The back insert for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2). This CD contains 12 classical music tracks. As noted in the bottom right corner, this insert was printed in Japan and is labeled “Not for Sale”.
A spine label for Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2).
The early CD sampler Quasar Digital Demonstration Disc (Philips, catalog number QUA-VOL2). This CD bears both the Philips and Quasar logos and is labeled “Not for Sale”. The disc was pressed in Japan by Matsushita and has “MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC IND.CO.,LTD.” and the Technics logo stamped on the plastic ring. The matrix code is simply “2-4”.