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Philips CDR785

3 CD + 1-CD-R/RW recorder/changer ( )

Item # 092CDR785

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Our take on the Philips CDR785

Easy recording. Flexible playback. Mixing and dubbing versatility. What more could you ask for? Philips' CDR785 provides a 3-disc CD changer and single record well, for hours of continuous music and easy creation of compilation CD-Rs and CD-RWs. Just program up to 99 tracks, and hit record!

Easy recording. Flexible playback. Mixing and dubbing versatility. What more could you ask for? Philips' CDR785 provides a 3-disc CD changer and single record well, for hours of continuous music and easy creation of compilation CD-Rs and CD-RWs. Just program up to 99 tracks, and hit record!

Check out the CDR785's creative recording options. Mic mixing makes you the star — record your own vocals or music, or just sing and play along with your favorite artists (mic not included). A-B programming lets you play and record a fragment of a track, for unique mixes or samples. Plus, you get CD Synchro for dubbing from external digital or analog sources.

CD Text lets you create (and display) disc/track titles and artist names. Record level control comes in two forms: The recorder can automatically adjust digital record levels, or you can adjust them with the jog control. And double-speed dubbing makes copying a favorite disc speedy. The built-in sampling rate converter lets you dub from non-44.1k digital sources like DBS or DAT — or you can bypass it to make bit-perfect dubs from CDs using Direct Line Recording.

Note: Component CD recorders let you record to CD-R (write-once recordable CD) discs or CD-RWs (rewritable CDs), for playback in almost all newer home, car and portable CD players and changers. (Check your specific model of CD player for disc compatibility.) Remember: Blank computer CDs are not compatible with audio CD recorders, so be sure to use blank audio discs (the logo on the disc's packaging must include the words "Digital Audio").


  • plays CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs; records to CD-Rs, CD-RWs
  • 3-CD changer with random and repeat
  • 99-track programming
  • disc naming (CD Text)
  • CD synchro recording from external analog/digital sources
  • auto and manual digital record level control
  • coaxial digital and analog outputs
  • optical digital, coaxial digital, and analog inputs
  • remote with direct track/disc access
  • headphone jack
  • SCMS
  • CD playback signal-to-noise ratio 98 dB
  • 17-1/8"W x 5-5/8"H x 15-3/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year

What's in the Box:

  • 3 CD player/CDR/W dubbing deck
  • Wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 5.5' AC power cord
  • Two 4.5' RCA stereo audio patch cords
  • One 3' coaxial digital cable
  • Owner's manual (English/French/Spanish)
  • Warranty Registration Card
  • 3 Quick Start Sheets (English/Spanish/French)
  • Addendum on recommended discs
  • World-Wide Guarantee sheet (excludes US)
  • Philips CDR/W promo
  • Philips product booklet
  • Blank Philips 74 minute CD-R
  • VHS tape "The 5 Minutes How to Make Your Own CD"

Hands-on research

Product Research

Inputs and Outputs


The specifications in the Crutchfield database are for CD playback mode.  In CDR playback mode, the specifications are as follows:

  • Playback S/N (A-weighted): 100 dB
  • Playback S/N: 98 dB
  • Playback Dynamic Range: 94 dB
  • Channel Separation: 89 dB

In recording mode, the specifications are as follows:

  • Recording S/N: Analog= 96dB; Digital = equal to source
  • Recording Dynamic range: 92 dB
  • Recording THD: 0.005%

This unit consists of a single CDR recording/playback deck and 3-CD changer. Note that as with all other such players you MUST use audio CDRs or CDRWs. CDs or CDRWs which are made for computer use will NOT work. The word Digital Audio will appear on all compatible discs.  This unit also uses the SCMS copyright system, so you cannot make a digital copy of a digital copy. 



Note: This assumes that the CDR and/or CDRW has been finalized (TOC fixed).  Until the disc has been finalized it will only play back on a CDR/W recorder.

  • CDRs: CDRs made on this unit will play on almost all newer CD players (home, auto, portables).  They will not play on some older CD players.
  • CDRWs: CDRWs will not play on many current CD players (although Philips has announced that some of their future CD players will play back CDRWs).  Note that a finalized CDRW will play back on this deck's CD changer.
  • Serial Copy Management System (SCMS): As with all consumer digital recorders this unit uses SCMS which prohibits making a digital copy from a digital copy.  If an attempt is made to copy such a disc, the unit will switch to analog mode to make the copy.


  • Normal or high speed (2X) dubbing (using the unit's recorder and changer):  Note that since this is a digital recording sound quality will not be compromised by using the high speed mode. High speed dubbing can be used when recording an entire disc, a track, a program, or a track edit. Since high speed dubbing depends on digital copying, when you try to dub a disc protected by SCMS the unit will automatically switch to analog dubbing at normal speed.
  • High speed recording and automatic finalizing: You can record and finalize your CDR/RW in one quick step while the sound is muted. You can record the current CD (using CD->CD button), or a program (using COMPILE CD button).
  • Dubbing from an external source to the unit's CDRW recorder: You can record in digital or in analog mode from an external player (if the disc in the external player is a copy-protected you can only record in analog mode).  During digital recording, you can select either auto or manual track marking. Note that track numbers can NOT be changed after recording.  During analog recording, you can also select between auto and manual track marking.  In auto mode track, numbers are automatically incremented after a silence of at least 2.7 seconds. You can also select CD-Sync when digitally recording from an external CD player.  CD Sync will automatically increment track numbers and will start the recording process automatically when the source CD player starts to play.
  • Recording levels: During analog recording, when not using Auto Level Control, the level must be manually set.  Manual recording levels can be adjusted in 1 dB steps from -63 to 0dB. They can also be set during digital recording, but you do not need to.
  • Auto Level Control: This feature ensures that the tracks on the recorded disc have a similar volume level. Always, the already recorded tracks of the CDR/RW will be taken as reference for the volume level of the following recordings. Note: This feature will not become active when CD to CD recording is being done with an empty CDR/RW, making recording from an external source, or making normal recordings in listen mode.
  • Microphone Recording: Using the microphone, you can mix your voice in with a CD while it is recording or you can record the microphone only.
  • Sampling Rate Converter (12-56 kHz) allows you to record from non 44.1kHz sources in the digital domain, such as DBS or DAT.


  • CD-R: No editing of any sort is possible. Recorded time can not be recovered.  Tracks cannot be moved, edited, or erased, and cannot be numbered or re-numbered after recording. Since this unit does not have a skip id function it is not possible to skip over mistakes.  Once a CD-R has been finalized no further editing and/or recording is possible, even if blank space was available on the disc.
  • CD-RW: On a CD-RW disc you can either (1) erase one or a group of consecutive tracks at a time from the end of the CDRW only or (2) erase the entire disc. Note that erasing the entire disc will take up to 1.5 minutes.
  • CD-Text: This unit can record both Disc and Track names and CD-Text CDs will display CD Text during playback.  Text can only be entered in the recorder well and may only be edited on unfinalized discs.  Once a CDR has been finalized text can no longer be edited and text can only be edited on a CDRW disc if it is first unfinalized.  Text is actually stored in memory in the unit and can be edited until the disc is finalized. Using the Text Edit function, you can enter a CD Title, CD Artist and a Track and Artist title for each Track.  Characters can be entered using the jog dial on the unit or the telephone-type character pad on the remote.  A maximum of 60 characters can be entered per item.  CD-Text CDs which are copied internally by the unit will automatically transfer CD Text information.
  • Track Editing: You can create a track by marking a passage of music within one track on the current disc. This new track can be used for recording or playing. The minimum track length is 4 seconds.


You can play disc from the 3-disc changer or the recorder.

  • Random: You can play the tracks on the disc in the recorder, the tracks on the CDs in the changer, or the tracks in the program play in random order.
  • Repeat: You can repeat a track, all discs in the changer, shuffle play, and program play.
  • Program: You can program up to 99 tracks.  You can program tracks from both changer and recorder in playback mode, but you can only program tracks in the CD changer when recording.

Inputs and Outputs

Front panel:

  • Standard headphone output
  • Standard microphone input

Rear panel:

  • AC input: For use with supplied AC cord
  • CDR/CD Coaxial digital output: This is a single Coaxial digital output that passes the signal for whichever deck is playing. 
  • CDR analog input: RCA stereo analog input
  • CDR/CD analog output: RCA stereo analog output
  • CDR Digital input: Coaxial digital input for CDR deck
  • CDR Optical input: Toslink optical digital input for CDR deck with a plastic cover

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