(1994-2000) AM/FM Stereo/B NR cassette/compact disc music centre, 2x40W, Power Link, Multiroom
Type numbers: 2516, 2517, 2518, 2519, 2520, 2553
At a glance the BeoCenter 9300 looked similar to the Beocenter 9500, and seemed to offer similar features. In this case, looks were deceptive, for the transition from Beocenter 9500 marked the biggest change in the development of this range, though sadly most of the changes were not for the better. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The reasons for the changes were twofold. Firstly, the two-way remote control system was being dropped in favour of a new arrangement based around one remote control terminal, the Beo 4. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the range as a whole was being simplified in an attempt to reduce the costs of producing a wide range of models. Therefore, to this end, the BeoCenter 9300 was redesigned to use as many of the parts and assemblies of the BeoSound Ouverture as was possible. This was possible to a surprising degree, and complete assemblies such as the laser CDM, cassette mechanism, cassette electronics PCB, radio tuner PCB and microcomputer PCB were used with little or no alteration. This considerably altered the internal architecture, but had surprisingly little impact on the external appearance. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Inevitably, some of the features could not be carried over from the Beocenter 9500. Mention has already been made of the two-way remote control, but also deleted were the RIAA preamplifier for a record player (though the socket remained as a line-level connection), the microphone socket for the cassette deck and the Dolby C circuit. In fact if the official descriptions of the BeoCenter 9300 were to be believed, the Dolby circuit had been deleted completely. The noise reduction that remained was described simply as “NR B”, though the circuit was identical to that of the BeoSound Ouverture, which was billed as a “Dolby B” equipped recorder. The reason behind this was not clear, for certainly any music centre in the price band that the BeoCenter 9300 occupied would be expected to offer Dolby. As it was, the removal of the “C” processor reduced the maximum dynamic range that the cassette section could theoretically achieve by 9dB. Also deleted from the cassette deck was the option of manual recording level control and the rather useful “level hold” function. Perhaps to make up for taking so much away, the number of pre-tuned radio stations was raised, from 20 to 30. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Over the life of the BeoCenter 9300, three CD mechanisms were fitted. Originally the same one that had been seen in the Beocenter 9500 was used, followed by two versions using a three-beam pickup. These could be identified by the fact that the laser moved in a straight line rather than an arc. These changes followed similar ones made to the Ouverture and Century ranges. All BeoCenter 9300s used a 1-bit decoder, the previous models had all been 16 bit. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
A useful saving in power consumption over previous models was also noted. In order to save power whilst the set was on “standby” (that is, most of the time), two mains transformers were fitted. The large one powered the set whilst in use, a second smaller one maintained the essential systems whilst in standby. This was not a new idea (for example, the Beomaster 8000 also worked like this), but it allowed the attractive claim to be made that the new model was more energy efficient than the old one. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The end of the BeoCenter 9300 marked the end of this very successful line of models. As well as being one of the last to offer a cassette recorder, the BeoCenter 9300 was also the last audio “main product” that could drive passive loudspeakers. An era had truly ended. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.