Pioneer Elite PD-91 Amazing Vintage CD Player With Remote


Amazing vintage Elite PD-91/PD-3000 CD player from Pioneer, outdone only by the PD-93/PD-5000.

It's clear months if not years of effort went into simply designing and building this model, and the manufacturing costs must have been off the charts in the early 1990's.

Just *look* at all that copper. Not just one area, or the bottom plate, the entire *thing* essentially. Our pictures are one thing to witness, we were in awe in person upon opening.

Then see that rear-mounted power transformer? Not only is it external to minimize interference with the internal working components, it's also mounted to the rear chassis with separation/shock-mount/vibration dampening.

These features would *never* happen today from any major electronics manufacturer - not even among many high-end offerings either.

Report from the fabulous Vintage Knob website (which also means it's something pretty special):

Export version of the Japanese PD-3000, built as lavishly as can be and from the last days of hifi's golden years.

If the 18-bit digital-to-analogue converters are now a bit dated, the mechanical integrity and minutious care of the smallest details are, today, completely unbelievable:

All-copper chassis, non-resonating honeycomb plates, eleven regulators and sixteen power supplies, copper/resin laminated mechanism base, large magnetic disc clamper, wear-resistant loading tray, ceramic supports, Class A buffer amps - and more.

It should be noted that the PD-3000 original sports a _completely_ different audio board and has _two_ external power transformers - I don't know if this is related to Pioneer's hesitation between its own d/a chips or Burr-Brown's for the PD-91 and PD-93. Both ended up with Pioneer's own converters - but maybe not in Japan ? 

Anyway - only Philips in Japan (LHH series), Sony and Pioneer kept so consistant with the build-quality of their digital sources throughout the 1980s and 1990s. All this is now gone and CD itself will vanish in the forseeable future...

But the PD-91 and its PD-5000 later elder (aka PD-93) are good reminders of a time when true craftsmanship still was part of this industry.

SkyFi Cosmetic Notes:
• Light marks on top cover from unit stacking over time.
• Very Bright VFD, possibly replaced at some point in its life.

SkyFi Testing Notes:
• Listening Test - PASS, Plays CD's very well, every disc we tried.
• Analog Output - PASS.
• Digital Outputs - PASS.
• All remote functions - PASS.

Please see our last photo or this linked Service Manual for full specs:

Pioneer Elite PD-91 / PD-3000 Service Manual

Click below to add our recommended matching cables from Kimber Kable, all brand new as SkyFi is an official Kimber dealer.

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Better

Kimber Kable - RCA Interconnects - Best

D60 Digital Coaxial Interconnect (RCA/BNC Connectors)

OPT-1 Digital Optical Interconnect (TOSLINK Connectors)

The SkyFi Testing Process for CD Players:

We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure that there are no signs of heat stress or damage. Capacitors are checked for telltale signs of predictive failure including bulging, shrunken wrappers, or physical leakage. We also inspect resistors and other passive components for signs of overheating. When the unit is first powered on we check the drawer mechanism function.

After the visual inspection we connect the CD Player’s RCA outputs to our Sencore PA81 Power Analyzer which simulates a real world input impedance and allows us to monitor the output on an oscilloscope. We start with a test CD with precision test signals to verify proper output on both channels. If the CD player has balanced outputs these are also tested at this time. If this check passes, we move onto evaluation with actual music CDs. We listen for clicks, skips, and drops during playback. At this time we also check the transport functions including skip, ff, rw, play, pause, repeat, and programming if applicable. If the unit has a remote control, all remote control functions are verified.

If the CD player is capable of SACD playback we test its ability to read SACD layers on multiple discs including standard and hybrid SACDs. At this time we also check the unit’s digital outputs where applicable. If SACD layers are being properly read we should see the digital outputs mute during playback. On redbook CD playback we verify that each digital output maintains proper lock on our bench DAC.

After bench testing is completed, CD players are set up for testing on our long term test rig. During extended testing we make sure that unit can play through several different discs from beginning to end with no skips or lock ups.



Original Box

Not Included


Online Only


Yes Included


Yes - Power Only

Physical Condition

7 / 10

Working Condition

10 / 10

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