Ultra Rare Find: Nakamichi Dragon CD Changer

Nakamichi made a name for itself in the 1970s building high-end cassette decks that eked every last ounce of performance out of the tape format but the company also made CD players and changers for the home and car in the ’80s and ’90s.

New Jersey-based vintage audio specialist Skyfi Audio recently acquired the super-rare Dragon CD system, comprising a seven-disc CD changer and a separate controller housing the display, control buttons, and power supply. At the heart of the CD PS changer is the system’s digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and Nakamichi’s innovative Music Bank mechanism, which is heavily isolated to minimize vibration.

Described as “one of the rarest pieces to come by our shop,” fewer than 200 units were produced and most were sold in Asia, according to Skyfi. The system was part of a large collection acquired from a serious collector who took great pride in owning and maintaining this piece of audio history.

Nakamichi spared no expense in building this flagship system, outfitting both components and remote (!) with exotic rosewood side panels offset against gloss-black metal. The Dragon CD combo is in tip-top working condition — Skyfi rates it 10 on a scale of 10 — and looks great with only a few light scuffs (Skyfi rates it a 7).

“We have compared this rare piece to our reference Mark Levinson No.31 CD player combo and it keeps right up with it,” Skyfi writes, noting that the drawer mechanism loads fast and is very responsive. “Plus the Dragon gives you the convenience of loading to seven discs at a time!” The display is bright and clear and the remote is in good working order.

Skyfi has dropped the price from $7,500 to $6,999. The system comes with two umbilical cables and the original box. Skyfi has offered to print the owner’s manual but there’s a catch — it’s in Japanese. For more information, visit skyfiaudio.com.

Original stock photos and collateral materials can be seen on thevintageknob.org.