Beocenter 9300 is one of the most elegant and discreet music systems ever manufactured by Bang & Olufsen. It appears as a single unit, but closer examination reveals that it has, infact, a tuner/amplifier, cassette and cd player hidden underneath the beautiful cover. The slim design and cover materials of highly polished, mirror-like aluminum and black glass gives the system outmost grace. It has no visible buttons; just some text written on the system-wide glass panel. Touch the word ""CD"", and track numbers appear on the panel as illuminated, ruby-red numbers, along with some CD-player functions. Touch the track-number ""9"" with your fingertip, and playback advances to track nine. Touch the word ""programming"" and ""store"" and ""clear"" -features appear for sequence programming. Only the options needed for each procedure are shown -- all others remain hidden, unlit on the black panel.
Best supporting role for an electronic device in the movie "Dying Young", the Beocenter 9300 certainly fits the billing. Just as the very early Beomaster 1900 it seems that the 9000 series of Beocenter from Bang and Olufsen will never go out of style although certainly out of production. Bang and Olufsen is an interesting company after 1990. Units prior to 1990 seemed to have strong design elements which were proprietary to B&O. These days, just as with just about any Japanese manufacture, B&O depends on resources outside of their own just to keep up with the competition. However, no one seems to keep up with the thing that B&O has always won hearts with... design. This machine is elegant and has a fascinating internal design. Based on the Beogram CD3300 the CD unit on the right side of the machine is very, very much Philips with a few quips from the B&O engineering staff. On the left side of the machine a very fine quality cassette player with auto-reverse is installed. Although B&O has always suggested that their equipment is designed to be easy to operate the Beocenter 9000 series is about half way there. Basic functions as "play a CD please" is quite simple. However, once the internal microprocessor has control of any unit within the device the operator must remember that the Beocenter is basically a trained monkey. The real beauty is in the glass panels of the machine. Without a single button or switch anywhere on top of the machine the lower glass panel accepts finger-touch commands through clever "conductive rubber" tubes. The Beocenter knows by software what controls will allow what commands so the machine will prompt the operator by lighting all touch-pads that can be activated. Of course the sliding doors over the cassette and the CD section are quite ingenious and oh so very smooth. The internal microprocessor is of traditional architecture utilizing a separate micro and machine code stored in an EPROM. This is truly the way for high quality equipment to go... no embedded design with parts obsolescence in future years. The EPROM is easily converted into modern code which B&O has always kept a keen ear to. Various upgrades are labelled on the back of the machine in the event software has been changed in the EPROM. All other intricacies of the internal design are too numerous to qualify here. The Beocenters 9000, 9300 abd 9500 are very well thought-out and very clever machines. Considering the fact that companies like Nakamichi have closed their doors to sales (and technology) B&O is one of those companies that continuously learns from the past... not even the Nazis can destroy great Danish design.