The pursuit of stable performance led to Philips' development of the single-beam swing arm system. Imposing a couterweight (balancing weight) on the side facing the optical lens block enables the system to adjust the weight distribution and move the optical system usigin relatively minimal power. It also facilitated increased structural precision and, perhaps even more importantly, allowed overall movement to be controlled using highly versatile analog servo circuitry. CDs are irradiated with a 780nm red laser beam from the polycarbonate resin substrate side, and whether the digital data is "0" or "1" is determined by an increase or decrease in the reflection of the laser beam. Thus, extremely accurate optical technology (lens design, lens fabrication, special coatings, and precise assembly) is required for the small optical pickup block.

Thus, the Philips CDM1 was produced using zinc die-cast for all sensitive sections to remove unwanted resonance. The Philips CDM1 also featured major improvements in the precision of all of its parts. The famous Marantz CD-34, with its unprecedented price-tag, was the first model in which the Philips CDM1 was employed. Later, a special fine-tuned version of the Philips CDM1 developed for use in high-end players like the Marantz CD-94 and Marantz CD-95.

The Philips CDM1 was used in Philips products manufactured in Belgium and Marantz products manufactured in Japan. The amazing success of the Marantz CD-34 manufacutred in Belgium helped made revision of the system of supplying the drive mechanisms a necessity. Thus, Marantz established an assembly line at the Company's main factory in Sagamihara, produced all necessary components, and began producing Philips CDM1s in Japan. The Marantz CD-54 and Marantz CD-84 released in 1984 both utilized Japanese-made CDM1 units.