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Sharp MT770 review, anyone?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'd like to, but not sure if I have the stamina to do a full-blown Brian-Youn-Style review, but if you've got questions, post them here and I'll post back promptly.

First impression: Very solid. Remote isn't too bad, but it loses a lot of points from what Sharp didn't put in. Sound would be 5-10 points lower than the 831, on a scale of 100 - bad electromagnetic insulation?

post #2 of 15
Do it! I want to see how much better it is from my mt90!
post #3 of 15
It used to be an automatic choice to go for Sharp MD's. But now that Sony has used ATRAC Type-R in the newer R909, I just might wait out and get this new Sony model. Any comments and experience regarding ATRAC Type-R ?
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
About Type-R:

A friend of mine's got a Sony 440 deck, which does MDLP and has Type-R. He recorded some materials in SP (which gives them the Type-R treatment) and sent the discs to me.

Having heard those, I believe in Type-R. It's like everything maintains their distinction, even if it's loud, "compressed" rock music (for you J-pop people, he sent me Shena Ringo). Type-R also maintains a sweet timbre and gives the imagery of a somewhat wider landscape.

If you're just after Type-R, and you live in the US, you can get the 440 or its replacement, I think it's the 470. Compared to buying a R909 or N1, you could save quite a bit of $$. The 440 was $150 at Best Buy for a while, for instance.

That's also why I bought the MT770. I honestly have NO faith in how Sony handles the analog section of their portables, and if I want Type-R, I'll get a cheap home deck when I'm back in the US. For now I use Panasonic's H.D.E.S. which is also good IMO.

About how the MT770 sounds:

OK, the day 1 impression.

When I bought this thing, I had the chance to listen to the MT770, and the MT77. What I thought was that the 77 sounded closer to that glittery presentation of the 831; the 770 sounded, well, slightly warbly. It's like looking at text through some kind of lens, so the text not only gets amplified, but also "arched" and changes in shape and proportion. The result is that the 770, while not bad, doesn't have the "pizzazz" of the 831, and seems to lack a bit in high treble.

Other than that, you can hear the 770 still sounds fine. The 770 sounds just fine with the KSC-35, but if you're using the MX500, the warbliness worsens.

What I found when I came home was that, the sound seems to sharpen up when you power the 770 on AC adaptor. The "warbliness" is gone and the sound is more like a quieter 831. This certainly could be some psychological thing... but it makes me wonder. AC adaptor supply gives the 770 2V, so if we make a battery box, get 2 rechargeables for 2.4V and hook it up...

All righty, that's all for now.
post #5 of 15
The Sony headphone output doesn't have a good reputation around here. But I was hoping that it would be adequate for portable listening, especially with Type-R and 8 levels of bass and treble settings.

But what about the lineout? It's when I have a portable amp hooked up that's when some critical listening would happen. So if the Sony lineout is as good as Sharp, then I'd still go for the Sony.
post #6 of 15
Leon, have you wrecked your MT831 ? Why aren't you using it anymore. Any why did you get the MT770 and not wait for the NetMD version ?

Please do a through review of the MT770. No need to write the functions and operations of it, Brian Youn has written enough. But write all you can about how it sounds, recording from CD, from microphone, listening through headphones and from lineout.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
OK... Euphonic, will do. That kind of review is definitely doable for my stamina right now. Think I'll write about sound, interface, and group. Will probably take me a week, I'll let you all know when it's done.

The thing about what's adequate (and what's not) on the go, I think, depends on your attitude. You may feel that you can hear the differences even with lots of background noise, or you may not feel that. I thought Brian never bought a 770? Only ever saw his MT77 review, and apprently he doesn't complain about sound quality like any of us does The 770's menu hierarchy is helluva large too, so it'd be a laborious task to put it on paper.

My 831 is still in good condition, but I wanted the freedom of LP2 and Group function (which can be useful even for non-LP discs). About the NetMD version: I use a Mac, and no NetMD equipment has Mac software right now. On top of that, I don't use MP3s much, and titling on the 770 (and 831) aren't bad at all. So I'd be paying $80-100 extra without reaping the benefits. Put bluntly, the 770 is for casual purposes - grocery shopping, LP2 recording, and the 831 is for critical listening and benchmarking.
post #8 of 15
I'd like NetMD for downloading audio books in LP4 mode. But for music I want only the best in SP mode and possibly ATRAC Type-R.

Being a mac user, aren't you intrigued about the iPod ? Have you tried it ? Give me a sound quality rating compared to your MD stuffs.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
I don't have access to any Apple equipments from where I am (I'll have to look for them), and they probably won't have the iPod. Actually, my purchase plan A was iPod, plan B was the MT770. But iPod means I'll have to wait until at least next October, and that's if I get a new laptop. My current Mac doesn't have FireWire nor OS X, and there's no point in buying peripherals and the OS just to use the iPod, it'd amount to be much more expensive than the MD plan (I expected iPod to have an cost advantage in a way, from not necessitating the optical cables, the CD player..).

I'm one of those who's always carrying a dozen MDs when I go out, so I wouldn't mind putting the less-played stuff in LP2, and keep the faves in SP. Type-R (or any other good ATRAC) is fine, but I think you need your playback equipment to be able to capitalize on that. Not every MD equipment has equal "reconstruction" quality, could be an underclocked digital section, or a crap analog section. That's also why I picked Sharp this time.
post #10 of 15
So MT831 is for critical listening. MT770 for everyday use and MDLP, Group fn.

But what happened to your Panasonic MD's ? Even with the weak 3.5 mW amp and 1 step bass, do you still consider it's headphone output the most musical ?

Any news of new models from Panasonic with Group fn. & NetMD ?
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Who are you? Why are ya so interested about my life? You know I hate people like that...

I'd planned to use my MJ88, but it's coming up with too much reading errors. The MR200 is great for recording (play the results on a 831 or even 770 and it's very easy to see), but is incapable of maximising that on playback. Yes, they are still rather musical, but Panasonic's obviously gone too far with the 3.5+3.5mW amp. Plus, I have a grudge with their 25-step volume control.

The latest Panasonic (every model since the MJ88) has 2-step bass, the new step being less than the standard 1-step. I'm not a bass-heavy person, I usually go for no boost, or the lightest boost if I'm using some open-air earbud. Also, Panasonics tend to be at their best with no bass boost IMO.

Panasonic's MR220 was the first portable recorder to have group function; they've got this prototype of a "micro compo" that has NetMD, no date was given for release (at the same Audio Expo event, Sharp said the MT880 would be out before year-end, and it did).

I think I might have found out about the MT770's power supply... but now I'm busy getting Ety foam tips onto my EX70s.
post #12 of 15
I'm bothering you Leon, because you have the most MD toys that I know of.

For MD players I think you should buy the Sharp ST-880. You know the one with MDLP and Dolby Headphone. So please buy it and report to us on the effect of Dolby Headphone.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

actually I saw rave reviews of the ST880 on a Japanese forum. Someone who was formerly an all-Sony user found apparently orgasmic pleasure using the ST880, and not just because of DH. Actually most who own or have heard the ST880 (you can try portables out at certain chain stores in Japan) seem to prefer not using DH.

I don't have the budget anymore, but if you can wait for a year...

A policy of mine (derived from painful experiences) at the moment is to buy recorders only, even if I don't need the recording function. Recorders often have better decoding capabilities, and just sound better whatever the reason (less need to skimp on power?) - the decoding capability thing is also what Sharp's people said at Audio Expo 1999 in Japan.

The MT770 is quite thirsty... and its sound fluctuates depending on the power source you choose, with rechargeable-only being the worst. But in good condition: if the 831 is a normal Trinitron, the 770 would be a Wega. It's strong in "resolution"... don't know if it's the benefit of that +/- power supply and the absence of the capacitor.
post #14 of 15
A policy of mine (derived from painful experiences) at the moment is to buy recorders only, even if I don't need the recording function. Recorders often have better decoding capabilities, and just sound better whatever the reason (less need to skimp on power?)
Leon, I used to think that, too, until I bought my E900, which sounds just as good as the R900. I think it really is a unit-by-unit issue (including recorders) -- some units will sound better than others.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, I was talking about the ST880, so I've never stuck really hard to the policy, dear...

The ST770/880 are advertised for an analog volume attenuator, which may or may not help...makes me wonder.

A lot of modern players have their benefits over the recorders of the same generation, such as the TOC-reading (Aiwa and Panasonic are in the 3.x-second range, probably Sony too) and track-skipping speed. That's also one reason to check them out..
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