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Sony R700DPC

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I just got my latest toy, the R700, yesterday. I was just flabbergasted at how small the machine was - the smallest MD i had actually touched and feeled prior to that was an Sharp SR60 (glad i didn't get THAT!).

So far, i am VERY happy. Never goin back to mp3 technologies unless i have to....i am an MD convert...lol.

The sound quality from ANALOG recordings of CDs and tapes is VERY good - i can't tell the difference with tape, and CDs are transparent enough that i have to struggle to tell the difference on my KSC-35s. My 888s actually sound better, imo, off of the MD vs. my cd player.

My only disappointment, and this is a huge one, is that the digital link for my pc (the USB Xitel DG-2) doesn't work. Sure, the MD records fine, but it just keeps adding track marks. It doesn't even make sense - the level doesn't change. I have tried virtually every possible volume setting - that doesn't change anything.

And it happens in strange places, too. Have u heard "so much for the afterglow" by everclear? Well, after the Beach Boys chorus-like build-up, art alexakis and the guys hit it hard. The moment he takes his first pause in singing, the MD will insert a track mark. That translates into an annoying gap....

I couldn't deal with it. I am dubbing everything from a Sony Mini-System's headphone jack straight in to the line-in.....analog recording does sound pretty damn good, though.

I am going to attempt digital recording one last time on a PS2 in a couple weeks, most likely. Unless some headwizers can help me out here......i would be indebted to a level that words cannot convey....

- coolvij :>)

p.s. - joelongwood, the R700 does NOT have a line-out - i think only the R900 does in this generation from sony, and that isn't even a proper line out....
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'll be posting a long review soon......i need a week, tho, maybe more.
post #3 of 27
I've tried digital recording from a Sony minisystem w/ optical out to the optical/line in of my MZ-R70 and it worked fine.. track marks and all..
I didn't see too much of a difference between analog and digital recording.. Analog sounds very nice to me. I've read about lots of users who've had problems with the Xitel USB thingie..
post #4 of 27
Congratulations on your new toy.........I was never a fan of MP3s. I got my first MD about a year and a half ago.......a combo from Sony (home deck and portable player, but the portable has no line-out.
Thanks, coolvij, for that information regarding the line-out. I guess I'll keep looking.
post #5 of 27
coolvij:

I think the problem is, unfortunately, your soundcard. There are two types of trackmarks: digital ones and analog ones. The analog ones are automatically placed by the recorder whenever it hears two seconds of blank noise. The digital ones are placed whenever the recorder receives a signal from the source that says "track mark here" (I think that what is actually happening is that the soundcard doesn't send data). Sometimes when a soundcard is having digital output problems, the recorder thinks it's receiving trackmarks. This can also happen if your optical cable is damaged or not seated properly on either end.

Try adjusting the cable. If that doesn't work, try using the optical out of a CD player or minisystem. If that works, the problem is your soundcard. If THAT doesn't work either, try a new optical cable. If none of these work, then you've got a problem with your recorder


P.S. joelongwood, did you see our recs for the MZ-R50?
post #6 of 27
MacDEF is right... Soundcards are incapable of signaling the beginning of new tracks digitally.
However, that still doesn't account for the extra "gap" that is produced when new trackmarks are written... Are the trackmarks written at places where there is a silence in the music?
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Fiddler, macDEF - that is my problem most likely - i only have a cheap SB 128....

However, at random intervals, DURING PERIODS OF MUSIC THAT IS CLEARLY AUDIBLE when i monitor through my MD, track marks are inexplicably put in.

Not a huge thing, tho, since analog recording works EXCEPTIONALLY well - trackmarks from CDs and all are placed in perfectly - and ATRAC is just a beautiful system.
post #8 of 27
Wait, Fiddler's right -- you should never *hear* a trackmark unless there is actually dead space in the source content. Trackmarks usually occur at silent points, but they are not, by definition, trackmarks like a CD track.

The fact that you're getting "dead air" when recording to MD, even when there is clearly audio content, leads me to believe even more strongly that you have a problem somewhere: either in your soundcard, your MD recorder, or the connection between the two. Please try out the suggestions I made above and let us know which work and which don't.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
hey macDEF - i really appreciate all this help. Thanx..

Sorry if i come across as stupid (for my age, i'm not that bad, but.....)....

BUT HOW IN THE WORLD CAN I ADJUST THE CONNECTION....

all i know in my infinite expanse of wisdom is to make sure every plug goes into every jack securely....
post #10 of 27
Well, if you're sure the cable itself is inserted securely (and there is nothing obstructing the optical signal like dust or dirt), then the best bet is to try the combinations above:

Try using the optical out of a CD player or minisystem. If it works, the problem is your soundcard.

If that doesn't work, the problem is either the cable or the MD. Try a new cable. If that works, the problem was the cable. If that doesn't work, either, then the problem is your MD.
post #11 of 27
the xitel usb cable completely bypasses the soundcard. So what soundcard you have has absolutely nothing to do with the recording. Actually, you don't even need a soundcard, and the thing will still work.

And the xitel transmits at a 44.1 khz sampling rate, so it is capable of transmitting track marks, but i doubt that the computer software can support that. Soundcards can't send out track marks because most of them operate at 48khz, and the ones that work at 44.1khz face the same software problem.

The problem with the xitel is it has horrible problems with jitter. The assymetric sampling rate converter/reciever in the MD can't always lock into the signal, causing it to go into standby mode. When it picks up again, it starts a new track.

and finally, a damaged cable/ soundcard will never result in "false" track marks. Digital data doesn't work that way. IF the signal is disrupted, you get a "DIN unlock" message, and it stops recording. Its impossible for one digital signal to be accidentily converted into another signal.


Anyways, most people on the minidisc discussion boards agree that the xitel is a POS. It won't work with the majority of MDs. Its signal to noise ratio is somthing like 80dB, which is why it doesn't sound much better than an analog recording. (a proper digital recording sounds amazing, much better than analog) I also have a Sony minisystem, the headphone out is also horrible. Its so noisy that its unusable with any good headphones. Definately get an optical cable for your PS2, it will be MANY times better than any of your current sources...
post #12 of 27
Coolvij,
Any comments on the sound quality of MDLP? Is LP2 tolerable?
post #13 of 27
OMG! Ignore EVERYTHING I wrote LOL. Thomas, thanks for pointing out the obvious -- I TOTALLY misread cool's post. I thought he was talking about an optical cable out of a sound card (as is pretty obvious from all my "suggestions" LOL).

coolvij, what he said. The Xitel is notorious for bad audio transfer, although the latest model (which you have) is significantly better. The best thing you can do if you're going to use the Xitel is to set up your MP3/CD transfers and then let your computer ONLY do that. USB audio is CPU dependent, so if your CPU is doing other things besides playing CDs/MP3s, you'll often get skips. In fact, on slower processors, just trying to play MP3s and transfer audio via USB is a challenge.

thomas is also right about the trackmarks; I reviewed some of my MD bookmarks this evening, and trackmarks are transfered via a sub-code in the digital signal -- they're either there or they're not.

Although thomas, this is incorrect:
Quote:
It won't work with the majority of MDs.
That was the problem with older version of the Xitel adapter, which did not work with any non-Sony units, and only worked with a few Sony's. The new version works with any recorder.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Any comments on the sound quality of MDLP? Is LP2 tolerable?
Fiddler, LP2 is actually very good. It's comparable to (better than, IMHO) 192k MP3; some people say it's better than 256k MP3. Suffice it to say that for most portable applications, LP2 is just as good as LP4. On a good system, in a quiet room, you can tell the difference, though.

LP4, on the other hand, is a big step down. It's comparable to 96k MP3 -- good for mono and low-fidelity (or just for squeezing a LOT of stuff on one MD), but not for seriously listening.
post #15 of 27
Coolvj,

Congrads on the new md player! happy happy joy joy~!

Just to let you know that PS2 with optical cable works very well with MD player ( I have mzr900 here)

So definitely go that way for the best results. Only annoying part is if you want to do the mp3s, you will have to burn them as audiocd (wav) then put the cdr in ps2 and play them. So just the extra step hassle with MP3. If you plan to do a LOT of Mp3-->MD recordings, then invest in a better soundcard is a better move. But if you only do Mp3 once a while and dont care for the extra step. Then PS2 is great for it

I have adjusted couple PS2's laser POT to read CDRW here, But I doubt your dad likes the idea of you doing PS2 surgery with no previous experience lol~! so I wont even bother going into it

Since PS2 is mentioned already.... you know I almost made the cut to quality for the PS2 Linux kit, which included all the Linux OS/tools/apps on a big DVD disc bootable for PS2 with 40 gig HD/ethernet adaptor/vga cable/mouse/keyboard.. I was going to run a PS2 Linux server and free 1 PC up for home Lan parties But I missed the cut by like 25 spots ( only 2000 linux kits were released in Japan )

Anyway do the MD burn off ps2 and you will be happier with your new MD player !

Tides
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