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Lifespan of MD players

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I own the Sony MZ-R50 portable MD player and I was curious as to how long the unit will last me, specifically the laser I suppose. I use it (playback) about 2 hours a day and record about 2 discs a week.

I have owned the unit for almost two years and have not had so much as a skip happen during that period. Has anyone here "gone through" an MD portable or had to have the laser replaced?
post #2 of 13
That Sony unit is one of the best MD player's ever made and is known to be a real workhorse! Talk to mbriant, he's got two (sold him mine)! I don't think anyone would have a specific answer for your question. I'll take a ballpark guess and say about 5 years.
post #3 of 13
Beagle, I've had an MZ-R50 since 1997 and it has yet to exhibit any signs of mechanical problems. If you're going to have an MD recorder for the long haul, that's the one to have

(Actually, we also have a Sharp 722, which is also built like a tank.)
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I lied, I did have one small problem. The spring mechanism which pops the disc out when you open the door, that failed on me. I was still in warranty and got it fixed with Sony.

I also notice the grinding noise (when the laser is "searching") seems to be a tad louder than when I first had it. It is such an annoying sound (like nails on a blackboard). I wish Sony would design something a litttle more quiet, the way a CD players servo sounds.
post #5 of 13
My Panasonic portable cd makes a grinding noise when changing tracks too. It got worse when I dropped it the other day.

Some equipment seems to just last forever if you take care of it. My Sony discman is 2 years old and I've used it on average about 4 hours a day for 2 years and dropped it at least 12 times. I did have to have it fixed cause there was something wrong with the lid that made it skip. It was like that since I got it and i just used it for about a year and a half before sending it away to get it fixed. Also dropping it never seemed to make any of the parts get louder. The grease on the laser rail started to dry out I think, so whenever the laser went back to the middle it sounded like it was gonna get stuck, so I greased it up and now it's fine again.
post #6 of 13
I purchased two MZ-R50's, both second hand in "like-new" condition. I've used one of them daily for an hour or two for 3 months now without incident.

I've read however that the spring eject mechanism problem that Beagle has had is fairly common. Apparently it doesn't make the recorder unusable however.... just a little less convienient.

I researched MD players quite a bit before deciding on the Sony, but from what I've read, pretty much all brands are less robust than even portable CD players. I imagine that with the miniaturization, combined with the sophisticated technology involved combined with the fact that they are often banged around, makes this inevitable.

I guess like anything, the gentler you treat it, the longer it will last.
post #7 of 13
Originally posted by mbriant

I guess like anything, the gentler you treat it, the longer it will last.
Too damn true I am afraid!

I have a sony mz e-30 for about 3 and a quarter years and used it heavily ( I guess about 5 or so hours a day per week ) as I used it to listen to at work! One unfortunate day the headphone cable got caught on a bundle of work I was shifting and the player went flying and took a nasty whack on the side. Now when I play it the laser makes a hell of a noise finding new tracks and every so often there are long dropouts of the music as the laser sticks. As usual it's my own damn fault and I was really REALLY annoyd about it!
post #8 of 13
"Half-life" of a CDP/CDROM laser made 10 years ago was about 7 years (meaning half of them were dead or dying withing 7 years.) The build quality has greatly improved in these types and I would speculate that its up between 10 and 15 years now (dependant on use).

Place I used to work at, used lasers for measuring thickness and those (much higher wattage) were averaging 3 years in an 80hr/week non-climate controlled environment.

FWIW: I have a buddy that has a Realistic CDP from '85 that is still working - but then again, it hasn't gotten much use in the past 8 or 9 years.
post #9 of 13
The lifespan of the semiconductor laser for audio use has improved. I have read reports of Sony servicemen saying that the JB940/640 mechanism is superior to the old JA3ES mechanism in terms of durability and error correction. They also said that the the JA555ES mechanism is better than the JA50ES mechanism in those areas - as a transport the 555's specs are supposedly very difficult to exceed.

A few years ago (in the Sharp MS200, Sony R30 days) it was generally observed that a portable recorder's laser will last little over a year if you're a heavy user, meaning weekly recordings and several hours' playback everyday. I'd guess that's also improved by now, unless the engineers decided to make a trade-off somewhere for whatever reason.
post #10 of 13
This thread really belongs to the Portable Electronics forum, seeing that the models mentioned in this thread are all portable MDP's. One of the moderators or administrators will move it there shortly.
post #11 of 13
(OT) As they say on the UPS adverts... Consider it done

Back on topic... My Sony MZ-R55... I've had it for 18 months now, and it has not failed at all during this time, I use it for about 2-3 hours a day, and (to me) it still sounds just as good as they day it was bought...

(OT) Just a shame that the chrome seems to be vanishing off of the buttons... does anyone have a cure??
post #12 of 13
Most of the chrome came off my Sony discmans buttons. Maybe you could order new buttons from Sony and put them in. When I took my discman apart I noticed that it would be pretty easy to put new buttons in. Some of them are connected by plastic pieces underneath so they're not all separate. The play/pause/stop/track >>/track<< button is all one piece.
post #13 of 13
My sony MZ-R70's served me for a year and 3 months.. and it's still going strong
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