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Sharp MD-MT90 Full Review

post #1 of 35
Sharp MD-MT90 full review

Oh god, this is the second time I'm writing this. Stupid crashing computer . . .

I've had this MD player for about a month now. I feel confident in writing a review of it now that will be kept in the archives of head-fi for ever and ever and ever . . .

Out of the Box Experiance

In a word, wow. Everything comes nicely packaged. When you dig the cloth bag out of the box, and take the shiny player out, its awesome. The magnesium is simply stunning. In the box you can also find a TOSlink cable, RCA cables, and a remote. The remote is ok. It doesn't have an LCD, but I really don't see the need for one, in my opinion. The buttons are a bit small, but it's still very usable. The clip is very solid, and won't be coming off anytime soon.

The player also comes with an ni-mh battery. Nice! The AC adaptor is also obviously included.

Size

The player itself isn't the smallest out there. But then, I'm coming from two mp3 players, the rio 300 and then a nomad II. The mt90 is about the size of an MD, plus 1/2 cm on each side, and a battery on the top. But in my opinion, weve gotten to a point where things have gotten small enough. If it fits in my pocket well, its good enough for me. I don't really like the fact that with newer smaller players, everything is in menus (r900) and you have to press the buttons with a pinhead. The mt90 is no r900 size-wise, but its also not an r37.

Build Quality

We've all heard that the r50 is a tank. Same thing goes for the 722. The mt90 lives up to these as well. It really feels like its "there." When I was looking at the r700 and the r70, I didn't like the fact that they felt so flimsy. Now, I treat my electronics with great care, but I like them to be sturdy.

Operation

Now, I'm the kind of person that always reads the manual. I'm just that kind of guy. But with my first md player, I was just too excited. I took the mt90 out, connected the AC adaptor, put in a blank MD, connected the TOSlink, and started recording. I only looked in the manual on instructions on synchro recording. (Hmm, you press record, then sync. Makes sense) The sharp also does synchro recording from analog sources, good for the times when you're doing an interview, etc, and only want to record the important stuff. The sharp event inserts track marks with an analog source! The batteries last about 15 hours. I really like the screen. One off the reasons I chose the Sharp MD-mt90 over the sony 500/700/70 was the screen. It seems that those players are trying to cram 90 thousand things on the screen at once. The sharp's screen is larger, and more spaced out. Finally, the best thing Sharp recorders can do over the sony models is change recording levels on the fly. People who record concerts can choose nothing but sharp.

Sound Quality

Ah yes, the most important thing. Sound quality is obviously king here at head-fi. Sharp recorders are considered to have better sound quality than sony players. I have to say that coming from mp3s, just wow. I used to be a person, that <sob> used to thing that 128 bit mp3s on $10 speakers sounded fine! I even bought a pair of g52 headphones for my sister(thank god K-mart will let you return anything: I bought her some nice koss ksc-50s).

Anyway, mp3 sounds so, well, empty I guess. The highs on MD are just so much well, crisper. I listened to a variety to music. OK Computer, Dave Matthews, jazz, classical, etc. I have to say that the sound is stellar, and I could only tell the difference in a few of the higher ranges that it was MD, not CD.

Now, this unit doesn't have MDLP. I don't have much comedy/speech, so 148 minute mono mode is fine for my needs. Now, i've heard LP2, and I can tell the difference, especially in jazz. But for listening in a car, etc, it would be fine. But for me, sound is king, and I don't like to sacrifice anything when recording, so the lack of MDLP is not a biggie for me.

One of the bigest plusses here? The 10mW headphone jack. As manufacturers are trying to squeeze more battery life out of players, the headphone jack is getting less and less power. The 10mW jack really helps put out some nice sound.

Titling

The review of the r700 had a section on this, so I'll give a note off it. The best thing about my Nomad II was the fact that titles were automatically put in. With MD, you have to title. On the mt90, its using the back and forward buttons. This is a bit of a pain at first, but I've gotten quite good at it. Its a disadvantage, to be sure, but not a reason to not buy MD. Unfortunatly, you can't title while playing.

I have been spoiled by a family friend's Sony ZS-M7's jog dial. Its very fast and painless. I'll get an MD deck one day, with ps/2 input. No problems there!

Overall

I've gotten to know my mt90 quite well. I got it the day before school ended, and a week before we left for vacation in Poland/Germany. Now, I've gone on long car trips before (PA to Florida, etc). But nothing could prepare me for the hell of driving 16 hours from Germany to Poland, in the center back seat of a Daewoo Nubria, with a backpack on my knees. I'd like to sit one of those engineers @ daewoo in that super-hard middle seat for 20 hours, and then see how he likes it.

Anyway, the MD player got quite a bit of use during those hours, and I'm sure it'll get more on the trip back to Germany/the US. On the plus side, my sennheiser mx500 buds are quite well broken in now!

I bought the Sharp MD-MT90 from minidisco for $179 (it's now 159), and I added 10 minidiscs + 5 free. The total came out to about $200, give or take a dollar or two. I can take my player and a few discs in my cargo pants and have some great listening on the go. Radiohead's OK Computer is sounding just fine.

-Andrzej Wojcieszynski
post #2 of 35
Thread Starter 

Sharp MD-MT90 Full Review

THanks for the review ! ( and My IE sometimes crashes with this forum as well! )

My brother is thinking about the MD player you mentioned. My sony MZr900 is too high in his range

We were just talking about the Sharp MD players last night ! I will pass along this review to him over email right now

Thanks! talking about perfect timing! ( he plans to order on monday)

How's the service from minidisco ? nice n fast ?


Tides
post #3 of 35
thanks for the great review!

so they kept the 10mW but sqeezed some hours extra out of it. nice job of Sharp, quality before all other nonsense.
post #4 of 35
Minidisco was great. At first, they didn't send me my free discs, but I emailed them, and they responded in a few hours, shipped them, and then made sure that I got them.
post #5 of 35
Attention, This MD player is built well, and is a great player for your money, but it suffers from one major flaw, and for that reason I will not even touch this player. IT HAS NO LINE OUT, so if you wanna connect a total Airhead to power your phones, then may i suggest you go for last years sharp SR-60, which is has been replaced by the SHARP MT90.

Get the SHARP MD-SR60 PORTABLE

It has everything the MT90 has, even the same remote, But this UNIT comes with a LINE-OUT
post #6 of 35
ain't she a beaut? mine looks just like it (tho not with the ugly thingy on the right, nor the remote..) I love it to death (hopefully it'll last that long too )

to get line-out from this baby, turn the volume to 30 and EQ flat(why is it up anyway??).

but the mt90 doesn't do that? odd.. not like the average consumer uses an amp, but why did they take the line-out out? the mt90 costs the same and does the same as the sr50/60..?
post #7 of 35
the sr-60 does NOT have a 'real' line-out...
post #8 of 35
I have the Sony MZ-R91 instead, I think it's looks smaller then the new MZR 900.



I have the Blue one with EX70LP
post #9 of 35
It may LOOK smaller, but it ain't
R-91: 78.9x18.0x72mm, 110g, 153g w/batt
R-900: 78.2 x 17.1 x 72.0mm, 94g, 120g w/batt
Size-wise, it's not a very big difference.. but it seems to be quite a bit lighter.
The 21 hr playback and the 8 hour recording time you can get on the internal battery alone is a FORMIDABLE achievement imo (talking about the R-900)..
post #10 of 35
Quote:
the sr-60 does NOT have a 'real' line-out
Yes it does buddy, all the new MINIdisc recorder/players from SHARP and SONY that have line-outs, have them intergrated into the headphone jack, just like the SR-60 and SONY MZr700 etc...


EDIT..anyone have a side picture??
post #11 of 35
What I meant by 'real' is a SEPARATE line out...
And you're very wrong when you say all new Sony's and Sharp's have integrated line-outs.. Look at the MZ-R700.. It's the same as the MZ-R70 (which i own), where you have to turn bass boost off and turn up the volume all the way in order to 'simulate' a line out... I *think* that's what's happening with the switchable lineout/headout on the MZ-R90/900 also; When you select 'line' in the menu, it simply turns off bass boost and sets it to max volume.. Can a 90 or 900 owner please confirm this??
Sony units that DO have separate line outs: MZ-R50, MZ-R37
Sharp units that have separate line outs: Uh.. help, somebody?
post #12 of 35
And about the R700 NOT having a real line out:

http://www.minidisc.org/sony_mzr97500_comparison.html
"Headphone output only (can be used as line out if bass boost is turned off)"
Isn't that what I just said?
post #13 of 35
Quote:
And you're very wrong when you say all new Sony's and Sharp's have integrated line-outs
I didn't say that, I said all the SONY and SHARPS Players/Recorders that do have line-outs, have them intergrated into the headphone out.

Quote:
Sony units that DO have separate line outs: MZ-R50, MZ-R37
Yeah like I said all the newer models got rid of the separate line out, the ones you listed are old sony models.

Quote:
where you have to turn bass boost off and turn up the volume all the way in order to 'simulate' a line out... I *think* that's what's happening with the switchable lineout/headout on the MZ-R90/900 also; When you select 'line' in the menu, it simply turns off bass boost and sets it to max volume.. Can a 90 or 900 owner please confirm this??
My friend I hope you are right about this, cause that would ROCK! Altohough I'm not to sure. I say this becuase with my Sharp MR-60 there is a degration in sound quality when using the headphone out, compared to the line out.
post #14 of 35
Oh, and I seemed to have missed Braver's post...
"To get line-out from this baby, turn the volume to 30 and EQ flat"
Sooooo... It IS the same story with the SR60! AND THE SR90!

BTW, there's 2 headphone jacks on my MZ-R70... WHY COULDN'T THEY HAVE MADE ONE OF THEM INTO A DEDICATED LINE-OUT, DAMMIT?!?
post #15 of 35
Quote:
I didn't say that, I said all the SONY and SHARPS Players/Recorders that do have line-outs, have them intergrated into the headphone out."
You also said "like the MZ-R700"...

Quote:
I say this becuase with my Sharp MR-60 there is a degration in sound quality when using the headphone out, compared to the line out.
Hmm? You mean when you use the headphone out AS a line out?
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