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Sharp MD-MT90 Full Review - Page 2

post #16 of 35
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Hmm? You mean when you use the headphone out AS a line out?
Yes , and no.

The headphone out in the MT-60 is activated when you set the voulume and system systems accordinaly. It will then out put

250mV (-12 dB) at a load impendance of 10 k ohms

as for the using the normal headphone jack in my minidisc as well as the MT90 it will always have no specified out put level as well as it's load impendance will always be 16 ohms.

HERE is a FACT!!!!@! The MT90 has no line out period. It's a cost effective minidisc player. You want a line out either get a more expensive player or get last years sharp MT60, which is still a better overall player than the MT90. It seems to me with the newer players comming out each year quality is going down, and great features are being taken out.

PS. I IMO the MT90 looks real cool on the outside, Sharp did a good job with it's mold. I really like the metallic finish. If you guys arn't looking into using a headphone amp, than the MT90 is a great player. Keep in mind the MT60 all all of it's features and costs the same, yet it comes with a line out.
post #17 of 35
Um...
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post #18 of 35
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You also said "like the MZ-R700
My mistake I ment the MZ-r900
post #19 of 35
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Sharp recorders are considered to have better sound quality than sony players.
Just to comment on this... it's, um, not true

Seriously, some people claim that Sharp have better sound that Sony, but the difference is really just EQ. Sony MD portables have a more "flat" (read: accurate) sound out of the headphone jack, while Sharp units have a "warmer" sound via headphones (both sound the same via line-out, if they have it). Personally, I like the sound of Sharp units, because in most portable environments, I think the Sharp EQ enhances what you actually hear. However, I know quite a few people who prefer the more accurate sound of Sony units.


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>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.
But it's not a TRUE line-out. It tries to be a line-out by estimating a line-out output level at a certain volume level. But it's not a true line-out, nor does it sound like one.

P.S. The MZ-R700 does not have a line-out at all.
post #20 of 35
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But it's not a TRUE line-out. It tries to be a line-out by estimating a line-out output level at a certain volume level.
Ok, but my point still stands, the MT60 has a line-out feature as the MT90 does not.

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But it's not a true line-out, nor does it sound like one
I disagree, hooked up to a TotalAirhead you can not tell the differnece between a dedicated line-out abd an intergrated one.
Unless your hooking your minidisc player up to a good non portable amp, like say a creek or whatever then there would be difference, not a night and day one, but it would be noticed to some. Other than that you can not tell the difference, besides who is going to hook a minidisc player to a good soild amp??? I'd rather listen to a CD instead if i'm home, but for portable use MINIDISC all the way. CD's do sound better than Minidisc with a good headphone and a amp. So there is no need for a separate line out, but if I had it my way, all Minidisc playerswould have them. Also there are SONY minidisc PLAYERS not recorders that do have dedicated line-out's

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Seriously, some people claim that Sharp have better sound that Sony, but the difference is really just EQ. Sony MD portables have a more "flat" (read: accurate) sound out of the headphone jack
Sharp has better DAC's in there players. Take the MT90- sharp's cheapest Minidisc player, it comes with a 24bit dac. Now take the sony MZ-r70 or 80 or even the 900 they use 20 bit DAC's.

It has been known in the minidisc communityfor a long time that sharp has always had the edge over sony in sound quality. I'm mean what do you expect from sony, most of there audio products are all about gagets and features, than it is about sound quality.
post #21 of 35
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>But it's not a TRUE line-out. It tries to be a line-out by
>estimating a line-out output level at a certain volume
>level.
Ok, but my point still stands, the MT60 has a line-out feature as the MT90 does not.
Well, not really. By that argument, any MD unit has a line-out... it's just a matter of finding the volume level that approximates the output of an actual line-out.

Plus the fact that the output of the headphone jack on Sharp units has a "warm" EQ applied means that it's not as good as a true line-out.


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I disagree, hooked up to a TotalAirhead you can not tell the differnece between a dedicated line-out abd an intergrated one.
I think what you meant to say is that you can't tell the difference, not that I can't

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besides who is going to hook a minidisc player to a good soild amp??? I'd rather listen to a CD instead if i'm home
I do, frequently -- I actually own pre-recorded MDs, as well as compilations that I have put together from CDs that I own. I play them through a headphone amp or my home stereo.

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Also there are SONY minidisc PLAYERS not recorders that do have dedicated line-out's
Not true. There is only ONE Sony player EVER to have a dedicated line-out (or even an integrated one). That was the Sony MZ-2P, produced in 1992. I have the current top-of-the-line MZ-E900 -- no line-out.


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Sharp has better DAC's in there players. Take the MT90- sharp's cheapest Minidisc player, it comes with a 24bit dac. Now take the sony MZ-r70 or 80 or even the 900 they use 20 bit DAC's.
LOL! That's a marketing ploy -- THERE'S someplace where there's no audible difference.


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It has been known in the minidisc communityfor a long time that sharp has always had the edge over sony in sound quality. I'm mean what do you expect from sony, most of there audio products are all about gagets and features, than it is about sound quality.
Sorry, but I've been "in the minidisc community" for a long time. The notion that Sharps have "better sound quality" is a myth. It's like saying that Grado is better than Sennheiser because Grado has a peak in the upper-midrange.

The truth is that the headphone output on Sony MD portables is more flat and *accurate* that the headphone output of Sharp MD portables -- but most people don't like accurate. Most people buy boomboxes with huge "bass tubes" and use the "MegaBass" feature on all their portable equipment. Most people who don't understand EQ and frequency response say that Sharps have "better" sound quality for two reasons: 1) until recently, they always had more powerful amps, so they played much louder; and 2) Sharp EQ's their headphone output to sound "warmer," which includes stronger upper-bass, which most consumers equate to "better."

Don't get me wrong, I love Sharp units (I own two Sharp portable recorders). But they do *not* have "better" sound or better DACs. If you want to talk about accuracy and flat response, Sony is clearly better. Many people prefer the Sony sound for that reason. But if you want to talk about "better sound" -- that is completely dependent on the listener's personal preferences.
post #22 of 35
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Well, not really. By that argument, any MD unit has a line-out... it's just a matter of finding the volume level that approximates the output of an actual line-out
Oh my god, no, no ,no it is not the same dude. Here try this experiment out go listen to the a mini disc player with no line-out to one with a line on the total airhead and you will see the difference. I tell ya you will see, big difference. MT60 and other intergrated line out's are LINE-OUTS period. IS a dedicated line out better, like I said before they are, but you wont notice the difference unless you hook it up to hi-fi equipment.

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Not true. There is only ONE Sony player EVER to have a dedicated line-out (or even an integrated one). That was the Sony MZ-2P, produced in 1992. I have the current top-of-the-line MZ-E900 -- no line-out
Again I was referring to the current breed of minidisc players/recorders. Your talking about a peice of anicent history.

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LOL! That's a marketing ploy
No it's not, Sharp use's better DACS they are 24 bit, Sony=20 bit that is a fact. GO find me a link where it shows a current or even old SONY one using a 24bit DAC. Also to my ears the SHarp have always sounded better. Now people have personal prefrence in sound, I understand that but from a technical point of view sharp and yes it is known in the minidisc community that sharp are better in the sound quality department. Granted some people would argue this and that's there right to do so.


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The truth is that the headphone output on Sony MD portables is more flat and *accurate* that the headphone output of Sharp MD portables
That's ********, cause I own both sony and sharp minidisc players and when using line out they sound very similar, except I find the sharp to sound better when using hi-fi headphones. Now if your talking about using the normal headphone out, not the line-out, than yes the sharp is more warmer, due to it's DAC. The sony is harsh and stale to me, just like my cheap dac in my cd player. If you ever listen to a MSB III external DAC you will notice that when switching form the cheap DAC in your cd player to the MSB the sound becomes warmer. This reminds me everytime when I listen to a sony minidisc player to a sharp.

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Most people who don't understand EQ and frequency response say that Sharps have "better" sound quality for two reasons: 1) until recently, they always had more powerful amps, so they played much louder; and 2) Sharp EQ's their headphone output to sound "warmer," which includes stronger upper-bass, which most consumers equate to "better."
Oh please, now your making this up as a fact, I mean of you feel that is the reason than so be it, but don't state that as fact. Listen I understand people have differnet tastes in sound, so if you like the SONY and enjoy it, than all the power to you, but SHARP does have better sound componets in there players , mainly the DAC's. Wheater you or I find it better is another matter.

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But they do *not* have "better" sound or better DACs. If you want to talk about accuracy and flat response, Sony is clearly better.
Yes they do, they have 24bit DACS, SONy only uses 20bit DAC's so it's expected for the sharp to sound better. Now can anyone tell the difference when listening without and amp, probably not, the only way I feel you could tell the difference without using an amp is with the Etymotic ER4P, try those out and compare the two. Make sure you don't use the MEGABASS it degrads the sound quality.

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Many people prefer the Sony sound for that reason
And many people prefer the Sharp sound for all the reasons I listed above. I'm not here saying that it's a FACT sharp sound is better, cause I can't say that, since sound is a matter fs taste, but from a technial point of view I feel i can. SOny is well known to go cheapo on most everything they make in the audio world. Just look at there recivers, CD players(SACD is another matter) dvd players etc... what they all have in common is lots of buttons and usless features, all at the expense of sound quality. When I think of crappy sound I think of BOSE and SONY, cause they are well known for it.

SOny minidisc players are much better known than sharp due it's name "SONY" but sharp I fell personally and technically make better sounding minidisc players.
post #23 of 35
No md has ever used multibit 20 or 24 bit DACs... they all use single bit delta sigmas. What the bits refer to is the accuracy of the ATRAC encoding DSP chip. Sharp uses 24bit DSPs which are very accurate, and guarentee that the distortion levels of the DSP will be inaudiable in 16-20 bit audio (i think ATRAC's resolution is equivalent to approx 20 bits, can't remember)

I don't know what Sony uses, but i think its a 20 bit DSP, which would suggest that it is less accurate. However, the resolution of the DSP has very little to do with the overall sound quality- what matters is the accuracy of the algorithms used in the DSP. Whichever one models our hearing better will sound better, regardless of resolution of the DSP.

I personally prefer the Sharp sound, but that is my preference, and i'm sure there are others that would prefer Sony. However, i do remeber several threads back at headwize where virtually everyone also prefered the Sharp sound. I'll find them when headwize comes back online.



As for the dedicated/vs integrated line out, i really don't think it matters for portable use. MD amps have somthing like 0.1%THD at full output. If you plug in an amp with high input impedence (ie any amp) the MD's built in amp will be running at very low levels, and should have minimal amounts of distortion. A seperate line out would be better because it doesn't need any current gain, but i seriously doubt anyone could hear the benefits with a cheep portable amp...
post #24 of 35
BTW, Sony's integrated line outs are different from sharp integrated line outs-

Sharp- Only has one amp, signal always passes through it. at full volume, the headphone amp puts out the same voltage as a typical line out. The amp still supply enough current to drive most headphones at that level. A bit noisier than a true line out, but the amp is very clean sounding, almost impossible to hear noise...

Sony- Has 2 seperate amps, but share the same jack to save space/cost, You select which one you want in the menu-

headphone out-has both voltage and current gain, noisier, and does not reach line level output.

Line out- same as a typical line out in a portable-puts out line level output but not very much current. Quieter than headphone out.
post #25 of 35
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Not true. There is only ONE Sony player EVER to have a dedicated line-out (or even an integrated one). That was the Sony MZ-2P, produced in 1992. I have the current top-of-the-line MZ-E900 -- no line-out
Again I was referring to the current breed of minidisc players/recorders. Your talking about a peice of anicent history.
Read it again -- you claimed (and I quote) "Also there are SONY minidisc PLAYERS not recorders that do have dedicated line-out's." I responded that not only are there no CURRENT Sony players with line-out, but that there has only been ONE... EVER. I was directly refuting your claim that the "current breed of players" has line-out. They don't.


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LOL! That's a marketing ploy
No it's not, Sharp use's better DACS they are 24 bit, Sony=20 bit that is a fact. GO find me a link where it shows a current or even old SONY one using a 24bit DAC.
That's not the point -- the point is that, as Thomas explained, 24-bit vs. 20-bit in an MD player is pretty much irrelevant. They simply decode the ATRAC-encoded content on the MD played. What is *far* more important is the algorithm used in the encoding process, which has NOTHING to do with 20-bit vs. 24-bit. But more on that later...

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I understand that but from a technical point of view sharp and yes it is known in the minidisc community that sharp are better in the sound quality department.
Again, you're just wrong on this. I am an active member in the MD community, on the largest mailing list and in the two or three most popular Internet message boards. This "consensus" that you claim on Sharp sounding better simply does not exist. The educated MD users will say exactly what I said: that Sony is more accurate, Sharp is "warmer," and that which sounds better depends on individual preferences. There is no "better."


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The truth is that the headphone output on Sony MD portables is more flat and *accurate* that the headphone output of Sharp MD portables.
That's ********, cause I own both sony and sharp minidisc players and when using line out they sound very similar, except I find the sharp to sound better when using hi-fi headphones.
Thanks for proving my point -- if what you say is true, then that means that the line-outs signals are similar, but the headphone outputs are different. And that is *exactly* what is happening -- Sharp EQ's their headphone outputs to sound "warmer." You happen to prefer that sound to Sony's more accurate sound -- and there's nothing wrong with that. But your statement above proves what I've been saying all along.

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Now if your talking about using the normal headphone out, not the line-out, than yes the sharp is more warmer, due to it's DAC.
That is also completely incorrect -- the *exact* same DAC is used whether you use the line-out or headphone jack. The reason they sound different is that the EQ on the headphone output is set differently than the flatter line-out signal.


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Oh please, now your making this up as a fact, I mean of you feel that is the reason than so be it, but don't state that as fact.
What I wrote *is* fact. The facts are that 1) Sharps have traditionally had more powerful headphone jacks. It's well-established in the audio industry that given two identical signals at different sound levels, most consumers will say that the louder one sounds "better." 2) Sharp EQ's their headphone output to be "warmer" sounding -- they feel that this is better for portable applications. Most consumers equate more upper bass to be better than less. Those are both facts. I'm not saying Sony is better -- I'm saying that the average consumer will prefer Sharp's sound, but *not* because the sound is more accurate. And that's a very valid argument, especially here in this forum.


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Listen I understand people have differnet tastes in sound, so if you like the SONY and enjoy it, than all the power to you, but SHARP does have better sound componets in there players , mainly the DAC's.
Again, that's simply incorrect. And for the record, if you'd read my posts thoroughly, you'd see that I actually said I like the EQ of Sharp headphone jacks better in a portable application. I'm just objective enough to know that it's because of the EQ, not because it's "better" in any way. And despite my good feelings towards Sharp units, I am also objective enough to admit that Sony units have more accurate headphone outputs.

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Now can anyone tell the difference when listening without and amp, probably not, the only way I feel you could tell the difference without using an amp is with the Etymotic ER4P, try those out and compare the two. Make sure you don't use the MEGABASS it degrads the sound quality.
LOL! Like after everything I've been saying, I'm going to compare using MegaBass

As for comparisons, I own a Sony MZ-R50, Sony MZ-E900, Sharp MS-722, MS-702MK, JVC FS-MD900, and Sharp MD-X5. I have also used a Sony MZ-R90 extensively. I own or have owned an X-CANv2, HeadRoom Little and HeadRoom Airhead amps. I own or have owned Sennheiser HD600, HD580, Etymotics ER4S, Grado SR60, Sony V6/7506, and various Koss headphones. I think based on that equipment lineup, I am pretty qualified to say whether or not there is a noticeable difference between the sound of Sony and Sharp units. The fact is that the headphone jack of Sharp units has a different EQ than the headphone jack of Sony units. I can tell this in a blind test on any one of my headphones. The Sony's sound closer to the original CD, while the Sharp's sound "warmer" -- because of EQ. I personally prefer the sound of Sharp when going portable, but it's not technically superior in any way.

And here's another thing that invalidates your position -- while there is a *clear* and *audible* difference between Sony and Sharp using the headphone jack, when using the line-out jacks on these various units, the Sony and Sharp units sound almost identical. That means that the difference is NOT the DAC or the DSP, but rather solely in the EQ of the headphone jacks.

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I'm not here saying that it's a FACT sharp sound is better, cause I can't say that, since sound is a matter fs taste, but from a technial point of view I feel i can.
Even on technical terms, you can't say that. Sony and Sharp units both have their technical advantages and disadvantages. Neither is clearly superior to the other.

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Sony is well known to go cheapo on most everything they make in the audio world.
Now who's making things up? LOL Yes, Sony makes some cheap products (especially headphones!), but you can't use that as a blanket condemnation of all their products just to try to salvage your untenable position.

P.S. Thanks for the good posts, thomas.
post #26 of 35
The point of line out is to bypass the "power" amplifier, which means shorter signal path and eliminates deficiencies of the "power" amp. Power amps in portable devices are the section that suffers the most from being "portable", as it is forced to operate on low voltage and power. If the line out shares the same jack with headphone out, that most likely means that the signal path is exactly the same, in which case it's not "pure" line out. You can say that line out is defined as signal with, say, 1V peak-to-peak maximum level but it should also be signal that hasn't passed through the power amp stage, only the line amp (preamp).

Whether it's audible or not depends on the device. It is possible that the headphone out at low volumes would do the job just fine but I wouldn't bet on it.
post #27 of 35
hmm... my 832 has an optical / line out.. what does that mean? like when i use my panasonic cdp, with optical there's a red laser.. but not wif sharp md...
post #28 of 35
Are u sure that isn't an optical/line in ?

post #29 of 35
Ok.. Paradigm is again reminding me of Mariowar on Headwize... Are you two related by any chance?
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Now take the sony MZ-r70 or 80 or even the 900 they use 20 bit DAC's.
Um, what's an MZ-R80???

Anyway, I agree that the only edge Sharp had (and still has.. look at the MT90) over Sony in terms of sound quality was the fact that Sharp had more juice in their headphone jacks.. When I heard my friend's MT831 (damn.. that thing feels as solid as a rock compared to my R70..) I found it to be much too bass-heavy for my tastes.. I still much prefer my Sony's flatter sound, despite the weak amp.

And becomethemould,
Yeah coolvij's right.. That's a line/optical IN... Meaning, you can record digitally FROM your Panasonic CDP's optical out TO your MDP's optical/line IN. On all recent MD recorders, the line in and optical in have been combined to save space.
post #30 of 35
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hmm... my 832 has an optical / line out.. what does that mean? like when i use my panasonic cdp, with optical there's a red laser.. but not wif sharp md...
becomethemould, the 832 has an optical/line IN jack, but not out. No recent portable MD units have optical out. The 832 also has a mic in jack and what Sharp claims to be a headphone/lineout combo jack. However, after reading the owner's manual, it appears that this is one of Sharp's "turning the volume to maximum" emulations of a true lineout.

P.S. It's a great MD unit though, becomethemould. I like the 831/2 a lot.
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