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Sony MZ-R70 vs. Cowon X9 Sound Quality

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Just dusted off my old Sony MZ-R70 minidisc player and began using it as a DAC. It's kind've a funky setup, since I can only hear something from it if it's either playing a minidisc or recording to a minidisc - meaning, I have to record whatever I'm listening to on my computer in order to use it as an external DAC.

 

With that said, the soundstage alone sounds better than either my Cowon or iPod classic. I thought it might just be some sort of nostalgia creeping in and influencing my hearing, but after playing music on minidisc, playing games, music from itunes through Audirvana, etc., it just flat out sounds better. It has more of an analog sound which reminds me of a good turntable or a clear radio station. Lots of depth to the soundstage.

 

Anyone know why this is? Were the DACs used in these little minidisc players just superior to those used in PMPs nowadays? Seems like it would be the other way around, but my hearing tends to be more influenced by soundstage than actual detail retrieval. I have very sensitive ears anyway. I'm also well aware that minidisc uses ATRAC compression, but FLACs on the Cowon don't have the soundstage of the minidisc, even with the various BBE settings enabled.

 

It also sounds clearer than the Cowon, which tends to be more laid back and smooth sounding, but whether that aspect of the MZ-R70's sound is superior or not, I have no idea.


Edited by whereas - 1/9/13 at 2:56pm
post #2 of 9
Cowon Z2 best of the best even better the so called Ipork classic
Edited by jrwong28 - 1/9/13 at 6:38pm
post #3 of 9

I don't see how that reply is relevant to the question

to OP

I used to have a minidisc player from sony , I think its because of the media ? You know how expensive CD players are still in business nowadays even though we already have digital storage , with many of times of the capacity , I suspect its the same thing

post #4 of 9

The R series MD player/recorders must have had an excellent DAC/amp,  I never did get the chance to listen to it as an external DAC but I know my MZ-R900 was the best sounding MD player I ever owned when listening through IEM's. I think Retrias is right though, its probably more of a media thing, Did you compare identical tracks with different codecs/devices?

 

My Sony X-series connected via LOD (true line out) to my creative X-dock which converts it to a 5.1 DTS signal then sent via Toslink to my Onkyo 5.1 surround system also sounds amazing, incredible.... strangely better than any of my ipods or iphones through LOD when playing the same wav track, so I wouldn't discount all modern-ish PMP DAC's.

post #5 of 9

We should get someone that have both top end md with against a top end MP3/FLAC/ALAC/WAV or whatever format they use and then actually compare them , i think the MDs last format was the Hi-MD?

post #6 of 9
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Duplicate post

Edited by whereas - 1/12/13 at 11:04am
post #7 of 9
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Duplicate post

Edited by whereas - 1/12/13 at 11:05am
post #8 of 9
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Duplicate post

Edited by whereas - 1/12/13 at 11:05am
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrias View Post

We should get someone that have both top end md with against a top end MP3/FLAC/ALAC/WAV or whatever format they use and then actually compare them , i think the MDs last format was the Hi-MD?

That would be interesting, I agree.

 

In my case, I think it's something to do with the DAC/Amp of the MZ-R70 just being better than whatever other gear I'm using. It doesn't surprise me that older components were of better quality, since the entire enclosure is anodized metal and rather heavy, etc. I just didn't think modern dacs would be a downgrade, rather than an upgrade. Especially with 10+ years of R&D in the meantime.

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