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MiniDisc Questions

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi! I just wanted some help on deciding which MiniDisc Player to get.

Sharp MD-SR60
Sharp MD-MT15
Sony MZ-R500
or Sony MZ-R700

Are there any other MD recorder/players below $200 US that would be a good value?

Things that are important to me would be:
1) sound quality
2) durability
3) shock protection
4) size

It would be nice to have MDLP but it isn't required, and I don't really need a remote either. I'm also getting Sony MDRV6 headphones and I'm just wondering which one would be able to drive the headphones the best. And should I wait for the NetMD models to come out?

Uh... I also have some questions that may seem dumb, but I can't seem to find the answers anywhere.
1) If I record 128 Kbit MP3s onto a MD player would that improve it's sound quality?
2) How does NetMD work? I know it has a faster transfer speed, but does it affect sound quality?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 16
Alright I know about a few of these issues but not others. I do know that if you haven't looked at www.minidisc.org , you should. It's a great resource.

If you record 128kbit MP3s to MD, they will sound worse than the mp3. I don't notice the difference in all cases, but a badly recorded CD will sound terrible when it is double-encoded. Why? When you create an mp3, information is stripped out of the sound to save space. 128kbit mp3s are stripped down a bit too much for my taste, but sometimes they are fine to me. However, when you turn around and record to MD, you are stripping away even more information. Recording directly to MD from the CD will sound better than 128 kbit MP3s almost always.

Don't worry about shock protection. I've owned my minidisc player (sony MZ-R70) for a long time, and I've never heard it skip. Ever. I don't remember my player having special shock protection features either, who knows. Maybe it does. The point is, unless you're using it to do alpine skiing, I'd imagine this wouldn't be as big of an issue as it would in a CD player.

As far as being able to drive headphones, look on www.minidisc.org and see if you can figure out how many mW/channel those MD recorders provide. More is better, 3.5mW is kinda low. My MD player has 5mW/channel and it drives my 60-ohm Koss KSC-35s plenty loud, but not loud enough for my deaf friends (I listen at lower levels than most people do). But I've also heard that my player is quiet.

Also, don't be too concerned with size/weight. Yeah it is nice to have a tiny player, since that's the point of MD, but you'll never say "damn, I wish my MD player was just a quarter inch smaller!"

Anyway I know I ignored some of your questions but I don't really know the answers to many. I'm sure you'll find a good piece of hardware though if you look at www.minidisc.org for info.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Another question.

Thanks for the help RMSzero. The link you provided helped out alot. I have another question though.

What if I was to decode the MP3 to a WAV format then record it onto MD? Would that improve the sound?
post #4 of 16
To answer you question bi_hide, no.
Coding back to waw or aiff will not restore the information lost during the mp3 encoding so there is nothing gained.
post #5 of 16
Another one to check out is the Sharp MT-MD90 (found here: http://www.electronicsemall.com/sharp3.html). Good price on the SR60 as well, but no MDLP on either of them. Both have 10mw headphone outs, though.

Dave
post #6 of 16
If the original source of an MD recording is an mp3, then it just won't sound good. However, I don't really care. When I'm walking around, I don't notice details, so unless it's really bad I don't notice.

I mean, it's not going to sound perfect, but I have recorded lots of MDs directly from MP3s and they dont' bother me.
post #7 of 16
something else to consider is that the NetMD versions of the Sony line, N505, N707 and N1 are supposedly coming to the US next month, so the current line might be discounted. The N505 is $150 US I think.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

PC Link

Does the PC Link included with the Sony models really prevent a loss in sound quality? Also are there any recommendations for a cheap microphone?
post #9 of 16

Re: PC Link

Quote:
Originally posted by bi_hide
Does the PC Link included with the Sony models really prevent a loss in sound quality?
Well, the cheaper PC Link converts digital audio into analog audio - and then that analog signal gets converted back into digital by the MD recorder itself. That inherently degrades sound quality. As for the "digital" PC link, MDs recorded through the digital PC link may sound like poop, too - the Xitel DG2 has a relatively low signal-to-noise ratio compared to other digital audio devices.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Sharp MD-MT99

Would a Sharp MD-MT99 be a good purchase for CDN $267.85 ($168.46 US)?

Found it at MiniDisc-Canada
post #11 of 16
I think (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that the 99 is just the 90 with MDLP.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
the Xitel DG2 has a relatively low signal-to-noise ratio compared to other digital audio devices.
Sorry, but I don't understand this line. Does this mean the Xitel DG2 also degrades the sound quality? And does the SHARP PC-LINK accomplish the same thing as the Xitel DG2?
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
To dcg: Yeah you're right. The MT99 is just the MT90 with MDLP.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by bi_hide
Sorry, but I don't understand this line. Does this mean the Xitel DG2 also degrades the sound quality? And does the SHARP PC-LINK accomplish the same thing as the Xitel DG2?
Yep, even the Xitel DG2 can degrade sound quality. And USB audio out of a PC still has glitches, so that even a USB-to-optical PC link that doesn't degrade sound quality will reveal the true suckiness of most implementations of USB digital audio.
post #15 of 16
It can degrade sound quality, but how noticeable is it? Where does error come into USB audio? What frequency of error are we talking about? Can you be more specific?
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