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I love minidisc - is that weird?

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by beeman, May 22, 2009.
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  1. JK1

    Sounds like vinyl? I wonder if there are any audio processing programs to make songs from CD sound like they are from a record? Add some clicks and pops,
    squeeze the dynamic range, have the highs and lows drop off? :)
     
  2. garryt
    Love it,
     
    Nothing like a good old sarcastic reply......[​IMG]
     
  3. gikigill

    Have you ever listened to minidisc or is this just blind conjecture?
     
  4. JK1

    I never listened to minidisk. I was just commenting on the desirability of having music sound like a record is playing. Those who are in love with analog seem to think that a record holds the true music, and forget about the RIAA equilization that goes into recording and playback of a record.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization
     
    Perhaps some people might like the artifacts from listening to FM radio(multipath, adjacent channel interference, etc.)
    and might want to make their music from CD sound like that? Perhaps some might even want to simulate AM radio?
     
  5. gikigill
    Minidisc is digital so no cracks or pops or material wear and tear. It's just very smooth and silky with a slight tilt towards bass in older models and a more neutral approach in the newer models.
     
  6. the wizard of oz
    With higher-end headphones, IEM's, or connected to an even mid-level amp & speakers played sufficiently loud, playing music you know well, I'm afraid MiniDisc equipment's limitations become apparent.
    Hi-MD mode on Hi-MD MiniDiscs is the only acceptable way for sound quality, that is, at least CD quality.
    Even Atrac3+ in 352kbps isn't up to it, you can hear compression artefacts if you pay close attention.
     
    I ditched my entire collection of standard MiniDiscs once I heard the difference, and starting adding up how much Hi-MD MiniDiscs would cost me for my growing musical collection, and consequently started looking for other solutions.
     
    I still have a soft spot for MiniDisc, the design and ergonomy for its day was really fantastic, and I'm reluctant to sell my last MZ-EH1, but for sound quality, my iBasso DX100 just blows any model away, hell, it even blows the Onkyo Hi-MD decks away!
     
    Technology has just made such a leap forwards since MiniDisc, even Hi-MD era, I really can't understand the enduring praise of MiniDisc.
    It's miles better than an iPod, for sure, but add a good portable iDAC/amp combo like the CEntrance HiFi M8 to an iPod, and it's a different story.
    It's now ten years since the release of the MZ-RH1, quite some worthy DAP's and even recorders have been released in that time frame.
     
    But to each his own. Just the SQ argument doesn't hold versus MP3 players any more, like it did in the early 2000's.
     
    And the vinyl debate, I mostly agree with JK1; you need a very expensive turntable set-up if you only want to come close to what CD's can do. And the high maintenance, I just gave up. I buy vinyls for collecting, for the cover art, and archiving, the occasional spin when it's just quicker to pick a record from the shelf than choosing from a massive digital collection, but for SQ, no, a good music server and DAC will fare much better.
     
  7. vapman
    I have been using minidisc as a part of my recording studio since its inception and continue to use it for its unique sound with exceptional bass power. Something about sound pressure levels and ATRAC. I will use MD until I have no more working players/recorders...
     
    Behold, my first non-portable Minidisc unit
     
    MDM-X4.gif
     
    gikigill and snellemin like this.
  8. zareliman
    Back in the day I had an MD player with LP4 regular minidiscs (200 mb). The first generation of MD was my first experience with lossy compression. I remember me and my dad could hear little if no difference through speakers at SP format. By that time I used to listen to a portable cd player all the time with poor headphones and the minidisc felt like an upgrade since it had much better skip protection and absurd battery life compared to MP3 players. Also in that era, the early MP3 players where around 128Mb so people tried to fill it with 96kbps or 128 kbps songs. Compared to that portable CD players could be considered audiophile and Minidisc was a weird hybrid to my ears. Although I wasn't able to tell SP quality from true CD Wav at that time, LP2 and LP4 were very low quality and I preferred to avoid that even if they enhanced skip protection and battery life.

    Later I upgraded to a later generation NetMD but I didn't spend much time with it.
    What amazes me about this is how picky, analytic and sensitive I have become and how much better things have got in the portable audio realm. While I listen to stuff on a whole new level I find myself frequently avoiding bad mastered albums, skipping tracks, not listening to full albums, etc. Back in the day I took the time to record manually a cd to minidisc (1st gen was real time, like a tape recorder) and then embraced whatever records I had on rotation. Even with all the hassle, those were simpler times. I used to enjoy music, now I enjoy audio and a little music every once in a while.

    EDIT: I still have my Sony DHC-MDX10. At some point I stopped using it as a cd/md/tape player and just used it as 2.0 PC speakers. After like 6 years of having it unplugged, we tried the speakers the other day on a modern system and they were not half bad. A little bassy but not overwhelming to the point it loses detail. Now I'm saving for a little amp to bring those babies back to life.

    sony-dhc-mdx10-am-fm-stereo-dual-cassette-3-cd-changer-mini-disc-compact-system-6cec0e1081c693d12624c3697b7d4a4e.jpg 150001.jpg

    Can that be considered a bookshelf ?
     
    snellemin likes this.
  9. JK1
    I guess the main reason I never used minidisk was that the blanks were expensive and didn't hold that much music. minidisc would have been much more popular if the blanks were only 25 cents each.
    At a few dollars each they seemed impractical.
     
  10. happychef
    I don't think I ever bought individual discs, I don't even remember if you could, not where I used to get mine anyway, they came in pack of 5 or more and were usually about £5 or £10 depending on brand and pack size, I ended up with more than a hundred over the time I used them.
     
  11. JK1

    I made the transition from using metal tapes of my favorite songs to CDRs of my favorite songs in mp3  played on a portable mp3 CD player. I did this as flash memory based portable players were initially very expensive, and had very little storage, 256 meg or less. A great sounding Panasonic mp3 CD player with AM /FM radio was only $60 then. Blank CDRs were around 25 cents each and could hold 700 meg. I think minidisk holds 120 meg or 200 meg? It's true minidisk players are much smaller than a portable CD player, although with minidisk the less expensive players were players only, and recorders were much more expensive, which meant that if I bought a portable minidisk device that was just a player, I would have also had to buy a home deck. So minidisk would have ended up being costly. Besides which, in 2005 I bought my first flash memory based mp3 player. It was the Zen Nano Plus 1 GB for $150. Around a year later it was down to $63 and I bought a few spare players. In 2008 Sandisk came out with the Fuze and the Clip, which came with 4GB of flash memory built in. The Fuze also had a micro SDHC card slot.  I bought the Fuze for $80 and the Clip 4GB for $50. Just one year later the Clip+ appeared, and for under $50 it came with 4GB built in, and a micro SDHC card slot. What is funny is that I ended up with two Nano Plus 1GB players that were unused in the sealed package that cost me $63 each. Several years later these were sold on Ebay for over $100 each, even though better players with more memory and a card slot were available for only around $30 each. People loved the way the Nano Plus used a AAA battery. Many also loved the way the nano Plus could record directly from a portable CD player without using a pc. While in some ways portable mp3 players have progress greatly over the past 11 years, in some other ways important features such as the use of an easily swappable inexpensive battery became unavalable.
     
    snellemin likes this.
  12. happychef
    I went from portable cassette player straight to recordable mini disc I only ever used cd at home carrying a portable cd player was never even a thought because of it's size and my need to have as many musicial choices with me as possible  so it was perfect for me, discs in every pocket, this set up lasted me for 10 years. mp3 was never a possiblity as I didn't have a computer until 2010 when my minidisc lost the ability to record and I had to buy an Ipod, for me buying  the recordable one was the only option, as you say the home decks were expensive and there wasn't a huge difference between the price of  the play only and the recordable. In a way I'm glad I missed out on those early mp3 players and went straight for the idiot proof option by going for the ipod classic it really bugged me at the time that they were so computer dependent and you had to plug it in to charge it, that's something i still miss the ability to just change the battery when out and about, I got over the computer thing.
     
  13. Sparky191
    Mini disc are so cool with tiny discs.

    Wish id not sold mine. But mp3 is just more convenient.
     
  14. Danz03
    I tried the early MP3 devices like Sony music stick etc, the sound quality was so bad it put me off MP3 for a long time until iPod mini came out. Before that, philips tried to compete with Sony by bringing out the DCC system which was so lame, glad it died very quickly. DAT was great sounding but nowhere near as convineient as minidisc.

     
  15. Mellowship
    Been using MiniDisk since 1997-98 or so... My JE-510 is still on my main home system and I use it more as a recorder/player when I borrow some vinil records that I want to record. I still have a handful of blanks, and about 4 or 5 boxes of 22 recorded MDs, all of them SP recordings, both from digital or analogical sources. 
    I have a cheap portable sony player, which I think is in my country house. Reading this thread made me want to dig it from wherever I stored it and have a listen with more modern headgear... 
     
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