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Money no object - Which was the very best full sized MD player/recorder ?

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So why don't you just listen to the CDs at home on your CD player? I love my MD machines, but direct HAS to sound better than 2nd generation.

Actually the ripping on Sonic Stage and/or some high quality decks may produce an MD that does sound better than playing on many CD decks. Not least because MD decks have very good DACs. But also because ATRAC is a 24 bit format.

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On 2012. március 12. at 5:03 AM, Azureal said:

I took my JA20ES apart tonight and got some pictures. The unit does indeed have the CXD-2656R chip

...

Check it out:

I understand this is an old thread, but if someone could help me please, how can I see these pictures? Only the placeholders appear in my browser.

I have read the forum back and forth about the JA20ES being Type-R or not, and Azureal's quoted post took me the closest, and raised my hopes. There is a unit I would like to buy, but if there is any probability, that there were JA20ES units also made with the 4.5 chip, I would rather not chance it.

 

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No chance. The chip is the CXD2656 which I have in the JE630 and *that* is definitely Type-R. The next (later in time) commonly used revision is CXD2662 which was used for all the MDLP decks.

Sorry for raising this over and over, but it seems to me the only thing you get is a superior DAC. Which, as long as you have optical output and a decent amp that upsamples all optical or coax in, then for playback the JE630 is plenty. It's the DAC which makes the JA20ES weigh about half a ton.

By 'decent amp' I mean almost anything made by Onkyo, Sony or Integra in the last 10 years. I still drive my 1972 KEF Chorales with the Onkyo TX-SR605.

YMMV, of course.

Stephen

PS the main advantage of Type-R is, IMHO realised when you come to make recordings in MDLP. I was reminded of this today sitting in the car listening to some loud orchestral music play that had been recorded at LP4. I believe this is the only example of a codec invented by a music company that specifically targets music played by musical instruments. I know a little about the decoding (and therefore the encoding) where certain frequencies are specially encoded (after selection by the algorithm) so as to save bits for the rest of the music. Examples include anything which makes very pure smooth notes (such as French Horn or Organ) but is not limited to that, I believe.

So the poster higher up the list may be correct to say that, for SP-only, 4.5 is good enough.

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Thanks Stephen.

The 2656 chip being Type-R is familiar, I met this chip in several models. What confusing me is that the sign on the front panel of the JA20ES does not reflect this fact (seems a few ES models 'disguise' their ATRAC version). What I wanted to check on those photos, if any revision number was visible on the BD board. I would not expect though such a change in a device already in series production, I admit.

Type-R or 4.5 for SP: my understanding is that Sony originally developed Type-R for JA22/33ES (I read it here), to increase encoding quality, and as none of these are MDLP machines, I would expect it being better in SP too (I can imagine though, that Sony already had MDLP in mind when began developing Type-R, and doubled the encoding power).

I took your point on power amplifiers, and buying a JA20ES is not really about buying better sound quality, as both my 930/940 QS decks are already good enough for my ears :-) . Instead, I am really impressed by the "half a ton" type build quality of the device itself, and some other features on it. Such a "tank" in my mini md "collection" would also be nice :-) .

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Don't know about any SM photos, but I clearly recall that here in these very pages, a few years back, there was a discussion about the ATRAC Type of the JA20ES. Was it 4.5 or R? Someone took apart their 20ES and posted a photo of its chip, proving conclusively that it was Type R (CXD-2656).

FWIW, I have or have had the 20/22ES, 930, and 940. I do notice a difference in how they sound, with the 20/22ES leading the way. As sfbp has noticed, you could use the 20ES for a bulletproof shield, too.

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5 hours ago, NGY said:

Ha... I am afraid, I missed your point. Which photo are you referring to?

The front page of the service manual. Interestingly it's not in the usual place (it WAS the first type R machine) rather on the plastic plate in the middle, with writing so big you might miss it!!!!!!!!!!!

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 Found the thread that had the photos of the chip in the 20ES. Ironically it is earlier (March 12, 2012) in this same thread:

http://forums.sonyinsider.com/topic/27442-money-no-object-which-was-the-very-best-full-sized-md-playerrecorder/?page=2

Just scroll down to Azureal's comment. Oh, there is just one prob: the actual photos are no longer there (not for me, they're not)...just a bunch of filenames of filetype .jpg. No idea what happened to the actual pix. But they WERE there and they DID show the CXD-2656.

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12 hours ago, sfbp said:

The front page of the service manual. Interestingly it's not in the usual place (it WAS the first type R machine) rather on the plastic plate in the middle, with writing so big you might miss it!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I am then looking at a different version of SM. This is what I see on the front page:

image.jpg

I have seen the "Type-R" written (or embossed) on the middle plastic plate, but only on the 33ES, 333ES and 555ES. Have not yet seen an 20ES or 30ES with such a sign.

Anyhow, I am certainly convinced the JA20ES is a Type-R machine, just wanted to somehow get hold of those photos.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

All my JA20 units are in fact using Type-R Chips although they don´t show it on the front plate.

Has there ever been a JA20 with the Type-R embossed like the 333/555 do ?

I don´t think so :-)

Mine are all EU Models if that matters ?

Well.. Bruce -> how about your 333 being defect? You still got that unit ?

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Hello. not been here for some time, glad to see some people still here.

were the ES decks overkill for the format do you think? came at a time when Sony/Phillips were still selling that cd sound perfect for ever nonsense?

I know they are very well made but the cost over the JB940/980 was horrific

by the way at last got myself a nice condition Sony MZ-B10 from Ebay for just £50. Seems like some people are trying to get £100+ for these.

In general seems like the prices for the nice decks 940/980 are now quite high? are people paying these prices or just wishful thinking?



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On 2016. július 21. at 7:25 PM, punkrockaddict said:

All my JA20 units are in fact using Type-R Chips although they don´t show it on the front plate.

Mine are all EU Models if that matters ?

Thanks for the information, it strengthened my confidence.

The particular unit I was after got sold unfortunately (for about 80€ ...). It then removed any ambiguity.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally, I bought a JA20ES on ebay.de, and it arrived today.

Deck is in very nice shape, no scratches, looks near new. Display is bright, buttons/knobs are not worn.

I could not resist to open it, and it is totally clean inside. And yes, indeed it has the CXD2656R ATRAC chip (Type-R).

Error display shows 36 and 183 hours of total rec/play times respectively - this is the least used deck I have ever possessed (besides the one I bought new - nearly twenty years ago).

Damage was 167 Euro, including shipping and original RM-D19M remote included.

 

0103900.jpg . 0203901.jpg . 0303902.jpg . 0403904.jpg

 

0703917.jpg . 1103926.jpg . 0503913.jpg . 0603915.jpg

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4 hours ago, freddyjollo said:

how do you get into the error display to show time used?

When you enter Test Mode, select "Service", then "ErrDisp". First variable is "total rec", next is "total play.

Reaching into test mode can vary by model. It is fairly similar for the decks, and the process is usually described on the 2...3. page of the SM. I am not - yet - familiar with the portables though.

These counters are not available on decks prior the MDM-5 mechanisms. Also, some of the MDM-7 mechanisms seem not using these odometers. Some models use a third value, for the spindle running hours.

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