Advise on the best recording MD device needed. Thanks!

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Dear Community,


Some 12 years ago being still a conservatory student, I owed a sony MD player as many of us did. Then somehow I put it away.....

Recently after having recorded some Cds with regular digital equipment I started to seriously doubt concerning the end result and realized that my old midi life recordings have some musical aspects which I totally miss on cds. I definitely cannot explain this in terms of physics...... I decided to buy a reel to reel band machine for studio registration and return to MD for portable concert session recordings.

Those two formats have something at the end which is not about resolution and quality of sound -  it is about music itself. It is quite obvious to me.

So I would like to kindly ask for advise - which MD recorder you find appropriate and probably best for this, since as far as I know the ATRAC format made some advances after MZ - R70 which I had. Thanks a lot for attention and time reading this. Anton

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If you do your own field recordings with the unit, I advise you to choose a Hi-MD for these reasons


1) quality of recording (even lossless with PCM)

2) lengh of the recording if you get Hi-MD discs (but classic MD formatted in Hi-MD mode offer also a rather long lengh of recording if you don't choose the lossless quality)

3) possibilty of upload of your own recordings even in WAV format : <<Self-Recording Upload Function Hi-MD Walkman recorders offer two-way communication from the PC to device and from the device back to the PC. With the mic in feature5 you can make a self-recording on the device and transfer content back to the PC.>> technical short extract of the MZ-RH900. Nota : Sony has stated that only analog-source recordings created on Hi-MD equipment will be eligible for upload.


The Sony MZ-RH1/M200(for Mac) is the best (and most expensive) but others Hi-MD recordings units allow also the upload of your own field recordings. See the browser for units and the FAQ.


Price range : Rh1 > 200 to 800US$ (!), others recording Hi-MD units 50 to 250US$, Hi-MD blank discs much more than 10US$ nowadays (just format classic MDs in Hi-MD mode to save money.

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I would like to propose an alternative, based on my own experience. I own two Sony MZ-RH1's, as well as two HHB MDP500's. I definitely prefer the HHB for field recording, for the following reasons:

1. Robustness: the MDP500 is designed for professional field use ; the MZ-RH1 is very fragile.

2. Connectors: the MDP500 has XLR (line and mic) inputs ; the MZ-RH1 has a mini-jack.

3. Ergonomy: the MDP500 has large keys and display ; the MZ-RH1 has tiny buttons and display.

4. Connectivity: the MDP500 uploads via plain USB Audio ; the MZ-RH1 requires specific Sony Software.

5. Autonomy: the MDP500 uses standard batteries ; the MZ-RH1 uses specific Sony gumstick batteries.

6. Resilience: the MDP500 uses MD's that can be recovered after a crash ; Hi-MD's cannot be restored.

7. Price: a second-hand MDP500 can be bought for less than 200 euros (typically on on

In short, I would recommend the MDP500, connected to the output of your console via balanced XLR's, to record your own performances on stage. And yes, you will have to accept one ATRAC 4.5 compression (during recording), followed by one ATRAC 4.5 decompression (during the real-time upload to the PC).

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Dear Friends,


Thanks a lot for sucha detailed answer and time spent. I will consider those options. Meanwhile I bought yesterday a  used Pioneer  MJ D707 for almost no money to have it as a stationary unit at home. And made a home recording with it .... It brings already a fantastic result. So I think if I buy the ones you mentioned it will be exactly what is needed. I wonder why this Atrac comression makes such a natural recording so simple? It is still digital but somehow more humane... Is there any clear explanation for this? Thanks a lot for advice ideed! Anton

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