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mick_t

Beginner MD Recorder

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Howdy all!

I'm completely new to MD recording and am looking for a quality, easy to use deck to copy my CD and MP3 collection as well as recording streaming (Spotify) from my PC. MDLP seems handy. I don't believe my PC nor amplifier have either coaxial or digital input/outputs but will get a PC that does if that is important for quality recording

Keyboard function and the ability to easily move MP3s with tags seems handy.

Should I focus on a CD/MD deck such as a Sony MXD-D40 or a single MD deck such as a JE510 or JE630JE630 or 440? Also what price should I pay on eBay for a very good quality used deck?​

Thanks for the input. Look forwarding to getting into it it.

Edited by mick_t

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Try to get the Sony 940 if you can as it has the facilities for a keyboard to make editing easy and is a very good machine overall

Edited by fourbanks

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I'd get the MXD-D40 as it is the most versatile unit you can get easily. Mind you I may have some news about developments that would increase the power of the 640 and 940 to same or better than the MXD-D40. Avoid 5xx, they are all SP-only (I've a 630 I can let you have for a steal which is also SP-only). Turns out MDLP is worth having especially in the context of CD->MD conversion.

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Thanks a bunch. Thats a great start. I'm having a hard time finding a 640 or 940 in good condition. The D40s are easy enough to find though. One of the main things I wish to do is record online streaming so I can listen to it when offline. I've found software that converts it immediately to mp3 and so I wish to convert from there to minidisc.... Or just record the streaming itself and type the tags in. I believe this will be easier for this non-techie. Any advice or suggestions on best way to do this?

Also if anyone is looking to get rid of a good piece of gear like this please let me know.

 

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I'd record from online broadcast via a sound card.with optical out.. Great results, much less problems than a double conversion IMHO. You may have a PC with optical out built in (some Macs and many HP machines IIRC). My favourite card comes from Europe (Terratec) but there are probably others more available to you in the USA.

What you MAY want to do is to find a PCLK-MN10 to allow you to do the typing into the D40 using a PC (XP or XP virtual machine). They're hard to find on ebay, but you should have no trouble ordering one from Japan.

The other way is to use Sonic Stage purely for titling, and do that with a USB-capable portable MZ-N<H>xxx

 

Edited by sfbp

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Thanks for the starting point. I was getting bogged down by the jargon. I will definitely keep my eyes out for a PCLK-MN10 or 20 on ebay, as well as a JE940. So many MXD-40s on the market though.... seem easier to find.

If anyone has this gear extra for sale, Im an easy target. :)

 

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You won't find a jE940 it's JB940

The nice thing about the PCLK is it's an audio device... straight to optical of your MD.  unfortunately doesn't play back optical input but that's a mod to the D40 anyway.

 

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Like sfbp, I have no direct experience with the E10 (or any other of the Pro model line). One thing I would look out for is that as a professionally used model (I am assuming so), the unit isn't going to be one that was used a few times, put away, and now is up for sale. Or maybe that is exactly what its history is. Never a bad idea, in any case, to ask about prior use and whether any exposure to smoke.

I would like to also mention the MXD-D40. I have two of these, both of which I bought used. My brother has one, too. All three units have been reliable workhorses. None of them has been modified to have optical out, as sfbp refers to, and thereby lies the rub, as the D40 does not have outstanding SQ via analog out. Oh, it's not bad—but probably not as good as that E10 you're considering...which does have both optical and coax I/O. Then again, the D40 has the benefit of CD > MD copying: up to 4x in Mono or Stereo and 2x in LP.

Avoid the 510; this is a model that can have serious issues.

Also, where some of your sources lack optical out, you may want to consider which MD has good analog recording circuitry. I can vouch for the JB940 in that regard...don't know about the others....hmmm, now that I think of it, I have recorded from computer to D40 via analog, with OK results.

Good luck and please post here about what you decide!

 

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Bluecrab, I definitely see your point about the D40. They are accessible and reliable. My main purpose of getting a deck, however, is to record online streaming from PC and so far haven't been able to find word of a PCLK - MN10 around. I could record LP4 through analog from PC but from what I've heard the SQ won't be great. At the moment my PC does not have an optical out so I'll have to get a sound card as well. Trying to find the easiest, reliable, accessible, solution for this. Do you need the PCLK - MN10 to move 192 kbps MP3 with tag titles over to the D40? Or can that occur with optical output? PC3 is another option but doesn't seem extremely easy to use for playback...

Edited by mick_t

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Check. Agree about LP4 > Analog. Now, I am just picking up more Windows knowledge (having been in the Mac/*nix world for a long time), but you can probably set up Windows to send audio out via USB? (I may want to try this myself.) If so, then all you would need is a free USB port and a USB > Optical switch, like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA202-Audio-Interface/dp/B000KW2YEI/ref=sr_1_3

Or as you note, a sound card would also do it.

I don't quite get why the PCLK-MN10 is a must-have. It looks like it'd do the job and way, way more, but plain old optical in would also work for capturing PC audio out.  Oops, I re-read and saw this: "Keyboard function and the ability to easily move MP3s with tags seems handy." Some MD decks—including the E10— can have a PS1 k/b plugged in to them; this helps, I am told, with titling and with

some MD functions via the k/b.

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The PCLK combines audio card (44.1,  not  48) and control.  it's one of the only things that automates track marks perfectly, too. And that Behringer device looks like it only sends out 48kHz signal, meaning a double re-sample to get it onto MD. Putting out 48kHz is ok for playback because the average amplifier with decent inputs re-samples to some higher frequency (96,176, 192 etc) but not so great for capture to MD. Most of the cheap USB audio cards output at 48 because they were made in the DVD era.

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Not sure if anyone is watching this thread or not... I have been using the PCLK MN10 as a USB Converter from my laptop playing Spotify Premium. I have TOSLINK running from the PCLK MN10 to the OPT1 input in my JB940. I have noticed an improvement of audio quality compared to going analog from laptop or MD player. Do you feel it would be an improvement to purchase a USB to SPDIF Converter and run Coaxial to the JB940? I've heard TOSLINK is an imperfect medium but your comments about best frequencies for minidisc got my wondering... 

My goal is to record streaming devices as transparently as possible to the MD Recorder.

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The data transmitted on the TOSLINK and the coaxial SPDIF are identical in terms of ones and zeros, the only difference is the optical (i.e., light on/off) vs. electrical (i.e., low/high voltage level) way of transmission. Both outputs are driven by the same logic circuitry internally.

Optical is naturally not sensitive to electromagnetic noises, nor can any ground loops develop when connecting devices together. With good quality coaxial cables, plugs, jacks and proper isolation at the SPDIF output of the devices coaxial can transfer the digital data in the same quality as the fibre (distances may play a role though). On the other hand, cheap quality optical cables, dirty/dusty TOSLINK receivers/transmitters can result errors in the data transfer.

I would say if you already have the PCLK kit, buying a USB/SPDIF converter probably will not bring any increase in quality compared to the optical line (plus you would lose some functionality of the Sony kit).

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Thanks for the reply. At the moment I am using a cheap TOSLINK cable... I'll have to upgrade. It's one of the plastic fibre ones... As far as losing functionality of the Sony, I do not use the PCLK MN 10 for titling or using MCrew. I use a keyboard plugged directly to the 940 for that. I found using MCrew just wasn't worth using Windows 98. So basically I use the PCLK MN 10 purely as an external sound card / USB Converter. Just wondering about bit-rate transmission and sound quality as a whole.

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You don't need to use W98. XP is fine, not sure about Vista. Even the XP box in W7-64 works. However you will lose some functionality in M-Crew as it cannot read the CD in your computer from the virtual PC.

On reflection, I think any 32-bit version of Windows (even the latest) should be able to support PCLK-MN10. Don't worry about the MN20 - it's the same hardware, lol.

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I know... I got it all working with a WinXP machine (thanks so much for all your help with that) but found myself enjoying using they keyboard function with the 940 more. I'm getting very good and fast at editing and titling with just the keyboard and just figured it wasn't worth either having a dedicated PC or moving away from Win10, which is what I have now. So I'm simply using the PCLK MN10 as a sound card...

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I guess I'm asking about the "audiophile-ness" of the PCLK MN10 versus a dedicated USB Converter... Specifically in regards to conversion to ATRAC3 or Type R.

P.s. if you guys talk me into it there may be PCLK MN10 for sale ;)  I also have a PC3 that I never use with remote and all cables that wouldn't mind trading in for another piece of gear

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I actually like the PCLK - it is highly reliable. And the PC3 is a gem, given that you can't do the remote PS/2 (well, can you????) with the non-Japan version of 940.

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I have two Noin-japanese versions of the 940 and both of them have a PS/2 port on the front for a keyboard which will do all major remote functions as well as title. I will attempt to add photo of my port as well as the keyboard that I use with functions printed on it.

1476750187165-140102555.jpg

1476750212946-1373792166.jpg

I love my setup... I use it daily sometimes for many hours. I also have a D40 which rarely gets used. One day id like to get a MDS W1...1476750285021-2056575562.jpg

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SFBP, you are the one who mentioned that MD accepts 44.1kHz rather than 48kHz and that is what has me confused... Could you elaborate as to why the PCLK MN 10 is a better fit for converting to MD Recording? You mean the output is in 44.1kHz no matter in the USB input?

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7 hours ago, mick_t said:

I guess I'm asking about the "audiophile-ness" of the PCLK MN10 versus a dedicated USB Converter... Specifically in regards to conversion to ATRAC3 or Type R.

Both the PCLK and the USB converter are only media for transmitting the - same - digital audio data. No conversion is made on the line. In your case, analogue to digital is done on your PC, before the actual optical transmission, while the ATRAC conversion is done on the md device, after the transmission.

The PCLK dongle is "only" a USB-to-optical converter - from this perspective, as other control functions are not used. (There exists the PCLK-MN5 from Sony, that is a limited version of the MN10, without all those control possibilites, having only the optical out interface.)

Any difference in audio quality between optical and coaxial transmission (from the same source, and with the same receiving device) can only come from the things we discussed above.

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6 hours ago, sfbp said:

you can't do the remote PS/2 (well, can you????) with the non-Japan version of 940.

I have a European version 940, and it is not recognized by the PCLK set via the front panel PS2 connection.

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