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RustyRoses

The Return to MD

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Hi all,

Now in my 30s, I have fond memories as a teen of recording albums to MD and typing out all the track names. I never could afford to buy an album new. I was later seduced by the iPod and now I get all the music I could ever want through Spotify on my Galaxy S7 Edge...

However, it's just not the same. I'm certainly starting to notice that I don't listen to "good" quality recordings anymore.

So I thought I'd pick up a few old albums on MiniDisc for the nostalgia, and looked into getting a good MD player again. 

 

This is where I discovered what happened after I left MDs behind - HI-MD! 

Considering that I still have CDs in storage and Vinyls too, that my record deck can record over USB to WAV format, I'm keen to get some PCM tracks onto one of the last gen MD portables.

 

So where do I start? Am I going to have to pony up £350+ for a unit and £35 for 1GB discs? Eep! And man, the cost of some of the pre-recorded ones...

 

Thanks! 

Cris

 

Ps: I'm based in the UK, and these are the Albums I'm looking for.

Frank Sinatra  

Collector's Series

Massive Attack

Mezzanine

Bob Dylan

Blood On The Tracks

Jeff Wayne

Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds

The Beach Boys

Greatest Hits

Madonna

Ray Of Light

Queen

Greatest Hits II

Pet Shop Boys

Discography (The Complete Singles Collection)

AIR

The Virgin Suicides

Genesis

Turn It On Again (The Hits)

Madness

Divine Madness

AIR

Moon Safari

Mike Oldfield

Tubular Bells

Enigma

The Screen Behind The Mirror

Mike Oldfield

Tubular Bells II

William Orbit

Pieces In A Modern Style

Massive Attack

Blue Lines

Chicane

Behind The Sun

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Welcome!

For my money, there is absolutely no point at all in using PCM 1411 as a playback format. It's quite useful for recording as there's a wide dynamic range easily coped with which can be edited on a computer. But, IMHO, if you can hear a difference when listening through headphones, you are mainly falling victim to marketing hype and me-tooism. ATRAC (which PCM is emphatically not) is a scalable (logarithmic) 24-bit format, and will nearly always sound better than straight 16 bits.

The gem in Hi-MD is not PCM, but Hi-SP. For lower data rates, LP2 and LP4 are still pretty good, especially when recorded starting from a premastered sound source such as a CD or digital radio broadcast. If you really want linear, best to go to the 24-bit-capable PCM-M10.

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Even our good old SP mode is perfect for listening.

For me the most important is to touch MDs and units, they gave you the same feeling than I got 30 years ago (LPs ans K7s).

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Wow, thanks for the knowledge dump, I appreciate it! 

I will look into Hi-SP and ATRAC for sure - tell me, are all the pre-recorded albums using the same recording settings? I guess there are no HI-MD specific albums, right? They'd have to play on every MD player to meet the licensing requirements?

Syrius - thanks for the offer, but that's about £100 plus shipping more than I hoped to spend .

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I've had a quick look, and I see there's a 352kbps flavour of ATRAC3plus and that it can be created on your laptop and "downloaded" to a HI-MD device. Anyone have experience with that here?

Also, am I right in guessing that this function is only on HI-MD recorders, and not HI-MD players?

Thanks 

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TBH 352 never sounded that much better than 256.

What **is** amazing is how good some of the low bitrate stuff is. I have hundreds of hours of stuff at 66 and 132. For those one wants to record a digital source directly to a deck.

Forget pre-recorded disks.

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8 hours ago, sfbp said:

TBH 352 never sounded that much better than 256.

What **is** amazing is how good some of the low bitrate stuff is. I have hundreds of hours of stuff at 66 and 132. For those one wants to record a digital source directly to a deck.

Forget pre-recorded disks.

if you can find any......

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8 hours ago, sfbp said:

TBH 352 never sounded that much better than 256.

What **is** amazing is how good some of the low bitrate stuff is. I have hundreds of hours of stuff at 66 and 132. For those one wants to record a digital source directly to a deck.

Forget pre-recorded disks.

Hi there ;-)

i have to disagree concerning the A3+352.

If you play them on a Deck ( Onkyo Hi-MD Deck MD133 in my case ) the Sound is as close to CD as Atrac3+ can get.I tested some files with Hi-SP vs. A3+352 and to me the later one wins each time. I use to import CDs , which i´v ripped with EAC before, to SoS and transfer them straight to a reformatted 80min Disc in A3+ 352.

That´s about the best choice to be made if you own a Hi-MD Deck and want the best possible SQ.

Mind you the SQ of a portable is far inferior when playing back A3+ so maybe that´s why some don´t spot a difference.

It´s a bit disappointing the Decks can´t record all the A3+ modes but at least the play them just fine :-)

Just my experience.. others may or will see this different

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Thanks for the info everyone!

Regarding bitrates, I'm looking for portable fidelity, so I'm happy to try out 352. 

The interest in pre recorded is as much about nostalgia and collecting my favorite albums, as listening to them, but as I will be getting hold of some, I'd still like to know about them as recordings. 

I have most of them on CD and vinyl anyways, so I could make my own copy and compare, for the fun of it. 

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Looks like I'm not the only one who just recently got into the mood of buying a MD player. While I was able to get a MZ-NH600 I can't really get the software (SonicStage) to run my Windows 10 machine. Does anyone have any idea of what I can use?

EDIT:

Never mind seems like this page is the only one with a working copy of SonicStage.

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On 12/18/2016 at 9:16 PM, RustyRoses said:

Well, a quick update - I managed to score an MZ-NH1 for a good price, however I now need to source the unique data cable :/

Currently there are none on eBay... 

Did you mean these cables: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/253-9461584-2154902?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=minitoslink

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I am not sure, whether or not you like these guys, but they seem to have the cable you are looking for, >> here <<.

Price is a different matter though.

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1 hour ago, PhilippeC said:

Aliexpress : pretty sure that the cable will not be sent from Vietnam but from China

Definitely, no doubt.

For some reason, I always get this language page, and I have to click on the upper right corner to get to their global site.

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An update - I still don't have the right USB cable (for now) but in the mean time, I've begun converting my music collection to FLAC from CD and Vinyl, dumping my MP3s. 

My father in law had a load of used and unopened blanks, so I'm sorting through those at the moment. I've got about 50 in total, most are Sony and Sharp with lots of the 10th Anniversary clear ones and transparent purple 80min Sharps. I have a single 1GB disc at the moment. 

Until I pick up the correct USB cable, I'll be using a TOSLink cable with 2x Mini TOSLink adaptors between my MacBook and my MZ-NH1 on Hi-SP. It's not the 352kbps version of Atrac, but it's the best I can do at the moment.

I'm also eyeing up a Sony PHA-1a and a pair of OPPO PM3s...

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You may know this already but unfortunately SonicStage doesn't recognise FLAC files.  You will have to use something like FLAC Frontend to change them back to WAVs before importing them into SonicStage for transfer to your NH1 once you get your USB cable.

The MZ-NH1 is a fantastic bit of kit and I'm sure you'll be very happy with it.  I love mine:)

 

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