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Arr-Nine-Hundred

Minidisc Deck Recommendations - JB-930/940 or Tascam MD-350?

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I thought it was time to revive my MiniDisc system.

My MDS-JB940 worked yesterday playing several discs but today all that happens is the relay clicking all the time.

Are there any common easy to fix faults making the power relay click?

Perhaps PSU capacitor failure?

 

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Back to Vietnam ! Without my new JB930 because of a luggage final weight + volume problem and, above all, my brother's insisting on keeping the unit for him till my next trip to France. Fantastic unit anyway.

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On 19/04/2017 at 2:28 PM, Arr-Nine-Hundred said:

The Tascam MD-350 is a German made beast, which I understand was designed for long haul professional use in a rack - it also has metal gears inside to improve robustness.

Of course I'm quite late to this thread but as this forum seems like a good semi-historical resource I might as well contribute! I've got a number of Sony and Tascam MD decks that I use at home and also for sound at my amateur theatre group, so can try and help out.

Regarding the Tascam MD-350 I can make a couple of comments here regarding usability (rather than audio) that pertain more to my use model for theatre music and sound effects rather than home audio use.

1. On the display you can have titles or time showing, not both as I can with my Sony MDS-JE520.

2. Selecting Auto Ready (auto pause on Sony decks) requires the external PS/2 keyboard. There doesn't seem to be a front panel method to enable this.

3. Regards SCMS, my thoughts are that this deck does enforce this, although I could check if anyone is interested. Certainly my Tascam MD-CD1 (Mk1) doesn't which is handy for me making backups of my show disks.

Hope that is of some use so far!

Kevin

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On 07/05/2017 at 9:58 AM, PhilippeC said:

Back to Vietnam ! Without my new JB930 because of a luggage final weight + volume problem and, above all, my brother's insisting on keeping the unit for him till my next trip to France. Fantastic unit anyway.

I'm late but welcome back home :)

Were you going to compare your 980 to the Tascam model? I'm interested in the "feel" of the unit, how the switchgear is quality wise, does the LED display have all the useful stuff including EQ bars which move to music.

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2 hours ago, kgallen said:

Of course I'm quite late to this thread but as this forum seems like a good semi-historical resource I might as well contribute! I've got a number of Sony and Tascam MD decks that I use at home and also for sound at my amateur theatre group, so can try and help out.

Regarding the Tascam MD-350 I can make a couple of comments here regarding usability (rather than audio) that pertain more to my use model for theatre music and sound effects rather than home audio use.

1. On the display you can have titles or time showing, not both as I can with my Sony MDS-JE520.

2. Selecting Auto Ready (auto pause on Sony decks) requires the external PS/2 keyboard. There doesn't seem to be a front panel method to enable this.

3. Regards SCMS, my thoughts are that this deck does enforce this, although I could check if anyone is interested. Certainly my Tascam MD-CD1 (Mk1) doesn't which is handy for me making backups of my show disks.

Hope that is of some use so far!

Kevin

Many thanks Kevin. Can you please give me some comments on the tactile "feel" of the unit, is it heavy and solid feeling compared to the Sony, how the switchgear is quality wise, does the LED display have all the useful stuff including EQ bars which move to music.

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Hi Arr,

Some of the data/images on here might provide some of the info you're after:

http://tascam.com/product/md-350/images/

I have no experience of the Sony units you list so I can't give an A-B comparison. Regards the MD-350, I have it mounted in a rack case as I move it around for shows. It's probably not "pretty" enough for a home hi-fi setup as it's a "pro" unit with rackmount; I'm sure the Sony's are much more aesthetically pleasing. The switches/connectors are solid enough (whatever that means) although I'm not sure the MD-350 is (was) that high up the Tascam range. But I find the Sony's pretty good too - here I'm talking about MDS-JE520/530 that I also have, although I realise the JB units you're looking at are higher end Sony units. Having had a Tascam MD-CD1 and a Sony MDS-JE530 to bits recently, their construction is pretty similar for the front panel. They are a number of PCBs mounted behind the front panel on which the display and switches etc are mounted. I wouldn't say there is much between them construction-wise from that aspect.

The MD-350 is a fluorescent display much like the MDS-JE5[23]0, but the filter screen gives it an orange colour compared to the "silver" of the Sonys. Personally I prefer the look of the Sony display, and the Sony's certainly have more information available simultaneously (titles and time at the same time). The Tascam comes across as a little less thought-through in the design phase on the screen layout. I've always been impressed with the build and features of the Sony MD units - I guess they were never a "budget" item.

I think the Sony's I've used have more complete features accessible from a proper front-panel accessible menu system. The MD-350 is a bit more "ad-hoc" in my view and you need a PS/2 keyboard for e.g. Auto Ready (=Sony Auto Pause) which is a function I always use, so have to make sure I have a keyboard with me. Having said that, having the proper keyboard for titling is a dream. Even with the MDS-JE520's "full" remote control, titling is a bit of a drag! Overall feature-wise there's not much between the Tascams and the Sonys, it's just the Sony's feel a bit more polished on the user interface!

Having said that, I love my Sony's for some things (in the house, making masters) and the Tascam for others (on the road, titling). Horses for courses maybe? However overall, and even though it's 2018, I'm moving back to MD more and more for my theatre work. I'm just sick of CDs playing up, skipping, being temperamental, bad CD-Rs etc etc. Conversely my MDs are rock solid and have other benefits for me like titling as standard and supporting very short tracks, which is essential for back-to-back short sound effects. CD minimum track length is 6 seconds which is just unworkable for me sometime, so I've pretty much always used some MD for shows, but frankly it's going to be a lot more now. Having just saved a Tascam MD-CD1 which can do CD to MD dubbing including titles and track marks, most stuff is going to end up on MD for the shows...

So... I'm not sure if I've helped at all. If there is a more specific question where I can give a more quantitative answer, then just shout and I'll see what I can do.

Regards,

Kevin

 

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Arr or Arrrrrrr or Aaaaaaaarrrrggggghhhh-900 depending how he feel !  Thank you for that looooong comment that I will read tomorrow (it's time to bed 00.59).

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If you're still looking, there is this 930 on eBay.co.uk at the moment (not related to me at all, I just found it):

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sony-MDS-JB930-Minidisc-Recorder-QS-RANGE-Rare-MD-Amazing/132500874503?hash=item1ed9aae507:g:Qu4AAOSwy4taf1N4

 

The seller also has another two MD machines: an MDS-W1 (twin MD!) and rack mount MDS-E10:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sony-MDS-W1-TWIN-MINIDISC-DECK-Rare-MD-1/132500816402?hash=item1ed9aa0212:g:fD8AAOSwqfZaf0N0

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sony-MDS-E10-PROFESSIONAL-Minidisc-Recorder-Rare-MD/132500805920?hash=item1ed9a9d920:g:aAgAAOSwHYVaf0At

They all look cosmetically neat, bright displays.

 

Separately there's a Tascam MD-350 here that claims to be in mint condition:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tascam-MD350-Professionial-Mini-Disc-Record-replay/132498502894?hash=item1ed986b4ee:g:uFwAAOSwubFae3YE

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