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Sony MDS-E10 problem

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Hi all, I’ve just bought a Sony MDS-E10 that had an ejecting problem. I’ve changed the loading belt and now mechanically, it’s working ok. Problem is, it plays back ok, it erases ok, but it won’t record to disk. The incoming signal (analogue) is monitored ok and the VU meters are working. Visually everything is right, TOC Writing appears on the screen and the disc ejects ok. When the disc is reinserted it loads as a blank disc. If I put it in another machine there is nothing recorded. When I first turned it on the Initialise showed on the screen but since then has not appeared. I’ve tried a number of different discs with the same result. I’ve also tried discs I’ve recorded on another machine and the play perfectly. I do notice that when I insert a disc and press play it goes into pause mode. Pressing play again starts the machine playing (on a pre-recorded disc. On a disc that appears to be recorded on this machine only blank disc is shown. Can anyone advise on this please?l

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Maybe the recording lens is dead ? The E10 has a hour counter that can tell you how many time recording and wirting lenses has been used.

Let us wait for some more comments.

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Overwrite head will be open circuit. Most likely a cracked cable. You can test with a multimeter (volt/ohm/amp) and it is even possible to fix the busted spot but you need incredibly good eyesight and incredibly fine soldering skills.

Don't even think about trying to align machine. The recording laser power is not that sensitive, whereas the read power is very sensitive. If it reads, it's likely just fine. The symptom you are seeing is absolutely characteristic for a dead overwrite head.

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That is the problem with pro decks : when you find one on eBay, that mean that the professionnal seller has decided to sell an unit close to its end, but no problem he can reset the hour counter close to 0 and said that the unit got a new lens !

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Dumb question, but where is the overwrite head situated? Is it the one visible when looking down at the top of the drive when the cover is off. Poor eyesight and minimal soldering skills probably rule me out but I’d like to take a look before making a decision. Is there any alternative option that would be the recommended? Are replacement drives available?

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Note that you are not lost in space, any other deck or portable unit with the type R (benefits of Type-R can be heard on ALL minidisc players) will give you even a better sound. An ability that the MDs-E12 have.

Just in case, E10's service manual can be found here

https://elektrotanya.com/sony_mds-e10_sm.pdf/download.html

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14 hours ago, PhilippeC said:

That is the problem with pro decks : when you find one on eBay, that mean that the professionnal seller has decided to sell an unit close to its end, but no problem he can reset the hour counter close to 0 and said that the unit got a new lens !

I have always felt that way, too; that is,  pro units of any kind are likely to have been hard-used, even if taken care of well. Last year (or was it the prior year?), I was interested in but wary of an MDS-E10 that I saw on Craigslist. I figured going in to Boston and taking a look at it couldn't hurt, so I did. Smitten by the thing, I took the leap. The price wasn't too bad, the seller accepted a bit of a lower offer, and he even fixed the non-mechanical eject issue on the spot. That E10 has been working fine so far, knock wood, and it deals the death blow to SCMS. Once in a while, you get lucky! Sorry to hear of the woes with the OP's unit, though. The E10's a wonderful recorder, but somewhat in the shadow of its betters for playback. BTW, the seller was a professional musician who had transitioned from MD.

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Not sure that I agree 100%. I do have another MDS-E10 machine that works really well and produces extremely good recordings. I also have a Tascam MD801R which likewise is working well. My collection of R2R tape decks are mostly professional machines so It appears to be the luck of the draw. Some studios look after their kit, some obviously don’t. The saving grace of most pro kit, in my experience, is ease of maintenance. They are (mostly) built with maintenance in mind whereas domestic kit isn’t. It would appear that the biggest obstacle in getting my second E10 running correctly is my inexperience. A bummer to say the least.

Thanks for the pointer to the service manual PhillipeC, hopefully I may find a cure.

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You HAVE to replace that overwrite circuit either by unbreaking the cable or by replacing the whole laser assembly. The latter will be expen$ive. And then you have to align it which takes a laser power meter to be sure you didn't waste your money (it might work but then blow because turned up too much).

Trust me, the service manual won't help much (other than to see how it fits together).

Unfortunately the MDM-7SC is not common. However I have a strong suspicion it may be able to be subbed by the MDM-7B if you don't care about the remote (serial) control functions. So you could buy any one of a number of decks (you will have to go and look in all the service manuals) and swap the drive in. I think the SCMS is done in the main board, but I am not 100% sure of that, in which case you wouldn't be crippling the deck by putting a SCMS-limited drive in it (if there were such a thing).

But best is to fix the signal path for the OW head. (Note that some manuals erroneously have overLight instead of the correct overWrite).

Note added;

Someone has a large number of MDM-7Bs on the Bay for under $10 each, the shipping will cost more than the device. NOTE EVERYONE, THIS DRIVE IS VERY USEFUL!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-Ersatzteile-Mini-Disc-Mechanismus-mdm-7b4m/232607297561

(I think it's possible "SC" refers to SCMS defeat rather than Serial Control, so since the whole purpose for most people owning the deck is the SCMS defeat, my comment above would be right and you'd be stuck with a "vanilla" MD unit that emitted/respected SCMS).

Another note: I think the busted cable is an integral part of the OW head, HR901 in all models. 1-500-670-12. But no listings on eBay, sadly.

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Lucky I am being able to find a guy in Vietnam who will do the work for me or simply buy another deck instead running into those technically abilities. I admire you who are able to do the job. 

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On 12/29/2017 at 11:12 PM, sfbp said:

(I think it's possible "SC" refers to SCMS defeat rather than Serial Control, so since the whole purpose for most people owning the deck is the SCMS defeat, my comment above would be right and you'd be stuck with a "vanilla" MD unit that emitted/respected SCMS).

Oddly enough, that is not what led me to the E10. It just happened to pop up. Its 1-rack size meant it would fit in the narrow space I had for it, and I needed LP ability there. I didn't even know that the E10 defeated SCMS and that wasn't in its doc. Someone pointed me to that menu function. Between the E10 and my HHB BurnIT, I was able to retire the SCMS-killing device I'd been using. The E10's a good recorder, but not on a par with Sony's better MD decks for playback. My JA22ES provides a good DAC for the E10, though.

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About DACs (small distance from the original subject but as we love to write on this forum... forgive me) !

MD decks can be used as DACs but nowadays for that kind of use, modern DACs 24bit/96kHz, 24bit/192kHz to even (heaven??) 32bit/768kHz are a better deal for audio reproduction. Well, that is what I was thinking not so much time ago.

Nonetheless for a MD deck relevant use, I would rather put those modern DACs between a PC (listening to SACD/DSD audio files) and the MD deck itself just to get the hightest quality  possible during the MD recording phase (mostly the best jitter control). An analogic or a digital recording (limited to 24bit/48kHz) ? Only our ears can choose. I think that for that use, nothing can beat a good audio source, analogic or digital.

My own Sony MDS-JB980 is connected to my digital (24bit/192kHz) amplifier, as a source., but to be honest I cannot say if I can ear a difference between the analogic connection or the digital connection. I suppose that the recording quality itself (master quality + recording deck quality + a well-adjusted level) has more importance.

Some people with a better technical experience  than mine in the audio recording area (a thing easy to do), have written about this subject, and especially about this new habit of including a 24bit/192kHz cheap inside a smartphone : https://www.androidauthority.com/why-you-dont-want-that-32-bit-dac-667621/

 

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16 hours ago, PhilippeC said:

I suppose that the recording quality itself (master quality + recording deck quality + a well-adjusted level) has more importance.

No doubt about it, that is a seriously critical factor in sound reproduction. I notice it over and over again.

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A "recording quality itself has more importance"stage whisper

Yes bluecrab, when my bought my first real Hi-Fi system in the end of 80's, the reseller said that for him the order of importance (it was the beginning of CD) was the source (the best being the Linn LP 12 turntable), the amplifier and then the loudspeakers. So my loudspeakers, pairs of Tannoy R1 (bookshelf) or Rega Ela (floorstand) have been connected to a range of better to better CD players and amplifiers rather than buying bigger and better loudspeakers (that I did finally). CD Mission PCM 7000 ----> CD Microméga ---> CD Cyrus dad3 -----> CD Arcam delta 170.3 compact disc transport + Arcam delta Black Box II (in France), CD Marantz 5400 (in Vietnam) // Ampli Cyrus One ---> Cyrus 2 + PSX ---> Einstein the Amp (high-end) in France // Rega Ela / Tannoy R1 ----> Davis Krypton (high-end start) in France. Now that the sound could be "dematerialized" and because I live in Vietnam (far for copyright control), the way to go is even to put aside Flac lossless files and rather listen to SACD/DSD music, all dowloaded from torrents files. Just need a good -enough DAC (but I am not at all ready again to invest thousands of $ in that). And also to use a to 5.1 loudspeakers system which still enlarge the scene using my Top Of The Line (at its time, around 2002) receiver Yamaha DSP-AZ1 with 24bit/192kHz ability (bought 450$ instead of 4500$ in 2002). Even my poor looking CAV audio (chinese brand, huge & heavy 115 cm front loudspeakers),  my vintage Sansui S-7XV loudspeakers and my very new impressive Monitor Audio Silver W12 subwoofer are reaching the top with it (SACD/DSD + basic sound card + ampli). The DFX audio enhancer software even give a boost to old recordings.

MD in that ? The touching disc companion.

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