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Everything posted by MDietrich

  1. The R909 is more fragile than the R900. I have them both and I´m afraid they all aren´t the most robust units. The last indestructible unit was the R90/91 IMO.
  2. The problem of the bending casing was exaggerated IMO. The MZ-R 50 bends too if you push the two buttons beside the display with too much force. I have yet to find reliability problems for R 55 models. And you´re right: the R 55 is beautiful.
  3. No one should be 'coerced' into buying MD related stuff for inflated prices. For Christ's sake, this technology simply isn´t worth that much money. And it certainly isn´t suitable for promoting a sale on a forum that mainly deals with information. So I´ve voted for the last option.
  4. "The market" determines their worth? Well, "the market" usually has no idea about quality - because in this case it consists of a few dumb people believing in a myth. The TDK significantly colours the sound and is far away from the original sound. But I´ll give you advice regarding your "market": you should extend shipping to Europe. Here in Germany for example, Sharp's last MD recorders with 1-bit technology are highly sought items, fetching rather extreme prices (and they too are not worth their money). The same goes for any HiMD device and the accompanying HiMDs. Happy? If so, stop using this forum to extract information on how to exploit others!
  5. They are. And not worth it. Haven´t ever heard the md2000 but I cannot say anything good about the tdk. You answered this yourself with the question
  6. Nope, sadly I can´t. I´d wonder if you actually found something as no one ever bothered to measure the ATRAC encoding (doesn´t make too much sense anyway since it´s a psychoacoustic algorithm). The main resarch regarding ATRAC happened before the net took hold; secondly, the guys that were doing all the measurements were audio magazines. But they weren´t measuring everything. I didn´t even know that the phase error existed before I measured it myself. Furthermore, not every unit is perfect when it comes to playback. My recently acquired MDS-JE 530 for instance produces a phase error on the optical output (but not on the analogue output) regardless of the used ATRAC version. On the other hand, recordings made with the 530 are perfect and measure superior to recordings made on a portable recorder. So the 530 is a well performing recorder but a bad playback device when used digitally. And our Kenwood DM-5090 is a mediocre recorder (thanks to its ATRAC 4.0) but a superior player (digitally). Optical output = perfect, analogue output = bad (due to a frequency error). Regarding your question (finally): I would think that the ATRAC versions built into the HiMD recorders are the same as the ones used in pre-HiMD portable devices. Namely portable ATRAC DSP Type-S. But I won´t really find out until I buy a HiMD device. That won´t happen because the prices are way too much inflated right now and because I´m not interested in them. Sorry for writing this much!
  7. I offer another alternative: keep it. I have kept every - I repeat: every - little recorder I acquired on eBay, even the ones I used for spareparts. I do this because I love them and not because I want to trade them. EDIT: I was lying. I threw away a broken Audiophase MDP-1 and a broken MZ-R 501, both completely beaten up. I´d sell some of my portable CD players though. The ones I don´t like. Though I´d rather give them away for free. Which creates the situation that in the end they won´t turn up on eBay or anywhere else. Correct. 'Nuff said.
  8. No, they wouldn´t have advertised this. Almost no one I knew / still know cared for the ATRAC version on pre-recorded MDs. When ATRAC 3.5 came out on the MDS-JA 3 ES, Sony produced a pre-recorded WideBitStream MD. It was only to show off the 20 bit capability of the WideBitStream feature and wasn´t available anywhere. There was only one publication that ever pictured it (German STEREO magazine). To my knowledge, no other pre-recorded WideBitStream MD has ever been produced - though it´s very likely to say that Sony from 1995 on used ATRAC 3.5 for pre-recorded MDs and continued to implement newer ATRAC versions in the years to come. And I refuse to judge the sound quality of those two MDs I mentioned as you will use that information only to sell your overpriced stuff.
  9. Yes, I got it - but it doesn´t change the fact that it´s still stupid to think that one recorder would be better suited for copying than another. Do you have proof? You can´t take the sound as proof, it´s completely subjective. You need measurements and compare an ATRAC version of a professional pressing plant encoder to a home encoder. And I highly doubt that Sony developed the home version while they left the pressing plant version at ATRAC 3. For all of you who want to compare a home recording from CD to a pre-recorded MD: be careful. They sometimes sound different. Not because of ATRAC but because they were mastered differently. Just two examples: 'Dangerous' from Michael Jackson and 'Love Deluxe' from Sade. BTW, this is something I can measure.
  10. Do you have any idea what we were talking about? Do you have any idea what you are talking about?
  11. 1. The frequency cutoff doesn´t enhance the bass. For us humans it´s close to impossible to hear frequencies beyond 15,5 kHz and once you reach a certain age you cannot even hear beyond, for example, 12 kHz. This cutoff is very unlike an EQ where you mute treble which in turn 'amplifies' (that´s how you perceive it) those frequencies that are left. 2. The encodings for pre-recorded albums are completely different to those produced by portable or home decks. With encodings done on portable or stationary decks, the cutoff depends very much on the frequency content. If the level of anything above 15,5 kHz is very loud, ATRAC will try to keep it. Once it falls below a certain level, it might be erased completely. If the ATRAC encoder doesn´t reserve datarate for those frequencies it can be used for frequencies from 0 to 15,5 kHz. On pre-recorded MDs since, I don´t know, 1996 or so, the frequency fluctuates between 17,5 & 18,5 kHz. On pre-recorded MDs released at a later date, the cutoff is at roughly 19 kHz and doesn´t fluctuate. But apart from the very first MDs I´ve never seen a 15,5 kHz cutoff.
  12. Yeah, you did The first two ATRAC versions indeed had a cutoff at 15,5 kHz. But since ATRAC 3 the encoder tries to keep frequencies above 15,5 kHz. The frequency band from 15,5 to 22,05 kHz is just the last frequency band ATRAC tries to encode. The first ATRAC versions couldn´t handle it (not even on pre-recorded MDs) and therefore erased it entirely. But ATRAC 3, 4, 4.5 and Type-R/S try to keep as much as possible without hurting the rest.
  13. Recently I bought an MDS-JE 530. I already owned that model 15 years ago but sold it some years later. Now I own it again and it has the same encoding quality as a MDS-JB 930 QS. The only difference is the bit-depth: the 530 encodes and decodes with 18 bit precision, the 930 with 24. Curiously enough, it doesn´t have any effect on the sound quality. The bit depth may be different, the quality of the encoding is not. Meaning: both are way superior to portable machines when it comes to encoding quality. I very much assume that it´s the same case with your MDS-JE 470. So, if you´re recording a simple CD digitally with your 470, the quality will be the same as if you´d be using a 930 QS model. I cannot speak for ES models though... but I think that they aren´t superior encoding-quality-wise.
  14. Judging from its frequency response, the Shure wouldn´t be my cup of tea I think. It has a very prominent and fairly wide peak around 10 kHz, muted deep bass and slightly diminished mids. In comparison, it´s no wonder that the Momentum ends up muffled. The Shure has too much treble, the Momentum not enough. Today, headphones are engineered differently compared to several years ago. Reason is that several companies have started to incorporate recent 'discoveries' regarding headphone sound. People experience playback over loudspeakers less direct and more muffled. Headphones now tend to include that experience into their sound design. It all started more than 20 years ago when Sennheiser first introduced the HD-580 to the market. Several people regarded (and still do) it as 'veiled' sounding when it actually sounded balanced and leveled out. But people were so used to the sound of other, treble-heavy cans that the sound of the HD-580 felt muted to them. Harman Kardon has done important work regarding this. But if you want to stay with Shure, you could try the SRH-840, that headphone is famous for its balanced sound signature.
  15. You´re effectively transcoding from one lossy format to another. The first encoding produces several artifacts hidden by the louder music, that´s how lossy codecs (all of them) work. The ATRAC IC (just another codec from a data standpoint) treats these flaws hidden by music as one thing only: music, as it cannot differentiate between errors and actual musical information. Therefore you add one error (now produced by ATRAC) on top of the other. That you´re not hearing artifacts is a lucky coincidence. Erm... not the best idea. Most PCs nowadays have an optical output. Using that and a software player able to play MP3, AAC, whatever, you can do a direct copy of those MP3s to HiMD PCM. I wouldn´t use ATRAC3 LP2 at all. I can hear more or less severe compression artifacts all the time when encoding lossless music with that codec. Consider that no one has worked on improving ATRAC3 encoding for 15 years. And regarding how MP3 has been improved during those years and how very far lossy codecs in general have progressed, the simple truth is that ATRAC3 is ancient and belongs in a museum. It was decent all those years ago, today it´s just oldfashioned crap. Sorry to be this blunt, but that´s how it is. Exception: ATRAC3plus. Much younger codec incorporating some of AAC's compression mechanisms. I cannot distinguish a 352 kBit/s ATRAC3plus encode from the lossless original it was derived from. Even 256 kBit/s holds up well. Back to the OPs question: in general a transcoding from MP3 to ATRAC SP is audible. Listen to muffled transients (handclapping, hihats) and an added nervousness that wasn´t there before. In some cases quantization noise will creep into the sound (short 'hisses' on treble-heavy material). To get the most out of your transcode, iTunes isn´t exactly the best available to you; I recommend foobar2000 - it´s ugly but very good. That software puts out the full 32 bit floating point MP3 is capable off (iTunes can do that too - but the setup is dodgy). Via correctly configured optical out (24 bit / 44.1 kHz setting in MS Windows configuration panel) your MDS-JA20 won´t have any problems handling this bit depth as transported by foobar; it can handle floating point as well.
  16. Judging from the way superior encoding quality of a recently acquired MDS-JE 530, I think that the stationary 4.5 deck will encode with higher quality. I can´t be sure of course, it has been more than a decade since I´ve heard a 4.5 deck. River of Dreams was released in 1993, the master for such a pre-recorded MD produced around that time would have been encoded with ATRAC 1 or 2. However, the quality of this particular encoding cannot be compared to an encoding made with a stationary deck equipped with the same ATRAC version. I own several 1992-1994 pre-recorded MDs and all of them sound well enough without showing any compression artifacts. Common to all of them however is a permanent 15,5 kHz cutoff which you won´t have with a portable Type-R recorder.
  17. If you love the R900 you should definitely get another one. Perhaps a brand-new unit. In my experience it´s an unreliable thing once it gets older. I own two (look almost like new from the outside) and both produce errors when recordings MDs (the ones recorded by the R900 won´t play well on others, doesn´t matter if portable or stationary). Of my more recent MD recorders, only the N510 records and works with good results. When it comes to reliability however, the best are in my opinion R30, R35, R50 and R55. The best way to care for the portables is the purchase of a stationary unit. Use that for recording. The portable age faster when used for recording, their drive wasn´t engineered for long time recording. Playback however should work fairly well (because their laser only needs a tiny amount of power for playback compared to recording). On the other hand, collecting these things takes time, money and effort. And all the while technology moves forward. I´m an MD fan but I´m well aware that my fandom (or the technology) won´t last forever so I´ve decided not to buy MD blanks or units anymore. If they go, they go. They´ve had their time, most of them have already lived long enough, I won´t replace them. And it doesn´t matter that I´d be crushed should one of them break.
  18. I´ve reviewed three headphones on my blog a few days ago: http://marlene-d.blogspot.de/2014/04/mini-reviews-sennheiser-momentum.html http://marlene-d.blogspot.de/2014/04/review-sennheiser-hd-558-modded.html Perhaps one of those might be of interest for Philippe
  19. My first CD player actually was a portable, a Technics SL-XP 300. I owned a portable cassette player as well, a now very famous unit, the Sony DD-33 (fragile thing; judging from the prices it´s very much overrated). I loved both dearly but when I got my MZ-R 30 they both became unemployed. But yeah, I´ve used all three of them whenever I went outside. Back to the OP: I´ve dabbled around with ATRAC-CDs when I got the Sony D-NE1... they are inconvenient considering you´d need SonicStage for it. They sound well but the D-NE1 mutes its optical output because of Sony's stupid paranoia of file sharers. Otherwise I cannot complain. Much better however are the Network players. Right now I´m listening to a Sony NW-HD5... marvellous thing. Sounds fantastic. Especially for its age.
  20. Depends. I know many excellent open headphones as well as excellent closed headphones. As I said, listen to headphones before you buy them as they are a very subjective experience.
  21. Erm... I don´t like Grados very much I´m afraid. Their sound signature favors treble too much for my taste (at least with the one I´ve heard... I´ve forgotten which model it was. One of their more expensive ones, that I remember). To me this headphone sounded brittle and aggressive. I would have recommended the PortaPro (bit too bassy and coloured - but it´s still one of the best portable headphones) too but he said that he wants to use them outside and so I only looked for closed headphones. The Koss SportaPro might have been a good idea but since I´ve never heard it I cannot comment on its sound.
  22. http://www.headfonia.com/philips-fidelio-l1/ Costs 150 Euros right now. Warm, not completely neutral, very well manufactured (leather / aluminum). Ear cushions not replaceable. Cable replaceable. Very easy to drive. http://eu.skullcandy.com/shop/headphones/over-ear-headphones/aviator Cool looking, good built quality. Might not be the best fit for big ears. Sonic signature tends to focus on bass and treble, otherwise fairly balanced. Undifferentiated (because of the clear plastic caps). Tried it, sent it back (my head seems to be too big). Can be bought for roughly 80 Euros right now. Worth their money and definitely better than their reputation. Not the loudest though. http://en-de.sennheiser.com/over-ear-headphone-momentum-stereo Beautiful headphones with aluminum and leather. Right now costs roughly 220 Euros. Still too expensive. Nice, warm sound signature. Cable and cushions replaceable. Ignore the on-ear version, the over-ear version is superior. Easy to drive. http://en-de.sennheiser.com/noise-cancelling-headphones-audio-stereo-bass-closed-hd-449 Plastic everywhere. Warm sound signature, not enough treble resolution on occasion. I own the predecessor and love it (apart from design, the HD-448 is exactly the same). Easy to drive but not the loudest. http://europe.beyerdynamic.com/shop/dt-1350.html?SID=23d820197e4728271b54a463ff01f4b0&___store=en&___from_store=de Don´t like Beyerdynamic but many others do. Not neutral, focuses on bass and treble. Very dynamic headphones. Good built quality, everything is replaceable. Easy to drive. These are all closed headphones so you won´t hear much when walking outside. In case you´re listening exclusively at home, don´t connect them to a stationary device as those will have a high output impedance and will probably distort these headphones' sound signature. In any case, if it´s possible, listen to them before you make a decision. Headphones are highly subjective. What I like might be horrible for you and vice versa. I can´t recommend IEMs since I always want to tweak how they sit in my ear. IEMs depend so much on correct placement... I hate them.
  23. The units themselves are at fault here, just like the gumstick itself. I have the same problem: both my R55, the R91 and both R900 won´t work with a fully charged battery. Have a look at the contact in those devices not able to run on a gumstick; it´s just a tiny tip of metal which wears down over time. It behaves like a spring and looses its elasticity over time, preventing firm contact. To avoid this I bought self adhesive copper foil, something like this: http://www.ebay.de/itm/2m-selbstklebende-kupferfolie-80mm-breit-/181351987183?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_77&hash=item2a396bb7ef I subsequently fashioned a tiny piece of thick copper out of this foil which fits into the battery door of those units. The copper will re-establish connectivity. The second problem is the battery itself: any NiMh battery does have some sort of Memory Effect (not like on NiCd batteries), to avoid it you´d need a charger that has a 'Refresh' function. I´ve bought this one three years ago: http://www.amazon.de/Technoline-BC-700-Akku-Ladeger%C3%A4t-schwarz/dp/B000WILI42/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1394886466&sr=8-8&keywords=eneloop+ladeger%C3%A4t It´s wonderful: not only does it charge other NiMh batteries to their optimal power, with two wires, a dummy piece of rubber and a claw it´ll refresh the prismatic gumstick batteries as well.
  24. Yeah, I gave up with virtualization too. Nice system
  25. So you have AMD's Bulldozer architecture too. I knew it . And the people uttering doubts regarding the number of cores are partly right as the architecture is - like Intel's Hyper Threading (Simultaneous Multithreading) - Clustered Multithreading. Yours and mine have four integer cores but only two floating point cores... so calling it a 'four threads' CPU would be more realistic. Have you thought about switching to Linux? Our AMD processors are much faster there. In the near future I´ll buy a new mainboard (with more stable voltage regulation for undervolting), I´d like to have the new Kaveri architecture as I expect it´ll be roughly 20-30% faster than mine. Hell, the new A10-7850K (4 cores) is as fast as an FX-6120 (6 cores). And the GPU part is almost as fast as your GPU. Here´s my system BTW: http://marlene-d.blogspot.de/2013/04/a-new-pc-and-lot-of-problems.html Reason was problematic all those years ago. And that your Pentium 4 had problems with it is not surprising; it´s the dreaded Netburst architecture. I´ve had a Pentium 4 3.8 Ghz HT and it wasn´t able to overclock, a clock increase of 5% didn´t translate to a speed increase of 5%... at least not without voltages shooting through the roof. I´m glad that they´re gone.
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