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kgallen last won the day on April 4 2020

kgallen had the most liked content!

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  • Sony Products I Own
    MDS-JE520 / MZ-R700 (silver) / MDS-JE530 / MZ-B10 / MZ-NF610 / MZ-N510 (iffy) / MZ-N505 (dodgy hphone amp) / MZ-R700 (won't cal, gold) / MDS-E12 (3 PRO) / MDS-E10 (1 PRO, 1 bust) / MDS-JE440 / MDS-JE480 / DHC-NX5MD / CDP-XE530 / CDP-D12 / MXD-D4 / MZ-R909

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  • Location
    Gloucestershire, UK
  • Interests
    Amateur theatre lighting and sound (live sound, music and sound effects). With MiniDisc I tend to be I interested in the decks - both Hi-Fi and Pro models.


  • Minidisc units
    As Sony list plus Tascam MD-350 / Tascam MD-CD1 (x2) / Tascam MD-801R (very poorly)

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  1. Many decks in theory. The beauty of at least the Sony decks (or more specifically the Sony DSP chips) is that they use SPDIF natively for the internal digital audio path - on the ribbon cable from the drive back to the main PCB, the audio is SPDIF 🙂 [Note 1]. This means that adding either TOSLINK or Coax output is relatively trivial. All that is needed is a simple 74HCU04 buffer stage plus the output circuit. For optical this is just the optical transmitter. For coax, this can be done "dirty" by just driving that output to an RCA. To be done properly, the coax stage should use transformer isolation as can be seen in Sony's schematics (I'm looking at the MDS-E10 now for instance). Since coax is an electrical connection, the transformer isolation avoids ground loops since the GND/0V of the two interconnected decks are not commoned together. Optical out is easy for me to do now as I know all of the components. For the coax I would like to do it properly, so would want to use the transformer-based output circuit. At this point in time I don't know the specs of the transformer. I suspect it is 1:1 windings, but I don't know the impedance, so I would want to dig into this and find the correct component - not necessarily the exact one Sony use, but the same electrical characteristics. I would need to find the part first, as I would need a PCB footprint to design it in. Research for "another day", but as you've raised this I might do some tentative research. Would coax output be of interest to you? I could probably design a PCB to support both TOSLINK and coax if of interest. For the D4 I want to make a dual-TOSLINK [Note 2]. However maybe I could do a PCB that is single TOSLINK+Coax if this is of interest. [Note 1] Actually the digital audio exists on the ribbon cable in both SPDIF biphase mark (refer back to our work on the Copy Bit Killer) and data+bit clock. On the MXD-D4, the DAC is a Philips part and this takes SPDIF directly (two streams, one from the MD and one from the CD). In "most" other Sony machines, the DAC is something like an AK4524 and this takes separate data+bit clock. In both cases these come straight from the drive over the "narrow" ribbon cable 🙂 [Note 2] You have me thinking now about my own requirements... The E10 has both optical and coax I/O. The E12 only coax I/O. The 520/530/770 have optical I/O plus coax input.
  2. In the meantime I'll dub Steely Dan Aja 🙂 (in real time so I can listen, and hopefully get SP Type-R) whilst looking at the schematics to figure out adding TOSLINK output for both CD and MD. Looks straightforward. Might design myself a small PCB to make the job really tidy 🙂 (if I do there will be lots left over for give-aways 🙂 as I'll need to order 10).
  3. Picture attempt… didn’t work, same issue as reported by @BearBoy
  4. MZ-R909 seems have charged the new gumstick battery just fine and works with it! Charging the second battery I bought in it now. As @BearBoy says it’s always a worry when you spend out on a machine! So far this week it looks 2-for-2 🙂
  5. Well the MXD-D4 CD section reads CD-R which is great. As I trial I've just dubbed a CD-R of show music to MD at x4 rate. Seemed to work perfectly (just listening through now). Track titles are also copied. Up to now, I've been using my Tascam MD-CD1 to dub CD-R masters of show music/sound effects to MD (which are used live in the shows) but the MD-CD1 machine do have some issues with titles (in addition to adding gaps between tracks). So I'm hoping this MXD-D4 can take over those dubbing duties, which in theory means I can also create a backup MD more easily. With the MD-CD1 I would often need to go in with a PS/2 keyboard to fix titles (these are key since the titles hold the cue number) so making a second copy was always a pain... 👍
  6. This week I've also mostly been buying an MXD-D4. 😄 Arrived today. Gave it a service, seems to work ok. More later... The MZ-R909 also arrived just as I was finishing up with the D4. Seems to work ok with AA cell (in sidecar). Gumstick contacts a bit green. Given them a clean and it's now charging on in the unit. Also more later...
  7. That's a good point - I should buy an external charger as I won't get the cradle. Suggestions?
  8. Silver. Hoping it lives up to it's description. Due Friday... I also ordered a couple of those gumstick batteries - until now I've stuck with machines that use AA. The MZ-R909 looks to be one of the last before NetMD and Type S. It's Type R MDLP. If my other portables are anything to go by, this 909 looks close to the pinacle for construction. The MZ-NF610 I'm borrowing from my son for example is quite a plastic affair, even compared to my MZ-R700. I have high hopes and hoping those hopes aren't dashed by a machine that doesn't live up to it's listing! 🤞
  9. Today I've mostly been... happy! One of my colleagues from my new team came up to me today and said "I see you've got a minidisc player.... I've got one too!"... and proceeded to show me his gorgeous MZ-R909. A sleek all-metal player/recorder that has a large 3-line display. He also has minidiscs on his desk, in a box. I tried his machine with my power supply and it fired up straight away. He dug out the charging cradle and the gumstick battery, put it together and it started to charge fine. Hopefully tomorrow he'll give some of his discs a whirl. Oh did I say... I found what looked like a nice MZ-R909 on "the bay" at a sensible price. Might be heading my way... ooops.
  10. I’m an hour in. I know he said he spent 500 quid on 100 but he’s got some fair resale value there. Such a massive variety in design (well except the Panasonic’s which are consistently boring).
  11. I’m like 1:46 into the video and I’m ‘WTF???’!!! We’ve got nothin’ on this guy!
  12. Weird! I think you need to elaborate a little more @slugbahr!
  13. We wanna see 🙂 On a similar note, I "stole" my son's MZ-NF610 to use at work. I'm currently working split between two teams so have acquired two desks. MZ-R700 upstairs, MZ-NF610 downstairs. Interesting that the NF610 is the newer model, but compared to the R700, it does seem very slow to startup the disc and the case does seem somewhat more "plasticky". Anyway they are both a source of some amusement in the office with my "legacy media collection". A member of my "new" team said "What's that? It's huge!". Really? An NF610 is 3 inches square and about 3/4" thick! Also with us often lamenting the huge variety of designs of both machines and discs, it was interesting to hear some chatter in the office about how the new iPhone 13 looks just like the last one...
  14. It's oh so quiet... (Rich's Disc Pictorials don't make no sound!). I have a niggle that I need to look into a little more. Sharing it for chatter. Let's talk SP (various ATRAC1 versions) vs LP2 and maybe even Type-S: The only MD-CD I have is Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. But you know that. Depending on which date in the booklet is relevant it's either 1995 or 1998 so could be ATRAC1 v3 or ATRAC1 v4 maybe, but not later. Probably not relevant. It's two SP discs. The other week I did an MD-MD copy using my MDS-E10 into (one of) my MDS-E12 via coax digital so I could take a copy to work. I've been using LP2 a lot, so that's what I used to get 2xSP onto 1xLP2 disc. Listening back I wasn't happy. After Richard Burton's intro speech, we launch into the big orchestral[*] intro: "Duh, Duh, Derrrrrrr..." ([*] ok, I know it was probably synths.) Click. That's what I heard on the first "Duh". Click. The LP2 copy has a click right there on that orchestral strike. The LP2 encoder couldn't handle it??? Took another disc and recorded that part again in LP2. Click. Record that part in SP (will be Type R on the E12). Perfect. It's real - the LP2 encoder can't handle it! So am I imagining it? Any ideas? Is this a pure LP2 thing? Or is this an SP in ATRAC1 v3 (or v4) decoded and then re-encoded into LP2 artifact? Anyone had any similar experiences? Experiments to do: (1) Does using a Type-S decoder help here and avoid the click? (480 or B10 to try) (2) Do I have this album on CD (maybe?). If I repeat this recording do I get the same "click" in LP2? For now I'm sticking with two discs of SP Type-R. Also I bought TWOTW "New Generation". Nah, not up to the original in my view (although half of it seems to be the same instrumentation from the original version!). Discuss! Further, that "same" strike from TWOTW NG - from CD - doesn't cause LP2 any problems...
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