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Everything posted by ZosoIV

  1. Yes, you're correct. See what Sony's non-linear naming scheme does to one's memory?
  2. Excellent work! This finally puts to rest a question that I've seen pop up occasionally since the old MD boards were more popular, and one that has always bugged me personally, given my disappointment with (and eventual sale of) the 20ES. Any sound quality difference must therefore be due to more revealing components, a lower noise floor, etc. - which may explain why I liked the JB940 better. Perhaps it was "glossing over" some of the artifacts I would occasionally hear in louder passages with complex material? Either that, or my unit had something wrong with it, perhaps corrupting the decoding end of things. If money were no object, I'd still spring for the 555ES, simply for the ability to use LP modes with radio recordings. However, the 20ES may be a dark horse - a deck sometimes overlooked due to being older, not spelling out its ATRAC version clearly, etc., but one whose audio circuitry is on par with revealing DACs and CD players. The prices commanded for the 555 in relation to the 20ES certainly would suggest as much!
  3. Could very well be. Again, I think somebody would actually have to pop open the 20ES to really solve the puzzle. I also found it dumb that Sony numbered the earlier 22ES deck, which did have Type-R, higher than the supposedly later 20ES. I don't think the 22ES was meant for the US market, however.... Tyep-R or not, the upside of the 20ES is that it did have really good ADC and DAC chips. It's possible that they are so good, in fact, as to reveal problems with the compression codec that are otherwise masked with other decks.
  4. Oddly enough, the service manual for the 20ES only mentions the 2656R once, in the last section, which lists parts by serial number, but mentions the 2654R 33 times elsewhere. I'm not sure which to believe, given my experience with the compression artifacts. We'd have to see if somebody with the 20ES would be willing to pop open the hood and see which chip is really in there. Anybody willing to try?
  5. That shouldn't be a problem - I've never liked LP2 (let's not even talk about LP4!) for home use. I'll have a better idea about buying your discs next week, when the deck arrives. How well I like the sound quality will determine how much it will get used. If my past recollections are correct, it may indeed become the main source in my rig.
  6. I've always had this sneaking suspicion that the 20ES does not have a Type-R chip, but rather, the MD portal has incorrect information on the chip versions. I've always felt it to be ATRAC 4.5. I just looked up the service manuals, and the JB920 and the JA-20ES both have the CXD2654R - so either the 920 also has Type-R, or more likely, the first Type-R deck was the MDS-JA22ES, which is at least referenced by the Sony announcement at the time to specifically use the new Type-R algorithm (http://www.minidisc....nouncement.html). I cannot locate a service manual for that unit. However, the service manual for the JB-930, which used the same deck format as the JA33ES and JA22ES, cites the CXD2656R as the codec ASIC. Does the deck itself, literature, or box actually state "Type-R" anywhere? I once owned a JA-20ES and it made no mention of ATRAC version on the nameplate, as newer models did, nor did I find any mention in the manual, which can be downloaded as a PDF. I did not, however, have the original box to see what was printed on the outside. I was also able to hear artifacts that I only could reproduce when recording the same signal digitally with an ATRAC 4.5 portable (MZ-R900), but not the Type-R deck that eventually replaced the 20ES (JB940). In fact, the artifacting on some tracks really bothered me on the 20ES, similar to my experience with other pre-Type R units, but I had to strain to hear any differences between the 940 and the source. That's why I ditched the 20ES.
  7. I've always found it curious that the 50ES is rated higher (at least subjectively) by users than the 555 which has a Type-R chip. On my equipment, ATRAC 4.5 was always noticeably worse in terms of high-frequency artifacts on certain recordings than is Type-R, and the latter seems to have a much "airier," crisper treble presentation, better transient decay, and a quieter background in general.
  8. A mint-condition JB940 is on its way in the mail, and it is accompanied by 94 discs, which should last me a while. Let me see how quickly I start using the deck once it arrives....
  9. Thanks for the heads-up! I just recently paid for a MDS-JB940, however - somebody on Head-Fi was selling one, in mint condition, along with 94 used discs. The $150USD asking price made the deal even better! Looking forward to a long-awaited return to MD when the parcels arrive later this week. I still can't believe I ever sold my original deck in the first place, back in 2006. All is well, however - now that MD isn't "cool" anymore, it cost me much less to "buy it back," even adjusted for six years of inflation, and I had nowhere near 94 discs on my person when finally selling my original lot of discs in 2006. I find the format to be no less useful in 2012 than it was back when I got into it in the 90's - for home recordists, it really was the peak of consumer audio technology.
  10. Sold one of these on eBay several years ago and still regret it. If anybody has an excellent-to-mint condition JB940 (or 980, for that matter), I would be willing to pay a good price, plus shipping and PayPal fees. PM me if interested.
  11. I might be interested in taking the 74 and 80 minute discs off your hands. How many do you have left?
  12. I've been out of the MD loop for a while, but since building a bunch of tubed audio gear by hand and ending up with a really killer setup, the remaining empty spot on my rack might benefit from an MD deck. I still do home recording, and feel that playing/recording music through the computer seems to choke all the fun out of it - I am a thirty-something who grew up with LP's, tapes, and CD's, after all! And there's still no better home recordist format than MD, dead or otherwise. Having owned some really great decks in the past (including an Onkyo Hi-MD) and stupidly selling them around 2008, I'm not sure if I will ever be able to get my hands on the few I'd really like to own, but here's some ideas: MDS-JB980 MDS-JE780 MXD-D400 Onkyo MD133 or 105 (Hi-MD) Special emphasis placed on the 980 and either Onkyo deck. I'd prefer a Type-S deck to be able to record things from the radio in LP2/LP4 and do so in the highest quality possible, though I would certainly consider a late Type-R deck like the JB940 or JA333ES. Just think, somebody could give their unused deck a good home and buy an RH1/M200 with the money....
  13. I'm thinking of parting with my JA20ES, as it mostly sits unused in my closet. I acquired the deck second-hand via eBay, but never found much use for it, as I had already moved beyond using MD's to dub my LP records or make compilations (for the former, I've been using a MacBook/Audacity with 96/24 PCM). Physically and mechanically, the deck is in awesome condition, and every function (including the first-thing-to-break fiddly AMS knob) works as new. This was one of Sony's best ES recorders, the first Type-R deck which really made MD an option for high-end recordings. I've read that the DACs on this unit are somewhat better than those that followed, as they are current-pulse (as opposed to hybrid-pulse). The internal signals are handled as 1-bit, super-high sampling frequency PCM, similar to the DSD used on SACD's. The deck has selectable anti-aliasing filters, a selectable bit-depth output (16, 20, or 24-bit), and tons of optical, coaxial, and analog ins/outs. Even as a stand-alone DAC (inputs are easily monitored without a disc by hitting the REC button), it shines. I'm willing to give this deck a new home, either for money OR a trade. You see, I could definitely find a use for an RH1 or NH1, as I loved how they sounded as portables (SQ is something which my otherwise useful iPhone is not so great at). So, I'd be happy swapping my deck (with remote and manual) for a nice-condition NH1 or RH1 (preferably the latter, as I prefer listening to high-bitrate LAME mp3's as opposed to ATRAC). If anybody is the least bit interested, post here and I'll upload photos. If there's no interest, I'll not bother and go the eBay route (though I'd rather see this gem end up in the hands of a fellow MD aficionado).
  14. In fact, USB sticks have come down so much that for most uses, even a hard drive isn't always necessary. Case in point: I think the online retailer New Egg still has a 32GB flash drive available for $73 (after rebate). Unless you're backing up your entire computer, 32GB should hold a ton of files/music/backups while taking up no space in your pocket and transferring files some 10-20x faster than Hi-MD. Plus, at $73, we're talking about $2 per GB, a opposed to $7+ for Hi-MD. Hi-MD's are best saved for music, IMO.
  15. ZosoIV

    MP3 Gap

    Gapless playback has nothing to do with there being "gaps" of silence in the file itself; rather, it's a problem on the hardware side. The hardware (or software) player must "know" that the end of the file has a 576 sample delay and begin to cache the next file, otherwise, a gap will sound between them. ATRAC is no more inherently gapless than MP3 or any other format, it's just that Sony had the good sense to implement gapless playback in their hardware decoders long before people had high-quality MP3 encoders like LAME to encode albums like DSOTM with. As most people nowadays listen to crap music and not "concept albums" such as those by Pink Floyd or the Who, gapless playback apparently wasn't big enough of a problem to get "fixed" on most hardware players until about 2-3 years ago. Yet now I have a 2008-vintage Sony NW-616 flash player that can't play anything gaplessly - go figure.
  16. At least you still can walk into a place and find something related to MD/Hi-MD, like units (albeit used) or blanks! Here in the US, MD seems to be all but forgotten on the high street and only occasionally turns up in pawn or used gear shops. Most people wouldn't know what they were if they did see one.....
  17. I also have an Onkyo MD-133 Hi-MD deck that has sat in a box, unused and is looking for a new home :-)
  18. ZosoIV

    RH1 vs NH1

    1) Should be the same - the innards of the RH1 and NH1 probably aren't much different. 2) No - only if you run Windows via Bootcamp or Parallels. (Edit: Do you mean recorded on the NH1, uploaded on the RH1? Then, yes).
  19. There's one seller in particular who regularly lists MD and Hi-MD stuff for quite high prices. The items are often bundled with a couple of cheap mics, a cheap case, some discs, an extra battery, etc - so it looks like you're getting a lot for the money. $175 for something like an MZ-R900 is pretty ridiculous these days, however. Same goes for used MZ-NH700's - I've seen them go for $225.
  20. Am I the only one that finds the 1st gen discs to be incredibly drab and ugly? I even went as far as to put one of the discs in a normal MD cartridge once!
  21. ZosoIV

    The End?

    Looks like somebody was aiming to either 1) make multiple copies of one source at once, or 2) use the thing as some sort of ghetto MD changer.
  22. Well said - that's exactly the reason why I never understand how MD never took off in places like the US. It's the perfect medium for making compilations and mixes.
  23. I wouldn't. Who needs another expensive, proprietary format that won't play everywhere you want it? CD's still offer the ultimate in convenience. Everything plays them, and for portable use, they can be encoded into MP3/AAC/whatever to avoid dragging discs around with you.
  24. Like I've said before, there are still cylinder players and records from the late 19th/early 20th century that still work. Same goes for 78's, wire recorders, 8-track tapes, and so on. People still collect and listen to those, so MD at least has some chance of retaining users/hobbyists long after it is completely forgotten by the general consumer.
  25. Other companies probably source ATRAC chips (ASIC's) from Sony rather than hack ATRAC to include it in their products. Sony licensed MD for use by other companies, which is a lot different than hacking the codec.
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