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Simple Guide to ATRAC CD Players

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Damage

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A simple guide to ATRAC CD players, I'll break them down by generation to generation:

NOTE: The recently released D-EJXXX series, most notably D-EJ005, will not be included in this guide, as they do not offer any ATRAC file playback functionality. D-EJ005 provides MP3 playback however.

First Generation D-NE players:

Flagship Model: D-NE1

Other Models: D-NE9 (Others Unconfirmed)

D-NE1.jpgD-NE9.jpg

D-NE1 and D-NE9

First generation of ATRAC CD players (I believe the D-NEs are the first ATRAC3plus devices). Supported bitrates of 132kbps (ATRAC3), 105kbps (ATRAC3), 66kbps (ATRAC3), 64kbps (ATRAC3plus), and 48kbps (ATRAC3plus) along with full MP3 support (44kHz only), and REDBOOK CD. Supports CD-TEXT, ID3 tags.

Nothing fancy SoundEQ wise, you get Digital MegaBass 1 and Digital MegaBass 2.

Notes: While undocumented, all first generation models can play back 256kbps ATRAC3plus files. SimpleBurner 1.0 only facilitates transfer of ATRAC3/plus bitrates listed above.

Seamless or Gapless playback of ATRAC files are not available for these units!

D-NE1 boasts battery life of 135 hours (48kbps) when using 2x Gumstick batteries and 2x AA via Battery Pack Attachement. Certain number of the 2x AA Battery cases were recalled for overheating.

Second Generation D-NE players:

Flagship Model: D-NE10

Other models: D-NE900, 800 (Japan-only model?)500, 300, various S2 models (plus various PSYC and LIV models).

D-NE10.jpgD-NE900.jpgD-NE800.jpg

D-NE10, D-NE900, D-NE800 [Japan only]

Second generation of ATRAC CD players features smaller and lighter players, this partially due to re-designing of the players from the classic puck to a design reminiscient of UFOs. These units are the first to incorporate official support for 256kbps ATRAC3plus files, along with legacy ATRAC3/plus modes, MP3, and REDBOOK CD Support.

Additionally, the 2nd Gen ATRAC CD players have the ability to play ATRAC files gaplessly like its MD Cousin. This, along with player size (high end) and ergonomics, makes this a viable alternative to MD players (should one be not easily accessible, or as it was during its release, outclassed MD in capacity).

Also, all second generation units feature Parametric Equalizer, which allows users to shape the sound output to their preference. This works equally well for all audio files (MP3, ATRAC3Plus, REDBOOK). Comes with SonicStage 2.0, which allows for burning ATRAC3plus CDs, MP3 CDs, and Audio CDs.

Another addition to 2nd generation units is the auto-ranking playback. The unit keeps track of how many times a certain track is played on a CD, and can perform a top-10 countdown of sorts, or shuffle those top 10 tracks. A unique twist on auto DJ feature.

Notes: D-NE900 features a 5 line LCD for navigation, but lacks the backlighting to be useful. Likewise, D-NE500 also features LCD and Jog-Wheel for navigation as well.

Third Generation D-NE players

Flagship Model: D-NE20

Other Models: D-NE920, 520, 320, etc. (plus various PSYC, LIV models).

D-NE20.jpgD-NE920.jpg

D-NE20 and D-NE920

Third and current generation of ATRAC CD Players. Higher-end models (510 and greater) offers much of the same features as the 2nd generation players, but with DIGITAL AMP. Sound Quality isn't dramatically changed by this Digital Amp, but the omni-present noise associated with other models seems to be less apparent for units with Digital Amp.

Also, all of thse units feature the return of Digital Megabass, now dubbed ClearBass. ClearBass can be applied in conjunction with the Parametric Equalizer, a boon to bassheads everywhere. There are three levels of ClearBass vs two levels of Digital MegaBass on the first generation of ATRAC CD players.

The LCD navigation has been improved dramatically with the addition of backlight. Higher resolution LCD allows for multilingual use, including Italian, Spanish, and Russian out of the box. (D-NE520, 920)

Notes: Sony claims D-NE20 as the smallest and the lightest CD Player produced. Sony's World Tourist Model overview

The D-NE20 is the 20th CD Walkman (aka Discman) Anniversary model!

They also feature completely redesigned remotes. Until now, all ATRAC CD Players have been bundled with either Non-LCD remotes, or the now discontinued RM-MC33EL/K.

These units are the first to have the ATRAC CD logo. Until this changes, this guide will refer to all ATRAC3/plus capable CD Players as ATRAC CD players, and such discs as ATRAC CDs.

Some of the 3rd generation units (D-NE329SP) and its LIV variant comes with a speaker dock. It is unknown at the moment whether or not the dock can accomodate other ATRAC CD units, though it is unlikely that other units will support the speaker dock.

Sony has started to offer the D-NE320 and possibly other PCDPs along with the Puck styled Network Walkman and accessories in pink. They are brick and mortar items only, as they are not featured on either Target.com nor Sony Style's Online store. However, they are featured prominently on endcaps of electronics section. It is unknown whether or not other large brick and mortar chains such as K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Sears are offering such similar exclusives.

Conjecture: While this function has not been enabled in the current SonicStage (3.3), one can easily assume that the D-NE units are certainly capable of playing the new ATRAC3plus bitrates. However, until this is verified one way or another, we'll go with the standard "Time Will Tell" / "We'll see" answer on this.

"4th" Generation PCDP Models

Flagship Model: D-NE30 (Presumed to be at the moment, unreleased)

Other Models: D-NE830, 730 (Japan Exclusive at the moment), 330/330liv, D-NF430 (includes Digital AM/FM/TV/Weather tuner) (Released in the US)

D-NE830.jpgD-NE730.jpg

Pictured:D-NE830, D-NE730.

These look to be the "4th" generation of AtracCD player released. Features include the usual AtracCD/MP3/Redbook CD Playback, Digital Amp, Parametric Equalizer, ClearBass, etc.

Additions include a third clearbass level, Clearbass 3.

The D-NE730 uses the Walkman Bean pack-in Ear-buds whereas the D-NE830 uses the E931 Earbuds that are usually included in highend/flagship models.

D-NE330 and D-NF430, the lowest end of the 4th generation model, has a claimed output of 15mW+15mW. It is currently unknown if all 4th generation models (x30 series) will support the same. It is available now at your local Target (of all places) for $49.99 plus your local sales tax if any.

This unit also lacks any software bundles, and poses an interesting question (was Connect supposed to be bundled with this unit but as axed at the last minute?).

-Thanks to Pata2001 for the links on these units.

Remotes

Not all of the units have a remote port. For instance, some D-NE3XX Models lack a remote port, and all D-NE5XX (and D-NE3XX with remote ports, such as some PSYC unit and Car Ready units) units do not work properly with LCD remotes, in that the LCD display displays nothing.

Of those units that work with LCD units (D-NE1,9,10,900,20,910 amongst others), there are some limitations.

RM-MC33EL/K works without problems.

RM-MC40ELK works, but with the jog-scroll replacing group +/- button, you only have the ability to step backwards through a group/directory. The Jog Scroll function does not work with any of the models.

RM-MC53EL and RM-MC55ELK works with all units. Search Button function only works with 3rd Generation units (D-NE20/910). Furthermore, the search button function does not work with any Hi-MD or other remote capable units.

All remote capable units should work fine with non-LCD remote units.

Tips and hints

D-NE series are notoriously finicky about media, but the first gen units aren't as finicky as 2nd or 3rd gen. To achieve maximum compatibility, make sure to burn at 24X or lower speed. Also, keep those grimy fingers off the CD Surface!

When burning MP3 cds with other burning utilities, burn the CD in CD-MODE 2 (XA-MODE) for slightly faster boot-up/read time associated with initial read.

Gapless playback of MP3 files are not available for any ATRAC CD players. Hi-MD units with MP3 playback is probably your best option for unadulterated "gapless" mp3 playback.

If you want your unit to be anything but silver/platnium white or black, and you're unfortunately stuck in the US, then your only option is to import it from Japan.

Missing: More information on the S2 units and the boomboxes are required.

Added 7/26 - Gapless ATRAC playback, thanks Pata. Added pictures of flagship models of all three gen.

Added 7/27 - ATRAC CD terminology.

Added 7/30 - Digital Megabass, Clearbass.

Added 8/5 - D-NE20's small tidbits, including its 20th anniversary status.

Added 10/29 - Brief blurb about "4th Gen" items.

Added 11/06 - Target exclusive Pink Players added

Added 2/5 - D-NE330 information added.

Added 5/25 - Slight update info on D-NE330liv/430. Clearbass stepping 3 added

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Another addition:

1st gen players cannot play Atrac gaplessly. There is no "seamless" option, nor any menu options. This option (including the system menu for play modes and other settings) is introduced starting 2nd gen forward.

Also, some NE-3xx models do have remote port. The car-kit edition(NE326CK) does have a remote port for the included remote commander. However, the LCD on the remote displays nothing. NE-320 psyc editions also come with non-LCD remote, presumingly they won't display anything either with LCD remotes.

Edited by pata2001
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Brilliant guide. You may need to add RM-MC55ELK to the listing of remotes.

Is the 55 the one with two twisty end tube remote? If so, then I'd chalk up compatibility the same as the 53. I need more research on this particular unit.

Also, some NE-3xx models do have remote port. The car-kit edition(NE326CK) does have a remote port for the included remote commander. However, the LCD on the remote displays nothing. NE-320 psyc editions also come with non-LCD remote, presumingly they won't display anything either with LCD remotes.

That's correct, any Non-LCD bundled remote will work with all ATRAC CD units, but my experience has been that if the bundled remote is non-LCD, then LCD remotes will display nothing at all. This in contrast to all Hi/MD units, which AFAIK can drive LCD remotes properly (at least the modern ones).

It helps to own all three generation of units.... Which kinda scares me in a way...

(It should be also noted that I own all two generation of HiMD... I see a pattern here...)

Edited by Damage
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Is the 55 the one with two twisty end tube remote?  If so, then I'd chalk up compatibility the same as the 53.  I need more research on this particular unit.

Yes, the 55ELK is the kanji variant of 53EL. In addition, it comes in different color schemes. I am currently awaiting delivery for its blue version so I can pair it with my MZ-RH10.

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Just be aware that the "SEARCH" button function does not work with the RH-910 (and I'd suspect the same for RH-10). That really makes it a fancy version of MC33EL/K, and slightly less functional, IMO. Brighter though.

I thikn I'm just biased towards MC40ELK...

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Damage: Good to be here. :) I though this was MDCF, and was surprised that I had to register again. Yeah, the NE20 brings me back to AtracCD, mainly because of the seamless feature.

Yes, the 55ELK is the kanji variant of 53EL. In addition, it comes in different color schemes. I am currently awaiting delivery for its blue version so I can pair it with my MZ-RH10.

I thought the 5x remotes are not available seperately (yet)? And a blue one some more? Where did you find it ishi? The one I believe comes in color is the 53EL included with the NE820s.

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Damage: Good to be here. :) I though this was MDCF, and was surprised that I had to register again. Yeah, the NE20 brings me back to AtracCD, mainly because of the seamless feature.

I thought the 5x remotes are not available seperately (yet)? And a blue one some more? Where did you find it ishi? The one I believe comes in color is the 53EL included with the NE820s.

From China. I reckon East Asia's NE820 series comes bundled with the kanji variant rather than the MC53EL. Nonetheless, I will provide a pictorial upon its delivery.

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Kinda old thread, but just a little update on the S2 models (D-NS505/707F). These models are based on the 2nd gen units (having to use 2 AAs), having similar features like seamless, etc. They have strange design, with a hand-strap built-in on to the unit. The LCD and some controls are on the hand strap. The interesting part is the LCD on these models can be reversed ala the 55ELK on the menu setting. However, button placements for volume and playback are awkward, no backlight on the LCD, and no custom parametric EQ (there are only presets). Also, body wise, it is plastic, not as solid as the MZ-S1.

DNS707F.jpg

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I found a D-NE300 for £19.99 (in Sainsbury's of all places) and decided to go for it. I fully expected the output to be Euro-capped to some degree and sure enough it's very quiet. A quick check of the specs states 1.5mW for Europe and 5mW elsewhere; barely above the much-maligned N710 output. I have a portable amplifier I can use with this, after all, I didn't buy it for small size, but would obviously prefer to uncap it if possible.

So, does anyone know if this can be uncapped and, if so, how?

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Had a D-NE1 from their initial UK release.

This replaced my then dying iMP-250 (then, the dogs wotsits for anti-shock and quality in the mp3 cdp market even if it was a dead model as far as iRiver were concerned) - it sold itself to me due to it's massive battery endurance which even when i estimated it to be 25% over exaggerated (and got proven wrong, and happy to discover my paranoia was unfounded) and mp3 support and that Sony's G-Shock system was known to be good enough to fit my needs (again, noone else had a mp3 cdp with an equal ASP facility to that of the iMP series, until the D-NE's came along).

Eventually i moved into ATRAC CD use, and it was the lack of seamless support that was my only black mark on an otherwise brill design.

D-NE20 (bought six months after UK release) when i discovered that seamless support in ATRAC had been added (somehow missed the release of the intermediate gen) - this completed the criteria and did what the D-NE1 lacked. Shame it's endurance was down on the D-NE1, but no probs as i have two spare cell packs from the D-NE1 to fall back on ;)

Those two, combined with the ownership of a Hi-MD unit, literally means i have a deck choice for all seasons.

The D-NE series is the true 'Discman' of the compressed audio world (SS is not the prep tool of choice mind, not that you have a say in having anything else to work with instead), in the same way the Hi-MD has literally spawned the latest evo of the only true 'Digital Walkman' :)

One happy virtual cat spirit, methinks ;):P

Closing thought - i must have lucked out twice - as neither of my UK destined D-NE's were capped, somehow i ended up with non-capped units packed 'capped supply' UK packaging with UK accessories supplied, and yes they were all new-stock and untouched, damn lucky case of lightning strking twice ;)

Edited by JustAnUnCoolCat
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Two new Cd-walkman by Sony

1.D-NE006[An easy-to-use CD Walkman with MP3 support only ]{no atrac support] strange again

post-29-1114255397_thumb.jpg

2.D-NE730[but With Atrac support as well]

post-29-1114255427_thumb.jpg

Note:There are no exceptional feature added.

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Sounds very much like Sony are either hedging their bets, or playing one hell of a confusing game..

Understandably, there is always room for a cheap priced mp3/CDA CDP, after all they have similar in the incar and home audio markets, but if it's not to keep a cheap mp3 option there, then i defy anyone to rationalise another good reason to make some mp3 only units as well.

After all, if you chose an ATRAC CD walkman on terms of bat life etc, and effective anti-shock, and you were a hardened mp3 user, then you needn't touch ATRAC and whilst that may sound like a 50% waste to only use 1/3rd of it's playback capability, then wow.. that makes most multi-codec decks sorely underutilised (many people only use one format of the many on multi-codec units).

Why i question their commitment, Sony i mean, is they are chucking all this stuff on the market, yet there is no unity between portables market and that of their more serious stuff (the incar and home audio kit) - can anyone name an incar or home deck (DVD or CDP) that supports ATRAC..??

MD equipped in-car units (current models) are kinda rare (Hi-MD are almost mythical in that department) and ATRAC CD compat car decks are like the stuff of fantasy - as far as availability goes.

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Are these out in territories outside Asia, like Canada, Europe, & the US?

D-NE720 is available in U.K

But these both are not available in US market right now....& even they are not available in whole of Asia

Also I think they selling D-NE006 in the name of another model in US D-NE005(i`m not sure) :ol_arrow:D-NE005

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D-NE720 is available in U.K

But these both are not available in US market right now....& even they are not available in whole of Asia

Also I think they selling D-NE006 in the name of another model in US D-NE005(i`m not sure) :ol_arrow:D-NE005

I'm getting the D-NE005 (white vesion) in a few days. I can't stand it when they don't do simultaneous releases world-wide, let alone changing model numbers and even leaving features off different territorial versions of the same model. Games & DVDs should be region-free.

Our Sony MHC-GX555 had no karaoke or CD+G feature due to it not being either 'Latin American' or one of the Asian models...

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I wouldn't consider the new D-NE00X series part of the ATRAC CD format, since they don't support ATRAC. Neither is the MP3 support uniform on these units. I would dismiss those until the D-NE00X series start support the ATRAC codec. By the by, the D-NE005 or 6 looks like the D-EJ series in the US, complete with the shiny puck.

D-NE730 was already added in a previous update along with D-NE830 when it was initially Japan only release.

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I'm getting the D-NE005 (white vesion) in a few days. I can't stand it when they don't do simultaneous releases world-wide, let alone changing model numbers and even leaving features off different territorial versions of the same model. Games & DVDs should be region-free.

Our Sony MHC-GX555 had no karaoke or CD+G feature due to it not being either 'Latin American' or one of the Asian models...

So after buying it please give your review with snaps if possible in"Atraclife"

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It's not an ATRAC device. Besides, I'm not an audio professional and can't write a full-length review I just bought... :-(

I doesn`t matter whether it is Atrac device or not.It`s a Sony one ...Most of us use Mp3`s ...

aLSO Most of us here are not audio profesional ..Now i depends on you whetehr you want to share your commeNts or not .

Congrats on buying the new mp3 walkman!!

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I doesn`t  matter whether it is Atrac device or  not.It`s a Sony one  ...Most of us use Mp3`s ...

aLSO Most of us  here are not audio profesional ..Now i depends on you whetehr you want to share your commeNts or not .

Congrats on buying the new mp3 walkman!!

OK. I'll share whatever I can. Are you willing to provide server space & bandwidth for my 2-MB snapshot files?
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Here's some release dates for most recent G-Protection models, including ATRAC models:

CD-DA-only models:

D-EJ01/E01, '915, '815, '715, '615 (first G-Protection models; 20th-anniversary Walkman / 15th-anniversary CD-Walkman models): 1999-07-24;

D-EJ1000, '925, '825, '725, '625 (first CD-RW models; 2nd G-Protection models, these feature two G-Protection settings): 2000--2001;

D-EJ2000, other models: 2001--2002

MP3-CD-only models:

D-CJ01, D-CJ500 (?), D-CJ9(xx) (?): 2001--2002

ATRAC/MP3 models:

D-NE1, '9, possibly other models: 2002--2003 (first ATRAC unit is D-NE1)

D-NE10, '900, etc.: 2003--2004 (first Parametric EQ)

D-NE20, '920, etc.: 2004--2005 (second Parametric EQ, new backlight on some units and remotes; 25th-anniversary Walkman & 20th-anniversary CD-Walkman models)

D-NE830, '730, probably D-NE30, D-NE930, and others: 2005(--2006?)

Edited by adam917
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D-NE1, '9, possibly other models: 2002--2003 (* no MP3 support on these)

The 1st gen AtracCD PCDPs can play MP3s just fine. You probably meant HiMD units. :ol_smile:

OT: Is there a website/CD walkman fan that keep track of pictures for all SonyPCDP models ever released? Sony Japan website used to keep older units in their catalog, but now they are ditching previous gen units very quickly (eg. 1st gen HiMD units are no longer listed).

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The 1st gen AtracCD PCDPs can play MP3s just fine. You probably meant HiMD units.  :ol_smile:

OT: Is there a website/CD walkman fan that keep track of pictures for all SonyPCDP models ever released? Sony Japan website used to keep older units in their catalog, but now they are ditching previous gen units very quickly (eg. 1st gen HiMD units are no longer listed).

This is something I want too. I would like to at least see photos of all 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place (if available) models prior to 2001, particularly of units prior to G-Protection.

For MiniDisc, minidisc.org is the best place for all MD photo needs & info. I want to see a similar site for CD-Walkman/Discman/portable CD players, as well as even tape players & old computer digital audio ('MP3') players...

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You may wish to add that the silver D-NF430 is available from J&R now.

http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=4082980 is the URL. It's probably similar to last year's model (FM/TV radio, same remote) but looks similar to D-NE330 and has its headphone wattage (15 mW/channel).

Plus, the MP3-only units you meant to mention that were released before any ATRAC models were the D-CJXXX series, such as the clear/silver D-CJ01 (Sony's first MP3 CD player, adn it was a terrible model). The D-NE005/006 is another, more recent model that only plays MP3 (Not as bad as the D-CJ01, but could be better for 40 USD).

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That's correct, any Non-LCD bundled remote will work with all ATRAC CD units, but my experience has been that if the bundled remote is non-LCD, then LCD remotes will display nothing at all. This in contrast to all Hi/MD units, which AFAIK can drive LCD remotes properly (at least the modern ones).

I plugged in my RM-MC33EL remote into my D-NF430 (which doesn't have an LCD on its own remote), and it works fine. Song titles, etc are all displayed. It's also nice in that the remote is backlit, while the player's own display is not. You can even work the radio; unfortunately, it doesn't give a frequency readout. Probably the D-NE330 will work as well, since the two players are very similar.

So, some of the LCD-remote-less players can use the LCD remotes.

Cheers.

-J. P.

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Guest Stuge

I plugged in my RM-MC33EL remote into my D-NF430 (which doesn't have an LCD on its own remote), and it works fine. Song titles, etc are all displayed. It's also nice in that the remote is backlit,

Nice Discovery J.P :D

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I had a D-NE300 but returned it because it kept skipping tracks, even when stationary on a desk! It only did this with normal CDs (including brand new ones, no scratches) and I never had a problem with any of the ATRAC CDs I recorded. I wasn't very usable anyway since CD players can't be volume hacked.

I'm considering asking someone to get me a D-NE330 from the states to replace it but if that has the same problems then there's no point...

Anyone had any problems with the D-NE330/430?

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I have had zero problems with my D-NF430. It is really a nice player (with a very good tuner for a portable). I only use CDs and CDRs, not CD-RW. It definitely has enough volume for me (Koss Portapros, Sennheiser PX-200, Alessandro MS-1).

Cheers.

-J. P.

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I own TWO non-EU D-NE700 ATRAC CD Walkmans (both from Australia won on eBay), one in silver that I am currently using, and one in blue, which I am willing to swap for a second silver one, and I find it a GREAT companion to my non-EU MZ-NH700 (you get the picture, both 7-level Series), as far as personal entertainment goes.

It's just too bad we here stateside had to put up with non-LCD remote-compatible D-NE500/NF600 units as opposed to this beauty, and unlike the D-NE/F800/900 units, I can use either good-old standard replaceable Energizer E2 Lithium (or Titanium) "AA" or NiMH "AA"-style batteries INTERNALLY (in the unit), without having to attach one of those garbage (and inconveinent) external cases!!!

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Dunno if anybody notice this, but the D-DNE830 is listed at Sony UK.

http://www.sony.co.uk/view/ShowProduct.act...=PAW+CD+Walkman

So at least the D-NE830 is not JP exclusive anymore. With the focus on DAP, nobody will care anyway...

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