Jump to content

MZ-RH1: My MiniDisc Initiation

Rate this topic

Abby Normal

Recommended Posts

This week I made my first foray into the MiniDisc arena with a fantastic snag on e-bay:

A gently or entirely unused MZ-RH1 with remote, earbuds, ac adapter/usb cable, fully charged battery, drawstring slipcase and operating instructions--all original, I believe. The unit is what I would call virtually perfect condition. There are extremely light scratches (scuffs?) (only visible in direct bright light) on the OLED display. Other than that, everything else is mint. All text, labels, and graphics and clear and intact. My entire cost for this--what I call "addictive sample"--was $109.25 USD.

Even before the unit arrived, my addiction was already taking hold. As such, I also ordered some necessary accoutrements--which all arrived simultaneously with the unit:

$10.99 SONY ECM-DS70P Microphone x 1 (ordered from US distributor so I'd get it quickly)

$36.90 SONY 5MDW80PL 80 Minute MiniDisc MD Premium Gold x 4 (20 discs total)

This was quite convenient for me to test the unit. I'm not aware of any formal "self-test" mode (anyone?), so I put it through a few minor tests. Power on, display, navigation, settings, loading, ejecting, recording, and playback. Incidentally, the battery was fully charged on arrival. Everything performed as I expect a brand new device to perform. I haven't loaded any music onto the unit yet, but when I do I'm sure it'll be a treat. I've read some posts about the difference in audio reproduction between MD and iPod and I look forward to comparing it with a unit I own (a "Classic" 160 gb).

I would have some pictures ready to upload, except I hadn't used my camera in ages and it's had a few problems. I hope to rectify this soon.


I see others have been keeping a tally of MD equipment they own in their sig. I may do that with a twist--I'll include a running total of my MD-related spending.

Edited by narp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, so for the last hour or two I've been trying the magical sequence I found in the archives regarding entering SM. Let me say right now I do not wish to be asked why I want to nor be advised against it. I just wish to have this capability and that's that. I take full responsibility for it. Okay--disclaimer out of the way:

I even perfected ("apparently not!"--yes, sigh) a technique that involves using the eraser end of a pencil to keep the tmark key pressed while I perform the rest of the sequence. If I didn't read many posts to the contrary, I would believe this is a practical joke played on newbies.

If someone would like to send me a personal message that details any "gotchyas", that would be swell. I've tried remote plugged in/not plugged in, disk in/not in, disk empty/not empty, etc. Perhaps there's a timing issue. Perhaps I need to be at factory defaults (I've turned on PCM recording mode). I do know I did not want to put this much wear on it trying to do this.

If I manage to succeed at this, I will try my hand at putting the key point(s) (at least the ones that blocked me from succeeding) into a FAQ form. I have put the sequence in as I have seen written, but obviously there's something lost in the translation. Although a tiny part of me toys with the paranoid fantasy that people are deliberately obfuscating the procedure, I know that this cannot be true.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AAGGHHHHH a Newbie tryin to go into SERVICE MODE , Dude , DO NOT GO THERE , You can possibly render your machine UNUSABLE

PLEASE !!! Let someone here who knows what they are doing do it for you ..............

I am SURE that one of the old timers here would be happy to hack it if you sent it to them , and it would be done safely .

If you service mode it without knowing EXACTLY what your doing you will Frag it so bad it wont work anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest GOTCHA is that you may render your Jog lever almost unusable by pushing too hard on it. I did. That's a steep price to pay. The only good news was that it convinced me not to use the RH1 as a player.

True oh how true, As a matter of fact, I simply either use a remote with mine, or just simply use it with my PC to upload legacy recordings to my PC so I can upload them onto my NW-HD5 (same ATRAC/SonicStage CP compatibility).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

tekdroid: funny :)

The rest of you:


Let me say right now I do not wish to be asked why I want to nor be advised against it. I just wish to have this capability and that's that. I take full responsibility for it.

A few minutes after I read your responses I succeeded at uncovering the main "gotchya". It is most certainly a timing issue. The entire procedure must be done with a fair amount of agility--certainly less than a second between each press. To summarize:

  1. Be gentle! Only the lightest touch is necessary.

    While not necessary for success, it should prevent regrettable damage.

  2. Do it quickly.

    This is the critical issue preventing success.

  3. If you have giant hands like I do, use an aid to keep the t-mark button pressed.

    This can be the second biggest obstacle (pun intended) to success. The big fat finger keeping t-mark pressed is preventing free movement and often preventing easy access to the PAUSE button. I use an old plastic disposable mechanical pencil eraser-side on the button. I use the hand NOT pressing the buttons to hold it.

  4. Be gentle.
  5. Be quick.
  6. Know your limitations.

Using the above parameters (with the sequence found elsewhere in these forums) I have a 100% success rate anytime I wish to use it.

Just to clarify my "emot"--I'm only slightly annoyed. I realize that mostly you're trying to protect a "newb"--but as you will soon learn, this "newb" has plenty of experience that's easily transferable. I do have the service manual and I know my limitations.


Edit: Removed comments about how quickly t-mark must be released. Service Mode is activated after the last PAUSE press even before t-mark is released.

Edited by narp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the club ! now find an R50 , and working MZ-1 .

the first , the best , the last .

Got what I like to call the "MD Walkman Triple Crown" already.

3 RH1's (Black, all 3 U.S.-market)

2 R50's (both in Silver, 1 with back labeling scuffed off by previous owner, and 1 Australian from a U.S. eBay seller)

1 MZ-1 (w/ record button broken. I use it mainly as a DJ deck and also for live shows as rapper AK47)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I apologize for the quality. My camera is a little dated now and I live with animals--so you might see the occasional cat hair or other detritus if you are looking for it.

Narp's MZ-RH1 gallery

I must say I was somewhat disappointed that the OLED display doesn't perform well outside. The remote's display seems to work admirably in that environment, though.

Edited by narp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those pictures came out pretty good narp. The RH1 is an awesome player, it's all I use for playback in the house. When I leave for work, I take my NH600D with me for the stereo in the truck. Tape deck works pretty good when coupled with the adapter.

Awesome deal from ebay, hope you have fun with it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, a little background on my historical interest in MD:

For a couple of years after it first came out I was excited about it, but every time I looked I got angrier. The format was sexy, but Sony was killing it with stupid restrictions. It was also a bit out of my price range. "For that price, it should include a nice case!" After awhile I just lost interest. It's only fitting that my interest should be rekindled by the only unit that you can backup your digital content from.

I hope Sony has another great idea in my lifetime and doesn't kill it this time around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...