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Love My Mini Discs

Discussion in 'Tape' started by Nightcleaner, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Nightcleaner

    Nightcleaner Active Member

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Bournemouth UK
    One of the most Underrated formats Ever Any one else agree. I Have the Sony MDS-JE520
     
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  2. CT-Boy

    CT-Boy Active Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia
    Agreed.
    I have the MDS-JE510... ;)
     
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  3. safebet

    safebet Long live vintage! Subscriber

    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    New England
    I have a Sony MDS-JB940. No tape involved of course. Interesting set of capabilities and fun but ultimately not quite up to par sound quality wise. Good, just not great in my opinion. Modern DAC's and lossless sources really excel in SQ if you're going the digital route.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  4. GPS16

    GPS16 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    UK Manchester
    Hi Guys,

    The MiniDisc concept employs a "Lossy" form of compression. Sony used their own version of compression but the algorithm still calculates what deems to be unheard and "Leaves It Out" as MP3 compression does!! Not really a concept for inclusion in HiFi!!!

    As a medium which predated solid state players it was fine. Strapped to your waist band whilst jogging has its charm. The medium was also reputed to still play even if the disc was removed and reinserted as there was enough data buffered in memory to allow this.

    Great for "convenience" value but I would prefer a "proper" copy of any source material for use on the HiFi.

    Due to the "expense" incurred in getting the HiFi to it's current "evolved over the years" level of sound quality, I don't see the point in feeding it with an inferior source.

    I may sound like a snob but then again, you have not heard my system being put through it's paces!!! A large proportion of Bass should be felt as well as heard!! I use ear buds only when absolutely necessary!!

    Cheers.

    GPS16
     
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  5. safebet

    safebet Long live vintage! Subscriber

    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    New England
    Sound quality aside I will agree with the OP that Mini Disc was a valiant effort in its day. I attended the San Francisco Moscone Center audio show around 1993 or so where both Mini Disc and DCC were introduced. It was clear to me then that DCC had no future but I understood Philips' goal to maintain compact cassette as a portable standard.

    I had no immediate interest in either of those digital formats but did purchase a DAT deck which essentially provided CD quality recording. It served well to receive mixes from a 16 track analog recorder in my project studio and was far more practical than the Otari RtR I would have otherwise utilized for the purpose. I was purchasing blank DAT cartridges from Tape World in Butler PA for about $10 each which added thrift and convenience to the equation. It was the right product for me at the right time.

    My point is that there is a sweet spot for everything marketed to the public with success dependent on a confluence of factors; timing, cost and relevance not the least of those.

    While DCC died a quick, quiet death Mini Disc actually pressed on for well over a decade seeing many improvements along the way. Ironically over the years I got more use out of my two DCC decks, a Philips DCC-900 and an Optimus DC-2000 which I eventually bought when prices plummeted, mostly due to their surprisingly excellent analog cassette playback performance. Who knew.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,915
    Location:
    MI, US
    I have three MD units--two portables, and one deck for the audio system. Sound was pretty good for lossy audio, actually, and it served a purpose for me (at the time) for portable digital. (Sony's lossy algorithm was ATRAC.) Thing is, with two of the three players, and like any Sony disc player I've ever owned, it was the loading mechanisms that went bad! The deck makes a grinding noise unless a disc is inserted into the player. The one portable will eject the disc several times until it finally stays put. The other portable is cheap and plasticky, but it did survive a fall on the bike unscathed. (I didn't--I had to go in for an operation to fix my separated shoulder!)

    No desire to use it now, since I've gone to playing from a server (and from either a USB thumb drive or SD card in the car). Still was a neat format, for what it was. Certainly was way more reliable than any DAT deck I ever owned--those were finicky, and the tape quality was all over the place. I finally resorted to buying DSS computer backup tapes and those, for whatever reason, were always the best performers for me, even the thinner "3 hour" variety, surprisingly. (And of course, being a Sony, the DAT deck died just while sitting in storage, unused. Won't sync up a tape now. :rolleyes: )
     
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  7. Poinzy

    Poinzy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,950
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Mini Disc was the Almost CD that was introduced by Sony when flash-memory shark fins were just beginning to appear in Sony's format waters. I wish I'd been smart enough to see all of this before I got my MD recorder.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  8. revox-b77

    revox-b77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,943
    Location:
    Fingerlakes, NY
    Lossy yes, but I still enjoy many live shows that I recorded on that format.
     
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  9. embrown057

    embrown057 Active Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Apollo Beach,FL
    I have the JB940 but I run mine into my PS Audio DAC. Up sampling to 9600/24b brings out more sound stage. I've owned her since day one and although it's not my #1 source, still a very useful.
     
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  10. Franksta

    Franksta AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I too love the minidisc format. OK it's true that it is a lossy format but that is not a big concern to me. I compare it to the
    other recording methods that produce portable playback like cassettes or mp3. If you compare it to lossless formats it comes
    very close to my ears.The positives of minidisc are the that it is a physical hands on and that it is still small and portable. Also
    it is reliable and flexible. Erase, delete move and combine tracks. No wow or flutter, great dynamic range, no need for noise reduction
    etc.
    My first choice for a portable source would be a portable player like the FIIO units that play lossless FLAC files but for us who still
    like to play a little (editing, tagging and labeling) the minidisc is FUN. The resulting recordings are really surprisingly good
    especially when using good media and recording in SP speed on a type R unit. Those who haven't tried it are missing something.
     
  11. frahengeo

    frahengeo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    815
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I bought the first minidisc recorder (MZ-1) back in the early 90's when it was first introduced. Played with it for a few days, but came to my senses and returned it.

    Today, I have a Sony ES deck that I still use regularly. In fact, I recently replaced the tray belt as it was having problems ejecting the tray. To me, it was more of an alternative to the cassette format than the CD format. A friend of mine had an MD car deck, which I thought was the perfect use for it. More durable than either the cassette or the CD.

    Yup, still love mine.
     
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  12. palsapal

    palsapal Active Member

    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    nr Southport, UK.
    I use my decks to produce master discs from which I can run off copies to cassette when I need them. Re-sequencing tracks, & deleting/replacing them is a doddle.

    The only problem I have is confusing the protocols with the decks, for example, to divide a track or to increase the recording volume.
     
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  13. revox-b77

    revox-b77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,943
    Location:
    Fingerlakes, NY
    My main system has a Sony MDS E10 in it. That is a great deck to edit on. You plug a keyboard into it and then it is just a matter of typing. I have the matching 1U CD Player too.
     
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  14. Nightcleaner

    Nightcleaner Active Member

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Bournemouth UK
    Mines plugged in To my Music Fidelity Tape Tape in input, I have the optical going out to my Dac. I love making compilation Discs from my music server

    If you own one or a CD - Recorder i have a pioneer put away somewhere You realise of cource you can use these as stand alone Dac's. Put it under your TV and use the Digital input
     
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  15. Yodathedog

    Yodathedog Active Member

    Messages:
    180
    I have a Sony MDS-JE330 in the home theater, a MZ-1 in the bedroom, a MDS-JE520 and a MXD-D3 in the music room, a MDS-JE510 waiting for its turn in the rotation, and 21 various portables. Yeah, I’m a bit obsessed, but I was a late comer to the format and having tons of fun with it. All machines are used at least weekly if not daily.
     
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  16. Max77

    Max77 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    957
    Location:
    Chicago
    Cassette is lossy too. MD is a fun format. Outdated for sure, but still fun to make mixes and it was my primary source of live show taping years ago.
     
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  17. palsapal

    palsapal Active Member

    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    nr Southport, UK.
    Is there any interest here for mixdiscs? Either exchanging on a one to one basis or progressively adding two or thee tracks (non-classical) on a particular theme then mailing to the next contributor.

    This is done regularly on cassette via TapeHeads. Best cover versions, originals that flopped but became popular as a cover, a connection with the previous track, etc. Lots of themes.
     
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  18. Nightcleaner

    Nightcleaner Active Member

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Bournemouth UK
    sounds interesting 'palsapa" send me a private message
     
  19. Numone

    Numone Member

    Messages:
    90
    Due to family commitments in the '90's, Minidisc passed me by until earlier this year when, following heaps of reading, I bought a Sony MDS-JE480 Minidisc Deck for £40 and Sharp MD-MT280E portable recorder for £20. Well.... wow...what an amazing system this is; I was blown-away by the quality of the recordings, upto and including LP4 to my old ears.
    I guess it was for that reason alone, when the iPod and the various other lossy memory based systems came along, that was the end of MD because the latest systems didn't need delicate, totally cumbersome memory carriers which held relatively small amounts of data, thus making the new systems far more appealing, with hours and hours of music in a tiny, lightweight and robust pocket-sized unit. That, as they say, was that....
     
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  20. Nightcleaner

    Nightcleaner Active Member

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Bournemouth UK
    Thanks for that info Numone: Are you still using it. I am and i am thrilled with it's performance.
     

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