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Ones and Zeroes Digital tape is still tape! Want to discuss DAT, DCC and blank media? This is the place.

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  #1  
Old 07-19-2008, 08:47 PM
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braxus braxus is offline
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Best DAT and MiniDisc Recorder?

I have read somewhere the best DAT deck may be a Sony 1000ES? Am I correct in that assumption? I know DAT decks have changed over the years including some that used 1 bit converters, 1 that went to the 96khz sampling frequency which was a Pioneer model, and 1 that was a 24 bit recorder (Tascam). Any suggestions on these decks? I'd be looking at Ebay probably for a deck should I get one eventually.

Secondly there was a specific Sony minidisc recorder that was the best sounding unit (was it a JB930 or JA3ES?) Sony made, but after that the quality went down hill. I think the model came out in the late 90s? Any ideas here? The two mentioned above (930 or 3ES?) which of these two would be prefered?

The Sony MDS-JA3ES Mini Disc Recorder Deck measures 430 x 345 x 125mm (W x D x H), while the JB830 is W 430 x H 110 x D 287 mm.

http://www.minidisc.org/sony_mdsjb930_review.html

http://www.minidisc.org/sony_jb930_review.html

http://www.minidisc.org/ja3es_review.html

And a question about the Atrac DSP conversions. In 1998 Type R was introduced and was known for being the best sounding conversion for mini disc. Yet Sony claims that in 2004 their type 3 Plus conversion used in HD-MD recorders has improved minidisc sound to a quality the rivals CDs. Anyone have any opinions on these two conversions?
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2008, 10:50 PM
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NAD613 NAD613 is offline
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Tascam still make a minidisc deck. I have a Pioneer that I really like, use it quite a bit. Too bad Pioneer doesn't make MD decks anymore.

http://www.tascam.com/products/md-350.html
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2008, 08:49 AM
SLA SLA is offline
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1000ES is one of the worst DAT ever. The best for consumer audio is from Sony is dtc-2000ES or dtc-87ES (both 4 heads - this two decks only will allow you to minitor recording). But consumer decks have "protection" build in - you will not be able to copy second DATs. (for instance digital CD to DAT is ok - first copy, but then this DAT to another DAT - not allowed). You should think of pro audio decks (they don't have this). Try Sony and TASCAM!!! DAT is great BTW. you can record up to 4hrs on DAT cassette so all those radio programs can fit in without shuffling regular cassettes.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:01 PM
stuwee stuwee is offline
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Hey! That's my old DAT the 55ES, look how thick the booklet is, totally worthless with the translation stuff, I never could make any of it out.I'm still lookin' for the remote for ya John!

Craig
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2009, 03:44 PM
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I picked up a minidisc deck off Ebay for the home business here. Got it for $110 and its claimed to be barely used. Good deal.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:00 PM
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Personally, I prefer the little portable Sony minidisk recorders, despite the use of the 3.5mm headphone/mic jacks.

1) You can take them with you to gigs, plug into the mixing board and record!

2) The ones I have record in 74min, 148mi, 296min lengths (stereo) and a ridiculously long mono mode. I don't think the home MD decks had this capabilty.

3) The automatic recording level feature for minidisk is nothing short of amazing. Best Auto-recording level feature I've ever heard in my life. Its like having a professional grade compressor hooked up to your recorder. It does a wonderful job. Plus, you can override that and set levels manually if you prefer. I don't think many of the home decks had the Auto levels, either.

4) Recordings sound excellent. You can hear a difference from the high-speed vs. the extended lengths, but I've been able to get some really decent recordings at the 296min length that still put a smile on my face. (Really long DJ sets in night clubs that I would not have otherwise been able to archive).

I had a DTC-700ES DAT and it broke and ended up unrepairable. Recordings sounded fantastic, but left me with the impression that DAT was just too finicky. I have had much better luck with my HIFI VHS.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:04 PM
stuwee stuwee is offline
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Nice score Brax!! I can't wait to see how you like it. I've never had the pleasure of one, I agree with JT on the DAT (no offence to those who have and like it) Mine was just too fragile and costly to repair. Spent $800 on the deck and about $500 on tapes, it lasted for about 2 years then , , what a shame... MD is supposed to be much more fun and reliable, enjoy!
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2009, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braxus View Post
I picked up a 930 minidisc deck off Ebay for the home business here. Got it for $110 and its claimed to be barely used. Good deal.
Nice find! I have a Sony MXD-D5C and a MZ-N510 Net MD Walkman. The portable is great- I can fit the whole recording studio into a small camera bag.
I bought them from an older English gent in Surrey, who originally purchased them from London Drugs. The home player/recorder has a 5-CD tray on the left and a mini-disc slot on the right. It goes well with my Pioneer CT-WM77R multi-cassette deck. I bought the deck from him a year earlier.
You'll love the ease in making analog to digital recordings... and recordable mini-discs are still available.

Have fun,

Nando.
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2009, 09:38 AM
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Yes. I didn't really need the minidisc deck, as I don't expect it will get much use. But I had to try one and my home business system could use it- if I should ever get any customers who would need to transfer them to another media. I also have a home CD-R deck, so minidisc is already beat digitally in my system.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2010, 08:36 PM
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Well I had an empty spot in my stereo rack, since I sold the Luxman CD player. So I dug out the Sony minidisc recorder I got last year and hooked it up. Nice unit. Sounds good. I have my SACD player hooked into it via optical cable. Makes a good D/A converter. Im told the 930 player I have was one of the best, before the decline. Anyway I took some pics of it. Its currently recording off a CD to test it out. I'll give it a listen later. Here's some pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Minidisc 1.jpg (86.0 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg Minidisc 2.jpg (95.6 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg Minidisc3.jpg (91.5 KB, 74 views)
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2010, 08:49 PM
Des-Lab Des-Lab is offline
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Congrats. BTW don't let anyone tell you otherwise, but a *GOOD* CD-R is a *must have* for any system where preservation is of equal importance as sound. And I don't mean CD burners found on almost all PC's these days. I mean a seperate component unit. Unfortunately, very few were made. Consumer/affordable CD-R units came in at the very tail end of the component era right before PC based recording took off.

I jumped on that bandwagon early, buying my first such deck in early 2000. It was a Philipps. And it gave me as many headaches as it did finished discs. Indeed the first one I bought was such a lemon that I exchanged it. The second one wasn't much better and throughout it's service life, only achieved about a 75% successfully completed and finalized CD rate. And keep in mind that when I bought it, blanks were still about $5 a pop. At least it's worth noting that all of the discs that it did manage to turn out still play flawlessly today.

But now I have the Denon and couldn't be happier with it.


But I veer off topic. I've never really given much serious thought to an MD. Oh I've kicked it around. But I just never saw any need for a 4th recording format in my system. At best, I viewed MD as a novelty concept. Hence why I passed.

So how do they sound?
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2010, 10:13 PM
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Well I played back a couple of songs I recorded onto the disc. This was right after listenning to the CD playing through the unit.

The music is missing the micro dynamics of CD. The clearer highs, the 3D soundspace, the subtle qualities that you hear. MD sounds technically ok, but is missing the soul of the music. I don't think its much better then MP3s really. I'll listen some more, but so far its underwhelming.

And on your other comments- I also have a home deck CD-R Audio recorder. A Sony RCD W500C. Its in my secondary system connected to my computer. Doesn't get much use at all.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2010, 12:22 AM
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I do all my digital transfers to a Tascam HD-P2 Compact Flash recorder. It does 24/96 if I need it and has none of the disadvantages of older mechanical formats, like DAT, MD, CD - DAT tapes drop out and become unreliable with time; MD is a lossy format and the discs also have long-term reliability issues; CD also has long-term reliabilility problems. I have 3 DAT machines and a couple of Minidisc machines, but these are now used exclusively for playing masters for transfer.

I've been burnt too many times by old recordings becoming unplayable on all of these media. But I got a lot of fun out my DAT and MD decks, and I can see the attraction. The ability to edit and resequence MD recordings is a great feature.

I assume that there are now Hi-MD component recorders - Minidisc separates that do lossless PCM? Lossless MD came too late for me. I moved on to DAT, but not after having wasted a couple of years recording lossy transfers :(

At least my old tapes still play as well as ever... so I could 'upgrade' my transfers!
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:00 PM
draka1032 draka1032 is offline
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Best DAT and MiniDisc Recorder?

I have tried Minidisc and was not impressed. I think that any good cassette deck is much more musical. As far as DAT decks are concerned, I have tried several Tascam, Pioneer and Sony. I have found that the best one was the Sony DTC-2000ES. Fabulous build quality and the ability to monitor recordings. I use it to playback my live concert DATS and to tape Reels for transfer to CD for the car. I use a Pioneer Elite CD recorder which I think makes wonderful copies. It is easier to edit on DAT and then dump onto CD. If you make a mistake recording directly onto CD you end up with a, not very good, coaster.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:08 PM
R.Daneel R.Daneel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braxus View Post
Well I played back a couple of songs I recorded onto the disc. This was right after listenning to the CD playing through the unit.

The music is missing the micro dynamics of CD. The clearer highs, the 3D soundspace, the subtle qualities that you hear. MD sounds technically ok, but is missing the soul of the music. I don't think its much better then MP3s really. I'll listen some more, but so far its underwhelming.

And on your other comments- I also have a home deck CD-R Audio recorder. A Sony RCD W500C. Its in my secondary system connected to my computer. Doesn't get much use at all.
Hello Braxus!

While I won' deny minidisc is a lossless format, I never noticed any big defficiencies in the sound. The reason for that is that I never recorded via digital cable (especialy not the optical one because coaxial sounds much better imo). Your 930 md deck has 24bit ins and outs. That basically means when recorded from analog sources, the resolution stays 24bit all the way. Even digital outs can be configured for 24bit.

Also, there is a good trick you can do with a 930. say you connect it to a cd player with a coaxial cable. You connect one end of the cable into the cd player and the other into a digital resolution converter (I think Audio Alchemy had some and they can be found cheap online) that converts 16bit into 24bit resolution. Then you connect the output of the converter into the coaxial input on the 930. You get 24bit all the way without the signal ever becoming analog during recording. Then you can use an external d/a converter alos. Using the resolution converter is the only better thing than analog converter
as the results don't depend on cd player+s analog stage, only it's transport is used.

Try that before giving fully up on the minidisc. Regards!
RD
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2010, 08:46 AM
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Best DAT machines are either the Otari, the Panasonics or the Tascam DA line. Best minidisc decks are the Sony MD-B line or the Tascams. A tip, the best standalone CD-R recorders are the professional market machines. My preferred make here are Tascams, I also like the Alesis Masterlinks as well. Best consumer CD-R recorder was the Pioneer lineup. I prefer the pro units and not having to use the Music CD-R discs which have few good makes left.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:17 AM
Head_case Head_case is offline
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This one - the Sony MZ-RH1.

Hi_Minidisc [Hi-MD] quality. It blows the competition away.

Really love mine. It's better than some CD players I have. This seems to be a function of its better internal DAC and high quality digital amp, as well as the 1411kbps recording transfer rate. Inferior 320kbps MP3 it's not.




http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgur...ed=0CBAQ9QEwAA
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:32 PM
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I do not like the Panasonics. The heads seem to wear out too quickly.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:42 PM
R.Daneel R.Daneel is offline
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Originally Posted by Head_case View Post
This one - the Sony MZ-RH1.

Hi_Minidisc [Hi-MD] quality. It blows the competition away.

Really love mine. It's better than some CD players I have. This seems to be a function of its better internal DAC and high quality digital amp, as well as the 1411kbps recording transfer rate. Inferior 320kbps MP3 it's not.
I Have the MZ-NH1. According to the service manuals of both units, they use the same DACs, ADCs and mic preamps. Also feature the same DSP Atrac type-S. That said, the DAC is 1bit but 24bit quantization, ADCs are true 24bit with integrated HQ mic preamps. HD digital amp is the same IC developed by Sony. I can confirm what you are saying as the NH1 sounds much more transparent than any MD unit I have tried, Sony or Sharp - evern the ones with 1bit delta-sigma technology. These are the best MD units ever made. i'd say RH1 is better suited for live recording as it has more controls on the unit and better display while the NH1 is more compact, has magnesium chassis and better remote control with scrol so it is better suited for playback. I am considering of getting myself an RH1 also as it really is the last best MD recorder.

I had some other HiMD units also and though the NH1 was the first to hgit the market, it was only matched by the RH1 for it's sound quality. Other recorders were really bland and their digital amplification was intended for low battery consumption only. They also used 1.2V batteries - these use 3.6V lithium-ion so when needed they can really give more power utilizing the internal capacitor. The RH1/NH1 have some caps inside which are above standard for MD units and it is part of the reason they sound very confident and bold - you always get the feeling it keeps everything under control. Truly superb units.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:42 AM
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Im surprised that nobody menchened the Nakamichi 1000 transport + 1000p procesor..

Yes it is rare and pricey but i think it`s one of the best Dat ever made.







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