TDK MD-XG 74: "The TDK produces clean, tidy recordings with nice extension at either end of the spectrum. Treble is precise, as is the midrange, and bass packs a hefty wallop. Counting against these pluses is the fact that the TDK's overall presentation is rather mechanical - recordings seem to lose their vitality, sounding rather processed, and sound staging lacks the depth to match fine width."
MAXELL MD 60: "The MD 60 is similar in overall character to the TDK. Where it pulls ahead is in its superior tonal resolution. Violins, for example, which could sound hard and glassy at times on the TDK, had greater sweetness and resonance. The Maxell also had a greater sense of involvement because it managed to capture more of the dynamic subltety in the music."
MAXELL GOLD MD 74: "Immediately obvious is the fact that this Gold MD is quite a lot better than either of the two aforementioned discs. It has a superbly natural, detailed sound that gives recordings a seductively engaging quality. Tonal colour was very good indeed and there was a welcome lack of hardness in the upper registers. The sound stage took on extra depth as well. There's no doubt this blank MD allows a good MiniDisc machine to make recordings that would put the wind up many a Nakamichi."
MAXELL MD-PRO 74: "Cast in much the same mould as the Maxell Gold, the Pro disc offered a similarly sumptuous tonal range and spacious acoustic. Where it went beyond the Gold was in its transparancy, which revealed the full orchestral perspective on Classical recordings. Instrumental textures were also better, with violins and cellos sounding superbly natural. Mind you, with a price of GPB 15, the Pro disc should sound good!"
To me these sorts of reviews are comical to read. I think the last sentence actually sums it up "... the Pro disc should sound good". I smell a placebo. In the MD FAQ there are error rate experiments on MD blanks. All the error rates fall deeply into the range of "no data errors after error correction". Where, please tell us, are these fine (and brand specific!) differences to come from?