I've just read your great article, A Repairman's View of Portable Minidisc Recorders, on the
MiniDisc Community Page. I'm hoping you might be able to give me some advice...
I live in Denmark, and bought a Sony MZ-R70 minidisc under a month ago... I've just return
from Italy (where I was on holiday), and while I was down there I encountered a problem...
On one of my discs I got a DISC ERR - so when I selected the track (the disc had 19 songs
on - the problem started somewhere in track 15, and also 16), I got this error. In my Sony
manual it says that I should remove the disc and try again... I did this, but still the same
error... Then the manual advice me to re-record, so I wanted to do this when I came home
back Italy - but when I tried deleting the disc, it say TR PROTECT, so I couldn't delete the
disc... but the disc isn't protected by that white tab the discs have...
Now to the point where I need your advice... Is it my recorder that has an error or is it my
disc (the disc is of the label, FUJI which is quite good)... Should I goto the store where I
bought it and ask for an exchange or what is your advice??
Thanks in advance for any help.
Thank you for the compliment.
As to your questions. To begin with run to the shop and ask to replace the MZR70, with
another one or, and if you insist on small MD buy the Sharp 831. If the size is not important
to you buy yourself an MZR37 (ugly but good) or a MZR50 (the best ever made).
Technical explanation to your problems.
- "Disc Err" at the high track portion of the MD. This is due to very low revolutions of the
motor as the laser unit goes to the high part of the disc. If there is an obstacle or even small
dirt on the motor it will not revolve, the same can happen if the laser is not "strong" enough or
if the recording is made on a cheap or bad disc. The problem is that even if the disc is good
and the machine is clean it still can happen and there is not much to do about it. This is the
price we pay for those small machines attempting to save power and in the sane time causing
us lot of headache.
- The recording (or unrecording) problem is due to another known problem with the
MZR70. The switch that tells the MZR70 if the disc is protected was redesigned by Sony in
such a way that it tends now not to recognize the real position of the protection sign. I fix this
problem in my shop by re re designing the switch. As for you, you are still under guarantee,
so use my advice as stated earlier.
your article/statements on the minidisc community page kinda bothered me...i
have the MZR55 bought here in seoul korea...the adaptor/charger needs a 100v
power supply & the guy where i bought the MD gave me a power supply with
110v..i am not really sure about their "configurations" since it is written
in korean...the numbers in order are (AC220V 60 Hz/Ac110 V/ 0.909 A/ 100 VA/
85% )...are these configurations safe to use with my player?...i hope you
won't find me stupid...i bought the MD about 2 years ago & it is still
working well, though the gum battery doesn't last long now...i hardly charge
it with the adaptor since i use a NiMh battery most of the time...i bought
the power supply about 2 months ago...PLEASE help..thanks a lot & more power
It looks to me you have a "Tourist model PSU" If I'm right it will work with 100/110/220
with no problems. To be on the safe side, email me the model of the PSU, if it is made by
Sony i will look in the Sony catalog and will inform you.
I have a sony MZ-R37 and its always had a problem were non sony discs tend to have a
problem. When i use non sony discs it has trouble reading them, and if it does i get memory
errors during recording. I think it's having trouble spinning them. Any ideas? Since the closest
sony authorized repair center for mini discs is in another country. Plus when i talked to the
guys at the sony store about the problem they just said to only use sony blank media
The MZR37 is a very good MD. I don't think it will play better Sony discs. It will play well
good quality discs like Tdk, Sony and other brands. The keyword is good quality and not a
specific brand. I myself use Sony SE (white).
Question (part 2)
i've tried other discs, and they don't work well, sony's work fine. But i've
found that memorex and hi space don't work i was wondering if you knew what
could be wrong with the player
If the discs play well on other MD (not the MZR37 in question) I do not find any logical
explanation to your problem. I would say again that if the discs are from good quality so as
not to put extra work on the laser unit they should playback well, and if they are not they will
cause problems from the kind you describe.
I need some assistance on how I can troubleshoot my Sony MZR55.
I dropped it this morning and now it is not reading/playing 5 selections from my midiscs
It just stops playing and the unit is making a sound that sounds like the lens doesn't move
forward. It sounds like it is stocked there.
Is there anyway I can troubleshoot myself?
Please let me know as it is very frustrating for me because my MD player is only 8 months
I'm sorry for you. I'm afraid you'll have to take your MZR55 to a repairing shop. It is
possible that the damage is not so big. If you are not experienced with fixing MD's and you
will try to fix it by yourself with or without my help by email, can make things worst. Please
inform me about your MD situation when it will be fixed.
Question (part 2)
Thanks for the quick reply.
This is another problem because I am in Jakarta where Minidisc is not
popular at all.
I don't even know if a repair shop here can helpor understands how an MD
Have no choice but to bring it to a repair shop. Hoping they can fox the
problem. Sony repair here takes forever to do the job (6 months approx)
However, I'll inform you on the developments. I may have to ask you on what
model to buy next to MZR55 if the situation gets worse. I hope not. I use my
MD a lot as a musician.
If you want, I'm ready to repair it for you. It will take much less then 6 months and I think
that the price including shipping will be cheaper then with Sony.
Dear Mr. Popovits
Hello, I have read your article on fixing MDs in
minidisc.org and I am very impressed. Nonetheless, I
own a Sony MZ-E55 (the playback model, not the R55)
and I have found that it is dead. No signs of life,
with either the rechargeable battery/AA Battery or
both. I wanted to service it myself because warranty
has expired which means taking it for service would be
costly. I have fixed a MZ-R50 before by disassembling
it and solder door switches. Therefore I think I might
be qualified enough to handle the job. Do you have any
clue of what might be wrong? I would appreciate any
advice/comments from you.
Before helping you please let me know if you tried it with its power supply. In addition please
inform me what kind of power supply do you have for it (220/110/100 tourist model or else,)
Do you have a digital multitester, fine tip soldering iron and other hand tools. Bye the way if
you are lucky it is the door switch the experience you have with the R50 can help you here as
Question (part 2)
Dear Mr. Popovits
Hello, I just just taken apart my MZ-E55 again today
and saw that the door switch is still intact, I can
still press it with a screwdriver. But again, no signs
of life. I also tried it by connecting it with a 1.5V
adapter directly to the unit but it's still dead. I
think the problem might be in the boards. Ater I
insert a rechargeable battery to the unit for the
while, the battery is slightly warm. Any clue of might
be going on? Again, any advice from an expert like you
is greatly appreciated.
Hope to hear from you soon
A hot bat. means short circuit on the board. It can be any component in the power circuit, i.e.
a transistor. electrolytic capacitor, a regulator IC etc. To locate it and replace you need
special gear, service manual... To conclude it would be better to take it to an expert.
in you letter, you mensioned the psu with 100v-250v. may i know where i can
i find them. do you have a website or any contact information. i just would
like to get one. thank you.
Hi Chee Pung
We produce them in our factory in Israel. If you are interested, let me know.
I just read your write-up. Thank you very much for writing it; it was
extremely informative. I just wanted to ask you a couple of quick questions
if you have the time.
First, I was wondering which MD recorder you see as being the most
reliable/rugged. I have never owned one but I want to get one. The
durability of MD's concerns me though.
And I was wondering where one can get the universal AC adapter maetioned in
Thank you very much for your time.
I think that the best MD is the MZ-R50. If you cannot get it try the MZ-R37. If you want a
small and nice machine choose SHARP 831.
The universal power supply is produced by us in Israel. We can export it.
Hi David, thanks for your interesting article. Can you sell me your PSU and
send it to New Zealand? I have a Sharp MS 722 I imported from the US.
We have 240V AC and I am using a 220V to 110V AC step down transformer
connected to Sharp's 120V AC PSU supplied with the unit.
Sounds bad, I admit, but I have only charged up the Lilon battery a few
times and haven't damaged it yet (as far as I can tell). Is this taking a
Mostly I just use rechargeable 1.5V alkalines in the clip-on case. I also
have a 5V power pack with my Zip drive, which is 240V but puts out 1000 mA
rather than 800 from the Sharp. Do you think I could safely use this?
Thanks for your help if you have time to reply.
Today I fixed a SHARP 722 and a SHARP 831, both broken because of a stepdown
transformer 220/110 connected to a 110 type power supply. I'm glad yours is still alive.
As for your nice question regarding ZIP 5V power supply. The problem is not the 1000mA
instead of 800mA, on the contrary it is even better. The problem is the type of regulation
used inside the ZIP power supply. I tested it carefully last year and found out that it is noisy in
sense of introducing some sort of um in the audio signal. It is indeed a good PSU for digital
equipment but can cause problems with audio equipment such as a mini disc.
The price of our power supply is USD49 + p.&p. It has 12 months guarantee.