Sony Professional

Sony MDS-E12

Sony MDS-E12rack-mount pro MD Deck
Intro: 10/2000
OUT: XLR, SPDIF coax, phones
482 x 44 x 290mm, 3.5kg

Features: Nearly identical feature set to MDS-E10, but adds: parallel and serial (RS232) remote interface, relay-play/relay-record (record/playback that can continue on an additional MDS-E12), unique "Auto Calender" function that appends current date and time to the track name, and analog XLR I/O. E10 has optical I/O, which E12 lacks. 1U package size. ATRAC Type-R, MDLP capable, VARISPEED function (+/-12.5%), PS/2 keyboard connector, "Hot Start" can be set for up to 10 tracks, SPDIF digital I/O has digital record level trim & Scale Factor edit, balanced analogue XLR I/O (+4 / -10dBu switchable), improved editing functions with RAM EDIT (allows editing in-memory copy of MD-TOC without updating disc, useful for working with pre-recorded and write-protected discs) and A-B ERASE, "Auto Cue / Auto Pause" (with front panel control), RS-232 & Parallel remote control (with fader start), next track reserve & end of track (EOT) warning, real time clock, multifunction display. Includes remote control RM-DR1J and rack-mounting metal fittings.

Links: Sony's official Japanese page for the MDS-E12, on the page are links to feature and spec comparison charts. Total Audio Solutions (UK) has detailed specs on the MDS-E12. A Sony flyer has short descriptions for several MD units, including the MDS-E12.

Specs: 120/230VAC 50/60Hz, 18W. Dynamic range: digital 100dB, analog 98dB. S/N ratio: digital 100dB, analog 98dB.


User Manual: MDS-E12

Sony MDS-E58

Sony MDS-E58Rack mount Pro MD Deck
Intro: 1
MSRP $490
IN: line, optical, coax. OUT: line, optical, coax, headphone.482x91x285mm, 4kg

Features: Pro version of MDS-JE520 with more rugged MD transport. RM-D5ME wired/wireless remote. Automatic pause function. Wired/wireless remote control options.

Specs: Freq. Resp.: 5-20kHz +/-0.5dB, SNR: >92dB. Headphone amp: 10mW


User Manual: MDS-E58

Sony MDS-E52

Sony MDS-E52Pro use MD Deck
Intro: 1
1,200 DM
IN: line (unbal. 2xRCA/phono + bal. 2xXLR), optical SPDIF, coaxial SPDIF. OUT: (unbal. RCA/phono + bal. XLR)., optical SPDIF, coaxial SPDIF, 1/4" stereo headphones. Serial: RS-232C, Control-S (for wired remote).2U standard 19" rack-mountable

Features: The MDS-E52 supercedes the MDS-E55. XLR output level is switchable between -10dBu & +4dBu nominal level. PC control - RS-232C serial port makes the MDS-E52 controllable from a personal computer or radio automation system. IR Remote control (Wired remote also available). Auto pause. Recording functions including CD Sync, Music Sync and Time-machine recording

Links: Sony UK dealer Total Audio's MDS-E11 page has free RS-232 control software for the MDS-E52 that allows track titling, playlists, remote control, etc.

Specs: Frequency Response: 5 - 20,000 Hz *0.3 dB; Dynamic Range: Digital, 97 dB / analog, 92 dB; S/N Ratio: Digital, 96 dB / analog, 92 dB;


User Manual: MDS-E52


Sony MDS-DRE1Pro/DJ use MD recorder
Intro: 1
MSRP $1200
in: line, optical, coax, footswitch (mono jack x 2: rec/pause, play/pause). out: line, headphones (28mW)300 x 121 x 356mm, 4.1kg

Features: "Backtrack" recording feature allows unit to play an MD track and record a new (separate) track simultaneously. If the machine's output is run through a mixer, new material can be mixed with existing material and recorded.
From the Sony announcement: "The BackTracking feature effectively makes the unit two machines in one. In conjunction with the MDS-DRE1's digital I/Os, BackTracking allows the DJ to record and synchronize tracks on the fly from any source, while a song is being played. These sources can be mixed (with an external DJ mixer) along with material on the same disc. This provides the DJ the flexibility to create customized mixes and audio transitions in real time. Additional planned features of the ergonomically designed, portable, tabletop unit include seamless looping; turntable-style scrubbing and trick play; digital archiving; digital disc and random access capability; "hot start" buttons, allowing up to eight tracks to be assigned simultaneously for continuous instantaneous play; slider faders to control pitch and tempo; and full song-based editing function (1/86 sec accurate) including the capability to divide, combine, move, erase or copy a track."
Unit features independent speed and pitch controls (+/- 12% each).

Optional accessories: Footswitch (FS-A8).

Problems: A user reports: Only one small problem is evident in the unit and it relates to changing speed of playback. Whenever you do, relatively large amounts of 'wow and flutter' develop. It sounds like a reverb and delay has been put on the sound. I suspect, after speaking with SONY, that a software upgrade will hopefully be available soon to correct this problem plus any other 'bugs' in the unit. -Jeremy Koch ([email protected]) Followup: Jeremy reports that Sony Japan (via Sony Australia) has acknowleged that there is a fault with the units due to the processing chips they have used. There is no fix for the problem and it will be rectified in the next model (if there is another model).

Links: Harmony Central's page for the unit. A Sony (UK) sales person for this unit can be contacted at [email protected]. Sony's announcement for the unit. A Studio Sound article on the Sony MDS-DRE1. Kim S. Andreasen provides an interesting review of Sony's MDS-DRE1, discussing its application to square-dance calling.

Specs: Freq. resp.: 5-20kHz +/- 0.5dB, SNR: >96dB (playback)


User Manual: MDS-DRE1

Service Manual: MDS-DRE1

Sony SRP-MD1

Sony SRP-MD1Rack Mount Pro MD Deck
Intro: 1

IN: optical, line. OUT: optical, line, headphones. Parallel and Serial (Control S) control ports

Features: Prototype version of MDS-E55, shown at Frankfurt audio fair, never existed on the market.

Links: Sony's preliminary info for the unit.


Sony MDS-B5/B6P

Sony MDS-B5
Sony MDS-B6P
Professional MiniDisc Recorder/Player
Intro: 8/1997
MSRP: US$3700, Street: US$2950
Digital i/o: AES/EBU + SPDIF coax. Analog i/o: AES (balanced) + RCA phono, headphone out. Computer i/o: serial rs232 D-sub 9, parallel D-sub 26. ATRAC direct duplication link: (in/out) D-sub 25.212 x 139 x 375mm, 5kg


  • Dual ATRAC chips (IC CXD2536CR: ATRAC 3.5 -- Pre-MDLP) [See p. 51 of service manual]
  • Two units cabled together can perform high speed (4X) disc cloning, including both audio and text, with no ATRAC generation loss.
  • Large RAM buffer offers up to 10 selectable instant start tracks, triggerable from PC keyboard, GPI or via RS-232C interface.
  • Front panel PC keyboard interface with 2 keyboard overlays included with machine.
  • Playlist can be stored on disc.
  • Front panel access to AUTO PAUSE and AUTO CUE.
  • Easy editing includes adjustable rehearsal mode, head and end trim features.
  • EOM (End of Message) function can be set to occur between 1 and 35 seconds before the end of a track.
  • 19-inch rack mountable; up to two units can be mounted side by side in a 19-inch standard rack.
  • Hours meter for maintenance scheduling.
  • Quick Recording Capability - quickly searches to a point on the disc where no audio signal is recorded, and begins recording.
  • Supplied remote controller enables user to enter data such as track titles onto a disc.
  • Provides quick editing capability by either rewriting the TOC (Table of Contents) area of the disc or editing in RAM.
  • +/-12% variable playback speed control.
  • A pro-use machine fully controllable through an RS-232 interface.



User Manuals: MDS-B5, MDS-B6P

Service Manuals: MDS-B5, MDS-B6P

Sony MDS-E10

Sony MDS-E10professional rack-mount MD deck
Intro: 2
IN: analog, SPDIF and optical digital
OUT: headphones, analog, SPDIF coax and optical digital
482 (W) x 44 (H) x 290 (D) mm, 3.3 kg

Features: Rack-mountable MD recorder. Fits into one rack slot. MDLP support, 10 programmable Hot Starts, auto cue, auto pause, variable speed ( 12.5% ), PC keyboard input, wired remote, digital record level trim, multifunction display, editing functions including RAM EDIT (allows editing in-memory copy of MD-TOC without updating disc, useful for working with pre-recorded and write-protected discs) and A-B ERASE.

Links: Sony's Japanese page for the unit, on the page are links to spec comparison tables. Minidisco has a page outlining the specs of the Sony MDS-E10. User submitted scan of a product brief for the MDS-E10, E12, and MZ-B50.

Specs: Frequency Response: 5 - 20,000 Hz, Dynamic Range: Digital -100 dB Analog- 98 dB, S/N Ratio: Digital -100 dB Analog- 98 dB, Wow and Flutter: Below Measurable Limit, Power Requirement: 120 VAC.


User Manual: MDS-E10

Sony MDS-E11

Sony MDS-E11Rack mount Pro MD Deck
Intro: 2
MSRP $750
IN: line (unbalanced RCA + balanced AES), coax. OUT: line (unbalanced RCA + balanced AES), coax, headphone.482x44x376mm, 5.1kg

Features: When coupled with other E11 units can perform relay-play and relay-record. 9 Pin parallel interface allows external control (see pp 31-33 of manual, below). RS232C control port also present (but control codes not present in manual). RM-D5ME wired/wireless remote.


  • Sony UK dealer Total Audio's MDS-E11 page has free RS-232 control software for the MDS-E11 that allows track titling, playlists, remote control, etc.
  • Sony MDS-E11 pro decks are used in HDNet's mobile studios (HDNet is the USA's first all-HDTV network, broadcasting on DirectTV channel 199).


Specs: Freq. Resp.: 5-20kHz +/-0.5dB, SNR: >92dB. Headphone amp: 10mW

User Manuals: MDS-E11, RS232 protocol

Sony MDS-E55

Sony MDS-E55Pro use MD Deck
Intro: 2
482 x 91 x 286mm, 3.5Kg

Features: [Now superceded by the MDS-E52]

Rack mountable. Wide bit stream (20 bit) recording. Sampling rate converter. Auto pause mode (plays a track and goes into pause at head of next track). Mono, music sync, and time machine recording. Equipped with parallel input for remote, Control-S input for wired remote.

Links: Sony's Japanese page for the unit.


Sony MDS-B3/B4P

Sony MDS-B3
Sony MDS-B4P
Industrial use record/play & play only units
Intro: 1
msrp $3500/$2500
data: 9 pin rs232c, 25 pin for remote kbd, in (B3 only): xlr-3-31, line?, coax. out: xlr-3-32, line?, coax, hdphn.142x132x375mm

Features: memory start, auto queue. next play indicator. most functions available via ascii i/f but not track titling. keyboard like controller device.

Links: Sony Page info (translated). The Broadcast Company has more information on the B3 and B4P and sells the units as well.


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