Kenwood Recorders

Kenwood DMC-S9NET

Sharp IM-DR80
Sharp IM-DR580
Kenwood DMC-S9NET
portable NetMD recorder with dock
Intro: 9/2003
est. ¥37,000
Body: In: mic. Out: headphones. Docking Station: In: line/optical, Out: line, speaker. Data USB. DC IN: 1.2V, 1.5V80.1w x 16.6h x 72.6d mm, 95g (120g w/batt)

Features: Prototype shown at IFA Berlin 2003.

  • High(er) speed NetMD downloading: SP: 4X, LP2: 25X, LP4: 50X
  • Small docking station with LCD, power, line in/out, optical in and USB connections (no LCD on MD unit).
  • Auto (microphone recording) and manual analog recording level control. Digital recording level control.
  • Group mode support.
  • Timer alarm (avoid missing your train stop).
  • CD synchro recording.
  • Character-stamp (copy track titles from original to copied MD).
  • One-bit digital amp with 4 pole headphone connector.
  • Backlit Kanji-capable LCD remote.
  • Available in silver, black, and red.

Variants: Unit is dubbed IM-DR80 in Japan and IM-DR580 in Europe. Kenwood sells the unit as the DMC-S9NET.


Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW+8mW @ 32ohms, line: 125mV @ 10k ohms

Accessories: Backlit LCD remote, headphones, NiMH battery and case, multi-voltage (100V-240V) AC adapter, "Multi-link station" (docking stand), external AA cell case, carrying pouch, USB cable, manuals, BeatJam software CD and manuals

Optional Accessories: HP-MD33 headphones (9mm diameter, in-the-ear type, 3 silicon gum earpiece sizes (S, M, L), ¥3800), HP-MD90 headphones (16mm diameter, adjustable angle, aluminum, over-the-ear type, ¥3300)


User Manuals: IM-DR80, IM-DR580

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH27/36/42 hr8/12/15 hrfull: 5.5 hr, 90%: 3.5 hr
Alkaline AA x 148/67/75 hr8/15/20.5 hr
Both80/103/122 hr20/30.5/40 hr

Kenwood DMC-M7R

Kenwood DMC-M7R
(Courtesy IGN)
Photo: Youn
Sharp MD-MT77
Sharp MD-MT877
Kenwood DMC-M7R
portable MD recorder
Intro: 11/2000
IN: optical/line, microphone
OUT: line/headphones
78.7D x 71.9W x 16.8H mm, 131g w/batt (Kenwood DMC-M7R: 72.7 x 17.0 x 79.3, 137g)

Features: MDLP capable. Smallest portable MD recorder in the world as of October 2000. Battery "memory effect" is reduced by automatic discharging circuitry in the charge stand. Can interface with a computer via USB connection kit (AD-PCR2), allowing track and title management and automatic label printing of a MiniDisc's contents, as well as an audio connection. "Scan" feature plays the first five seconds of each track. Two-line 12-character LCD display, digital recording level control, X-BASS boost, 40-second shock protection (provides 160 second protection in LP4 mode), hand strap. Microphone-synchronized recording function only records when sound is heard. Mono mode recordings can be played back at 2x speed. Track ``auto-mark'' function can be set to mark a track at regular intervals (3,5,10 minutes?). "Name Stamp" function allows easy copying of character information from one disc to another.

Variants: US (and Euro?) model badged the MD-MT877.



Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output, 20 bit D/A converter, 1.2V NiMH, 1.5V AA, 5V adapter. Disc spins at about 400-1,350 rpm.
(battery times shown show SP/LP2/LP4)

User Manuals: MD-MT77, Update

Service Manual: MD-MT77

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
NiMH12/13.5/15 hr6.5/9/11.5 hr3.5 hr
AA x 116/19.5/22 hr6/10/13 hr
Both29/33/40 hr15/22/30 hr

Kenwood DMC-L7R

Kenwood DMC-L7R
Sharp MD-MT831
Sharp MD-MT832
Kenwood DMC-L7R
Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 8/1999
MSRP ¥46,000/49,000
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: line/headphones. DC IN: 3.3-5.0VDCW 79.4 x H 17.9 x D 81.1mm, 163g (w/rechargeable)

Features: Sharp claims 7 records for the unit:

  1. Smallest and thinnest recorder (as of 7/99), 13% smaller and 14% thinner than previous MD-MT821 model.
  2. Longest playing recorder (employs 7th generation ATRAC chip using .25 micron process that, along with high speed disc drive circuit and mechanism, was designed for low power consumption).
  3. First portable recorder with recharging stand (no audio or control connections via cradle, however unit can record and playback while recharging in stand).
  4. First portable recorder with Kanji display on remote (832's remote shows Kanji, 831's does not, though Kanji remote is available as an option). Remote is backlit and can display 5 Kanji or Hiragana, or 10 Katakana or Roman letters.
  5. First portable recorder with optional PC (AD-PCR1) and Zaurus (AD-ZAR1) link. Via this link, titling (including Kanji input) and editing can be conducted, as well as program play selection, label printing, and MD library management. For label printing, 8 patterns are available, as well as the ability to include digital camera images. Name application can be downloaded from Sharp's home page
  6. First portable recorder with digital recording level control.
  7. First portable recorder with auto fade in and fade out during recording start and finish. Will automatically fade out level as recording encounters end of disc (3 step fade time selector)
40 second shock memory, Sharp ATRAC 6, sampling rate converter, mono 2X playback mode. Mic, line, digital synchro start. 20 bit ADC and DAC. Digital X-Bass boost. Play modes: random, random repeat, 1 repeat, all repeat. Hand strap. Colors: 831: antique silver & deep blue, 832: sunbeam silver.



Entering Service mode: Do be careful! It's pretty similar to most of the other Sharp portables but the battery compartment must be OPEN - i.e. the unit must have NO POWER. 1) Press and hold PLAY, SYNC[Enter] and DISP buttons. 2) THEN drop in the battery and close the compartment (or apply external power - eg turn on the DC power source). Display shows the EEPROM version code, followed by all symbols lighting up, followed by the standard Sharp test menu. My EEPROM version code is 921AcX. -Dave Hooper Gadget Squad reviews the Sharp MD-MT831, with favorable findings.

Specs: Motor speed: 400-1350 rpm, headphone amp: 10mW + 10mW * Headphone volume at 0 during recording and 15 during playback.

User Manual: MD-MT831 courtesy Robert Schwartz

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-T51BT14.5 hr9.5 hr3 hr on AC adapter
4 hr on stand
AA x 111.5 hr4.5 hr
Both26 hr14 hr

Kenwood DMC-K9R

Kenwood DMC-K9R
Sharp MD-MT821
Kenwood DMC-K9R
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 2/1999
MSRP ¥46,000
Init. Mo. Prod: 20,000 units
IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: line/headphone. DC IN: 3.4-5.0VDC82.5 x 20.7 x 77.9mm, 177g w/batt

Features: Through component size reductions, unit has 28% less volume and is 20% thinner than the MS721. Uses same LSI chip set as the MS721/722 (Sharp ATRAC 6). "Top open" (i.e. clamshell, not slot-in) disc insertion. 40 second shock memory. 20bit DAC and ADC. High speed scroll and 3 character display during character selection speeds titling. Triple shuttle backlit LCD remote. Mic and digital synchro start recording. Disk/track "name stamp" function allows titles to be cloned from another disc. 2x high speed playback option on mono recordings. Unit can be operated while recharging. Available in silver, blue and black.

Included accessories: LCD remote, headphone, LiIon cell, AC adapter, connection cord, AA cell case, handstrap, carrying case, instruction manual, warranty card.

Separately available accessories: 100-240VAC adaptor (AD-SS70AP) ¥5000, LiIon cell (AD-T51BT) ¥5500 (from 3/21/99), LCD remote (AD-S31RM) ¥7500, Car power (12/24VDC) adapter (AD-CA20X) ¥5000, Digital sound card (AD-AJ2) ¥25,000.

Mis-features: No date/time stamp during recording.


Tips: Matthew Swift ([email protected]) reports that the Sony AC adapter model AC-E45HG (around $20) will work with the unit, even though it is rated at 4.5V and only 700mA.

Specs: Headphone amp: 10mw+10mw into 16ohms, Line: 250mV (@-12dB) into 10Kohms.


User Manuals: MD-MT821 courtesy Nick Paul, quick guide

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-T51BT11.5 hr8 hr3 hr
AA x 16.5 hr3 hr
Both18 hr11 hr

Kenwood DMC-K7R

Pioneer PMD-R55
Kenwood DMC-K7R
Courtesy Japan-Direct
Sharp MD-MS721
Sharp MD-MS722
Pioneer PMD-R55
Kenwood DMC-K7R
Portable MD Recorder
Intro: 7/1998
MD-MS721: MSRP ¥46,000
Street ¥37,000
MD-MS722: ¥49,000
IN: line/optical, mic, DC 3.4~5.0v, OUT: headphone/line87 x 25.9 x 81.5mm, 216g, w/batt


  • 40 second shock memory, Sharp ATRAC 6.
  • .25 um process LSI includes digitized RF section, signal encoder/decoder, digital servo EFM processing and ATRAC compression and decompression on a single chip.
  • 20bit ADC and DAC.
  • Backlit remote (MS721 remote features 3 small jog rings for controlling track selection, X-bass and volume. MS722 remote includes watch/alarm clock functions and features 2 small jog rings for controlling track selection and volume).
  • MS722 features large jog dial on front face of unit for titling and control.
  • MS721 features diecast aluminum construction

Mis-features: No date/time stamp during recording.

Tips: The skip-track fwd/bkwd buttons on the remote are used to increase or decrease the recording level (values 0-30). It mirrors the functionality of the base unit. -Arne Bier


Specs: Input levels: Mic H: 0.25mV, 10Kohms, Mic L: 2.5mV, 10KOhms, Line: 100mV, 20Kohms. Headphone: 10mW+10mW, 16Ohms. Line: 300mV (@ -12dB), 10Kohms.


User Manuals: MD-MS721, quick guide, short

Service Manual: MD-MS721

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-S31BT (3.6V 800mAh)10 hr8 hr3 hr
AA x 16 hr3 hr
Both16 hr11 hr

Kenwood DMC-J7R

Pioneer PMD-R3
Photo: Boyde
Kenwood DMC-J7R
Sharp MD-MS701
Sharp MD-MS702
Pioneer PMD-R3
Kenwood DMC-J7R
Portable MD recorders,
Intro: 9/1997
MSRP ¥47,000/ 48,000, street: ¥39,800
IN: optical/line, mic. OUT: headphone, DC in: 3.6V (LiIon) 3V (2AA), 4.5V (car), 5V (AC)87x29.4x81.5, pocket weight: MS701: 216g, MS702: 219g

Features: First recorder with an ``MD Jacket'' (i.e. square front face) design. Sharp ATRAC 5. 10 second shock memory. New 1 chip LSI incorporating the [digitalized] RF section, signal processing encoder/decoder, digital servo, EFM processing and audio compression/decompression circuitry. MS702 is ``sporty look'' model. Sampling rate converter. Digital/Line/Mic synchro start, goes into pause after 3 seconds silence. Mono recording. 2X quick playback mode. Time automarking at 3, 5 and 10 minute intervals. ``Moji Stamp'' function allows text transfer from original to newly recorded disc. Manual recording level control only (no AGC), microphone sensitivity selection is built-in, as part of the recording level control setting (0-20: HIGH, 21-30: LOW). Katakana/ Alphanumeric/ Symbol titling. Random, all repeat, 1 repeat play modes.

Included Accessories: Backlit LCD remote, headphones, LiIon rechargeable, AC adapter, AA case, carrying case.

Mis-features: No date/time stamp during recording. Be aware that when recording from the mic input and you adjust the recording level, a small 'glitch' (a few millisecs silence) will be recorded where the level drops from MIC 'H' to MIC 'L' (position 20 on the 0 - 30 level scale). -Graham Baker

TOC Undo: TOC Undo with the Kenwood DMC-J7R is very simple: Remove the battery/unplug the power supply without turning the unit off. When powered up again, it forgets that there are unwritten TOC changes. -Stefan Werner

Problems: There have been reports on MD-L of Sharp MD-MS701/702 units malfunctioning, displaying intermittent "UTOC Error" messages with damaged/irrecoverable recordings as a result. A user ([email protected]) advises:

  1. It is important not to do an auto calibration in service mode without a "tdys1" (sony) testing MD or equivalent (Teac). This will definetly cause more problems!
  2. Unit should be returned immediately when the first UTOC errors appear, it is a bad sign! It makes no sense to wait until the warranty has expired.
Sharp later introduced the 702MK model to address the UTOC problem. Failure rates for this newer version are reported by to be about the same as they have seen for other modern MD recorders (1-2%).

Accessories: Sharp seems to have sold the MD-MS702 outside of Japan without the external AA cell case. It's available though from Planet Minidisc and Minidisco.


Specs: 20-20kHz +/-3dB, wow & flutter <.001% peak. Output: Line: 300mV (-12dB) (50Kohms). Headphones: 10mW+10mW (32ohms). Input: Mic H: 0.25mV 10kOhms. Mic L: 2.5mV 10kOhms. Line: 100mV 20kOhms.


User Manuals: MD-MS701, HTML

Service Manual: MD-MS701

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-S31BT (3.6V 800mAh)5 hr3.5 hr2.5 hr
AA x 28 hr4 hr
Both13 hr7.5 hr

Kenwood DMC-G7R

Sharp MD-MS200
Denon DMP-R70
Kenwood DMC-G7R
Pioneer PMD-R2
portable recorder
Intro: 1/1997
msrp:¥48,000, street: ¥32,800
IN: line/optical, mic (w/plug in power). out: common jack for headphone (10mW+10mW @16ohm) / line (50Kohm)109.2 X 29.8 X 81.3 mm, 275g (incl. rechargeable)

Features: Sharp ATRAC 4. Slot in design. Digital and Mic Synchro start recording (has Hi/Lo selector for mic synchro start threshold), Double speed playback, Time Auto Mark function (track mark at 3, 5 or 10 min. interval), Auto time stamping, Sample rate converter, Stereo/mono recording. Autoplay on disc insertion. With car adapter, resumes from start of song when car is started. Manually adjustable gain level can be changed during recording. Up to 100 characters per track and disc title may be entered, totaling up to 1700 characters per disc. Defeatable beep (hold bass boost button). "Moji Stamp" feature copies title and song names of one MD onto another, as follows: after dubbing MD->MD (analog, or digitally if permitted), original disc is placed in the MS200 to read and store the name data, duplicated disc is subsequently inserted and the stored names written to it from the MS200's memory. Industry's longest continuous recording time, on rechargeable (AD-MS10BT) (as of intro date). Ext power: AC adapter:5.0v, Dry cell case: 6.0v, Car adapter: 4.5v. The MS200 comes with one lithium ion battery and a LCD-less remote control (AD-MS20RM). Dry Cell case (AD-MS10BC) and LCD remote control sold separately (both AD-ST60RM and AD-SS70RM can be used). Pioneer and Kenwood models come with LCD remote that includes a ``play mode'' button setting Random, Repeat and Repeat 1.

Little known modes: P-save mode, stores less music in the shock-proof memory. To toggle it on/off, hold the ``Display'' button for 2 seconds when the unit is stopped. A-play mode, automatically goes into play mode when a disc is inserted. Hold the ``Mode/Ins'' button for 2 seconds when the unit is stopped.

Note: No AGC (automatic gain control) recording. The battery life is 9.5h (PB) when "auto Power Save" mode is ON. In this mode, the memory saves only 5 sec of data. If you turn OFF this "auto Power Save" mode, the memory saves 10 sec of data (which is the ordinary amount for other portables), and the battery life gets 20% shorter (==7.6h), according to the manual.

Mis-features: No "remaining track time" display.

Problems: Japanese domestic units have trouble charging on North American 120VAC house current.

Parts: Unit's DAC chip reported to be made by AKM semiconductor.

Links: Sharp's comprehensive summary page. A scan of all its surfaces. Conrad Sanderson's Sharp MS200 pages (and a subpage). The German Stereo magazine and a user compare the MZ-R30 and the Sharp MD-MS200. Emanuel Borsboom has a table comparing the Sony MZ-R30 and Sharp MD-MS200. Steven Smith has done a little bench testing of the unit. MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit.


User Manual: MD-MS200

Service Manual: MD-MS200

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
LiIon AD-MS10BT9.5 hr7 hr3 hr
AA x 6
Both35 hr25 hr

Kenwood DMC-F5R

Denon DMP-R50
Sharp MD-MS100
Pioneer PMD-R1
Denon DMP-R50
Kenwood DMC-F5R
portable recorder
Intro: 12/1995
msrp: ¥49,000
in: optical/line, mic. out: hdphn.109.2 x 30.5 x 81.3 mm, 275g w/batt.

Features: Sharp ATRAC 3. "slot-in" (non-clamshell) disc insert/eject [easier to manage when you're on the go], stereo/mono recording, track move/ divide/ combine/ erase, random play, sound-synchro recording [starts recording when audio appears on the input, automatically truncates between track silence exceeding 4 seconds], auto marker, remote on headphone cord (volume, track select/position, stop/ pause/ play, bass boost), katakana/roman alphabet input/display. Line out uses the headphone connector. Unit available in black or silver. Comes with: headphones, remote control, lithium ion rechargeable battery, AC adapter, analog line cord, carrying case. Playback time 4.5 hours, recording 3.5. Recording time about 12 hours with separately available battery case (AD-MS10BC)

Comparison: with Sony MZ-R3 (showing features unique to each): Sharp MD-MS100 Defeatable beep sound. Ability to change recording level whilst recording. Standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Loud!! Uses 5V adapter. Combined headphone/line-out jack (though output impedance is adjusted to match the load). Calibrated level meter in dB. Suppl. acessories: headphones, rechargeable Lithium battery, power adapter, analog cable, carrying bag, remote control. Sony MZ-R3 Date/time stamps on recordings. Automatic gain control. Uses 4.5V adapter. Separate outputs for headphone and line-out. Suppl. acessories: headphones, power adapter, analog cable, carrying bag, remote control.

Problems: Japanese domestic units have trouble charging on North American 120VAC house current.

Links: Sharp press release. Sharp Japan Spec sheet (in English). Sharp Japan page for this unit, including a cute animation of the "Slot-in" design.


Kenwood DMC-E7R

Sharp MD-M25
Denon DMP-R30
Kenwood DMC-E7R
portable recorder
Intro: 9/1995
msrp: $600(sharp)
in: optical/line, mic. out: optical, hdphn/line. ext. pwr: 4.5V84x26.8x106mm, 265g w/bat.

Features: Sharp ATRAC 2. Track/disc titling. Track delete move, join, divide. Sampling rate converter, st/mono recording. 1 bit AD and DA. Defeatable beep (hold bass boost button). Nearly identical in features to the Sharp MD-M20 (the MD-M20 kit included the AD-M20BC 6AA cell case as standard). Accessories: AD-M20BC 6AA cell case, AD-M20CK car mount kit (¥13,000, includes base mounting unit, car power cord, cassette adapter, 2 velcro strips. Mounts on center console). Battery: AD-M20BT Lithium Ion rechargeable (¥5000).

Links: User's review and comparison with MZ-R3.

Specs: Headphone jack supplies 10mW+10mW into 16ohm load, or 275mV line level (@-12dB) into 50kohm load.


User Manual: MD-M25

Battery LifePlayRecord
LiIon AD-M20BT3.5 hr2.5 hr
AA x 6
Both16 hr12 hr

Kenwood DMC-A7R

Kenwood DMC-A7R
Sharp MD-M11
Kenwood DMC-A7R
Portable MD recorder
Intro: 1/1994
MSRP ¥45,000
in: optical/line, mic. out: optical/line, headphone. DC in: 4.5v84x29.8x106mm, 300g w/batt.

Features: First Sharp recorder. Sharp ATRAC 1. Full editing and titling functions. 10 second shock memory. Rechargeable 3.6V Li-Ion cell, recharge time 1.5 hours. Battery life: continuous playback: 2.5 hr, continuous record (monitor volume at zero): 2 hours. No AGC (manual recording level only). Backup battery pack (4 1/2 x 2 7/8 x 3/4 inches) holds 6 AA batteries, pack snaps onto the back of the unit. 50-level recording meter.

Quick-Charge Trick: Purchase a Recoton DC adaptor with voltage selector ranging from 3V to 12V from Sears, and set it to 7.5 volts. The unit will now charge in 20-30 minutes with no damage done. I've been doing this for months and battery life has not suffered at all. -misfit809

Links: A user has several photos of the Kenwood DMC-A7R clone.

Specs: Headphone amp: 8mW + 8mW, 0.2% THD. Freq resp.: 20-20kHz +/-3dB. 1 bit A/D and D/A. 4.5 DC input.


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