Sony MDS-JE520/S39

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Sony MDS-JE520
Sony MDS-S39
MD Deck
Intro: 9/1998
MSRP $360
in: US: optical x 2, Europe: opti cal & coax, line. out: optical, line, headphone430 x 95 x 280, 3.5kg (S39: 280 x 90 x 287mm, 2.8kg)

Features: ATRAC 4.5 (IC: CXD2654R), digital recording level control (with fade in and fade out), 6 second time machine recording. Hybrid pulse DAC, 20 bit delta-sigma ADC. Two-line text display on front panel provides increased track and title information over previous Sony decks. Larger level meters than previous JE5x0 units. 15 element music calendar (vs. 25 in previous JE5x0 units). Editing can be performed from the remote (not possible with previous JE5x0 units). User settable LEVEL SYNC threshold (i.e. silence threshold for track-marking). TOC Cloning possible. Remote: RM-D15M. MDS-S39 version (mini-compo variant) can be controlled with a GUI interface from a PC or Mac with the PCLK-MD1 connection kit and software (¥15,000). Unit does not spin the disc in record-pause mode (as the JE500 and JE510 do).

Components: MD mechanism type: MDM-5A, Optical pickup type: KMS-260A/J1N

Notes: The JE520 has several built-in odometers (total play hours, total recording hours, total errors, etc.), see page 3 of the service manual.

Links: A Sony press release announces this unit. Sound on Sound has a review of the Sony MDS-JE520 from a pro-audio perspective. MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit.

Specs: Freq. Resp: 5-20kHz +/-3dB, S/N >96dB, Line in impedence: > 47k Ohm, Line out level: 2Vrms/50k Ohm, Headphone: 100mW/320 Ohm max.

Minor Glitch: If you play-pause unit and edit track name, character '!' selects A point for A-B repeat mode. This only occurs in play-pause mode (very minor problem).


  1. While in the mode for setting the Rec Level ( any input kind ) one can press and hold the "yes" button while turning the JOG wheel to inc./dec. by 1 dB instead of 0,1 dB.
  2. Playing a track one can press the letter "D" button on the remote control to se if there is any time and date stamp on the track.

Comparison: The JE520 and JB920 both have: digital record level control, 2 optical digital inputs (1 optical digital output), timer standby recording, advanced timeshift recording (6 second time machine), 20-bit A-to-D Converter (520 = hybrid pulse, 920 = current pulse), off-center insulator feet. The JB920 alone has: pitch control, coaxial digital input and output, date/time stamp, anti-resonant aluminum front panel, R-core power transformer, S-Link interface to Sony A/V equipment: CD Text and Custom File transfer, Rec-It ("the amazing remote control convenience that enables one-button recording of whatever CD track is currently playing"). -Gary Milliken


User Manuals: MDS-S39, MDS-JE520

Service Manuals: MDS-JE520, MDS-S39, MDS-JE520

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