Sony MZ-B3

left_arrow.gifNewer   Olderright_arrow.gif

All, notes, Qualia-017, MZ-NF520, N920, N420D, NE810, NF610, NF810, N910, N710, NE410, N510, B10, R410, N10, R910, G755, R701, S1, N707, N505, R501, N1, B100, R909, R500, R700, G750, B50, R900, R70, R90/R91, R37, R55, R35, R5ST, R50, R30, R4ST, B3, R3, R2, 1, MD-Mockup

Sony MZ-B3portable recorder
Intro: 8/1995
msrp: ¥69,000
in: mic, remote control (mini mini-jack), no digital or line-level input!. out: hdphn. pwr: 4.5V135.3x30x80.5mm 305g (405g including remote, 3 alkaline cells)

Features: ATRAC 3. Built in microphone and speaker. Stereo and mono recording. Voice activated recording (switch selectable) makes use of memory to avoid clipping the beginning of the recording. High speed playback at 1.6x and 2.2x. "Position pointer" shows relative disc position of current record/playback point. Power: 3 Alkaline AA cells. LIP-12 LiIon rechargeable can be used, but not charged with this unit, a separately available charger (ACP-MZ60A) is required. Foot control unit (FS85B3) separately available that has start/pause/forw/rev/stop functions (can be ordered from Tri-tronics for $100 retail). Two track mark types: While recording a discussion you can add regular track marks as well as special track marks (but only with the remote). To add a special track mark, press TRACK Mark twice within one second. To find special track marks while playing, hold the VOR on/off button down and press FF or REW slightly. The special track mark indication TT appears following the track number. Each time you press FF/REW you can find the next/previous special track mark. Discs can have up to 254 track marks in total of the two kinds.

Components: ATRAC IC: CXD-2536R, EFM/ADIP/Servo IC: CXD-2535BR, RF amp: CXA-1981AR

Differences from MZ-R3: MZ-B3: mechanical (rotating) volume control, no remote, no line output, no line or digital input, no AVLS, no digital bass boost, no beep, AGC recording only (no manual REC level), no auto-track mark, no titling input. MZ-B3 has built-in mono mic (plus jack for external stereo mic).


  • No song or disc title input.
  • Cannot change track order, only track delete and entire disc delete editing functions available (similar functions to MZ-R2).
  • Some users have reported that the voice activated recording does not work so well in practice.
  • No line input or output terminals, however manual states that line level inputs can be recorded through the microphone input jack. Clay Schnieder comments: The surprising part of using the mic jack for line level input on the MZ-B3 is that it actually works (I have done this with my unit). It functions like a very wide range auto-level control. It apparently senses the line level and adjusts to it. Pretty impressive, as it is also a plug-in power mic connection!

Links: Sony Page info (translated) Sony US page info. Frank Beacham discusses the use of the MZ-B3 portable for radio journalism. Digital Dictate sells the Sony MZ-B3 recorder as part of their speech recognition package.


User Manual: MZ-B3

Service Manual: MZ-B3

Return to the
MiniDisc Equipment Browser
MiniDisc Accessories Browser or
MiniDisc Community Page.