MiniDisc Professional and Industrial use Product Table

Denon DN-M991RMD Cart Player
Intro: 1

Digital output: AES/EBU or SPDIF
Digital input: AES/EBU, IEC-958 (Type I), IEC-958 (Type II) or SPDIF
PC Keyboard input
144 (W) x 133 (H) x 427 (D) mm (without feet), 5.8 kg

Features: Cue to music/instant start, End Monitor, Fader Start, Playback Speed Control (~8.0%, 0.1% step), Shock-proof playback, Program Play (Max. 25 tracks), Using Cue Signals to make searches (Up to 5 points per track), Hot Start (10 tracks per disc) Hot start operation is possible using parallel remote, serial remote or PC keyboard,

Links: Denon's page for this unit. Denon's PDF unit profile for this unit. Harmony Central has release information for this unit.

Specs: Control Terminals: Parallel Remote (D-Sub 25 pin), Serial Remote RS-232C/422A (D-Sub 9 pin), PC Keyboard (IBM-PC Compatible Mini Din, PS/2)


User Manuals: DN-M991R, supplemental instruction sheet

Denon DN-80RProfessional Portable MiniDisc Recorder
Intro: 11/1996
Data: Rs-232C. Analog in: Mic/Line on XLR. Analog out: unbalanced line. Digital in: AES/EBU, coax. Digital out: AES/EBU, coax.222 x 85 x 272 mm 3.5kg w/batt, 2.8kg w/o

Features: DN-80R is a portable Mini Disk recorder designed for ENG applications. It can be used in 148 minute mono as well as 74 minute stereo mode. A standard video camera battery NP-23dx will provide up to 148 minutes of operation. Connections include an RS-232C serial port with a switchable baud rate for use with ACD-19 control software. This allows editing from a lap-top PC. Other features: Mic att. 0/-30dB switchable, Monitor speaker, 40 second memory buffer, bomb proof.

Links: ProStudio & Live Audio's capsule review of this unit. Denon's home page for this unit.


Denon DN-1100RProfessional MiniDisc Recorder
Intro: 1
data: 25 pin. analog in: XLR, line (RCA). analog out: XLR, line (RCA). digital in: coax. No digital out!482x88x252mm 5.3Kg

Features: Full featured professional machine. Noteworthy items: Positioning in (pseudo) CD frame units (1/75th sec). Record mode writes Pre-UTOC before recording starts and then overwrites with normal U-TOC at end, enabling recovery of recorded material in case of interruption by power failure. Features 10 Hot Start buttons.

Links: RF Specialties Group's full information page for this unit. Denon's page for this unit.


Denon DN-990R
Denon DN-980F
Professional MiniDisc Recorder/Player
Intro: 1
data: RS-232C (9-pin) serial port and D-Sub 25 pin. Analog in: XLR, line (RCA). Analog out: XLR, line (RCA). Digital in: AES/EBU. Digital out: AES/EBU144x132x400mm

Features: Full featured professional machine. Defeatable SCMS. Noteworthy items: One track can be stored onto the MD that will be cued up automatically when loaded. Up to 30 track numbers can be stored onto the MD that will not be played back. End trim, removes unrecorded area at end of track. Recording models have backup for power failure during recording. DN-981F has 980F features + Hot Start functions. When Hot Start button is pressed, play will start immediately. If another Hot Start button is pressed while one track is in play, the new track will start immediately. DN-995R has 990R features + External Sync. function. All units can be used with optional PC Control Software ACD-19.

Comments: The I've worked with Sony and Denon professional level MDs. I prefer the Denons because of sound quality, reliability and solid construction. But, for editing the Sonys win with their keypad remote, Denon has no such thing and has no plans for one. I've had no failures with either brand's professional level MD gear, but I prefer running shows from the Denons. -Sten ([email protected])

Links: RF Specialties Group's full information page for this unit. Denon's Accessory Software for this machine. Denon's home page for the 980F, 981F, 990R, and 995R. BE Radio Field Report for the Denon DN995R.


Service Manual: DN-990R

Denon DN-045RProfessional MiniDisc Replicator
Intro: 1
data: 9pin RS-232C/422A482x88x252mm 6.6Kg


  • Direct digital-to-digital dubbing at 3.5 times real time, bypassing ATRAC.
  • Defragmentation can be performed during copying.
  • Windows software provided to allow editing through unit's serial interface.
  • Source and destination drives housed in one cabinet.
  • Recording status display.
  • Overwrite warning.
A few notes from the manual: The DN-045R is provided with serial remote control software (ACD-20). When the DN-045R is connected to a personal computer, the following operations are possible in addition to erasing and copying using the controls on the front panel:
  • Adding recordings to partially recorded discs.
  • Selecting tracks from the master disc and only copying the necessary tracks.
  • Copying the tracks from the master disc in a different order.
  • Recording disc and track names on the slave disc.

Links: RF Specialties Group's full information page for this unit. A ProStudio news article covers this unit also. Denon's page for this unit.


User Manual: DN-045R

Denon DN-995RPro MiniDisc Recorder
Intro: 2

analog in/out (XLR), BNC x 2, headphone jack1/3rd standard rack width

Features: This unit is "built to act and function like a cart machine." Play/Cue capability for instant track play, End Monitor function, frame-by-frame search capability, Eject Lock, large fluorescent display, SCMS enable/disable, cue detect level, software included to operate unit with Windows 3.1.

Links: BE Radio has an extensive field report on this unit.

Specs: Parallel Remote (D-Sub 25 pin), Serial Remote RS-232C/422A (D-Sub 9 pin).


Denon DN-M2300RPro use Dual MD deck
Intro: 2
MSRP $2200
IN: line (unbal) (drive 2), coax (drive 2). OUT: line (unbal), coax (one per drive), headphone (20mW).482 x 88 x 252mm, 6.3Kg

Features: Full range of pro-use features, including multi level undo (up to 2 prior to the current can be undone), pitch control and pitch bend. Deck 1 is play only, deck 2 is rec/play. A disc's program play order can be "remembered" by unit (for up to 3 MDs per drive). Copying between discs is real time (not ATRAC native), but track and disc names are copied too. Mono record capability. 16 bit ADC, 18 bit DAC.

Links: Denon's DJ equipment page that includes a detailed brochure (in PDF format). Harmony Central's page for the unit.

Specs: Freq. resp.: 20-20kHz +/-1dB, SNR: >92dB (playback, A filter), >84dB (recording, A filter), THD: <0.015% (playback, A filter), <0.02% (recording, A filter). Channel separation: >82dBs (playback, A filter), >78dB (recording, A filter)


Denon DN-M2000RStudio MD recorder
Intro: 1
19" 3U chassis

Features: Hot Start allows songs or sound effects to be loaded into memory locations for instant playback at the touch of one of the machine's five front-panel Hot Start buttons. Sound can be loaded into Hot Start from any track location, and loaded tracks may continually be replaced with new tracks. A loop's 'Start Point A' and 'End Point B' may be set without interrupting playback, and the A-B Seamless Loop can be executed during Hot Start playback. The DN-M2000R's Pitch Control slider may be set to offer pitch adjustment up to either +4 or +8 percent of playback speed in 0.1 percent steps.

The DN-M2000R sports a large jog dial and shuttle wheel similar to that found on the Denon's DN-2700F Pro DJ CD player for fast searching and precise cueing. Once a track has been selected, the MD player's Auto Cue function cues it to the point where audio starts, rather than where the track starts. The level at which sound is first detected can be set between -36 and -60 dB (five steps). Playback starts less than 0.01 second after the PLAY button is pressed.

Up to five cue points can be assigned to each track for quick searching, and up to 25 tracks can be sequentially programmed for track-by-track or continuous play. In addition to the traditional Play mode, the DN-C680 also offers Finish mode. Available only when Single Track play is selected, Finish mode can operate in three ways: Stop, which simply stops after finishing a track; Next, which cues up the next track; and Rescue, which re-cues the track that just played.

An EOM (End Of Message) function flashes the PLAY/PAUSE button at the end of a track to provide a visual warning to the operator that the track will end shortly. EOM can be set to one of seven steps within a range of zero and 30 seconds prior to the track's end.

Editing functions provided include Divide (smallest edited unit is one frame, or 11.6 msec), Erase Track/Disk, Combine, Move and Track/Disc Name (up to 255 characters can be used for each name). Text editing is accomplished via the rotary knob.

The DN-M2000R features a thinner profile than the DN-2500F or DN-2000F MKII for trouble-free mounting in slanted rack frames. The AC cable and connectors are all located in a recessed area on the top panel to allow table-top use if desired. Also offered is a headphone jack with volume control for monitoring purposes.

Links: Harmony Central's page for this unit (from whence I shamelessly copied this text [with permission]). Sapphires Sound and Light's page on this unit from London's PLASA '97 show. Denon's Pro Audio page which includes a brochure (in PDF format).


Denon DN-M1050RProfessional MiniDisc Recorder/Player
Intro: 1

digital i/o: AES/EBU + SPDIF coax, analog i/o: AES (balanced) + RCA phono, serial i/o: rs232, parallel.483 X 132 X 297 mm, 6.9kg

Features: Synchro start with settable threshold, level sync track marking with settable threshold. Two modes for updating U-TOC: 1) manual: write U-TOC on eject, 2) auto: write U-TOC after every recording or edit. Editing functions include A-B erase, A-B insert [moves an A-B section to a point within another track (combines divide, move and combine)]. Cue points can be erased, rewritten or added to later. 11.6ms edit point accuracy. Undo function can undo 2 edit operations. Selectable/overridable SCMS codes. Keyboard with PS/2 connector may be attached for editing, recording, playback, program input, hot start, etc. Hot Start (w/optional ACD-26HM kit) for up to 20 tracks. Tracks can be loaded into Hot Start by detecting the Auto Cue level (-72/-66/-60/-54/-48/-42/-36 dB selectable in Preset mode). Sound can be loaded into Hot Start from any track location. Loaded tracks can be replaced with new tracks. Seamless Loop can be used during Hot Start playback. Jog/Shuttle wheel allows searches with 1 frame precision. Auto cue cues to point where audio starts (rather than start of track). Selectable -36 to -72dB auto cue level. End monitor button pressed in standby mode previews end of track. End of track alert (flashes in a selectable 0 to 30 seconds before end of track). Pitch control (+/-9.9% 0.1% step). Instant start (playback starts less than 0.01 seconds after play button is pressed). Optional sampling rate converter for input and output. SMPTE option. Video sync/word sync.

Links: Denon's information page for this unit. A Adobe Acrobat file on the unit from Denon Europe. Studio Sound has a review of the Denon DN-M1050R pro deck.

Specs: (A filter): 16 bit A/D Converter, 18 bit D/A Converter, THD: Playback: < 0.012%, Recording: < 0.02%. SNR Playback: > 92dB, Recording: > 84dB. Channel separation, Playback: > 86dB, Recording: > 80dB. Frequency response: 20-20kHz +/-1.0dB.


User Manual: DN-M1050R

HHB MDP-500professional portable MD recorder
Intro: 10/2000
IN: USB, coaxial and optical SPDIF, balanced XLR mic/line
OUT: USB, coaxial and optical SPDIF, Unbalanced RCA phono line, headphones
W 10" x H 2.2" x D 7.1"

Features: Non-MDLP. Full I/O USB interface for the real-time transfer of audio to/from laptop editing systems (for both Macintosh and Windows systems). Clear display with accurate metering and margin indicator, Automatic gain control, One touch record, Key hold and record level lock, 6 second pre-record buffer, Powered by standard AA alkaline batteries or rechargeable NiMh batteries (8 supplied, rechargeable in the PORTADISC), AC adaptor included (100V-240V).

User Notes: Has a separate limiter as well as the AGC. You can set record gain when using the limiter. I was told the list price was $1450, but my HHb rep charged me $1272. Mine is purple and black, rather than the blue and black all the photos seem to show. -Walter Knapp



User Manual: MDP-500

Service Manual: MDP-500

Battery LifePlayRecordRecharge
AA x 83 hr2.5 hr
NiMh x8
(1550mAH each)
3.5 hr3 hr? hr
Marantz PMD650Professional portable MD recorder
Intro: 10/1998
MSRP US$1400-$1500 (est)
Mic/Line in: XLR. Line out: RCA phono. Digital in: RCA phono. Digital out: XLR. RC5 remote control: RCA phono248x54x183mm, 1.2kg

Features: Pro use MD portable, designed by Marantz (Philips) in Europe. Allows full control/override of SCMS bits. Sony ATRAC 4.5, Sony drive mechanism. Battery life: NiCd: 3 hours, AA x 8 (!) 5-6 hours (est). Level sync recording for digital, line and mic inputs with pre-rec cache to avoid clipped utterance beginnings. 20s (stereo) 40s (mono) shock memory (16MB). Time and date stamp recording. Pre-write of UTOC to avoid loss of recorded material if power is unexpectedly lost. 30 second alarm before auto power off on low battery. Selectable manual or AGC recording level control with switchable recording level limiter. Mic att settings: 0dB, 15dB, 30dB. Mic filter settings: none, high pass, high and low pass (high and low cut?). Backspace button will backup a few seconds during playback, or backup to start of track during recording (to restart "take"). One touch recording will start unit recording from within any mode. "Dual mono" recording mode will record from a single mic onto two channels, with one channel at 15dB down (to create a good contigency recording in case the main channel goes into clipping).

Links: Read a February 2000 Pro Audio Review article (PDF) on the Marantz Pro PMD650. Marantz' page for the unit. Sound-on-Sound review of the Marantz PMD650 pro-use portable. Superscope Technologies has lots of specs and info on the PMD-650.

Notes: No digital optical I/O!


User Manuals: PMD650, technical specs, surface diagrams

Otari MR-10
Otari MR-10P
Broadcast use MiniDisc Recorder/Player
Intro: 8

digital i/o: SPDIF Type 2, analog out: headphone.

Features: 16 LCD display. Auto monitoring, puts the MR-10 into monitor input mode unless the unit is in playing back. Next play mode, repeat play, mono/stereo switching, rehearse mode,

Links: Otari's information page for this unit.


Otari MR-30Rack mount Pro MD deck
Intro: 2

IN: analog (XLR, RCA), digital (XLR, RCA). OUT: analog (XLR, RCA), digital (XLR, RCA). Headphones: 1/4" phone (20mW).3U Rackmount - 1 9" x 5.2" x 10.9" (w/o knobs, feet, connectors), 6.2kg

Features: Full featured pro deck. Synchro record start with settable start threshold. Varispeed control (+/-9%) can be written to the disc, Automatic cueing, Automatic and manual UTOC writing, Serial and parallel control interface. Up to 20 tracks settable for "hot start" (< 100ms latency). Optionally available sampling rate converter.

Links: Otari's page for the unit.

Specs: Playback: Freq. Resp.: 20-20kHz +/-1.0dB, SNR: > 92dB (@1kHz, 0dB, A-Wtd) Channel sep.: > 86dB (@1kHz, 0dB, A-Wtd) THD: < 0.012% (@1kHz, 0dB, A-Wtd) Record: Freq. Resp.: 20-20kHz +/-1.0dB, SNR: > 84dB (@1kHz, 0dB, A-Wtd) Channel sep.: > 80dB (@1kHz, 0dB, A-Wtd) THD: < 0.02% (@1kHz, 0dB, A-Wtd)


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-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-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-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
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-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-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-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
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.


Tascam MD-CD1Professional MD-CD recorder
Intro: 2/2007
In: Optical/Line/Balanced. Out: Optical/Line/Balanced483 x 94 x 308mm, 5.8kg


  • Supports SP, Mono, LP2 and LP4 modes (REC/PLAY).
  • Edit function.
  • Overwrite function.
  • +/-12.5% pitch control.
  • Dedicated Digital I/O (optical) and analog I/O (RCA).
  • PS/2 Keyboard input for title input and external control.
  • 4X speed duplication from CD-> MD.
  • MD-CD continuous playback.
  • RS-232C serial control.
  • 2U rack mountable form factor.


    • Wireless IR remote controller.



    User Manual: MD-CD1

(1.0MB) (2385x648)
Tascam MD-350Rack mount MD recorder
Intro: 6/2001
IN: line (XLR & RCA), opticalx2 (TOSlink), Keyboard (PS/2), OUT: headphone, line (XLR & RCA), optical (TOSlink)482.6W x 94H x 313D mm, 5.5kg

Features: 2U rack mount, MDLP capable pro-deck. Auto-ready (play one track & pause), and Auto-cue (cue to first audio in track) functions. Timer-play function. Pitch control. Keyboard port for titling. RC-32 wireless remote included. Second optical input port on front panel.


Specs: Dynamic Range: > 94dB (playback, 1khz, A filter), THD: < 0.013%, Frequency Response: 20-20kHz +/-0.5dB (playback), SNR: > 94dB (playback, A filter), Headphone amp: 25mW+25mW 32 ohms


User Manual: MD-350

Tascam MD-501Rack mount MD recorder
Intro: 1

IN: line (RCA,XLR) keyboard: PS/2, digital: RCA, XLR, Toslink x 2. OUT: headphone, line (RCA,XLR), digital: Toslink442x88x363mm, 7.0kg

Features: External port (1/4 inch jack) for fader or event starts. Programmable Fade in/out. Auto ready and repeat, incremental, program and shuffle play modes. Time and Date stamp recording. Clock display. Digital auto fader function (digital recording only), fade in time 3-24 seconds (in 3 second steps), fade out time 6-27 seconds (in 3 second steps). Sampling rate converter. Timer record/play. RC-5 wireless remote. PC keyboard can be connected for titling and editing control. Toslink input connectors on front and rear panels.

Links: Tascam's page for the unit. Downloadable photo set in .zip format. Brochure in pdf format

Specs: Freq. Resp. 10-20kHz +/- 0.5dB. S/N (analog input): > 98dB (playback), Dynamic range: > 98dB (1kHz, -60dB), Channel Separation: > 90dB (1kHz). THD: < 0.008% Headphone amp: 30mW+30mW into 8 ohms.


MD-801RmkII (1995x721)
Tascam MD-801R
Tascam MD-801P
Tascam MD-801RMKII
Industrial use record/ play & play only units
Intro: 1
msrp ¥220,000/ ¥170,000, MD-801RmkII: $2699
IN: analog: line (RCA & XLR), digital: AES/EBU & S/PDIF coax. out: analog: line (RCA & XLR), digital: AES/EBU & S/PDIF coax. Clock I/O: word sync in/thru. Control I/O: 25 pin (for RC-801), 37 pin (parallel), 9 pin (rs232), Mini Din 6 pin (PS/2 keyboard)482x132x353mm 8kg

Connectors: Data: D-sub 9 pin rs232c, mini DIN 6-pin PS/2 (or equiv) for remote kbd, D-sub 37 pin TTL level digital inputs (801R only): AES/EBU XLR, SPDIF RCA. digital outputs: AES/EBU XLR (801R only), SPDIF RCA (both). analog inputs (801R only): XLRx2, RCAx2. analog outputs: XLRx2, RCAx2, headphone (1/4") Note no optical I/O!


  • Fast Access: 200ms full stroke seek (5X any other MD player), avg. 100ms track start, using new high speed sled gear system (vs. lead screw).
  • In case of external mechanical shock during recording, laser power is quickly cut to protect already recorded material.
  • Pitch control: +/- 9.9% in .1% steps
  • Mono/Stereo recording.
  • Autolocate feature finds specific points on tape (sic) quickly and accurately.
  • Optional buffer memory which stores the first frames of up to 20 tracks to provide instant start.
  • manual frame by frame (1/86th sec) searching and editing (during manual positioning a "jog length" of audio is played repeatedly, the jog length can be set from 12 to 32 frames (139-371ms) in 1 frame (11.6ms)units)
  • call button returns to start of recording, or other memorized location
  • can memorize two points and delete between them, or insert something between them.
  • 1 to 100X highspeed playback with shuttle dial
  • restore function allows you to "undo" an erase or record operation (erasures less than 12 seconds are sometimes not restorable). restore function can also be used to recover a disc where the power failed in mid recording, in this case it becomes possible to play back the disc up to the failure point.
  • SCMS bits can be set/cleared during recording.
  • auto cue skips to start of actual sound (based upon settable level) and goes into pause mode.
  • auto ready goes into pause mode at beginning of next track.
  • play modes: repeat, single, single+repeat, a-b, a-b+repeat, program, program+repeat.
  • multiple MD-801 units can be linked together via the parallel connector to provide extended playback or recording. Final machine can be linked back to first to provide continuous recording or playback.
  • using the serial remote a personal computer can control the main machine (jog and well as some editing functions) and display and enter titles. remote disc eject also possible.
  • Disc editing functions also available on MD-801P.
  • Discs can be ejected without writing the TOC, restoring them to their "pre edited" state. Play only discs can also be "edited" while in the machine, but edits cannot be saved.
  • Accumulated/remaining time display selectable for track or entire disc.
  • Displays date & time stamp info from disc, but does not record it on disc.
  • S/N 95dB playback, 85dB record.
  • MD-801RmkII: S/N > 102dB playback, > 96dB record.

Accessories: RC-801 ($1080) full function remote for on-air radio broadcast production. RC-8 ($270) Remote control of basic transport functions. BU-801 ($270) RAM Buffer. PW-1XMD ($60) Track title dubbing cable. RC-FS10 (special order) 10 button Flash Start controller for one touch search and play of 10 tracks. RC-FS20 (special order) 20 button Flash Start controller for one touch search and play of 20 tracks.

Update: Tascam introduced the MD-801RmkII, which upgrades to ATRAC 4.5.


Comments: As a rental company who have used Denon machines in the past, we have recently been buying Tascam MD801R machines, and I must say that on features alone they are outstanding. Time alone will answer the long term reliability question, but the machine has been designed from the ground up as a professional unit, with seriously good ergonomics. We have three machines now in fairly heavy use by a number of customers and no reported faults so far. If anyone is considering a move to minidisc I advise them to check out this machine. -Scott Paisley ([email protected])


User Manuals: MD-801R, Spec sheet

MD-301mkII (2078x482)
Tascam MD-301Rack mount MD recorder
Intro: 2
MKI: US$500, MKII: US$580
IN: line (XLR & RCA), opticalx2 (TOSlink), Keyboard (PS/2), OUT: headphone, line (XLR & RCA), optical (TOSlink)482x88x290mm, 4.8kg

Features: Programmable Fade in/out. Repeat, program and shuffle play modes. Sampling rate converter. Timer record/play. RC-3 wireless remote. PS/2 Keyboard jack. Front panel optical input jack

Update: Tascam introduced the MD-301mkII, which upgrades to ATRAC 4.5.


Specs: Freq. Resp. 20-20kHz +/- 1dB. S/N: > 98dB (playback), Dynamic range: > 90dB (1kHz, -60dB), Channel Separation: > 90dB (1kHz). THD: < 0.008% Headphone amp: 35mW+35mW into 33 ohms.


User Manuals: MD-301, Spec sheet

Vestax AA-88MD/CD/AM/FM unit for DJ use
Intro: 2

IN: phono x 2, line x 2, 1/4" mic/line x 2. OUT: line x 2, headphone

Features: DJ station with built in CD player, AM/FM tuner and MD recorder. 3 band +/-12dB equalizer w/user replaceable crossfader. CD player has +/-8% pitch fader and joystick for pitch bend and FF/REW. 10 digit key pad for quick song selection. MD recorder has user programmable song titles, sync rec function for recording from CD. AM/FM receiver includes station program function.

Links: Vestax AA-88 home page.

Specs: Amp: 50 Watt.


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