To: Sony Co.
Sony Car MD players
disappointment I have decided to write this letter in order to report the
problems that I am facing with your CAR MD products.
To briefly introduce
myself, I am an audio, video and home-theater enthusiast, deeply interested in
new media, “early adopter” of new formats and standards and moreover
technically aware and curious.
As an hobby I am
working for some of the most important Italian audiovideo magazines. As consequence,
quite often I have to test and review Sony’s products, such as CD and DVD
players, MD player/recorders, VHS recorders, Digital-8 and DV cameras, Digital
Cinema Processors and so on.
I am often impressed
about the quality and the innovation of Sony’s products which, in many cases, I
consider as reference for the consumer market.
The result is that not
only I review your products... but I also buy them and, currently, I am owner
of the following equipment from Sony:
- TV Color KV-X2501A
(this is my third TV color)
- LCD projector
- Digital Processor
- VHS vcr SLV-E720
- MiniDisc Recorder
- MiniDisc Recorder
- Double MiniDisc
- Portable Player
MZ-2P (this is history...)
- FM-MD-CD combi
Moreover I have been
owner of one of the first MiniDisc units (MZ-1), bought in Japan on December 24st
1992: early adopter of this fantastic format.
My enthusiasm led me
to immediately adopt the MiniDisc format also to listen to my music in the Car.
And this is when problems have come...
Currently me and my
family are owner of the following car hi-fi products from Sony:
- SintoMD player
- SintoMD player
- SintoMD player
MDX-C150RDS (I have had two of these units, since the first has been stolen
from my car after one and a half year of use)
- speakers XS-6038Mk2
- amplifier XM-2545.
Based on the
experience I have on these products, I am writing you in order to explain the
reasons for my great disappointment: indeed, all of my CAR MiniDisc units have
suffered or are actually showing exactly the same problems.
This is what happens,
in five steps:
1. after less than two
years of use, using mostly Sony’s or TDK’s discs, after a correct installation
and normal daily operations, all the three units (four including the stolen
one) have started to show problems in reading few discs (showing “Error” or
“Blank Disc” messages) especially when the unit is “cold”, switched on after
some hours of non-use (for example in the morning). This appears not to be
related to dust on the pick-up lens.
2. some months more
and the units have started to experience problems in loading discs also during
normal operation, after the unit has “warm up”;
3. after this, soon
the problem becomes more and more evident until the unit completely refuses to
load certain discs, which instead are correctly loaded by all my other home and
portable players/recorders. Moreover at this stage the unit also starts
skipping during normal operation with correctly loaded discs, which other units
4. after some more
time the unit becomes non-operative and it must be repaired.
5. then… after less
than one year since the first defective unit (MDX-C150) was repaired, the unit
started to show again exactly the same problem from the step 1, described
Presently my situation
is as follows:
repaired once, 8 months ago, and now again under repair for exactly the same
defect starting from step one;
- MDX-C670RDS (the
less used unit): not reading many discs, refusing discs when cold, skipping. We
can say that it has reached step 3…;
- MDX-C7900RDS: since
June it does not load some discs (correctly loaded by other units), and the
number of refused discs is growing. We can say it has reached step 2.
Will the newer units
get to “step 4”… will I need to repair them? I am really afraid I will, as
their problems are growing week after week.
What I think is that
the construction of the pick-up block is cheap, resulting in a too early
misalignment or failure, and this cannot be an unlucky coincidence since all my
CAR MD units, different models bought in different times, are showing exactly
the same problem.
Obviously I am really
disappointed by the quality of these CAR MD products, which I know assume to be
affected by the same project or construction defects. This is something I do
not tolerate from Sony’s products (for which you usually pay a “premium”
price compared to other less important brands), and it reveals that these
products lie absolutely below the quality standard which all the other products
I own and I have tested and reviewed up to now seem to be built on.
Now I need to repair
(again) my units, but I am seriously considering to completely abandon the Sony
MD platform for my CAR entertainment, searching for other solutions from other
competitors. The quality of Sony’s CAR MD products is definitively cheap and I
will personally take care to ensure that all the people that I know can be
interested in buying them are carefully warned about the problems I am facing.
I will contact my
colleagues from other car audio magazines, write in the MD-related newsgroups
exactly like I am doing, in positive, when I report the nice quality of all
your other products like DVDs, cameras, home MD recorders (my enthusiastic
review of the MDS-JA30ES has been published in the www.minidisc.org
pages), digital processors and televisions.
I wish for a brighter
future for your CAR MD units.