Sony MDS-JB920

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All, MDS-DAV1, S500, SE9, JB980, JE480, JE780, NetMD Mockup, NT1, JE770, JE470, PC3, SP55, S50, JA333ES, JB940, JE440, JE640, LSA1, JB730, JA555ES, PC2, JB930, JE630, JE530, JE330/M100/S40/41, DL1, JA33ES, JE320, JE520/S39, PC1, JA30ES, JE510/S38, JB920, W1, JA20ES, JA22ES, JA50ES, JE700, J3000, JE500/S37, 503, JA3ES, 303/S35, 302/S30, 501, 101, S707

Sony MDS-JB920MD Deck
Intro: 7/1998
MSRP $480
in: opticalx2, coax, line. out: optical, coax, line, headphone430 x 108 x 295mm, 4.9kg

Features: ES deck functions in a mid-range priced deck. ATRAC 4.5. Variable pitch and speed control, range: -95% (!) to +12.5% (Sony US announcement says variable pitch, Sony Italia announcement says variable speed, apparently it varies both at the same time, as if varying the motor speed with tape or vinyl). Digital Record Level Control for recording and playback. A-B delete. User settable LEVEL SYNC threshold (i.e. silence threshold for track-marking). Two-Line front panel display. CD Text and Custom File Transfer automatically records and displays disc and track information when recording from CD to MD. R-Core Power Transformer, 20-Bit Analog-to-Digital Converter, Current Pulse Digital-to-Analog converter and Anti-resonant Aluminum Front Panel. 6 second time machine recording. S-Link circuitry allows operation with other S-link equipped Sony A/V products Can be controlled with a GUI interface from a PC or Mac with the PCLK-MD1 connection kit and software (¥15,000). RM-D17 remote (equipped with EDIT/NO and YES buttons). Date and time stamp recording. Unit does not spin the disc in record-pause mode (as the JE500 and JE510 do). Unit is the same as the MDS-PC1 internally. TOC Cloning possible.

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

User comments: Digital and Analog REC LEVEL are separate. There is a built-in FADER that can be used for recording AND playback. Disc loading is much faster and much quieter than the JE500 (about like the old MDS-501) and the disc is pulled in much sooner than on the JE500. Editing is more complicated due to the menuing system. Super Undo also works. An automatic demo mode pops up when the deck has been on for 10 minutes with no disc. There are two pitch controls, regular and fine. Pitch controls are slow and aren't useful during playback because every time the pitch is changed, the sound cuts out while the machine recalculates or does whatever processing it needs to do to change the pitch. It is able to do it about once a second, so it is easy to turn the pitch control faster than the JB920 can keep up. It's definitely useless for DJ effects where a smooth change in pitch is required. Text scrolling is much faster than the JE500. Track calendar is much smaller than the JE500 (only goes to 15 tracks). VU meter is longer than the JE500. The 2-line simultaneous text and track/time display is very nice. The procedure for getting into Test Mode works. Digital In and Digital Out can be set to 16, 20 or 24 (!) bits. Analog LINE-OUT output level can be electronically adjusted. -Shawn Lin

Mis-features: Does not show running date and time stamp information during disc playback (shows static track date and time stamp info), normal track time (and track remaining time) increments (decrements) properly however.

Problems: The disc drive mechanism has been shown to be finicky when loading discs, however Sony knows about the problem (an internal technical information bulletin has been published to SONY Service centers).

Links: PCAVTech's Technical Benchmark page for this unit. A Sony press release announces this unit. Sony's Japanese announcement of the unit. MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit.

Specs: S/N > 100dB (playback).


User Manuals: MDS-JB920, Scanned courtesy Stephen Shores

Service Manuals: MDS-JB920, MDS-JB920, supplement 1, MDS-JB920

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