Sony MZ-R3

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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-R3portable recorder
Intro: 5/1995
msrp: $650
in: optical/line, mic. out: hdphn, line. 4.5V ext. pwr.115.8x29.8x81mm, 265g w/o bat. 360g w/bat

Features: ATRAC 3. Ni-MH (BP-DM20) rechargeable or 2 AA cells (LIP-12 LiIon rechargeable can be used with separately available external case). Track/disc titling. track delete, move, join, divide. AGC and manual recording level control but cannot manually change recording level during recording. Date & time stamp during recording, stereo/mono recording. bass boost. Recording: AA: 2 hr, Ni-MH: 2 hr, LiIon: 2.5 hr, AA+LiIon: 4.5 hr, Ni-MH+LiIon 4.5 hr. Playback: AA: 4 hr, Ni-MH: 3 hr, LiIon: 4 hr, AA+LiIon: 8 hr, Ni-MH+LiIon 7 hr. Power consumption: Rec: 1.1W, Play: 0.7W

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

Differences between MZ-R30 and MZ-R3: MZ-R30: Sampling rate converter, track-search (can view other track titles with jog dial while a track is playing), digital synchro-start recording, digital mono recording uses (L+R)/2 (MZ-R3 is L-channel only).

Specs: On playback: 88.6 dB S/N, 87.9 dB Dynamic range, <0.08% from 20 Hz to 18 kHz THD+N at 0 dBFS* -2.7 Linearity error at -90 dBFS. Record/Playback Digital input: 87.1 dB S/N, <0.095% THD+N at 0 dbFS -.014 dB Linearity error at -90 dBFS. Record/Playback via analog input: 83.7 dB S/N, <0.095% THD+N at 0 dbFS +.04 dB Linearity error at -90 dBFS. The bass boost on the portables does this: the Mid setting (dB re 1-kHz level): +16 at 25 Hz +6 at 112 Hz and +5 at 18 kHz. the Max setting (dB re 1-kHz level): +19 at 32 Hz +6 at 185 Hz and +5 at 18 kHz.


  • To get rechargeable AA's to work in an 'R3, you need arrange for the sense bar that detects "rechargeable batteries present" to be activated. Open up your 'R3, holding it so the bottom is facing up and the battery bay is on the far side. Pop the door open. On the right-hand side, you will see near the bottom a little sense pin. Get a bit of newspaper or eraser to hold the pin shut, then put your AA rechargeable batteries in. They should charge normally. Do this at your own risk; it isn't likely to be a Sony-approved technique. -Gian-Paolo D Musumeci (and others)
  • When titling a track or disc, you can hit the play button to quickly go the first character of the different subcategories (foreign characters (when available), A-Z, a-z, 0-9).

Notes: The MZ-R3 has no FAST playback function, but the unit has a FAST indicator on the LCD (you can see it if you look at the LCD in oblique light) because it is the same LCD used in the MZ-B3 (dictation recorder), which has the FAST playback function. -Matthew Richardson
Although this was an analog recording test, I found (bars 'lit' vs -dB). 1: -45dB 2: -30dB 3: -20dB 4: -12dB 5: -6dB 6: -3dB 7: 0dB (maximum, borderline of distortion) -PrinceGaz

Links: Sony Page info. A few users prefer Sony's earlier MZ-R1 in comparison to MZ-R3. Ebay has several as well, at more reasonable prices.


User Manuals: MZ-R3, MZ-R3

Service Manuals: Circuit desc., MZ-R3

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