MZ-R50 (Japanese Edition) Mini Review

Christian Malcolm

As a past owner of an R3 and R30, I have to say this is the best version yet. All the benefits of the others with many new pluses:

And I for one am very happy with it all.

A few new features have occurred to me since writing my review.

Several people asked me questions about the unit. Here are my answers (in the order received).
  1. Can you please tell me whether the R50 has a date-time stamp feature?

    Yes, just like the R30, it will note the exact time and date of each recording. (note: the remote will only display the time of recording)

  2. "How noise-free is the headphone output?"

    Here's a tricky one. I recorded 20 seconds of nothing (no mic or line source plugged in) and turned the volume to the maximum. Yes, in a quiet room, I heard hiss. As I never really listen to my MD with headphones on - at a high volume - in a quiet place, I had never noticed this before. I assume that this noise wouldn't be any less on the R30 or R3. I can assure you that this headphone hiss is not immediately noticeable (unless you are looking for it) but I couldn't say if it was any louder or quieter than the R30.

  3. "I would like to know something about sound quality of the new recorder. Is it better than MZ-R 30? Which ATRAC does it use? Are there any new functions over than MZ-R 30?"

    I can't say I can hear any difference in recording or playback quality compared to the R30 (but then, in a blind taste test, I can't tell the difference between MD and CD). I assume the ATRAC version is Sony 4.0 as I am unaware of any newer versions. As for new functions, every difference I have found is in my review.

  4. "Do you know if I can get it in the U.S.?"

    I don't know for sure but I highly doubt it. I read somewhere that it won't be available until well into next year. And then will there be an international version like the R30? Your guess is as good as mine.

  5. "If I wanted a MD player now, should I just buy the R30 (the lowest I've seen it advertised in the U.S. is for $399)?"

    Who am I to say. If it was me, I would weigh up the advantages of the new machine (listed in this review) with the disadvantages (6 dollars more, need to import it from Japan - possible tax and duty implications, and no real warranty cover - although it is covered in Japan for a few months I think). It is a sexy little machine, though, so I would go for the newer R50.

  6. "... did you have to pay import duty/vat on your R50?? How much did it cost?"

    Yes. 6 weeks after my machine arrived I received a bill from UPS for Import Customs Duty, Import VAT and an Ancillary Import Charge amounting to 78.55 ukp. I understand these charges are normally paid cash on delivery but as I wasn't here when it arrived, the bill has taken a few weeks to get to me. I don't really mind as this machine won't be available here for many months and it's a terrific bit of equipment.

  7. "Was the price that Nic quoted all inclusive?"

    Yes. The product and delivery by UPS Express.

  8. "I would like to know if on the R50 you still have to push End Search before being able to record without overwriting your disc ?" Yes. I'm used to this now, though. I get the feeling Sony are doing this on purpose.

  9. No one's asked but yes, Dolby get a mention on the back.

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