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Thread: MD vs MP3 sound quality

  1. #1
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    MD vs MP3 sound quality

    So I'm a big minidisc fan , apparently the only one on the forum. I do off air recording and LP to MD recording and to my ears it sounds about like 7.5 ips R2R.

    Bought a new (2me) MD deck and have been listening to tunes dubbed from CD ....I usually use my iPod nano...
    SO ..I put the same CD to mp3 with itunes and listened and then the same CD to minidisc and listened ...SAME IEM's ...

    RESULTS ?

    the sound was fuller, more dynamic range , better top end with the MD , despite the often maligned ATRAC..

    http://www.minidisc.org/aes_atrac.html

    So is ATRAC a better coding system ? OR is there something else at play here ?
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    STRANGE ....is the new NORMAL

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    So I'm a big minidisc fan , apparently the only one on the forum. I do off air recording and LP to MD recording and to my ears it sounds about like 7.5 ips R2R.

    Bought a new (2me) MD deck and have been listening to tunes dubbed from CD ....I usually use my iPod nano...
    SO ..I put the same CD to mp3 with itunes and listened and then the same CD to minidisc and listened ...SAME IEM's ...

    RESULTS ?

    the sound was fuller, more dynamic range , better top end with the MD , despite the often maligned ATRAC..

    http://www.minidisc.org/aes_atrac.html

    So is ATRAC a better coding system ? OR is there something else at play here ?
    What bitrate is the MP3? The iTunes default is pretty low, and pretty crappy if I remember correctly (128?).

    There's a local guy selling off a load of nice MD players pretty cheap, he used to run a radio station & used them there.

    je

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    From Wiki (for what it's worth):

    General bitrate quality

    ATRAC's original 292 kbit/s bitrate was designed to be 'close to CD quality' acoustically. This is the bitrate used on original MiniDiscs. Years later ATRAC was improved and is generally considered better than earlier versions at similar bitrates. For purposes of comparison, CDs are encoded at 1411.2 kbit/s, and lossless encoders can encode most CDs below 1000 kbit/s, with significant bitrate reduction for easier-to-encode content such as voice.

    Bitrate quality compared to other formats

    Sony's official claim is that ATRAC3plus at 64 kbit/s rate provides a quality comparable to MP3 at 128 kbit/s, which would place this codec in the same league as HE-AAC, mp3PRO and Windows Media Audio (with similar claims from Microsoft).

  4. #4
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    What bitrate is the MP3? The iTunes default is pretty low, and pretty crappy if I remember correctly (128?).

    There's a local guy selling off a load of nice MD players pretty cheap, he used to run a radio station & used them there.

    je
    I do the itunes bitrate at highest possible...most ATRAC reviews are for 3.0 or 3.5 ..consumer stopped at 4.5 (I believe) and my deck is ATRAC type R (the pro version)

    MP3 compresses at 10 to 1 , where ATRAC does 5 to 1.

    http://www.minidisc.org/type_r_atrac.html

    "
    Sony's ATRAC with Type-R DSP

    Translated from a Japanese Sony brochure that mentions the Type-R DSP for ATRAC
    Adaptive High Band Control Technology Improves the Signal Processing Accuracy

    With the MDS-JA33ES/JA22ES we have developed a new Type-R DSP that has, at its core, two times more signal processing power than before. In addition, a newly developed intelligent bit re-allocation algorithm that fully utilizes this increased processing power has been adopted. The algorithm re-analyzes the musical data and searches for subtle, redundant bit allocations that up until now had been difficult to find. The algorithm re-allocates these redundant bits preferentially to psycho-acoustically important bands, essentially refining the allocation of bits and improving the reproduction of the source signal. Keeping the accuracy of each processing result is essential for digital signal processing. In making the Type-R DSP for ATRAC, each processing step was checked and very accurate processing has been enabled. As a result, the reproduced sound has become euphonious and quite close to the source sound.
    The idea is to encode each segment of the spectrum with an accuracy that is proportional to its audibility. Once the available bits have been apportioned to each of ATRAC's 52 spectral bands, ATRAC Type-R apparently takes a second look at the actual quantization error that would occur, were each component encoded with its apportioned bits. At this point a decision can reasonably be made to reallocate bits from one band to another if doing so would decrease the [perceptually weighted] overall quantization error of the frame. The point is that a closed-form solution wherein these two optimization criteria are simultaneously considered may be difficult or impossible to implement. In ATRAC Type-R a two-pass approach is employed, first considering how to allocate bits based upon the human auditory system's response to a frame, and second considering how to minimize the quantization error of the actual spectral components this frame must encode.

    FRED: is there a list somewhere of what that guy is selling ??
    STRANGE ....is the new NORMAL

  5. #5
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    I do the itunes bitrate at highest possible...most ATRAC reviews are for 3.0 or 3.5 ..consumer stopped at 4.5 (I believe) and my deck is ATRAC type R (the pro version)



    FRED: is there a list somewhere of what that guy is selling ??
    You seem to have answered your own question - sounds like you're using the most evolved version of ATRAC at this point, and much of ATRAC's bad rap came from earlier, lossier versions.

    I can get a list of the MD players, at this point he's using local CL 'cause he doesn't feel like E-Baying & shipping - I could work that out if you're interested. PM me with an e-mail address, I'll put you in touch with him. A very nice guy, easy to talk to & a very clean, meticulous studio. I don't mind chatting & visiting with him, so checking out the gear for you would be easy. His current ad is for a Sony CD/Minidisc Deck Model MXD-D3.

    je

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    PM me with an e-mail address, I'll put you in touch with him. A very nice guy, easy to talk to & a very clean, meticulous studio. I don't mind chatting & visiting with him, so checking out the gear for you would be easy. His current ad is for a Sony CD/Minidisc Deck Model MXD-D3.

    je
    I found his CL ad ..nice deck, good price..can you help w/purchase/ship ?
    shot him an email from the CL link
    STRANGE ....is the new NORMAL

  7. #7
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    I found his CL ad ..nice deck, good price..can you help w/purchase/ship ?
    shot him an email from the CL link
    Yep, I can work the details out, I already told him you might be interested. He has another Sony deck for sale now, too, but this one looks cooler. Let me know what transpires, and whether he has the original packaging.

    I found the manual on line, looks like a good machine.

    je

  8. #8
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    PM me with an e-mail address, I'll put you in touch with him.
    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    I found his CL ad ..nice deck, good price..can you help w/purchase/ship ?
    shot him an email from the CL link
    You shot him an e-mail and he had no idea who "Fred Sanford" was, so he ignored you. Get in touch with me off-forum, and I'll go check the unit out and grab & ship it if you want. Looks like he can't find the remote, I've asked him about manual & original packaging.

    je

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    You shot him an e-mail and he had no idea who "Fred Sanford" was,
    so he ignored you.
    je
    You mean you DON'T grab your heart and cry out for Elizabeth??
    You must not be the REAL Fred Sanford!
    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
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    Member laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    So I'm a big minidisc fan , apparently the only one on the forum. I do off air recording and LP to MD recording and to my ears it sounds about like 7.5 ips R2R.

    Bought a new (2me) MD deck and have been listening to tunes dubbed from CD ....I usually use my iPod nano...
    SO ..I put the same CD to mp3 with itunes and listened and then the same CD to minidisc and listened ...SAME IEM's ...

    RESULTS ?

    the sound was fuller, more dynamic range , better top end with the MD , despite the often maligned ATRAC..

    http://www.minidisc.org/aes_atrac.html

    So is ATRAC a better coding system ? OR is there something else at play here ?
    I've had a Sharp minidisc recorder since 2005 and bought another new one last year on Amazon (I searched long and hard to get another Sharp recorder). It has a 1 bit digital amplifier and I use it to record internet stations, digital satellite radio stations and transfer CDs to it. I also transferred some of my cassettes to minidiscs back in 2005. The reproduction of the Sharp either listening to it on the road through my headphones or playing it through my hifi system is absolutely superb.

    Here's a photo
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  11. #11
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    You shot him an e-mail and he had no idea who "Fred Sanford" was, so he ignored you.
    je
    Oh man...I thot we all used real names here

    So yesterday I was researching ATRAC R , so my facts wud be right ....and I find abt the new ATRAC type S

    ATRAC Type-S: "Type-S" apparently refers to a new chip containing an improved version of the ATRAC3 codec as well as the ATRAC1 Type-R codec; the combination of the two is called DSP Type-S. In other words, "ATRAC/ATRAC3 DSP TYPE-S" is a combination of "ATRAC DSP (TYPE-R highest Version)" and "ATRAC3 DSP (newly developed)."

    http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sony_MDS-JB980.html

    And I says "kewl" ....So we are prepping for an Asian trip this summer and I start dinking around CL and find this portable with ATRAC type-S and all the accessories "still sealed in package" AND it will play MP3's , which my other dont do ....my nano doesnt have much battery life anymore, but the NetWalkman goes 56 hours on 1 AA ....they are claiming "up to 5 hours music on 1 disk".......this is whats going on vacation with me.


    I have the older Sony MZ-S1 and it went nearly a year on 1 alkaline AA (couple of hours play a week)
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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    so I got to reading the manual on this new NetMD and there are 3 recording modes .SP .long play2 & 4 ....around the net they seemed to think that LP4 was not a great quality sacrifice for the added storage....

    Prepping for long trip ,,,quantity more important than quality ....so I ripped from CDs to library and transferred 75 CCR tunes to 1 disc with a little left over. Checked with IEMs ..fine quality for traveling ....geeze their whole studio catalog plus all the Golliwogs tunes on one disc !!!

    yeah and you can set bass/tremble settings and save as a preset ..has track/disc titles ,,can make groups/playlists .etc,etc....cool little machine !!
    STRANGE ....is the new NORMAL

  13. #13
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    You mean you DON'T grab your heart and cry out for Elizabeth??
    You must not be the REAL Fred Sanford!
    I'm an impostor.

    I do occasionally spend time with big dummies, though.

    je

  14. #14
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    I found his CL ad ..nice deck, good price..can you help w/purchase/ship ?
    shot him an email from the CL link
    What's up? Haven't heard back from you...did you get my e-mails?

    je

  15. #15
    Senior Member duaneage's Avatar
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    I've used MD for over 15 years. I have a 6 disk changer in my car along with an indash (sony) but I have not used the portable MD in a while. Eventually my portable developed problems (probably dirt) and no longer plays or records properly.

    I like the fetures such as track moving, naming, editing, and of course the packaging. The small size, protective cartridge, and durability is exceptional.
    I think MD is a great format that was largely ignored. Too bad, I wanted a boom box in MD format and could not find one.
    Why buy used when you can build your own?

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