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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful sound, 11 Feb 2004
This review is from: Sharp IMDR420H MiniDisk Recorder (Electronics)
Summary: Great sounding minidisc unit, NetMD works well, lots of supplied accessories.
I bought the Sharp DR420 to replace my conked out Panasonic Minidisc player. The main reason I bought a Sharp and not a more popular Sony is that the Sony low-end models - N510/710 have a very limited output level for the headphone sockets - for some reason, European Sony MD players are limited to 1.2mW which in comparison to the Sharps 8mW is pitiful.
The power output is relevant when using good quality headphones (the earphones that come with the Sharp are good - they are rebranded Sennheisers! Although they are rather large compared to generic Sony earphones).
Power output is also very relevant when using the MD at high volumes - consider turning up a weakly powered hi-fi to the maximum volume level - the bass is distorted and overall the sound is terrible - now with a more powerful hi-fi, turn the volume up to roughly the same level - in most cases the bass will be deep and overall the sound fantastic.
This is the case for the Sharp - the sound quality in this is fabolous - the 1-bit amplifier helps - compared to my old minidisc player - the sound is SO much clearer and better sounding. The 3 level bass function is superb. There is also a equaliser function although its limited to adjusting "high/low". The output level is enough to make your eyes water!
The minidisc unit is robust-larger than my Panasonic MD which had the accolade of being the smallest portable minidisc player but the chunkiness of this unit is very reassuring - a few falls/bumps wont damage this. The looks are ok compared to smooth looking Sonys & Panasonics - but looks arent everything you know!
There are several accessories with this unit, a nice optical cable (which can only be used for real time recording), rechargeable battery and the remote control. The remote control, although plasticky, is robust and useful and using the buttons without looking is easy once used to the remote. The rechargeable battery is an AA, so it can be easily replaced - it also has good battery life.
NetMD is an interesting topic, works great if you can get it to work. My advice is to forget the supplied software Beatjam as the software is slow, buggy & difficult to use (generally I learn software really quickly). Goto [...] and read about "Dino's method" - its a much better/faster way to transfer music (T-minidisc is sponsored by Amazon US so nothing dodgy!). NetMD is great once you get going, ok its not drag and drop like a mp3 player, but its quicker than sitting there waiting for 3 hours worth of music to record, transferring 3 hours takes around 10 minutes - but it depends on the speed of your computer.
Disadvantages - the rubbish NetMD software supplied. The "4-Pole Earphones" are just a gimmick to be honest - you can plug in normal headphones without a worry - dont bother using the 4 Pole to 3 pole cable either-it reduces the volume. Net MD is restricted to transferring LP2/LP4 music - no SP (im presuming you have read the various Sony reviews which explain these terms) - LP2 is CD quality to the ear anyway.
If you can afford the additional 15 for the DR420 (rather than the DR400 which is the same unit, no Mic input and no remote control aswell as other accessories) then do so.
Also, buy yourself a cheap Minidisc player/recorder - new Minidisc technology is coming out-called "HiMD" with greater music capacity and "drag and drop" possibility is on the horizon. This will be in a years time roughly, but this will be VERY expensive initially but eventually will become cheap enough for the masses - so save yourself some money and forget buying a 200 Minidisc player, forget the Sony N510/710 and get the DR420-its much better in so many ways!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value, 11 Mar 2004
By 
Martin Ansell "thesweeney" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sharp IMDR420H MiniDisk Recorder (Electronics)
I can't agree more with the previous reviewer, this represents excellent value if you are looking for a Net recorder. I compared this with the Sony 710 and found that although it was larger and not so 'shiny' the sound quality and overall build quality were superior.
Unfortunately the software lets it down as it doesn't support MP3 directly, you have to convert them to the Open MG format first so for me that meant duplicating my entire collection if I wanted to take advantage of the NET MD functionality. However, this is common for all NET MD - if you don't like it buy an IPOD! I checked out the DINO's method and it does work but it takes longer as you have to Burn a disk first.
Also as usual the headphones were poor quality and kept falling out of my ears (which aren't big!). However the Sony headphones were much worse - tinny - and the Sony volume was inaudible unless on Max.
Overall if you want an NET MD player and aren't bothered about having the smallest shiniest one then this is for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed.., 13 April 2004
This review is from: Sharp IMDR420H MiniDisk Recorder (Electronics)
I bought this primarily for field recording and it does the job pretty much perfectly with my Sony ECM-MS907 stereo mic (which I also highly recommend). The sound quality is excellent, very little noise and good volume level. Unfortunately the software is complete pants..but most of the software supplied with minidisc recorders seem to be this way, so dont let that put you off.
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