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Sony MZR50
Sharp MS 701/2

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the Sony MZR50

Looks and Useability
Playback and Sound
Recording and Editing

RECORDING AND EDITING

This is were in my opinion the player really makes and breaks it. Firstly on a good note is that it comes readily supplied with an optical cable for real digital copying (these can cost around 20 alone). However no analogue cable is supplied, so if your CD player doesn't have an optical out your have to purchase this separately (only a couple of quid though). Once the player is hocked up to a device recording isn't the simplest thing when you first come to tackle it (especially compared to the Sharp 701), but you soon get ues to it. There are several things that I should point out though.

all the colours under the sun available, well nearlyHandily the level of sound recording is automatically adjusted for you when you start recording, but if you wish you can do this manually. However once recording, you can't adjust these levels with out pausing the player, but this shouldn't be too much of a problem unless you're recording live. If this is important to you though, you should also be warned that there's no real decible meter when recording, only Sonys own meter bar. What is really disappointing though is the lack of a line synchro feature (which means the player starts recording when you start playing the source) in analogue recording. This means you have to manually start both sources at the same time. Another annoying feature is the End Search button. You see the R50 refuses to record from the end of the last track without pressing this button. If you don't (or forget) to press it then it starts recording at the beginning over what's already there. However it makes up for this if your want to start record in hurry. When you first insert a disk it takes several seconds for it to read the TOC (table of contents). But if you press the record button while its doing this it will record into the memory, and then spool it onto the disk. Great. If you want to record from a mic then there are two settings to choose for the mic sensitivity, only high and low- which again isn't too bad for most, but it does stamp the date and time of what's recorded on the disk. Also like nearly all recordable players it marks the track in analogue recording if there's a blank space for 3 seconds (in digital tracks are automatically marked) and you can record in mono. There is again like most players no digital out, but there it does use a line out (instead of the headphone socket), so you can listen while playing the signal out (although its unlikely your want to do that).

Finally there's editing. Which I have to say works very well on this model. Titling is easy with the wheel, it lets you quickly browse through the alphabet with ease. However dividing and merging the tracks is slightly more annoying, (again using the fiddly buttons) but you soon get used to it.


Overall this is a good player with a few annoying faults, but most people will be able to overlook them. It's durable and should last for ages being made by Sony with great build quality and looks. However it's not the cheapest player, and there are now newer and smaller models out, but nevertheless a good first (or anytime) buy.

Looks and Useability
Playback and Sound
Recording and Editing

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