Welcome to our great Best Buy guide!
How we work... It's not easy, to give good advice and actually very complicated, to select the absolute best value... And our final advice, will naturally not fit everyone, because people have different taste and want different functions... But we are very careful, research deep, investigate any promising alternatives, have a talent for "systematic analyze" and write only about categories we really know, so I suspect that you always will find the best advice here...
We don't work like paper magazines, who only compare a few models (once or twice a year) and then give a "best buy" to the best budget choice... We investigate instead every new promising product, in each category and replace then our "old" recommendation - if the new product is clearly better, in at least one deep review... Or if the old product is sold out in Sweden... And if the new product not is better - but almost as good and has some fine advantages, will we show it as a nice alternative...
Remember that we only recommend "really fine products" of great value - that actually give you very high quality, at a rather nice price and NEVER the little cheaper budget versions, with clearly lower quality or some vital missing features... And we recommend also more expensive alternatives, if they really are clearly better... Then will we adjust our recommendations, if we find new facts in professional reviews or consumer reports... And most of our Best Buy recommendations are both tested with very high grades, by the finest review sites / magazines and carefully evaluated, by myself...
Sometimes can one brand dominate a category, as Panasonic did with 6 superior digital cameras 2008 but we never let any "feelings" or favouritism color our judgements and we never guess... So we are sincerely happy if any brand make a better product... And when we report about a new product, that might become a Best Buy, does we only call it "promising" until we seen very high grades in fine reviews...
But we don't write complete reviews... We "simply" select the Best Buy and any really fine alternatives... Then does we normally explain the advantages, that make it the best choice and point out any negative sides... And we give also some vital advice and explain often what's extra important... And you can naturally use this guide, as a starting point or reference and then try to find something better... Or a good alternative, that have some special quality you love!
Please click here and email me... If you have any important information (as extra good or bad qualities) about a Best Buy, news about finer worldwide alternatives and finer pictures... But we don't have time to answer questions... And I am naturally very proud over the fact, that nobody have found any bad advice (yet) even if we can miss some details... We have "only" got grateful emails and interesting feedback, from happy buyers and other experts, which is a big extra inspiration ;-)
This guide is normally adjusted, two three times every week... Click here to see some of the greatest news... The prices (in Swedish sek) was the lowest with delivery I found in Swedish sites (including 25% tax) when it's not written as the "max" price... I decided to not show all prices in US dollars and instead use that time, to give better advice... But when I anyhow write an usd price, is that without tax... You may click here and see (in an extra window) how much "Sek, Swedish krona" is in Your money... This guide is written from a Swedish perspective and some products may be more (or less) expensive, in your country and you may naturally find some fine local alternatives, in some countries!
Audio equipment & music
You should first click here and read the HiFi school... Mainly to find out
what equipment, you actually may need (!) before you continue...
Home Cinema Receivers
MP3 & MiniDisc
Tuner and more...
And the finest music - with a nice melody and dynamic nerve!
Home Cinema Receivers With Dolby Digital, DTS and normally over 5x80 watt at 8ohm or 5x110 w at 4ohm, see more about watt measurements below... They have also ProLogic IIx that can "play" old stereo as fine surround.
We recommend only receivers with excellent sound quality, for both cinema and music. And they must also have a fine digital equalizer, that you can adjust manually, for a perfect natural sound at home... Because a few "budget" models have now an excellent digital equalizer, for every channel and sometimes even fine bass and treble controls, that you can use in surround mode. A fine equalizer is extremely valuable, because it can give you a dramatically more open natural sound and especially remove the ordinary "boxy" sound effect, you still find in most recordings - if you only set it right... And even if you have speakers, that give a very natural and "boxy" free sound, can you optimize your room acoustic with a fine equalizer... Click here to read about the advantages with an equalizer, in a new window...
And then has some receivers a noisy fan... See more what's important, just under my recommendations. I will also list some older models here (as long they sound just as good as the last ones) because some shop might suddenly sell them at an extra low price, making that one the best choice... Yes, the price differences between shops are often HUGE on receivers. Remember finally that a fine Cinema Receiver costs normally about 2 times more than a fine stereo amplifier (which anyhow is amazing cheap) mainly because it must include many more fine amplifiers and a lot of extra functions, plus the radio!
The best home cinema receiver, at a very low price is...
Yamaha RX-V375 that came late 2013, only costs 1900sek and anyhow offer very high sound quality, a real manual adjustable 7 band equalizer (+/-6db in 0.5db steps at 63, 160, 400hz, 1, 2.5, 6.3, 16 khz - for each channel) which they name "GEQ" in the owners manual (and you normally need for a perfect sound at home) plenty of power for most (2x70w at 8ohm 20hz to 20khz 0.09% thd) four HDMI inputs (version 1.4) lipsync audio delay (0-250ms) automatic room calibration and it look even good in black... But it has "only" 5.1 channels and no video upscaling...
Then is Denon AVR-X1000 a slightly greater alternative - with a more advanced 9 band manual adjustable equalizer from Audyssey (the MultEQ version, with 63, 125, 250, 500hz plus 1, 2, 4, 8, 16hz adjustabe -20 to +6db) and very happy owners, that love the very high sound quality... So it may be the best compromise, at 3000sek... Then has this 5.1 receiver 5x120 watts at 6 ohm, four HDMI v1.4a inputs, but just 6db bass and treble controls - in addition to the extra fine equalizer... And the newer Denon AVR-X1100W that came 2014 seem to be basically the same, with slightly less power (min 80w 2channels 8ohm) for 7.1 speakers...
And for a very good price - just now even lower - is the best alternative... The magnificent Onkyo TX-NR616 that offer a truly delicate and impressive sound, actually like sublime separate stereo amplifiers (according to many happy owners) plus 3D support and 8 hdmi 1.4a inputs, at only 3333sek just now... Other improvements include 7.2 channel power, 7x160w at 6ohm (or 210w at 4ohm) and THX Select2 Plus certification... Plus Faroudja video upscaling to 1080p or 4k (!) and the Audyssey DSX soundstage expansion. Then has it also a 5 band Audyssey 2EQ equalizer (+-6db at 63, 250hz, 1, 4, and 16 khz) for every channel, that you can adjust manually (which you need for perfect sound at home and the lower cost models has NOT this manual option) or first set automatically before you fine adjust and it has in addition fine bass & treble controls (+-10db at around 50hz and 20khz) for the "main" front speakers, that also work in surround mode... BUT a warning for the following two models 626 and 636 which not seem to have any manually adjustable equalizer!
The other brands don't use to sound finer, even at twice the price and they don't offer manually adjustable equalizer, so you can't erase the last tinny / boxy "effect" in the sound, at this price...
Harman/Kardon are slightly too expensive. Panasonic (was Technics) Pioneer and JVC are never as good as the above, at same price... Even if some of the more expensive Pioneer receivers are rather fine.
Warning! Some models turn off the tone controls, when you select home cinema and that can be a BIG problem, if you don't have perfect loudspeakers (with a very "boxy" free sound) and a perfect room, that fit perfect together...
You should also check... That your next amplifier, has Dolby Digital, DTS and Dolby Pro logic IIx that gives you fine surround, from any old stereo recordings and clearly improve standard surround. And naturally every connections you may need... For the digital TV box, DVD, BluRay, DAB tuner and old HiFi video... Plus maybe old record player, CD, MD recorder and DV camera. Then is it a lot more convenient with buttons (as few have) to select the input / source, especially if you have the equipment right beside you...
And it is very nice, if the amplifier can drive two pair of front speaker, so you can have as good sound in the bedroom or why not fine "mono" sound, in two extra rooms!!
A real loudness function, is also very good to have... Like the "Audyssey Dynamic EQ" the models I recommend above has... Yes, you hear a lot less bass and treble, at low volumes and with a real loudness, don't you need to adjust the tone controls, as soon you change the volume... Audiophiles don't like loudness because they believe you always should enjoy the music at the same level it was recorded and then you don't need loudness, but then you need a villa and a big garden, or very friendly neighbours. Click here to read even more about loudness, in the HiFi school...
Finally have we also the problem with the watt power measurements... A normal and rather strong receiver may give 5x65 w/ftc/8ohm (at 20-20khz 0.07%dist) 5x75 w/8ohm (at 1khz 1%dist) 5x110 w/4ohm, 5x100 w/dyn/8ohm (often called rms) 5x150 w/dyn/4ohm, 5x200 watt dynamic in 2 ohm and that can make you very confused. The dynamic watt is the peak max, before it clip and "ftc" is the hardest way (at 20hz to 20khz within 0.07 percent distortion, for a long time) to measure. Simply compare the same kind of watt OR select after the dynamic watt, that normally is the limit you will hear. The ohm you need, depend on which speaker you use and it's extra good if the amp handle down to 2 ohms, but then goes almost no speakers lower than 2 ohm...
Loudspeakers There are so many promising models, that it's very hard to say which is best and there are especially a lot of unique models in different countries, which naturally make any comparisons even more complicated... So I will mainly recommend a few outstanding "international" floor standing full register speakers, that normally work superb with any kind of music and not must have a separate subwoofer - even if they will sound even better with a good sub, for the deepest bass... And then can you simply use this recommendations as references, when you go out and compare, until you find your dream... Maybe with help of my listening advice, in the first part of my HiFi school. But OBSERVE that I mainly recommend alternatives that offer a very open and clear sound, so you will hear a lot more details than normally and that mean that any bad recording or bad equipment, will also sound much worse than normally... So if you prefer a smooth sound, that especially mask / hide faults and distortion, should you look elsewhere... But don't worry, this speakers don't create any additional annoying effects to the treble and if the recordings or equipment are clean or fine, will you get a perfectly soft and ultra clear sound!!
And the finest floor standing alternative is possible... The excellent Elac FS 137 Jet that was made until 2012 and first give more details than most speakers, with help of the exclusive "ribbon" style tweeter and secondly sound exceptional on voices, maybe because all sound come from one point... It has also very happy owners and a very dynamic bass, that is greater than the rather slim speaker cabinet suggest (just 22.5 cm wide) at sometimes 8000sek/pair and normally 9990sek/pair if you can find them... They have been "replaced" by the more than twice as expensive FS257 model... But many are just as happy with Elac FS 187 that costs just 8000sek/pair... But FS 137 goes "only" down to 35hz, so you need sometimes a fine little subwoofer for the deepest fundamental bass and this one need a lot more power than some other speakers (give only 89db/m/w) and is rated for 4 ohm... And some people feel finally that the very smooth treble actually is too clear and should be less revealing (which hide faults in the music, as I explain above) so you should maybe listen with high quality recordings, before you choose this alternative!
Then came late 2009 the extremely promising Monitor Audio Silver RX6 that especially sound even finer than the famous RS6 with a clearly more detailed treble, at 9900sek/pair - so you should also listen to this alternative, before you possible buy Elac FS137 anyhow... This magnificent speaker are in addition slightly more sensitive (90db/m/w) has an even slimmer front of 18.5cm, work at 6 ohm and look even more delicious, if you prefer rosewood.
Then make the Swedish company XTZ the best value active subwoofers, with extremely happy owners and the compact (27x36x38cm) XTZ 99 W8.16 produce massive deep (29-180hz) and very accurate bass, for both music and film, at only 1590sek and if you want GREAT power (from 27hz) is the bigger (422x300x425mm) XTZ 99 W10.16 a magnificent alternative at 2990sek... But they need 50 hours playing to "open" up. And if you can't find XTZ in your country (or import them from Sweden) is the best value active "international" subwoofer Klipsch RW10D that is rather compact (318x452x483cm) work from 28 to 120hz, has also extremely happy owners and can remember separate film and music setting, at 5000sek!
And the best budget SPEAKER alternative (in most countries) is possible... The elegant Klipsch RF-52 II That has very happy owners and offer sublime clarity, with more delicious treble details (up to 23000hz) than most speakers, deep dynamic bass (from 34hz) and very high sensitivity (96db/m/watt) so they need only 50 watt for the same powerful sound that you get with 200 watt and ordinary (90db/w/m) speakers, at only 7000sek/pair... They are also extra slim (17.2cm) so the design match flat screens... But some people feel that Klipsch treble is too revealing and should be softer (as I explain above) and when I did listen with very difficult test music, did the treble sound slightly strange / unclean / frizzy sometimes... And not always as ultra smooth, as I get with my own speakers and my fine headphones, even if I not did hear any more details - so you must listen with high quality recordings and be sure you like the sound, before you choose this alternative.
And if you want to play much louder, is the even more efficient Klipsch RF-82 a very interesting alternative, that offer 98db at 1 watt (so a 80w amplifier sound as 700w with Elac above) very dynamic deep bass (from 30 to 23000hz) with a very clear sound and more delicate details, according to several reviews and this big speakers look also very sexy (still only 24.1 cm wide) at 10990sek/pair... But they have the same treble as RF-52 above - so you must listen with high quality recordings and be sure you like the sound, before you choose this alternative.
My humble dream budget speakers is anyhow a smarter 5.1 system, because the following kind of cabinets would be much cheaper to build... With two very slim symmetric front towers (15cm wide 25cm deep and 110cm high, with rounded front edges and 20x25x3cm stone feet's) that has two very efficient and ultra exact 5 inch midrange elements, at both sides of a truly excellent dome horn tweeter (for minimum 96db at 1m and 1 watt) with front bass ports... So the main sound come from one point and they get easy to place... Plus a 110cm wide centre speaker, so it sound exactly the same... And then a very dynamic active subwoofer (with the centre of the membrane placed on the same distance as the midrange) that "only" work from 28 hertz and up to 90 hertz (at -3db) so you can't directly hear where the low bass sound come from... And two fine dome horn tweeters and midrange elements, directed in a wide angle and not direct, for the back speakers... Or exactly the same towers as in front (at a slightly higher cost) for the back... Then should there be an alternative at same price - with fine ribbon tweeters (in every speaker and then only towers, in the back) for slightly more delicate details and still with rather good efficiency at minimum 90db/m/w... Plus a more expensive subwoofer alternative, with very detailed bass from 22 hertz... And finally two premium alternatives with either sublime ribbon tweeters, that give minimum 93db/w/meters efficiency... Or truly excellent dome horn tweeter, with at least 99db/w/meter efficiency, at same price... Plus the deep digging alternative subwoofer... But this delicious sound candy - that should be rather cheap to build and should look very elegant together with flat screens - does strangely not exist at a moderate price!!
Then does some older speakers from CerwinVega sound extremely good, if they are placed right... Specially the huge models with 15" bass, which normally sound a lot more open and clear than any other speaker, even at a whispering low volume (when almost any other sound muddy) and they are in addition extremely sensitive / efficient, producing over 114db clean and ultra clear music (illegal at a disco) with just a 20 watt amplifier... But, they must first be placed about 40-50cm (from the edge of the bass element) above the floor, which otherwise give bad reflections and bloated bass...
Click a picture, to see the big one!
I have two pair of CerwinVega AT100 and these excellent speakers give deep detailed bass from 28 hz and a purely delicious treble up to 28000 hz, that is both ultra detailed and soft... And they are also extremely effective with 101db (from 1 watt, at 1 meter) give less then 0.5% distortion at 96db handle 400 watt continuously (so they can produce 127db ultra clear music) and each one weight 45kg... But the mid range doesn't sound better (or worse) compared with the best of the competition... CerwinVega are nowadays marketed for people who want "great disco sound" but most of the old models from 1987 to 1993 with 15 inch bass, are actually incredible accurate and sound clearly better that every "high end" speakers I have compared, with help of some other "reference" speakers that did sound rather close... Friends have also visit me with over thirty other speakers since 1988 and some was over 10 times more expensive, but everyone prefer anyhow my slightly modified speakers.
Even if they actually have three problems with the cabinet... First stand the huge speakers (they are 85 to 110cm high) almost on the floor and most models (some new have the bass element higher up) must be placed a lot higher up, as you can see in my pictures, to not get bad reflections from the floor and a bloated bass... Secondly don't the midrange and treble come from the same point... Even if I did fix that on my speakers, which have two midrange element, so I could simply change place on the top midrange and the treble element... And finally could they have a lot smaller front area, which otherwise produce reflections... So I will maybe make new cabinets, if I got time and then get even closer to the reality!
Some people say that the main secret with CerwinVega, is the patented magnet system (1) that work more like an industrial electromagnet and simply lock the cone directly to the signal, from extremely low levels (2) and in addition work exceptional smoothly, without the usual "magnetic turbulence" and then can the big CerwinVega home speakers, even handle 400 watt (for many hours) and give an unique 127 db of delicious clear music... Okay, the last part is only valuable if you want to play for the neighbours, two blocks away - but that also means, that the old CerwinVega has almost no limitations!
They started with making superior elements (with the unique patent for the magnet flow) continued producing legendary professional speakers and finally did they release home speakers 1979 with 15" bass... But since 1994 has the home speakers become worse, with each new model... Email me if YOU know anything more about CerwinVega!! Click here to visit CerwinVega!
Studio monitors KRK systems, make small exclusive monitors - with an incredible big, accurate and clear sound (mainly from 4400 to 16000 sek) which is very popular in the finest music studios, with famous artists (as Bryan Ferry, Paul Simon and Yello) and Hollywood... Click here to visit KRK!
We don't grade this excellent products, separately...
Because we only write about the absolute best alternatives,
so they are all in the true value class!
Headphones There are a few models, especially from Sennheiser, AKG and Philips that have a clearly less "boxy, tube like or hollow" sound - which otherwise make the music sound, as if the band play in a cave... And the best value is...
Sennheiser PX-100 II which are a new version of the classic PX100 with a finer black (or white) design and the same exceptional clean, open and very natural sound... That especially sound less "boxy, tube like or hollow" than most headphones from Japan... You get also deep strong bass and silky clean high treble (15-27.000hz) with every detail and totally about 95% perfect sound quality... Because they could sound a bit wider, but headphones with even higher sound quality are extremely expensive... They sound actually very similar to the 85% Koss Porta Pro and offer especially cleaner treble... Yes, many happy owner did also compare with Porta Pro and love the clearly finer sound, plus the fact that PX100 not get stuck in the hair... They are in addition very comfortable, foldable and very sensitive... But they offer also little more bass, than the earlier PX100 that I have and that might be too much bass for some... And if you happen to pull the cable hard, may it also break more easy... Then are this headphones open, so you will hear a lot more of any surrounding noise AND vital traffic sounds... But don't worry about other people, they will actually NOT hear your music or even some "tss tss" as long as you not play dangerous loud... And they costs only 390sek 2013!
If that is too expensive for you, is AKG K 402 a ultra low cost alternative, that offer 85% sound quality and sound also very clear - with great bass, delicate treble (finer that Koss porta pro) and are also free from the too common "boxy, tube like or hollow" tint - but the instruments and song does get a bit split up... They are also small and very light, very effective at 117db/mW and available in blue plus black, yellow plus black or red plus black, at incredible 149sek 2013!
And if you want "home" headphones, is Philips SHP2000 an amazing bargain, with 92% perfect sound quality... They sound especially very clear - with massive bass, delicate treble and are totally free from the too common "boxy, tube like or hollow" tint... Then are they black and very light, with big comfy ear covers and 2m cable... Finally handle they 500mW, but give only 100db/mW so they need more power than most, at incredible 129sek 2013!
Equalizer A fine equalizer is normally vital for a truly natural sound...You can click here and see why, in the HIFI school... Yamaha was finally the only company (it's not in the late years catalogues) that did sell a really fine equalizer, which not is too expensive and they still have one equalizer for music studios. A fine equalizer should have min -95db noise and max 0.01% distortion... And Sansui, Onkyo, Kenwood and Luxman did also to make fine ones!
MP3 and MiniDisc First a short and VITAL explanation... The superior MiniDisc system died almost completely 2008 even if the recordable disc's still was in production 2010 and always may be... Okay, Tascam (the pro division of Teac) did release a new model October 2009 for studios - but the last major home deck recorders from Sony, came 2002 and the last portable recorder from Sharp, came 2004 - so even if you get slightly worse sound quality with 190kbps MP3 (coded with the finest Lame) than you get with ATRAC Type-R recordings, is there no new portable alternatives today... And fine second hand MiniDisc machines, will naturally be more and more rare... And that is sad, because MiniDisc has another great advantage, beside the excellent sound quality - it's extremely safe (reliable) and can be recorded (the most "damaging" action) over one million times... So it might actually be very smart to buy "old" but rarely used MiniDisc equipment (especially home decks) that just now are sold extremely cheap, in some countries!!
But if you want to buy NEW recording technology today, is a fine portable player with flash memory the best way - which naturally make it possible to always bring all your music, plus make it a lot more easy to edit and manage many track, albums and music styles - but then must you first record trough a good sound card and with a fine encoder, at rather high bitrate (see more below) and then copy the result to SEVERAL different HDD or SSD units, because any HDD units will crash after some time and even the latest SSD flash memory begin also to die after 10.000 to 100.000 new writes (on the same sector / block and you can read unlimited times) which at least is much better than 10 years ago. All flash memory write also to the next free sector, until the memory is full and does only note that a sector is ready for a new recording (in a non flash register) instead of writing over "deleted" parts and when every sector is used, does it begin again with the oldest "deleted" sector and that method give them as long life as possible. But some cheap cards hold only for 1000 new writes... Then is recordable CD or DVD's even worse, with a lifetime from a few months to max 10 years, if you not use very rare Archive Grade disc's (see more at the DVD section) that might hold 25 years - or BluRay disc of the dual metal type (not the "BD-R LTH" version with an organic dye recording layer) that may hold over 50 years...
The only High Quality portable alternative today (that not is very expensive) is a fine MP3 player... But you can't just change to another disc and other music, when you want... So you simply need a player with room for your complete collection and extra space for the near future... Or a player that take SD cards... And you need 7.3GB for 80 hours (or 1200 four minutes tracks) of excellent quality MP3 at 190kbps... Or 11 Hi-MD discs at HiMD SP for 80 hours of the same delicious quality... * Yes, around 190 kbps coded with LAME 3.98.2 and VBS at v2 sound exactly as the original with almost any music, according to very careful listening tests by "golden ears" who very easy hear artifacts and even 128 kbps (v5 setting) coded in the beast way, sound just as the original with most music, for most people... And 4.92GB is enough for 80 hours of very fine quality MP3 at 128kbps...
So you need a mp3 player, with rather big storage capacity OR a slot for SD cards - if you really want quality... Plus a second HDD disc or SD card for a safety copy, because HDD units crash after some time and a modern SSD flash units or SD cards can "only" be written on 10.000 to 100.000 times (on the same sector / block and you can read unlimited times) before they begin to die and NOT over one million times as with MiniDisc... All flash memory write also to the next free sector, until the memory is full and does only note that a sector is ready for a new recording (in a non flash register) instead of writing over "deleted" parts and when every sector is used, does it begin again with the oldest "deleted" sector and that method give them as long life as possible. But some cheap cards hold only for 1000 new writes... The main advantages with a really roomy mp3 player, is that you don't have to change the disc and it's rather easy to do a safety backup, to the secondary safety HDD disc or SD card... But you must then always do backups or loose everything you forgot to save, if the very sensitive hard disc brake OR when the flash memory's limited lifetime ends!
And the best separate budget MP3 player with display is... SanDisk Sansa Clip+ that offer high sound quality, a simple 1 inch OLED screen and 2GB internal memory, plus slot for microSD cards (so you can easy make it more roomy) and a fine equalizer at incredible 350sek... It has also dictaphone functionality, USB connector and play MP3, WMA, secure WMA, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC format... But you must naturally use better headphones and reset to "world" if you buy it in Europe, because the loudness limitations for the European market!
One smart alternative is naturally a fine SmartPhone with 16GB storage space or simply a slot for a SD card, which some dumb smartphones don't include... You may also need a replaceable battery, which some models don't offer, because you will use your phone to so many things... But they offer rather different sound quality, so you should first check the reviews at - www.GSMarena.com - and the two best mp3 player app's for Android is PowerAMP and PlayerPro.
Then offer some Cowon iAudio and Sony models - as Cowon iAudio i9 that came 2009 - slightly higher sound quality, they play more formats, has more possibilities and a fine colour screen, at a clearly higher price.
Why Not?!? The now old low budget E series from Sony, had less good sound quality and some problem with the videos... And the players from Apple simply sound less good, plus need a special program...
Hi-MD was the second MiniDisc system from Sony And it was in some ways a fiasco, so I did never use it... You find the finest first generations MiniDisc equipments (that I still use) below, after the section about the new MP3 alternatives... You may also click here to see why you may need a MD recorder and every great thing, you can do with it...
Sony did anyhow develop a dramatically improved MiniDisc system with Hi-MD which offer both excellent quality AND much longer recordings. But if you don't need to record more than 80 minutes on each disc - can you buy a older fine MD recorder instead and get the same excellent quality, much cheaper... HiMD SP mode (ATRAC3plus 256kbps) give recordings of CD quality (according to Sony) or almost the same excellent quality as fine "old" MD decks that has ATRAC type R and records with 292kbps ATRAC (according to ultra critic audiophiles) and the new expensive 1GB HiMD disc store then 7h55min... That is the same record time as 6.4 old 74min MD's (160MB with 292kbps) and you can then save 118 four minutes tracks on a 1GB disc, with this high quality... But even 190kbps mp3 (saved with the finest Lame codec) does sound the same, so why bother?!
HiMD LP mode give recordings of MD quality (according to Sony) or slightly worse than MD LP2 132kbps (according to ultra critic audiophiles) and that is slightly better than MP3 128kbps (according to deep listening tests) and you can then store 34 hours on each 1GB disc - that sound exactly as the original, with most music... And that is the same as 510 four minutes tracks! Atrac3plus has especially significantly lower sideband noise, so peak signals are much more cleaner. You can also use "old" blank 80min MD discs (that change them from 170MB to 290MB) and HiMD SP give you then 2h20min of very quality... And HiMD LP store 10h10min on the "old" type of discs. You will get the same extremely secure recordings, that last at least 50 years and the new disc is also possible to record 1.000.000 times... Hi-MD equipment can also play old Minidisc recordings... Some models can even record in the old MD format, but not on Hi-MD formatted discs. Hi-MD microphone and line-input recordings are possible to upload (copy) to a PC system. But only a few models, have line input and mic input. A Hi-MD recorder can in addition be used to store data and files, from a PC system or PDA...
And the best Hi-MD recorder is... The amazing Sony MZ-RH1 that offer many advantages and especially Digital uploading (5x or faster) of standard old MD recordings (done through mic, analog or digital) via USB (but only with perfect quality as WAV and that take over 700MB for a MD) so you can first make one high quality backup AND then convert that to HiMD. Then has it also a finer HD digital amplifier, high capacity coupling condenser for authentic reproduction of bass, Li-ion battery & charging via USB, from 30% faster USB transfers, a sexy black metal case 104cm3 (or 83.8x84.4x14.7mm) with a very long slim display at one side, that is more easy to view in a pocket... Almost like a micro HiMD deck. And it remember every setting, including last rec level, spectrum analyzer, digital Pitch Control, clearly finer MP3 playback and dynamic normalizer (doing something) at expensive 3050sek or 325usd 2007 with rechargeable battery and charger. And it has also adjustable track marks, separate line in & line out setting, great battery life: minimum 8 hours HiSP rec and 15 hours play... But you can only view titles on the remote, it has no jog / scroll wheel (you can only jump 10 tracks with the group +/- function) and even if you temporary upload your old MD recordings as WAW (that take too much space) will the conversion to HiMD save them with slightly worse quality, which you hopefully not will hear... And it's also hard to find home decks that handle HiMD too... So I personally decided to stay with my "old" ATRAC Type-R system and upgrade to some finer and rarely used recorders (that was sold extremely cheap 2008) instead. Then was Sony MZ-NH910 the best budget alternative, with a big 5 line display, up to 34 hours battery life, very elegant 141cm3 body (80x21x84mm) very happy owners, possibility to store mp3 files directly, plus "High Definition" digital amp, 6 bands equalizer, mic in, line in, USB in and can also store data files, at 2100sek or 177usd 2007 with rechargeable battery and charger. Why Not?!? Sony MZ-NH3D and Sony MZ-NH600D has probably not line in and out, so they work only with a PC connection
The very good looking budget model from Pioneer * A very rare "old" mini Technics
MiniDisc home deck A fine MD deck should first have the very convenient "track selector knob" or "jog dial" and naturally an extremely accurate sound, with help of ATRAC TYPE-R or TYPE-S as the best value: Sony mds-je 480 at 1700sek 2006. The only home decks with Hi-MD was the mini Onkyo MD-105FX at 420usd (205mm wide) and elegant midsize Onkyo MD-133 at ultra expensive 640usd 2006 but they are hard to find outside Japan and I have not found any reviews... Then has Sony mds-je780 and jb980 (or the older and still very fine ja333es, ja555es, jb940, je770, je640, jb930, jb730 and je530) in addition a very useful display (showing record level, track name, number and time, plus a track calendar, at the same time) and more expensive don't sound better... And the latest Sony's has also a "Group Function" to organize the titles in groups. Finally has the older Sony mds-jb940 and ja333es (plus some other exclusive models as my jb730 but strangely not jb980) a complete "easy to write titles" remote... But you can connect a standard PC keyboard, to some new models as je780/770/640 and jb980 but not je480
Yamaha mdx595 / 596 is a good looking slim line machine, that gives you excellent sound and the plastic Panasonic SJ-MD150 got also some excellent reviews... Other brands don't sound exactly as good, at the same price... But the sexy Pioneer MJ-D508 (above) can in addition reduce the tape noise from old cassette recordings, when you copy them.
The revolutionary Sharp md-dr7 * Elegant Sharp md-mt77 * Sony mzr900 * Sharp 831 as Kenwood
Click any pix above, to see bigger versions...
Portable MD with recording They are sadly not made anymore, but the finest alternative was... The revolutionary and very elegant Sharp MD-DR7 (DR470 in Europe and DR480 in Singapore) offer clearly finer sound quality (with deeper bass and more detailed sound, according to several reports) than any other portable (actually 20-45% finer sound quality) with help of a unique advanced 1bit digital amp, of 2x8mW and better battery life, with min 27 hour play or 10.5 hour rec. At only 2000sek 2003. This lovely machine have also a BIG five lines display (12 characters title, track number and time, as mt77 but it is ugly green with blue digits in some versions) an extra elegant slim remote control, 5-30 second pre-record (a time machine function) no motor or engine noise, group and MDLP functions, 9sec intro play mode, 3step xbass and 5step treble control, NiMH battery, play speed -30% to +15% and a ultra compact top loaded (101cm3) metal body... But you should absolutely buy better earphones, to really enjoy the sublime sound quality!
The last Sharp MD-DR77 that came 2004 is basically the same fine machine, with slightly different design (102cm3 or 7.89x1.8x7.19cm) and the black version look excellent.
You could also find the superior digital amplifier in a very fine budget model... Sharp IM-DR420 at only 1380sek 2003 and this bigger version (177cm3 or 83x28x76mm) use AA batteries... And then has Sharp IM-DR400 and 410 the same amplifier with more elegant design, but no remote and no mic in...
Then is the old Sharp MD-MT77 (or MT877 in Europe) even more elegant and smaller (95.1 cm3) than the famous Sony mzr900 and has the most delicious look ever (in silver, not the light blue) but it's now almost impossible to find... It have also a bigger display with 2x12 character and 2/3/10 elements for text & time plus track/ battery/ volume (one 12 digit line show always the disc title) cute 4way jog pad (work as two jog selectors, but with one finger) very small buttons, a fine docking station (but it can't charge while using) MDLP (long play) it's open at side, is very silent (no motor noise as Sony) can auto play, can copy titles (Sony can't) has high precision divide (Sony mzr900 has not) and USB connection, for advanced computer editing... And use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case... But Sony mzr900 has longer battery life (Sharp play anyhow 12 and rec 6.5 hours, with the same nimh batt) more advanced tone controls (Sharp can anyhow give more and deeper tight bass) you must pause before editing and both give 2x5mw.
And they made a few more very fine models... Sharp MD-MT66or866 that look nice in silver, came 2000 play 18 hours on AA batteries and 12 hours on internal, are 79x72x19.5mm and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sharp MD-MT190or170 that look ok in plastic silver, came 2002 play 15.5 hours on AA batteries, are 83x76x23mm "big" and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sharp MD-MT831or832 that look very nice in metallic golden silver, came 1999 play 11.5 hours on AA batteries and 14.5 hours on internal, are 81x80x17.9mm "big" and use the rare Sharp AD-N51BT li-ion gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case.. Then is Kenwood DMC-L7R the same machine (see picture above) except it look even more delicious in black! Sharp MD-MT290 that look rather ugly in plastic silver and black, came 2003 play 33 hours on AA batteries and are 83x77x28mm.
Then was many late models from Sony also excellent, even if some of them didn't manage to offer as strong bass... But if you are happy with normal great bass (setting 2 and not 3 in many Sharp) as I am, will probably following models be interesting... And they are sorted in the order I want them... Sony MZ-N920 that look good in silver, came 2004 has six bands equalizer (+-10db) and digital amplifier, play ?? hours on AA batteries and ?? hours on internal, are 79x72x15.9mm and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sony MZ-N910 that look good in silver, came 2003 has six bands equalizer (+-10db) play 47 hours on AA batteries and 31 hours on internal, are 79x72x15.9mm and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sony MZ-NF810 that look good in silver, came 2003 has six bands equalizer (+-10db) play 38 hours on AA batteries and 17 or 19 hours on internal, are 81x74.4x20mm and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sony MZ-NF710 that look very nice in silver, came 2003 has six bands equalizer (+-10db) play 38 hours on AA batteries and 19&17 hours on internal, are 81x74.4x20mm and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sony MZ-N707 that look very nice in black or silver, came 2002 has ATRAC type R play 42 hours on AA batteries and are 81x75x28mm Sony MZ-R910 that look nice in silver, came 2002 has ATRAC type R play 45 hours on AA batteries and 30 hours on internal, are 78.9x72x17.1mm and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sony MZ-R501 is a budget model that look wow in black and very nice in silver, came 2002 has ATRAC type R play 36 hours on AA batteries and are 83x76x28mm, but has NO mic input... Sony MZ-N1 that look nice in black or silver, came 2001 has ATRAC type R play 45 hours on AA batteries and 30 hours on internal, are 78.7x71.8x16.9mm and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sony MZ-R750 that look nice in dark grey, came 2001 has radio, play 36 hours on AA batteries and are 81x75x28mm Sony MZ-N510 that look ok in silver or red, came 2003 has ATRAC type R play 37 hours on AA batteries and are 81x75x28mm Sony MZ-N909 that look nice came 2001 has ATRAC type R play 34 hours on AA batteries and 24 hours on internal, are 80x76x21mm and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sony MZ-R701or755 that look ok in silver, came 2002 has ATRAC type R play 36 hours on AA batteries and are 81x28x74.4mm Sony MZ-R700orG750 that look nice in silver or grey, came 2001 play 40/26 hours on AA batteries and are 81x75x28mm Sony MZ-R500 that look very nice in black and ok in silver, came 2001 play 36 hours on AA batteries and are 83x76x28mm, but has NO mic input... Sony MZ-R900 that look very good in red and nice in silver, came 2001 has treble setting, play 30 hours on AA batteries and 21 hours on internal, are 79x72x17mm and use the Sony NH-14WM / Sharp AD-N55BT gum battery or one AA battery in the included removable case. Sony MZ-R70 that look nice in black or silver, came 2000 play 17 hours on AA batteries and are 81x74x26mm...
An old cassette box is as reference 131cm3 and a CD jewel case 176cm3 big...
Why Not?!? Both Sony and Sharp have models with a NetMD function, that make it possible to download Atrac compressed audio... But you get better quality, if you copy directly from CD discs and normally even from radio... So we don't write especially about that function.
Warning!! Many Sony and Sharp machines, have the extra minidisc coding system "MDLP" that let you record a lot more in two steps and the first step give you max 160 minutes, but with clearly worse sound quality... And the second step up to 320 minutes, with a very bad quality that ONLY is good for speech and that can only be played on MDLP machines... But you can always record at normal speed and get excellent quality!
More inside Vantage Tech Magazine: Visit the HiFi school, to see why you may need a MD recorder and every great thing, you can do with it... More about selecting a portable MD recorder... Link to more info: Visit MiniDiscOrg to find details on almost every MD unit ever made!
Portable MD players Was the natural alternative, if you have another MD recorder... And the last ones, was only 65-90cm3 big and have very long battery life (16-40 hours) with the internal rechargeable battery... But you should only select a Sharp with 1-bit digital amp or a Sony with HD digital amp. They are very similar in sound quality, but sell at very different prices and then is the size, battery life and the remote control, the biggest difference.
CD players Home deck.. You should actually invest little more, in a fine BluRay player as me and they play naturally old CD records and DVD films... But if you don't want a DVD or BluRay player, is it anyhow very convenient with a "track selector knob" or "jog dial" and a full display - that show you track number, time and a track calendar, at the same time.Click a picture, to see the big one!
The incredible (but old) JVC ux-md 9000r micro system!
Mini System I haven't got time to check them personally, since 2002 except very fast (in six shops) with a special test record, when friends want a recommendation... But very few mini systems are really good (give fine quality at low volumes) anyhow...
How to select a mini system... You should naturally listen carefully (with good test tracks, you are familiar with) before you buy... And remember to set the xbass and equalizers (or tone controls) to compensate the speakers and get the best (natural and balanced) sound, for every machine (that's sometimes done with the remote) before you compare. It should sound clear, with a deep detailed bass, high clear soft treble and not the usual "boxy or tube" sound. You can remove some "boxy" sound if it has an equalizer, see more in the HIFI school below. Then must you check that it has the connections you may need, especially to a MD recorder, DVD player, digital TV box and HiFi video.
The JVC ux-md9000r was an incredible micro system with a MD recorder, rds radio, CD player and diminutive shiny black speakers, that sound both extremely clear, with a very deep warm bass (!) and not "boxy" sound... But it was sold out 2001 for only 4000 sek. Click here
for the complete article, that open in a new window...
Tuner Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon and Pioneer make very fine tuners, from 1850 sek.
Microphones Sony's tiny ts120 stereo "stealth" tie mic was excellent, but are replaced with ts125 that might be as good... See more here!
CDr, DAT, MP3 and the old cassette system Have simply too many disadvantages to MD records and only a few plus... Click here to read exactly why, in the HiFi school!
Other sites You find also a great collection, with helpful REVIEWS of almost every audio and video product, in eCoustics big free website... Click here to explore... And click here for links to the finest reviews, of digital cameras!
And the finest music I could find, anywhere!
Yes, taste is very personal... But people use to LOVE the music I like and get a truly delicious surprise, when I play them my findings... So I might have a very good taste and this can be like a treasure map, to the greatest magic in music - if you just have a similar taste!
And I only like music with a nice melody (or a very interesting arrangement) and a dynamic nerve - so there is some drama, that also can be a sensual or cool vibe... And I mainly see fine singing, as another fine instrument - so I don't care about the language or the lyric... Then is a clear "elegant" sound a big advantages (for me) and there may only be a few disharmonies, as a hot spice... So I simply don't like too much noise (distortion) silly low sound quality or annoying instruments, including bad vocal crescendo parts!
To be sure that a CD was worth buying, did I invent following grading scale a long time ago and it's simply to add the points for each fine track, to see how good a CD are...
Nice & error free (or lovely with annoying faults) get 5 points, Delicious (or truly great / single class) 10 Fantastic (maxi class) 20 Heavenly (sale CD class) 30 Magical (cd class) 40 and observe that heavenly is possible, but magic may not be...
Then did I never note from whish album each song came, so you have to figure that out in Google and I don't include my grade of the sound quality, because that may differ on different recordings and note that I also use to fade out ugly end crescendos, so the track time may not be as the original recording... And observe that many recordings need a heavy equalizer correction, even to sound acceptable - like get ok bass and a "non cave" sound!
Yes, I sort also my music in moods or feelings - except the music styles reggae, disco, rock and classic... And the taste differ more at lower points, so I will not include any tracks below 8 points... But that fact make it also a lot more possible, that YOU will love many of this tracks and the only big problem, is that many of these tracks are too hard to find!
COOL / DREAMY music 36 5:02 ELO "One summer dream" (fade out) 33 2:16 ELO "Above the clouds" 33 11:43 Art of noise "Moments of love" 32 4:22 Mono "Life in mono" 31 3:21 Yello "Otto di Catania" 30 5:56 Yello "Of course Im lying" 30 5:18 Mylene Farmer "L'antre" 26 5:51 Anna "Like they do in movies" 26 3:35 Beach Boys "Kokomo" (from the single) 25 5:17 Julee Cruise "Tell your heart" 25 6:13 Julee Cruise "Love come this way" 24 4:34 Charlotte Gainsbourg "L'un part l'autre reste" 22 2:16 Louis Armstrong "What A Wonderful World" 22 3:37 Yello "Desire" 20 5:02 Prince "The beautiful ones" 19 3:45 Ayla "Angel falls - Particular Remix" 19 2:25 Destination "from beginning.. The party's over" 18 4:20 Dave Stewart "Jack talking" 17 1:49 Joanne Whalley "Past, Present & Future" (from radio, not complete) 17 2:35 Agneta Fältskog "Past, Present & Future" 16 5:00 Jimmy BO Horne "Close to you" 16 5:46 Teddy Pendergrass "Come go with me" 16 4:17 LL COOL "I need love" 16 5:04 Irene Grandi "Vai vai vai" 16 3:36 Bowie "Changes" 16 5:19 Dive "Captain Nemo" 16 4:14 Roxy Music "Avalon" 16 5:51 Yves Rénier "La chanson PCV du Commissaire Moulin" 15 1:46 Joe Walsh "Daydream" 15 3:56 Bangles "Eternal flame" 15 4:34 Street band "Toast" 14 4:02 Prince "Damm U" 15 3:03 Roxy Music "As times goes by" (from a tv concert) 14 2:24 Robert Miles "In my dreams" (parts) 13 4:28 Joe Dassin "L'ete Indien" 13 3:41 Candyman "Knocking boots" 13 3:03 Jean Birkin in concert 13 2:26 Peter Skellern "Isn't this a lovely day" (radio, without the beginning) 13 4:11 McLaren "Call a wave" 12 4:34 Dusty Springfield "Daydreaming" 12 4:00 Double "Captain of her heart" 12 3:21 Whitney Houston "Exhale" 12 4:29 Paul Simon "Something so right" 12 2:53 Louis Armsrong "Fantastic, thats you" 12 3:41 Roxy Music "Dance away" 11 3:00 Lennon "Imagine" 11 4:42 Dave Stewart "MrReed" 11 3:26 Barbie (Bard) "Around the world" 11 4:16 Neneh Cherry & Youssou "7 seconds" 10 4:41 10cc "Im not in love" 10 4:34 Roxy Music "Oh Yeah" 10 5:15 McLaren "I like you in velvet" 10 2:55 Alejandro Fernandez "Loco" (live) 10 2:56 Lisa Ekdahl "Vem vet" 10 3:43 Brook Sapphire "So we start" 10 3:32 "This is ponderous" by 2nu
9 points * 3:38 Paul Simon "Was a sunny day" 4:45 Leonard Cohen "In my secret life" 8:08 Pulp "Seductive Barry" 3:25 Jason Donovan "Any dream will do" 3:39 Love C.A. "Rain until we meet again" 3:17 Paul McCartney "Bluebird" 4:45 Roxy Music "These foolish things" 3:58 Chaka Demus & Pliers "Tease me" 4:08 Louis Armstrong "When you wish upon a star" 2:45
8 points * 3:01 INXS "Beautiful girl" 3:22 Stephen Simmonds "Tears never dry" 5:18 Julee Cruise "Falling" Martin Ljung "Visst var det roligt" 2:50 Jobim "Agua de beber" 3:24 Joe Dassin "Et si tu n'existais pas" 4:23 Pj Duncan "I want you" 3:47 AoL "Bienvenue au paradise" 4:18 Flash & the Pan "California" 4:50 ZZtop "Rough boy" 4:54 Julee Cruise "The nightingale" 3:24 Flash & the Pan "Walking in the rain" 4:08 Love And Rockets "So alive"
SEXY music 38 5:03 Era "Flowers of The Sea" 36 3:19 Serge Gainsbourg "Je taime moi mon plus" (a very rare version with a wild beat, that I never found on record) 36 3:29 French Affair "Comme Ci Comme Ca" 33 1:13 Mikado "L'exotisme" 33 4:13 Jane Birkin "Quoi" 30 4:22 Mono "Life in mono" 29 5:11 Charlotte Gainsbourg "Lemon Incest" 28 3:42 Metisse "boom boom ba" 28 3:44 Alizee "J'en Ai Marre - live" 27 3:44 Vanessa Paradise "Joe le taxi" 26 2:41 Stephanie "Besoin" 24 5:08 Madonna "Erotica" (album version) 24 4:10 Touch and Go "Straight To Number One" Buddha Bar mix 23 3:45 Visage "Fade to grey" 22 4:18 Anna "As they do in movies" 22 0:28 Samanta Fox "More More More" (only the beginning) 22 4:03 The Underground Crew "Orgasm" alternative 1990 version of "Jungle Fever" by Kinkina 21 2:29 Brigette Bardot "La Madrague" 20 3:46 Paradisio "Bailando" 20 3:35 Robert Miles "One & one" with Maria Nayler 19 5:07 Gainsbourg & Birkin "La Decadance" 18 5:14 Madonna "Erotica Original" (the photo book maxi) 18 2:00 Meri Wilson "Telephone man" 18 3:53 "Stars are blind" Paris Hilton 18 2:14 Jazz Lee Alston "Round Black Berry" (only the sexy parts) 17 4:23 Princess Superstar "Fuck me on the dancefloor - remix by zio" 16 3:51 Bardot & Gainsbourg "Je taime" (with stereo & bass, rare) 16 3:56 Stephanie "Fleur du mal" 16 3:45 French Affair "Sexy" 16 2:27 "Rose's theme" from mowie Color of night 16 1:55 Bardot "Je me donne ā qui me plaît" 16 0:27 Baccara (only the intro from) "Bamba" 16 4:11 4 Ying Yang Twins "Pull my hair" 15 3:52 Charlotte Gainsbourg "Charlotte for ever" 15 3:10 Matt Bianco "Macumba" 15 4:28 Sergio Mendes "What is This?" 15 4:49 Madonna "Justify my love" 15 5:08 Cargo "Pornstar - extended version" 14 3:44 Claude Monnet present Monica Nogiuera "Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais" (by Gainsbourg) 14 1:22 AoL "You come a long way babye" 14 1:38 Mandy Smith "I just cant wait" 14 3:19 Princessa "Ensalza Tu Amor" 14 1:27 Anna Book "November December" 13 4:32 Baccara "Yes sir, I can boogie" 13 3:04 Donna Summer "love to love you baby" (maxi) 13 4:20 DuranDuran "All she wants is" 12 3:22 Bugsy Malone "My name is Tallulah" 12 1:27 Bardot "L'appareil a sous" 12 5:31 Grace Jones "La vie en rose" 12 2:18 Donna Summer "Prelude to love & Could it be magic" (fade after beginning) 12 9:25 Extreme Erotica "First theme" (not released yet) 12 Verona "La musica" 12 4:18 4 Alizee "Veni vidi vici" Live 12 4:44 4 Deadmau5 feat Melleefresh "Hey Baby" 11 4:20 Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg "Je taime moi mon plus" 11 3:12 Scene from the film Gwendoline 10 3:55 Kylie Minogue "Lets get to it" 10 0:47 Addis black widow (just the beginning) 10 3:09 Pierre Bachelet "Emmanuelle"
9 points * 3:37 Samantha Fox "touch me" 2:30 France Gall & Gainsbourg "Les sucettes" 4:45 Kylie Minogue "lets get to it" 4:50 Korsakow & Noël "Sweet Poison of your love" * And 8 points * 5:46 Stephanie "Flash" 3:47 Niagara "Pendant Que Les Champs brulent" 2:27 Lulu boys "Boom boom" 3:24 Divinyls "I touch myself" 4:18 Haifa Wehbe "Oult Eah" 1:12 Theme of Emmanuelle two 3:38 French Affair "My heart goes boom" 2:16 End song of Emmanuelle two
REGGAE 28 3:53 Serge Gainsbourg "Daisy temple" 26 4:06 Grace Jones "Pars" 25 2:49 Serge Gainsbourg "Vieille Canaille" 22 3:11 Freddy MacGregor "Just don't wanna be lonely" 18 3:24 UB40 "Cant help falling in love" 18 4:28 Grace Jones "Libertango" 16 4:18 Grace Jones "Walking in the rain" 16 3:47 UB40 "Kingston town" 15 3:06 Serge Gainsbourg "Javanaise remake" 12 2:43 Bob Marley "Buffalo soldier" 12 5:10 Grace Jones "Private life" 12 3:38 Aswad "Shine" 12 4:21 Boy George "Everythig I own" (max) 12 3:29 Boris Gardiner "I wanna wake up with you" 12 4:04 Chaka Demus & Pliers "Tease me" 11 4:20 Culture Club "Do you really want to hurt me" 11 3:17 Bob Marley "Jamming" 10 3:13 Serge Gainsbourg "Eau et gaz.. & Pas long feu" 10 3:34 Bob Marley "Could you be loved" 10 3:00 Serge Gainsbourg "Aux armes et caetera" * 9 points * 3:21 Mango Kings "Under di Mangotree" 3:02 Dawn Penn "no no no" 7:13 Boy George "everythig - Botha mix" 6:43 Grace Jones "The Apple stretching" * 8 points * 3:35 Maxie Priest "Wild World" 3:35 Chaka Demus & Pliers "Gal wine" 3:10 Shaggy "Oh Carolina" 3:32 Duke Baysee "Sugar sugar"
GREAT music 40 6:18 Mylene Farmer "Ainsi soit je.." 36 5:01 ELO "One summer dream" 33 2:16 ELO "Above the clouds" 30 5:17 Mylene Farmer "L'antre" 30 5:24 Pavarotti & Zucchero, live "caruso" 25 to 05 Pink Floyd "Dark side of the moon (with the tracks) "Speak to me & breathe in the air (from Dark live) - Time - The great gig in the sky (from dark live) - Money - Us & them - Brain damage - Eclipse" 25 1:00 ELO "Tightrope" (just the intro) 25 4:24 Queen & Elton "Show must go on" 24 6:33 Sweetbox "Don't go Away" (vers 1 & 2 on CD maxi) 24 4:50 Grandaddy "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot" (not the youTube versions) 22 11:40 Enigma "Principles of lust - Sadeness - Find love - Sadeness reprise" 22 7:07 Jean Michel Jarre & Natacha Atlas "C'est la vie" 22 to 10 Rick Wakeman "The myth and legends.. (with the tracks) Arthur - Lady of the lake -Sir Lancelot and the black night - Merlin the magician - Sir Galahad - Guinevere (only the beginning of the beginning) - The last battle" 22 to 08 ELO "Concerto for a rainy day (with the tracks) Standin in the rain - Big wheels - Summer and lightning -Mr Blue Sky - Believe me now - Steppin out" 20 0:18 20century Fox "theme" 20 3:25 Tina Turner "Golden Eye" (the 007 theme) 20 4:22 ABBA "Happy new year" 20 3:01 ABBA "The way old friends do" 20 6:37 Dana International "Free" (from tv) 20 6:41 Rick Wakeman "Judas Iscariot" (fadeout) 20 3:56 Lennon "Starting over" 19 3:10 Sweetbox "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright" 19 1:53 Wakeman "The empty vessel" voice of Nina Wakeman 18 5:44 Gary Moore "Parisienne walkways" 18 3:47 Rick Wakeman "Funerailles" 18 2:56 Miquel Brown "When did it all begin to end" 18 1:21 Pink Floyd "One of the few" 18 2:42 Kellys heroes "Burning bridges" 16 9:20 Enigma "Back to the rivers of belief" 18 3:02 Alan Parsons Project "Dont let it show" (from robot) 16 9:07 Frankie goes to Hollywood "Two tribes" 16 3:52 AoL "Supernatural" 16 4:00 Supertramp "If everyone was listening" 16 2:28 Ronettes "Be my babye" (extra groovy version, but not complete) 16 2:07 Beatles "Sgt Peppers lonely hearts club band - With a little help from my friend" 16 3:35 Beatles "The long and winding road" 15 4:28 Beatles "A day in the life" 15 2:58 Lennon "Imagine" 15 4:19 Rick Wakeman "The maker" and first seconds of "Spaceman" 15 4:35 Cats "Memory" 15 3:53 Sandra "Secret land" 15 7:10 Robert Miles "Children, the dream" 15 5:42 Mylene Farmer "Agnus Dei" 15 2:16 Supertramp "Crime of the century" 15 2:52 Supertramp "Casual conversations" 15 4:20 Alan Parsons Project "Prelude & arrival" (from poe) 14 3:47 Erika "In the arms of a stranger" 14 5:29 Frankie goes to Hollywood "The Power of love" 14 4:34 Enigma "Mea culpa" 14 4:32 ELO "Telephone line" 14 3:48 Whitney "I will always love you" 14 6:15 Mike Batt "Tarota" 14 Mike Batt "The night of the dead - The dead of the night - Run like the wind" 14 2:11 Sailor "Jacaranda" 14 3:34 Pink Floyd "Paranoid eyes" 14 6:37 Elton John "Song for Guy" 14 3:08 Beach Boys "California dreamin" 14 4:03 Lennon "Just a jealous guy" 14 3:03 Beatles "Here comes the sun" 14 2:26 Beatles "Girl" 13 2:17 Petrus "China in my head" (from tv) 13 1:48 Rick Wakeman "The reaper" (only the end) 13 4:22 Alan Parsons Project "The eagle will rise again" (from pyramid) 12 4:30 Rick Wakeman "Jane Seymour" 12 4:11 Enigma "Callas went away" 12 3:48 Nina Hagen "Zarah" 12 3:47 ELO "Strange magic" 12 3:01 Goldfrapp "Utopia" (fast version) 12 4:00 Goldfrapp "Utopia" (slow promo version) 12 5:29 Pink Floyd "The gunners dream" 12 1:15 Pink Floyd "Get your filthy hands off my desert" 12 2:13 Pink Floyd "Southamton docks" 12 5:40 Elton John "Don't let the sun go down on me" (from the Rio concert) 12 4:03 Mike Batt "Voices in the dark" 12 2:59 Beatles "Something" by Harrison 12 2:56 Beatles "Penny lane" 11 3:17 Beatles "All you need is love" 11 3:22 Alan Parsons Project "In the lap of the Gods" (from pyramid) 11 3:35 Mike Batt "Losing your way in the rain" 11 3:34 The Mo "Nostalgia locomotive" (maxi) 11 5:16 Mylene Farmer "De'senchantee" 11 2:48 Beach Boys "God only knows" 11 4:06 Rick Wakeman "Rienzi/Chopsticks fantasia" 11 3:07 Rick Wakeman "Orpheus song" 11 5:07 Supertramp "My kind of lady" 10 4:49 Supertramp "A soapbox opera" 11 4:24 Sinead O'Connor "Nothing compares 2U" (cut version) 10 2:48 Rick Wakeman "Silent prayer" 10 3:08 ELO "Eldorado overture.." 10 5:35 ELO "Shangrila" 10 1:59 Enigma "The voice of enigma" 10 4:30 Mylene Farmer "Sans logique" 10 3:36 Guns N Roses "Since I don't have you" 10 3:10 Pink Floyd "Another brick in the wall part 1" 10 3:12 Pink Floyd "Nobody home" (fade out) 10 11:02 Pink Floyd "Shine on your crazy diamond" 10 4:02 Elton John "Your song" (from the Rio concert) 10 6:10 Elton John "The one" (from the Rio concert) 10 13:39 Frankie goes to Hollywood "Welcome to the Pleasure Dome" 10 6:10 Frankie goes to Hollywood "War" 10 3:35 Beach Boys "Good vibrations" 10 2:03 Beatles "Yesterday" by McCartney 10 2:58 Lennon "Woman"
9 points * 4:52 Mylene Farmer "California" 5:10 Mylene Farmer "Nous souviendrons nous" 5:13 Mylene Farmer "Regrets" 4:07 ELO "It's over" 4:11 Pink Floyd "the Fletcher memorial home" 2:20 Rick Wakeman "Excelsior song" 3:48 Elton John "Candle in the wind" 5:43 Elton John "Nikita" 3:12 Elton John "Goodbye yellow brick road" 3:55 Frankie goes to Hollywood "Relax" 3:41 Supertramp "Slowmotion" 1:00 Supertramp "Aint nobody but me" 3:40 Supertramp "Poor boy" 1:24 Supertramp "Even in the quietest moments" 5:31 Peter Gabriel "Here comes the Flood" 7:23 Alan Parsons Project "A dream within a dream & the Raven" 4:00 Alan Parsons Project "Some other time" 5:01 Alan Parsons Project "I robot" 0:55 Alan Parsons Project "Genesis" 3:18 McCartney "Bluebird" 2:37 Beatles "Michelle" 3:52 Beatles "While my guitar gently weeps" by Harrison 5:00 10CC "Dreadlock holiday" 3:38 Queens "Barcelona" (live) 5:49 Dire Strait "Private investergations" 3:43 Kim Carnes "Betty Davis eyes" 4:10 Spandau Ballets "Trough the barricades" 3:47 Rialto "Anything Could Happen" 4:57 Eagles "Hotel California" 6:44 Eagles "Hotel California" (live) 3:32 INXS "Never tear us apart" (live) 5:13 Mylene Farmer "Pas de donte" 2:14 Niel Sedaka "Oh Carol" 9 5:08 "Night and day" with U2 live
8 points * 2:30 Ronettes "Baby, I Love You" (extra wide stereo version) 5:42 Mylene Farmer "Il n'y a pas d'ailleurs" 5:30 Mylene Farmer "Je t'aime melancolie" 5:03 Mylene Farmer "L'Horloge" 4:18 Mylene Farmer "Au bouit de la nuit" 4:22 Mylene Farmer "Redonne-moi" 4:43 Pink Floyd "The final cut" 2:27 Pink Floyd "Is there anybody out there" 3:35 Rick Wakeman "Love's dream" 2:44 Elton John "Harmony" 4:14 Elton John "Cry to heaven" 3:46 Elton John "Sorry seems to be the hardest word" 4:45 Elton John "The North" 5:16 Supertramp "Rudy" 5:34 Supertramp "School" 10:28 Supertramp "Fools Overture" (live Paris) 2:09 Supertramp "Easy does it" 4:28 Alan Parsons Project "Pavane" 3:20 Diana Ross "Mahogany" 2:46 Frank Zappa "Bobby Brown" 4:46 Dire Straits "Brothers in arms" 2:10 Rambo II intro 4:27 IL DIVO "Si tu me amas" 4:55 IL DIVO "The Adagio" (from Arena at Pula) 4:20 Monty Phython "Every sperm is great" 6:05 10cc "Don't hang up" 3:45 Boomtown rats "I don't like mondays" 3:33 Paul McCartney "Beautiful night" 3:50 John Miles "Music" 4:03 Vienna Parade "Wonderland" 2:40 Bo Caspersons Orkester "Resa med enkel biljett" 2:53 Cornelius Vreeswijk "Balladen om Herr Fredrik Åkare och den söta fröken Cecilia Lind" 3:02 Cornelius Vreeswijk "Deidres samba" 2:43 ?? "Sandman" 2:32 Jan & Dean "Surf city" 2:35 Beach Boys "California girls" 2:13 Little Eva "The Locomotion" 2:40 Chubby Checker "Slow Twistin" 1:36 Mike Batt "Bourree" 2:43 Mike Batt "The fires of rabat" 0:45 Peter Gabriel (the end of) "Moribund"
DISCO 36 22:33 Alec R.Costandinos & the syncophinic orchestra "Hunchback of Notre Dame" (arr: Don Ray - but need heavy bass equalization to sound great and not boxy) 33 3:19 Serge Gainsbourg "Jetaime moi mon" (rare version with a wild groovy beat, from radio - want the whole track) 28 3:44 ERA "Ameno" (disco remix) 26 3:42 Visage "Fade to grey" 25 3:26 AoL "Lit de parade, radio edit" (need strong bass equalization to sound great and not boxy) 24 6:33 Sweetbox "Dont go Away" (1&2 on CD maxi) 24 5:14 Madonna "Erotica" (album version) 22 3:10 Dana International "Free" (fade in from 3:25 in original) 22 3:33 AoL "Crucified" 22 3:20 Sash! "Stay" 22 7:55 Kimera & the Operaides "The lost opera" 22 4:03 Kinkina "Jungle Fever" (alternative 1989 version) 21 4:09 Phyllis Nelson "Move closer" 20 15:42 Hot RS "House of the rising sun" (by Kevin Kruger) 20 34:14 Festival "Evita" (by Boris Midney) 20 3:43 AoL "Obsession" 19 2:28 Destination "from beginning.. The party's over" 19 3:21 ?? (tu fu tu flame, in french) 18 5:24 Snap (slomo vers, feat. Rukmani) "Rame" 18 5:11 Madonna "Erotica" (original book version) 18 3:05 Diana Ross & Supremes "medley of hits" (maxi A slutet) 18 3:09 Fredrik Kempe "Vincero" 16 4:26 ORB "Little Fluffy Clouds" (as the Cumulonimbus mix) 16 2:30 Ronettes "Be my babye" (extra groovy version, but not complete) 16 4:33 Baccara "Yes Sir, i can boogie" 16 3:45 French Affair "Sexy" 16 4:09 Madonna "Justify my love" 16 1:59 Nadia Oh "Shake it" 15 8:13 DeeLite "What is love" (maxi B2&1) 15 9:16 Propaganda "Machinery" (maxi) 15 4:11 Enigma "Sadeness & reprise" 15 6:10 Enigma "Rivers of belif" 14 7:42 Mel Brooks "the Hitler rap" (maxi) 14 1:22 Magic Affair "Give me all your love" (a short part) 14 3:34 ?? (Com en fou, in france) 13 3:50 Dr Alban "Sing Hallelujah" 13 2:17 Petrus "China in my head" 13 4:58 Jimmy BO Horne "Close to you" 13 4:25 DuranDuran "All she wants is" 13 6:42 Sabrina "Multimegamix" 12 8:20 Madonna "Into the groove" (fade out) 12 3:43 Guru Josh "Infinity" 12 3:50 Bonnie Pointer "I can't help 12 4:23 4 Princess Superstar "Fuck me on the dancefloor - remix by zio" 11 6:17 Lionrock "Packet of peace" myself" 11 3:30 AoL "Venus & mars" (cd maxi, radio edit) 11 9:06 Frankie goes to Hollywood "Two tribes" 11 3:14 Jennifer Rush "Yesterme.." 11 4:19 Boney M "Rivers of Babylon" 11 Verona "Stay With Me" 11 7:40 Poussez "You're all I have" 11 6:22 Sash! "Stay" (dreamy echo remix) 10 7:50 Poussez "Never gonna say goodbye" 10 5:41 Sabrina "Boys / summertime love" 10 3:05 Jam & Spoon "Right in the night" 10 3:46 Paradisio "Bailando" 10 3:30 AoL "Venus & mars, antiloop mix" (cd maxi) 10 6:10 Sash! "Mysterious times - remix" 10 4:44 Deadmau5 feat Melleefresh "Hey Baby" (fadein at 2:20)
9 points * 3:41 DrAlban "freedom" (live) 4:33 Yello "Lost Again" 4:16 Webber "Phantom of the Opera" 3:57 Boney M "Sunny" 4:18 AoL "Dub evolution" 4:12 Dr Alban "One love" 6:54 Poussez "Come on and do it to me" 13:44 Love & kisses "Accidental Lover" 3:22 Blondie "Heart of glass" 3:53 Mylene Farmer "De'senchantee" 4:03 Saint Etienne "He's on the phone" 3:52 AoL "Supernatural" 4:12 Robin S "Luv4luv" 3:27 Eruption "One way ticket" 3:00 Eruption "I cant stand the rain" 6:14 Sash! "Equador" (remix) 1:58 Afrodite "Turn it up" 3:13 Sash! "Adelante"
8 points * 5:53 Iren Cara "Flashdance, what a feeling" 4:25 David Bowie "Lets dance" 2:40 "Disco Chicken" 7:26 Andy Williams "Love Story" (maxi) 6:36 Bassheads "Its there anybody out there" 3:06 Verona "Stay With Me" 2:41 Scatman John "Im the scatman" 6:25 Children of dub "transidental" 4:28 Carol Douglas "Doctors order" 4:48 Kylie Minogue "Lets get to it" 3:49 Three Degrees "Givin up, givin in" 2:07 Lou Bega "I got a girl" 3:29 Harold Fluke "Bullit" 3:22 Paradisio "Bailando Extreme" 6:57 Jackie Moore "This time babye" (maxi) 7:02 Sash! "Stay" (echo remix) 6:18 Madonna "Where's the Party" (dub version)
ACTIVE music 25 4:24 Ten Sharp "You" 24 4:24 Fire Inc "Tonight.." 22 3:03 Alan Parson "Dont let it show" 20 4:17 Fire Inc "Nowhere fast" 20 3:56 Lennon "Starting over" 20 3:35 Robert Miles "One & one" with Maria Nayler 20 2:42 Kellys heroes "Burning bridges" 18 4:56 Billy Idol "Catch my fall" 18 4:20 Dave Stewart "Jack talking" 16 1:00 DSL "advertising" 16 3:28 Tess "The second you sleep" 16 3:15 Lena Zavaroni "River deep, mountain high" 16 4:56 Billy Idol "Eyes without a face" 15 8:23 Billy Idol "White wedding" 16 3:36 David Bowie "Changes" 15 2:55 Nusa Derena "Energy" (the 2001 contribution of Slovenia) 15 4:12 Sisters of mercy "More - live" 14 2:35 David Bowie "Life on Mars" 14 3:18 AoL "Lit de parade, video edit" 13 6:16 Billy Idol "Dont need a gun" 12 6:46 Liza Minelli "Losing my mind" (maxi version) 12 3:46 Paradisio "Bailando" 12 3:08 The Beach Boys "California dreamin" 12 4:40 David Bowie "Five years" 12 3:33 David Bowie "Soul love" 11 2:45 Madonna "Santa Baby" 11 3:00 Eirikur Hauksson "Valentine Lost" 11 4:00 Billy Idol "Beyond belief" 11 5:05 Supertramp "My kind of lady"
9 points * 4:35 Billy Idol "All summer single" 3:33 INXS "Never tear us apart - live" 4:43 Barry Ryan "Eloise" 2:32 David Bowie "Rock'n'roll suicide" 7:38 David Bowie "Lets dance" 5:32 David Bowie "China girl"
8 points * 3:43 Billy Idol "Fatal charm" 4:10 Dusty Springfield "In private" 3:58 ZZ top "Gimme all your lovin" 4:03 Dire Strait "Money for nothing" 3:14 David Bowie "Modern love" 3:07 David Bowie "Here comes the night"
ROCK Most tracks of Billy Idol and David Bowie above, can also be included here and yes, I find most other famous "rock" tracks (that not are included below or above) too distorted or badly played... Even if I did love Deep Purple a long time ago - before I got really fine equipment, that unfortunately reveal both the sublime details and when it sound awful...
28 3:26 Mott thee Hoople "The golden age of rock 'n' roll" 26 5:15 Joe Walsh "Rocky mountains way" (the lousy sound live videos on youTube, don't make him justice) 25 3:07 Mott thee Hoople "Roll away the stone" 19 2:28 Mott thee Hoople "Foxy Foxy" (fade out) 18 4:28 Joe Walsh "Song for Emma" 15 1:46 Joe Walsh "Daydream" 14 3:21 Mott thee Hoople "All the way from Memphis" 13 5:32 Joe Walsh "Dreams" 10 1:01 Joe Walsh "All night laundry mat blues" 9 2:44 Joe Walsh "Book ends" 8 5:23 Mott thee Hoople "Hymn for the Dudes"
ROMANTIC CLASSIC 20 3:16 Grieg "Anitras dance" 19 1:36 Tschaikowsky "Swansee, no5 tempo di valse" 18 1:09 Tschaikowsky "Danse chinoise" 18 6:55 Tschaikowsky "Walse des fleurs" 18 5:12 Rodrigo "Concierto de Aranjuez" 18 2:45 Bach "Largo, ur Pianokonsert nr5" 18 8:46 Tschaikowsky "Danse des cygnes no13 part1-4 & 6" 14 8:22 Johann Strauss "On the blue donau" 14 4:06 Tjajkovskij "Walse, törnrosa" 17 1:35 Tchaikovsky "Danse de Fee Dragee" 16 2:31 Johann & Josef Strauss "Pizzicato polka" 16 3:36 Johann Strauss "Im Krapfenwald'l polka" 14 4:07 Vivaldi "Largo, from R443" 12 10:58 Johann Strauss "Tales from Vienna woods" 12 6:30 Waldteufeln "Skridskoåkarna" 11 2:19 Tchaikowsky "Danse des mirlitons" 10 8:35 Johann Strauss "Die fledermaus overture" 10 6:41 Mozart "kv467 Elvira Madigan" 10 10:07 Johann Strauss "Artist life / Kunstlerleben op316" 10 9:10 Johann Strauss "Accelerationen, op234"
9 points * 6:04 Gluck "Dans i de saligas.. ur Orfeus.." 2:56 Beethoven "fur Elise" 9:51 Johan Strauss? "Wiener blut" * 8 points * 5:18 Albinoni "Adagio, ur Oboekonsert op9 nr2" 2:35 Satie "Gymnopedi nr 1" 5:14 Beethoven "månskenssonaten"
GREAT CLASSIC 26 2:44 Bach "Toccata con fuga" 25 2:33 Grieg "In the halle" 22 to 14 Tschaikowsky "Schwanensee no18 - no03 - no10 - no24 - no09 - no29" 22 6:36 Elgar "March no1 pomp & circumstance" 20 11:28 Albinoni "adiago for organ & violins" 18 3:45 HC Lumbye "Homage March" 18 2:15 HC Lumbye "Champagne galop" 18 3:37 Vivaldi "Spring, begining" 18 13:51 Ravel "Bolero" 18 9:23 Chopin "Laghetto ur Pianokonsert nr 2" 16 3:05 Pavarotti sings "Turandot" 16 7:47 Ponchielli "timmarnas dans" 15 13:59 Tchaikowsky, Symfoni nr 5 "Andante cantabile" 15 4:10 Prokofjev "Montague ur Romeo & Julia" 15 6:50 Beethoven "nr5 ödessymfonin" 14 2:00 ? Film music from Casino 14 2:24 HC Lumbye "Pepita polka" 12 3:28 Farnon "State occation" 10 2:32 Tjajkovskij "Pianokonsert nr 1 op23 intro" 101:03 RimskijKorsakov "Bumblebee" 103:34 Strauss "Im krapfenwaldl polka" 10 2:15 Three tenors sing "La donna e mobile"
9 points * 2:19 Verdi "La donna e mobile" (with Pavarotti) 8:43 Mozart "Symfoni nr40, part one" * 8 points * 2:20 Johann Strauss "Explosions polka" 2:34 Strauss "Radetzky marsch" 2:25 Johan Roman "Allegro con spirito" 7:30 Siberlius "Finlandia" 9:37 Beethoven "Overture Coriolan, op62" 11:23 Gioacchino Rossini "Ouverture Guillaume Tell"
RONDO VENEZIANO (a delicate mix of classic and pop arrangements) 18 0:40 "Piano concertos" 16 0:51 "Chairo de luna" 14 3:07 "Ritorno a Venezia" 13 3:28 "Arcobaleno" 12 5:02 "Romanza" 12 2:36 "Armonie" 10 8:00 "Fiaba antica, part 1" 9 3:04 "Misteriosa Venezia" 8 4:09 "Specchio della laguna" 8 2:25 "Corso delle gondole"
SPAIN (to smooth for the cool section) 20 18:49 "Boleros 2" 18 15:50 "Tango a media luz" 05 13:26 "Canciones toda la vida"
Then have I many more tracks with grade 5 to 7 - but at that point, will the taste differ more and a list be less helpful... And if you know some delicious music, that I really should love and possible give 8 to 40 points (according to the tracks above) are you very welcome to tell me!
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Click here and read the complete article.. Yes, I sincerely love fine boats and I have carefully selected the finest boats and mini yachts (on the big Swedish market) for short holiday cruises, in style... The best boats have normally excellent quality today, as a result of the strong competition and computer design, so you can concentrate on the design, smart layouts (plans) and the price... And the boats I write about, have well designed hulls and are generally famous, for the fine behaviour in sea... But it still a huge difference, between the true masterpieces and the rest of the boats...
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The advanced HIFI school
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Best Buy - part two
Selecting a portable MD recorder, a personal view... Sound quality and "no general problem" should naturally come first... Then can't some machines (especially from Sony, JVC and Panasonic) play loud enough or with strong bass... Any kind of "jog track selector" is very handy and long battery time for playing (specially on internal batteries, if you want a micro machine) is rather vital... Plus a noise free mic input, if you want to record...
Other good, but not so important qualities... Is a clear display with many segments (for rec volume and batt life) and many characters, back light and slot-in (which is convenient but bulky) and getting lithium battery, which you can charge anytime...
Finally I like good controls, that is easy to find in a pocket and have fine feeling... Then is it good if they are hard enough, so you don't need the hold function all the time... Other stuff... A ten second memory buffer, is normally more than enough for MD because it reads four times faster, than the music plays and it read in very small portions, so it can try many many times and then read right, before the buffer is empty and it skip... 40 sec buffer, is mostly included because many CD players have that (and they really need that or more) so people may think, that less buffer on a MD payer is worse... A combined line out and headphone connection (as Sharp) is finally better than separate, because you can select the line out level and bass response.
About sound levels.. 2x5mw for the headphones, give you 3db less sound level than 2x10mw... But it may be bigger difference between the ear plugs...
Microphones Sony's tiny ts120 stereo "stealth" mic is excellent and the new 125 model is possible the same, but... Warning for the "direct plug" mic (without any cable) which pic up an annoying whining from the MD engine...
The tiny Sony ecm-ts120 stereo mic, is rather directional (possible binaural) and sound truly excellent (to my great surprise) specially compared with the modest cost, of just 80 dollar, here... And that's including an alligator clip and an extra active battery adaptor, so it also works with passive inputs... Finally it even look expensive, with a dark titanium grey (just 26x10.5 mm) metal body and "chrome" details!
I am not sure its a very "low noise" mic, but I can record a low speaking voice and bird songs, without any background noise (just with plug in power, on my Sharp 701) and even recordings of music from speakers (!) sound very accurate (clear and with deep bass, but the spec is 100-15000hz) and that's rather difficult for a mic...
With a fine portable MD recorder, you have the great possibility to TEST most extra equipment and really hear the quality... Otherwise I wouldn't dare to suggest something so cheap, even if its possible to make superior electret condenser mic's (made in long series) at very low cost!
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