Bunker bulldust day 18

Sony MDS-JB940 Mini Disc recorder/player

Another weekend, another bargain. I’m rebuilding my hi-fi system, piece by piece, without really planning to, it’s just happening. I bought this today, a high end Sony Mini Disc recorder from around 2000.

I saw it advertised first on eBay at $843 and thought it was too expensive, but when I scoured the web for similar units I found the price was somewhat reasonable. And it was in Thornlie, Perth so that was good. I was tempted.

Then I noticed it was also advertised on Gumtree, the same item, same guy, at $655. Hmmm. So I phoned him and offered him $600. At first he balked, but then accepted, so I collected it this afternoon. Dog! that is a long drive to Thornlie. It was 52Km and took nearly an hour to get there but I used the MX-6 so it was quite enjoyable, apart from the arrogant right-lane sitting drivers. The freeway was as packed as ever, so much for staying at home.

So here’s my “stack” now:

Mini Disc deck on top, Denon SACD player in the middle and Sony DA3000ES at the bottom. Nice! The amp and SACD player are champagne gold colour and the Mini Disc deck looks as if it is too, but unfortunately it’s just the colour of the light – it’s actually “silver” as they call it. Can’t be helped, they only made silver or black.

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What’s Mini Disc? They are magneto-optical discs about 8cm in diameter enclosed in a thin plastic case about 3mm thick. Shirt pocket size. It takes the application of both heat from a laser and a magnetic field to write to the disc coating. That, and the enclosure, makes the discs virtually indestructible. They are not affected by magnetic fields alone, so can’t be accidentally erased, and they are never exposed to fingers or any outside muck so aren’t susceptible to scratches. I’ve got more than 100 discs from my other machines (since the early 1990s) and they’re as good as new. They’re still freely available on eBay for about $5-10 but I don’t see myself ever needing to buy any more. They just don’t wear out.

The recordings are digital so are very high-fi, although to fit 74 mins (one CD worth of audio) on a disc that small, they use data compression called ATRAC. Unfortunately the golden ear brigade in the 1990s reckoned they could hear the compression and didn’t like the sound, so that killed the format. I don’t care, I can’t hear any problems so that’s why I want to continue using it. The ease of recording and the lightning fast random access to tracks makes it far better than cassettes ever were. No adjustments or alignment needed either. The sound doesn’t deteriorate. I’ve got three other decks so I’m committed. I love it.

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I had to go out today for legitimate reasons: to collect my April list of meds from the pharmacy and to have my flu vaccination. No, not that one, just the usual winter fluvax. Although I’d made an appointment at the pharmacy for 10.15am by phone yesterday, they didn’t know anything about it this morning. I had to wait until 11.30am, so I went to Jaycar at Clarkson to buy an optical cable. The shop was buzzing with customers and not one person, staff included, was wearing a mask or gloves like me. Grrrr. Same at the pharmacy – even the pharmacists weren’t wearing any protection. Not a single customer wore a mask or gloves!

They have Perspex screens up at the counters but the woman in front of me didn’t seem to like that and just moved to one side and talked around the screen! The assistant didn’t try to make her move back. Crazy.

When I phoned yesterday I asked if they have any masks. Yes, sure. Do you have N95s? Yes sir. OK, put some aside for me, will you?

But this morning, all I got was a packet of two masks and they weren’t N95s, they were P2s. “Oh, that’s OK, they’re the same thing.” No, they’re bloody not! I didn’t argue, even though the cost was $24.95 just for the two masks.

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What are we to believe? The US health authorities are telling all US citizens to wear masks now, but in this country they are telling us not to wear masks. This is very confusing. If I’ve got a mask I’m going to wear it, no matter what I’m told.

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Now that’s a loudspeaker!

These are advertised on F/B Marketplace at the moment, in Perth. They are 18 inch diameter! (That’s two, stacked.) The price is $275 for one, or $990 for four. Wow, that is the biggest speaker I’ve ever seen. I don’t know what they’re from, maybe cinema speakers? Giant public address? I plan to post these pics in a Facebook group I subscribe to, Loudspeakers, and see what the reaction is.

Maybe I’ll buy two and make myself a pair of headphones. 🙂 🙂