RMAA: Panasonic SJ-MJ500 16-bit
RMAA: Kenwood DMC-S55 16-bit
RMAA: SHARP MD-DS8/9 16-BIT
RMAA: Sony MZ-E55 16-bit
Minidisc VLOG - 03: Hiss ranking
Minidisk VLOG - 02: Sharp MD-DS8/9
Minidisk VLOG - 01: Elegant lies
Short review: the only thing the MZ-B100 lacks is a line out. Otherwise, it is feature packed. Sure, it hisses more than an iPod 5G, but that hiss is static; it lacks electronic peaks and beeps, and remains mostly stable at every volume level. If you've got to have hiss, this is the sort of hiss you want.
Of course, hiss is relative: if you're not using sensitive earphones, you'll not hear it. You can hear it through Sony's MDR-EX1000, Grado GR8, and a number of other earphones.
What a wonderful - and wholly Sony-MD - sound signature: a baseline uptick in bass and essentially flatline upper mids and highs. IMD is high, stereo crosstalk performance is only meagre, but load effects on frequency response, THD, noise levels, and dynamic range are almost nil. Despite topping out at -65,1dB, irrespective the load, stereo never drops below -64,5dB. I've not measured a device that cleaves so close to baseline performance loaded or not. Wonderful. Sure, it its output isn't anywhere close to 16-bit quality, but few device outputs are.
Its EQ consists of 3 settings: off, 1, and 2, and not one is as natural or round-edged sounding as earlier units like the Sony MZ-E55 and MZ-E33, but neither do those units perform as well under load. Damn, this is a great recorder.
It's got decent mics for meeting recording, allows you to adjust playback speed, recording level, has a bevy of external controls. It is the real deal. It's made more solidly - if not precisely - than any MD unit I've ever used.
By percentages, unloaded deviation from RED BOOK 16-bit targets are as follows:
FR: +2,56dB; -0,95dB
Noise level: ~8%9
Dynamic range dB (A): ~89%
THD, %: ~247x over target
IMD + Noise, %: ~117x over target
Stereo crosstalk, dB: ~65%
Source: Sony MZ-B100 Portable Business Minidisc recorder
ADC: Lynx Studio HILO LT-TB
Computer: 2012 27" iMac
Cables: 1,5m Hosa Pro 3,5mm stereo to dual 3-pin XLR (around 8$); bespoke y-split 2,5 TRRS to dual 3-pin XLR made by Musashi Sound Technology.
NL - no load
SM2 - Earsonics SM2
ES7 - Audio Technica ES7
DT880 - Beyerdynamic DT880/600
16-bit VOL (Full) @+0dB - all targets
16-bit summary (Full) @+0dB - NL
Awesome. Decent aggregate performance. End-game build quality and utility. If you're looking for a great MD recorder and come across an MZ-B00, jump. It's worth it.