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Sony MDS-102 MiniDisc Recorder


This is one of the very first MiniDisc recorders from Sony. We have the MDS 101 and 102 as they were both used extensively for live gigging in the 1990s and 2000s. There is not a lot of information about these units on the web as they predate the expansion of the Internet, so user manuals, specifications and reviews were almost all in print, not electronic form. Only a few enthusiasts have gone to the trouble of scanning in the documents or providing information about the units on the web.

Full Description



  • Sony
  • MDS-102
Release Year:
  • 1994
  • AUD$1,200
  • Analog: 1
  • Optical: 1
  • Microphone: 1
  • Analog: 1
  • Optical: 1
  • Headphones: 1
  • 22.5 cm
  • 7.5 cm
  • 29.5 cm
  • 2.8 kg
  • Yes
Pitch Control:
  • No
Digital Level Control:
  • No
PS/2 Interface:
  • No
  • Program, Repeat and ShuffleFunction


The Sony MDS101 and MDS102 MiniDisc Recorders have served me amazingly well for a very long time. I used to use them both, side by side in a 19" rack (they are exactly half a standard rack width each) and cart them all over the country doing live gigs, up to 5 nights a week for 10 years. They required servicing a couple of times, but they never let me down, as I would be able to get through a gig with just one, if one did break down. The biggest issue was always the mechanical disc loading unit, as it got so much use, it would wear out and need replacing. The sound quality was always excellent, with the back tracks and full songs tracks being pumped through a large PA system.

For a domestic piece of equipment, they performed admirably through all the loading, unloading and setting up at hundreds of gigs. Track access was fast, recording was a breeze and the ability to name and view track titles on a nicely lit green LED screen, made it very easy to use in a live gig situation, where lighting was always unpredictable.

After wringing more live usage out of them than they deserved, I eventually replaced the two units with one dual MiniDisc recorder, and retired the MDS101 and MDS102 to the studio. Amazingly they are still going strong, though I only ever use them to transfer any MiniDisc recordings across to computer, now that the MiniDisc era is over and the world has converted to iPods and other devices. I have always had a soft spot for MiniDiscs, as they were the backbone of my live gigging career for such a long time.

Stefan Sojka


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