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Sony MDS-JB940

MiniDisc player/recorder

Item # 156MDSB940

Sony's MD recorders are renowned for their quality and features.

Sony's MD recorders are renowned for their quality and features.

Discontinued item

Item # 156MDSB940

Hands-on research

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Since 1974

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About the Sony MDS-JB940

Sony's MD recorders are renowned for their quality and features. The MDS-JB940 adds to this reputation with a host of high-end enhancements for superb MD sound — like a Current Pulse D/A converter, an R-Core power transformer, a 24-bit variable-coefficient digital filter with jitter-reducing S-TACT, and an anti-resonant aluminum front panel.

Sony's MD recorders are renowned for their quality and features. The MDS-JB940 adds to this reputation with a host of high-end enhancements for superb MD sound — like a Current Pulse D/A converter, an R-Core power transformer, a 24-bit variable-coefficient digital filter with jitter-reducing S-TACT, and an anti-resonant aluminum front panel.

Other impressive features just add to the flexibility: pitch control lets you hear your favorites the way you want; the two-line display gives you ample room for viewing CD Text; Control A1-II lets you control a compatible Sony 400-CD changer and transfer CD Text and Custom Files; and Scale Factor Edit makes adjusting song volume levels after recording a breeze. You even get MDLP, or long time recording, which increases compression for 2 to 4 times the standard recording time with each blank MD!


  • multi-function jog dial
  • digital record level control
  • MDLP long time recording
  • 2 optical digital inputs, and 1 optical output
  • coaxial digital input and output
  • analog input and output
  • remote control
  • 24-bit A/D converter
  • sample rate converter
  • Current Pulse D/A converter
  • 24-bit variable-coefficient digital filter with jitter-reducing S-TACT
  • input for a PS/2-compatible PC keyboard
  • headphone jack with volume control
  • frequency response 5-20,000 Hz
  • signal-to-noise ratio 100 dB
  • 17"W x 4-3/8"H x 12-1/2"D
  • warranty: 1 year

What's in the box:

  • MiniDisc player/recorder
  • RM-D49M wireless remote
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 24" Toslink cord
  • 2 Pairs of gold-plated 3' RCA patch cords
  • Operating Instructions (English/French)
  • Sheet on how to use optional keyboard
  • Warranty card
  • Safeguards
  • Owner Registration/Survey Card

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More details on the Sony MDS-JB940

Research Team

Product Research

Inputs and Outputs


ATRAC type "R": Sony's new version of ATRAC uses error evaluation, a second stage of bit-reallocation and better processing accuracy for smoother, more clearly delineated sound.

Current Pulse D/A Converter: The player uses a highly stable current source instead of the common voltage source for more stable 1-bit pulse train even when the power supply voltage fluctuates.

Digital Filter:  The Variable Coefficient digital filter allows you to change the tone to match your listening system, listening environment or the source being played. You can select standard (normal sound); Plain (A fresh and powerful sound) or Analog (a resonant and mellow sound). These settings only affect the analog outputs.

Converter: This unit uses a 24-bit A/D converter.

Transformer: The player uses an R-Core transformer to reduce radiated hum.

Front panel: The aluminum front panel helps stop resonance and vibration.

Jog dial: The player has a jog dial which, besides being used to access tracks and titling is also used for accessing a set up and edit menu to select many of the recording/playback options.

Clock: The clock with date allows you to check on recording date of discs with that information and to mark the date and time of recording on discs recorded on this unit.

Keyboard input: There is a PS/2 keyboard input on the front panel for use with an optional PS/2 computer keyboard.  Besides being used to title MiniDiscs with alpha-numeric keys,  it can also be used to select menu controls; pitch; play mode; track selection; track editing; etc. The keyboard is not supplied.

Copying CD Text /Custom File Disc Memo: When used with a compatible Sony CD player, CD Text or Custom file information is copied to the MiniDisc during recording.

Shock protection: There is a shock resistant buffer that will hold up to six seconds of music for shock protection and time machine recording.

Display: The two line display can display both the disc and track name simultaneously, or display the track name and time. It will also display the output level and 15-track music calendar.

Peak hold: Freezes the level meter display at the highest level reached by the input signal.

Pitch control: You can lower the pitch by up to 36 steps or 3 octaves. Additionally, you can control the playback speed in 0.1% increments from -87.5% to 0.0%.

Track numbers: You may set track numbers manually or automatically. When recording from an analog source, auto track marking is based on the signal dropping to a specified level for 1.5 seconds or longer (level can be set from -72 to 0 dB in 2dB steps).

Smart Space: This feature replaces long silent spaces (under 30 seconds) with a 3 second blank (may be turned on/off).

Auto Cut: If no sound is input for 30 seconds it will replace the silence with 3 seconds of silence and place the unit into record pause.

Sleep function: You can select 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes.

Time machine recording: The last 6 seconds of data is stored in a buffer so you can start recording 6 seconds before you actually engage record function.

Name erase: This function allows you to erase all titles on a disc simultaneously. You can also erase one by one.

Undo: Cancels the last edit and restores the MD to the way it was prior to edit.

Music synch: Allows you to synchro-record with any audio equipment.

Synchro buttons and CD buttons: These remote buttons allow you to synchro-record with a Sony CD player.

Timer: Timer recording or playback is available when using an external optional audio timer.

Analog output: The output can be turned up or down for better matching to your amplifier, etc. from the remote.

Recording: You can record in both stereo and mono. Mono recording doubles the recording time.

Long Play Recording: In addition to normal stereo recording, this unit has two long time recording modes; LP2 and LP4. When recording in LP2 Stereo mode, you can record two times the normal recording time. When recording in LP4 Stereo mode, you can record four times the normal recording time. Discs recorded using the LP modes will play only in MD players equipped with the long play feature; MDs recorded using the long play feature cannot be played in all MD players.

Recording Level: Recording level can be set for both digital and analog recording. Additionally, you can change the volume of the recorded tracks using S.F. (Scale Factor) Edit, which records the original track over at a new recording level.

Automatic conversion of digital sampling rates: This allows you to convert 32 and 48kHz to the 44.1 kHz sampling rate of MD, so you can record from DBS with digital out or DAT/DCC.

Updating: After recording, editing, or changing the table of contents the MD is only updated when power is turned off on the front panel or the disc is ejected. An interruption of power through the AC cord will cause everything that was changed since the last updating occurred to be lost.

Inputs and Outputs

Front panel:

  • Phones: Standard gold plated headphone jack with rotary volume control

  • Keyboard: PS/2 input for use with an optional keyboard

Rear panel:

  • Analog in: RCA analog line in (gold plated)
  • Analog out: RCA analog line out (gold plated)
  • Coaxial in: Coaxial Digital input (gold plated)
  • Optical in 1: Toslink Digital line 1 input (covered by a plastic cap)
  • Optical in 2: Toslink Digital line 2 input (covered by a plastic cap)
  • Coaxial out: Coaxial Digital output (gold plated)
  • Optical out: Toslink Digital line output (covered by a plastic cap)
  • Control A1II jacks: Two mono mini-jacks for connecting this unit to compatible Sony components (note that the cords are not supplied)

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