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Sony DHC-MD555

Shelf system with 5-disc CD changer and 5-disc MD recorder/player

Item # 156DHCMD55

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Our take on the Sony DHC-MD555

Good news for MiniDisc fans everywhere — thanks to Sony's DHC-MD555, there are more ways than ever to take advantage of the world's most versatile recording format! Internal 5-CD and 5-MD changers let you crank out the digital MiniDisc recordings however you want: make direct copies of up to 5 CDs; record up to 5 separate custom song mixes (each mix can contain songs from any CD in the changer!); compile the first track from each CD into a single "hit song" MD; or simply copy the current CD track with handy one-touch recording.

Good news for MiniDisc fans everywhere — thanks to Sony's DHC-MD555, there are more ways than ever to take advantage of the world's most versatile recording format! Internal 5-CD and 5-MD changers let you crank out the digital MiniDisc recordings however you want: make direct copies of up to 5 CDs; record up to 5 separate custom song mixes (each mix can contain songs from any CD in the changer!); compile the first track from each CD into a single "hit song" MD; or simply copy the current CD track with handy one-touch recording.

A built-in AM/FM tuner and 5 separate record timers let you capture all of your favorite radio shows, even when you're not at home. Or, you can record from virtually any external audio component through either of two analog aux inputs. For your CD playback convenience, you get features like disc exchange (change up to 4 discs while one remains playing), CD Text display, and multi-disc random. Disc Memo lets you assign a 20-character name to each of 100 CDs. (These titles copy to MD automatically during synchro recording.) And the two-way ported speakers, driven by 25 watts each, pump out clean, punchy stereo sound.


  • 5-disc elevator-style CD changer with disc exchange and motorized door
  • 5-disc elevator-style MiniDisc changer (recorder/player)
  • CD Text display
  • Disc Memo for 100 CDs
  • automatic Disc Memo title transfer to MD
  • CD-to-MD synchro dubbing
  • 10 AM/20 FM tuner presets
  • 10 EQ presets
  • front-panel MD Walkman Link with adapter
  • wake-up and sleep timers
  • 5-event tuner-to-MD record timer
  • remote control
  • video-shielded 2-way speakers
  • 25 watts x 2
  • 2 aux inputs
  • component block: 8-1/2"W x 12-5/8"H x 16-1/4"D
  • speakers: 7-11/16"W x 12-5/8"H x 10-11-16"D
  • warranty: 1 year

What's in the Box:

  • Silver electronics block with 5-disc MD - 5disc CD and digital AM/FM tuner
  • two SS-MD555 2-way loudspeakers
  • RM-MD555 wireless remote with 2-"AA" batteries
  • 2-4.8' pieces of speaker wire
  • AM loop and FM wire antennas
  • 30" MD Walkman Link cable with in-line noise filter
  • MD transport protector inside MD changer
  • Owner's manual
  • Safeguards
  • Warranty Card
  • Promo on ordering PCLK-PX1 computer connecting kit

Hands-on research

Product Research

Special Features


Front panel:

  • Headphone jack (stereo minijack)
  • MD Walkman Link Jack: This is a female jack which consist of a stereo minijack plug and a four-pin din plug.  It is used to connect a compatible Sony brand MiniDisc portable to this unit with the supplied MD Walkman Link cable.  For more information on this see Special Features below.

Rear panel:

  • Spring clip inputs for AM and FM antennas
  • Spring clip outputs for left and right loudspeakers (6-16 ohms)
  • Stereo RCA input and output (Marked tape out)
  • Stereo RCA input (Marked DVD/Video in)
  • Tape control Jack: Small, non-standard Molex input which is used only for the optional Sony TC-PX100 cassette deck (we do not sell this cassette deck)
  • Control I Jack: 7-pin DIN jack which is used for the optional PCLK-PX1 personal computer connecting kit which we do not sell (customers may order this directly from Sony for $149 plus shipping, handling and sales tax by using the enclosed promo). 



  • AM/FM Tuner:
  • Digital tuner with 10AM, 20FM presets
  • FM has 50kHz steps
  • AM can be set to 10 or 9kHz
  • You can seek manually or with seek tuning.  You can also cycle through the presets from either the unit or the remote.
  • Station name: You can title each tuner preset with a name of up to 10 characters which appears on the display when you tune in the station. The station name and record start/stop time can be recorded on the MiniDisc recorder during timer record.

CD Player:

  • 5-disc elevator type changer covered by a motorized lid
  • The unit we tested would play audio CD-R and CD-RW discs
  • EXCHANGE mechanism allows you to exchange up to 4 CDs while the fifth is playing
  • CD Text displays the CD title, artist name and track title on compatible CDs
  • Disc Memo: You can label up to 100 CDs with a title of up to 20 characters.  If you label a CD and make a CD-MD recording using Synchro record the Disc title will automatically be recorded on the MiniDisc (must start with a blank MiniDisc).  Titles can be erased one at a time. The titles are held in memory, but if the unit is not turned on for over a week titles may be lost.  You can search for tracks by title using the unit's jog dial.

MiniDisc Deck:

  • 5-Disc MiniDisc elevator changer (player/recorder) with five slots behind a manual lid. 
  • Stereo and mono record and playback
  • Recording level can be set for both digital and analog recording
  • Can repeat a single track, an entire MD, or all MDs, and can play either one or all MDs.
  • Shuffle play with delete (note that you can not shuffle between MDs and CDs)
  • Can program up to 25 tracks (note that you can not program MDs and CDs simultaneously)
  • Records digitally from the internal CD player; will also record from the built in tuner or a source unit connected to the aux inputs or from a compatible MD Walkman connected to the MD Walkman Link jack
  • Quick Changer function: Shortens the silence while changing Minidiscs by using the 10 second MiniDisc memory buffer to start changing minidiscs prior to the end of the last track.  You can not use this function during shuffle, disc skip or program mode.  It may be turned on and off.
  • Recording functions:
  • CD Synchro recording: Tracks are recorded to the MD in the same sequence as the CD
  • Select Synchro Recording: Records each CD (up to 5) to an MD (up to 5)
  • Seamless Recording: Records all the loaded CDs onto MD(s) in sequence.  If all the tracks cannot fit onto a single MiniDisc, recording automatically switches to the next MiniDisc.
  • Hit Parade Recording: Records the first track of each CD onto an MD
  • Rec it: Allows you to quickly record a CD track while listening to a CD.  When you press REC IT while listening to a CD track play returns to the start of the track and recording starts.  Recording stops automatically at the end of the track.
  • Time machine recording: The last 6 seconds of data is stored in buffer so you can start recording 6 seconds before you actually engage record function (handy for recording off tuner).
  • Track marking: Tracks can be marked manually or automatically (Level-Synchro) during analog input.
  • Smart Space/Auto Cut: During recording extended silences of 4 - 29 seconds are replaced by a 3 second silence. Auto cut replaces a blank of over 30 seconds with a 3 second blank and places the unit into recording pause.  Both of these features can be turned off.
  • Titles: Each MiniDisc can be titled (Disc and track) with up to a total of 1700 characters per disc.
  • Editing functions: Single, A to B and all track erase; track move; track divide; track combine; undo edit lets you undo the last edit made
  • SCMS: As with all other MiniDisc recorders this unit uses SCMS that will not allow you to make a second generation copy through a digital to digital connection.

Special Features

DBFB: Reinforces bass sound much like loudness. This may be turned on or off.

Groove: Gives you maximum bass, may be turned off or on.

Equalizer presets: You can select Rock, Pop, Jazz, Dance, Soul, Movie, Game, Night, Party, Relax or Flat (Flat is the same as off).

Display: The display is predominantly blue, but also has some amber icons and a purple, orange and red nine-band spectrum analyzer.  The spectrum analyzer can be switched between three types of display (spectrum analyzer with peak hold, spectrum analyzer, equalizer curve) or turned off altogether.

Sleep timer (remote only): You can select anywhere from 0-90 minutes in 10 minute increments, or auto which automatically turns the unit off when the current MD or CD finishes playing.  When the tuner or an external source is used in auto mode, the unit turns off in about 4 hours.

Wakeup timer: Allows you to wake up to music at a preset time (Radio/MD/CD). You can select a daily wake up and off time. You can not operate the wakeup and record timer simultaneously. When set to MD or CD wakeup you can select the desired MD or CD.

Record timer: Allows you to record a up to five events (the unit has 5 recording timers) on up to 5 MiniDiscs (from the tuner only). The MiniDisc will automatically be labeled with the station name if the station name has been set, or the frequency of the station.

MD Walkman Link: The Walkman Link jack on the front of this unit and the supplied cable allows you to connect a compatible Sony portable MiniDisc player/recorder to this unit. The compatible units listed in the manual are the R50, R30, E44, E35, E30, E25 and EP11.  When connected to one of these units, the unit's MD recorder will automatically start recording when the Walkman begins to play (synchro recording).  If a compatible player is used, the track title and track numbers are copied automatically.  The recording is done in the analog domain. 

Computer Connection: This unit can be connected to a compatible computer with the optional PCLK-PX1 computer connection kit and Media Communicator software sold directly by Sony at $149.00 plus shipping, handling and sales tax.  This kit consists of an adapter that connects to the computer's nine-pin RS232 serial port and this units non-standard Control I DIN computer connector on the unit's rear panel.  The software allows you to access a wide range of stereo functions from the computer including start and stop operations and recording and editing functions.  It allows you to input MiniDisc text information from the computer's keyboard and allows you to store disc titles and recorded song information in the computer's memory for easy music library management.  The computer must meet the following requirements:

IBM compatible (you can not use a Macintosh or any non IBM compatible unit)

Windows 98 or 95 ONLY - can not use Windows NT or Windows 3.1

VGA (640 x 480 pixels), 65,535 colors minimum

Minimum 5MB hard drive space available

CD-ROM Drive for installing the software

At least one available serial port (if the unit does not have a nine-pin serial port the user will have to purchase an adapter)


Our Product Research Team

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