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Sony RCD-W500C

CD recorder + 5-disc changer

12 Reviews

Item # 158RCDW500

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Overview

Our take on the Sony RCD-W500C

Enjoy the convenience of a 5-disc changer and a single-disc CD-R/RW burner in one feature-packed component. Sony's RCD-W500C includes internal high-speed dubbing at 4X, and allows you to make recordings from external sources, both analog and digital. You can even label your newly burned discs with CD Text® — disc, track, and artist names will appear on players with CD Text display. The RCD-W500C is a great CD player , too — it even plays your home-burned MP3 CDs.

Enjoy the convenience of a 5-disc changer and a single-disc CD-R/RW burner in one feature-packed component. Sony's RCD-W500C includes internal high-speed dubbing at 4X, and allows you to make recordings from external sources, both analog and digital. You can even label your newly burned discs with CD Text® — disc, track, and artist names will appear on players with CD Text display. The RCD-W500C is a great CD player, too — it even plays your home-burned MP3 CDs.

When it comes to making mix CDs, the RCD-W500C really shines. You can load up to five discs into the changer (there are five individual trays inside the play well) and program the tunes you want to burn. Hit the record button and in short order, you'll be enjoying a customized mix of tunes from your five favorite CDs. If you're making recordings from analog sources, you can take advantage of Sony's Super Bit Mapping™ technology, which delivers more detailed sound and increased dynamic range. High-speed finalizing means you'll spend less time waiting on your custom discs, and more time enjoying them.

Note: Component CD recorders let you record on two different types of discs: CD-R discs are write-once, recordable CDs which play back in almost all newer home, car, and portable CD players. CD-RW discs can be erased and re-recorded again and again, but aren't as widely compatible when it comes to playback. Check your specific model of CD player for disc compatibility. Remember, blank computer CDs cannot be recorded using a home CD-R deck, so be sure to use blank audio discs (the logo on the disc's packaging must include the words "Digital Audio").

Details:

  • 5-CD changer + 1-CD-R/RW recorder
  • plays CDs, audio CD-Rs & CD-RWs, and MP3 CDs; records to audio CD-Rs & CD-RWs
  • internal high-speed dubbing (4X)
  • Super Bit Mapping improves sound quality on recordings from analog sources
  • high-speed finalizing
  • CD Text entry for CD-Rs & CD-RWs
  • optical digital input/output
  • analog input/output
  • 25-track programming, repeat, and random play
  • remote control
  • headphone jack with volume control
  • SCMS (Serial Copy Management System)
  • CD playback signal-to-noise ratio 98 dB
  • 16-7/8"W x 4-1/4"H x 16-7/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year

What's in the Box:

  • 5-CD changer + 1-CD-R/RW recorder
  • RM-R52 Wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • Two 39" audio connecting cords (each cord has left and right RCA audio connectors on each end)
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty sheet
  • Owner Registration Card
  • Important Safeguards
  • Note on MP3 playback
Reviews

Sony RCD-W500C Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(12 Reviews)

EXCELLENT PRODUCT

TOOTALL from KANSAS CITY on 11/8/2012

I have read a lots of reviews on this machine i have use mine for 8 years and have never had any trouble.take your time and read the manual well and be sure to only use cd-r/cd-rw audio the update now will be cd-r/cd-rw music blank cd only to record and playback do not use data cd they do not work you will get a error message saying data disc be patient and read the manual well and there should not be any problems

Pros: This is a well built unit when take your time and read the manual

Cons: None at all

Best replacement for Tape recorder

NoKey from Dayton, Ohio on 2/25/2012

This disc recorder is the best I've come Accross in stand- alone recorders. I'm transfering all my music to CD. Although it's time consuming , it works for me. I have total creative control.

Pros: Once you understand owner's manual the ease of use.

Cons: You have to sit there and watch it when recording mixed tapes to put separation between songs.

super Sony

bets from temple texas on 11/26/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am more than pleased with this recorder I have only done a few recordings but it is wonderful and most of all the people there at Chruchfield help me as I am a senior and love music so needed this Sony to transfer from cassettes to c d and I feel this will do the job. I have been with these people about 25 years and they are great Happy Holidays bets

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Cons:

Hard to use and broke after one year!

Mike from Lake Jackson, TX on 7/26/2007

I'm not completely uneducated when it comes to setting up and programing my electronics, but after reading Sony's manual from top to bottom, I still felt lost. After some time and effort, I was able to get some brilliant quality discs recorded. Then, one by one, the features refused to work. First the recorder went out followed a few days later by the playback function. I threw it in the trash and vowed to never by another. Very disappointing.

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Successor to the Tape Deck

BJ the DJ from Eastern Oregon on 6/17/2007

I bought this machine about 3 years ago. I use it to copy 45s and LPs onto CD-Rs, open-reel tapes onto CD-Rs, and entire CDs or individual tracks onto CD-Rs. I didn't want to get into &quot;burning&quot; CDs on my computer; I had been using tape decka to copy vinyl records for at least 25 years, and wanted something that would simply plug into my stereo component system. This unit fills the bill.<BR><BR>It is a bit more complex than most tape decks, but if you can dub cassettes you can learn to use this machine. Among its advantages over making CDs on a computer: any signal you can feed into your amplifier or receiver, you can copy onto a CD: records, tapes, radio broadcasts, microphones, etc. It's also great for copying CDs. There's no multiple-step software process required; except for pressing &quot;finalize&quot; it's as simple as making a tape. <BR><BR>It does require CD-R Music discs, not regular CD-R data discs. They cost a bit more, but are very inexpensive these days. As with blank tapes, you get what you pay for. If you buy cheap-o blank discs, expect less-than-stellar results.<BR><BR>I recommend this unit as the successor to the tape recorder in your stereo system.

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Glad I bought it.

Thomas from Silverado, CA on 4/25/2007

I tried on and off for years to figure how to make CDs on my computer. Every software I tried that was advertised as foolproof I could not get to work reliably. One of the smartest decisions I ever made was to say &quot;Why don't I do this as part of the stereo stack instead of on the computer?&quot;<BR>This Sony recorder has worked fine for me for years. Yes I sometimes need to refer to the manual to refresh how to label the disk or tracks but when I had misplaced it once I was able to find it online.<BR>I have made CDs from other CDs, from cassetes, from the FM stations on the cable box (which is the only way to get them in the canyon) and from LPs. It is like a cassette deck once you get used to it. <BR>I was at first surprised to see that this is still the only model offered here years later. But after I thought about it I see why it has become a standard. I recommend it.

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I LOVE THIS THING!

Robb from DODGE CITY, KS. on 12/29/2006

I really enjoy this CD recorder! I'v made several disc already &amp; have had no problems. I have it hooked up to several sources &amp; each disc (after setting the record level) sounds great! I also like the ability to name disc, a usb port would be nice for a keyboard for faster texting, but it is still a nice feature. As long as you maintain &amp; keep it clean inside &amp; out, u should have recording fun for years to come! I recomend this unit for someone looking for a recorder that doesn't want to break the bank &amp; still wants a reliable recorder!

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Perfect recorder

Andrzej from Milwaukee, WI on 2/26/2006

I don't share wrong opinions posted here. This is perfect unit. I own it about 14 month, not single problem. Don't agree that controls are not intuitive. The ergonomics is much better than JVC recorder that I also own. In average I record few CDs a week, therefore this is rather not professional CD burning operation. Yes, sometimes there are problems with finalization, but mostly if I overload CD to its maximum capacity. In addition, it is good to remember that the quality of blank CD varies - there are some batches that are pretty poor. If I find such a batch, both recordes report problems. Contrary to some opinion presented here, I don't need the manual. All operations are sufficiently intuitive. Maybe I have more luck than others presenting their opinions here, but I am pretty happy with this unit

Pros:

Cons:

High failure rate, difficult to obtain warranty repair

Chris Wenzel from Long Beach, CA on 1/3/2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My unit quit after 11 months. The unit was complex to operate and obtaining warranty repair from Sony was slow and cumbersome. Warranty consisted of an exchange unit rather than my own unit being returned to me.

Pros:

Cons:

Had some problems

caissonrider from Iowa on 1/2/2006

Like all electronics this Sony CD recorder has some ups and downs. There is definitely a learning curve on this model but once you've mastered the mechanics it is a great recorder and player. The reproduction is flawless and I've never had trouble playing the CDs on another CD player. These are the good things. I've had the unit less than a year and it no longer receives an input signal from either the optical or the RCA connections. That's the bad thing. Now I have an expensive CD player only with no recorder. If it was still working I'd give it four stars and possibly five if it was easier to learn the functions. Unfortunately after losing (the most important)function of this machine in less than a year, it's only worth two stars.

Pros:

Cons:

great idea; lousy performance

Lawrence from Durham, NC on 11/25/2005

Both myself and a friend bought one of these and both broke in less than a year. In the case of my friend, his is totally unusable. In my case 1 out of 3 discs fails to finalize correctly. I am constantly unplugging the unit and sometimes that helps. By and large I have lost faith in Sony audio products. I think they have lousy software which causes continual failure. By this unit at your own risk. Sony wants $150 to fix it.

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The Sony RCD W500C Has It's Strongpoints and Quirks !

Armando from Chandler, AZ on 3/23/2005

Lets get the negatives out of the way: First, dont EVER lose the users manual. You will quickly discover that certain controls have multiple hidden menu functions (very difficult to rememeber what they are all for).Also, if certain errors occur during the recording process or playback you get alpha and numerical codes in the display indicating something is amiss.By no means is this a user friendly cd-recorder. I used to own a Philips 3 disc rotary recorder and the wonderful thing about it is that all operations/functions/directions were clearly spelled out for you on the display(no codes or guesswork like on the Sony).You could not possibly screw up on the Philips.The Philips literally took you step by step on its digital display. Press the wrong button on the Sony and youve just made a beverage coaster out of a wasted cd-r disc!<BR><BR>The highpoints of the Sony is the super quick 4x direct cd to cd-r dubbing (trust me, its quick for only 4x speed) ! The single playback/burner tray is convenient to have when wanting to play and switch a single cd. The 6 changer mechanism works efficiently (elevator type mechanism-its not a cd cartridge holder at all).If you are used to a carousel changer (like a quick rotary Technics) this mechanism may take a little time to get used to;but its no slouch or slug either!Its a little noisy,maybe clunky for some but I have tested other recorders that are much, much worse !The major difference between the Sony and its competitors is that there are plenty of bells and whistles to keep any owner or gadget loving audiophile,such as myself, extremely content! Sound quality is stupendous! I like using mine for recording vinyl albums !!!

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Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Dual Well Design: The RCD-W500C has two decks, Deck A and Deck B. Deck A is a 5-CD changer that only offers playback capability. Deck B is a single CD-R/CD-RW recorder that offers recording and playback capabilities.

CD-R/CD-RW Playback Compatibility: Component CD recorders let you record on two different types of discs: CD-R discs are write-once, recordable CDs that play back in almost all newer home, car, and portable CD players. CD-RW discs can be erased and re-recorded again and again, but aren't as widely compatible when it comes to playback. 

Note: Blank computer CDs cannot be recorded using a home CD-R deck, so be sure to use blank audio discs (the logo on the disc's packaging must include the words "Digital Audio").

MP3 Playback Compatibility: In Deck A only, this unit will play MP3 files recorded onto CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW discs using ISO 9660 level 1/level 2, Joliet, and Romeo formats. Each disc can have a maximum of 150 albums and the unit will play no more than a combined total of 300 albums and files.

Playback: The following playback features are available:

  • Repeat Play: Deck A allows you to repeat the current track, current disc, all tracks on all discs, Shuffle Play, or Program Play. When playing an MP3 disc, you can repeat the current file, current album, or Shuffle Play. Deck B allows you to repeat the current track, entire disc, Shuffle Play, or Program Play.
  • Shuffle Play: Deck A allows you to play the tracks on the current disc or all tracks on all discs in random order. When playing an MP3 disc, you can play all MP3 files of an album in random order. Deck B allows you to play the tracks on the loaded disc in random order.
  • Program Play: For each deck, up to 25 tracks can be programmed and played in any order.

Recording: The following recording features are available:

  • Normal Synchro Recording (Deck A to Deck B): After recording is complete, you must manually finalize the disc. Since CD Text information is not automatically transferred, you must manually label the disc before it is finalized. Normal Synchro Recording can be done at normal or high-speed (4x normal speed).
  • Make-Disk Synchro Recording (Deck A to Deck B): After recording is complete, the disc is automatically finalized. CD Text is transferred during the recording, but you can also manually label the disc and tracks. Make-Disk Synchro Recording can be done at normal or high-speed (4x normal speed).
  • Manual Recording: Manual Recording allows you to record music from Deck A or an external component. You can make digital or analog recordings from an external player, but, copy-protected digital source material can only be recorded in analog mode.
  • Super Bit Mapping (SBM): When you record through the analog input, the SBM Function lets you record a 24-bit high-quality sound source by converting it to a 16-bit source, without a reduction in the sound quality.
  • Silent Pause Function: During recording, if there is more than 30 seconds of silence, the unit pauses. If the unit continues to pause for approximately 3 minutes after the Silent Pause Function is activated, recording stops automatically.
  • Post Gap Function: When recording more than two tracks at once, this function allows you to add a 2-second silent gap between the songs.
  • Recording Level Adjustments: During analog and digital recording, you can manually adjust the recording level.
  • Marking Track Numbers: You can mark track numbers either manually or automatically.
  • Direct Recording Function: Digital signals with a sampling frequency of 44.1kHz can be recorded without using the sampling rate converter. Digital signals with a sampling frequency other than 44.1kHz are automatically recorded through the sampling rate converter.
  • CD Text Entry: You can enter a disc name up to 70 characters in length, and a track name up to 70 characters in length for up to 40 tracks.

Editing: The following editing features are available:

  • CD-R: No editing of any sort is possible. Recorded time cannot be recovered. Tracks cannot be moved, edited, or erased, and cannot be numbered or re-numbered after recording. Since this unit does not have a skip id function, it is not possible to skip over mistakes. Once a CD-R has been finalized, no further editing and/or recording is possible, even if blank space is available on the disc.
  • CD-RW: On a CD-RW disc you can either (1) erase one track at a time from the end only; or (2) erase the entire disc. In addition, you can unfinalize a CD-RW that has already been finalized.

Our Product Research Team

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