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MDS-JA555ES vs. MDS-JA333ES -- question for KeithH and others (1 Viewer)


Nov 11, 1998
Hi, Keith:
first thank you for the valuable posts you contributed to the list. I purchased my SCD-C555ES from J&R after reading your post -- although I already own the DVP-9000ES.
I just have a quick question for you and others who own Sony ES minidisc decks.
Now it is very difficult to get the 555ES since Sony already discontinued it. But 333ES is still available. What is the big/obvious difference between the 333 and 555? Which choice makes more sense based on your experienc of both models -- a used/scratched 555ES or a brand new 333ES?
thanks for any suggestions.


Rachael B

Senior HTF Member
Jun 5, 2000
Knocksville, TN
Real Name
Rachael Bellomy
The 333 suprised me with it's playback ability. It definitey sounds better than the Sony 920 and Elite MJ-17. I've yet to record with it. I'd have to rearrange my racks to get it near a CD player and I'm not gonna just yet because I'm moving in September. Then I'm gonna put it next door to a SACD player and try analog recording off SACD's. I really question if it's necessary for an MD deck to be better than the 333 seems to be, although my evaluation is incomplete. I'm also going to see what the thang can do with vinyl after I move. The only feature missing from the 333 is a keyboard input. That's abot all I know. I've only had the 333 for aout 6 weeks. Best wishes!


Senior HTF Member
Mar 28, 2000
Wei, glad to hear you are happy with the 'C555ES. I never bought the MDS-JA333ES to replace the 'JA555ES. I had the 'JA333ES on order with J&R (it was backordered), but I canceled the order. In the end, I went with the $300 Kenwood MD-2070 from Crutchfield. I decided not to invest big money on minidisc again. I love the format, but it is a secondary format for me (CD, SACD, and DVD-Audio are my main formats). Thus far, the Kenwood deck has impressed me. I can't say that it is as good as the 'JA555ES, as I don't have the 'JA555ES for a side-by-side comparison, but the Kenwood deck is quite good for the money.

The 'JA333ES is about 9 lbs. lighter than the 'JA555ES, and I think part of that difference is due to a scaled back power supply used in the 'JA333ES. The 'JA555ES has two large R-core power supplies, and I don't think the 'JA333ES is as well endowed in this area. There may be other differences in internal build quality.

I read a couple of reviews of the 'JA333ES that appeared in British magazines last year, and both rated it a bit behind the 'JA555ES, but not by a huge margin. One magazine did rate the 'JA333ES smoother the 'JA555ES in the treble, but the 'JA555ES was rated better overall.

In the end, I would give both decks a listen if you have access to a 'JA555ES. The 'JA555ES is generally rated as Sony's best mindisc deck produced thus far, but I would bet the 'JA333ES is highly competent. If it matters to you, the 'JA333ES offers MDLP recording and playback, while the 'JA555ES does not.

Best of luck.

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