Sony MZ-N1


Name MZ-N1
Manufacturer Sony
Released 2001/12
Device type portable
Recorder Recorder
NetMD Yes
Hi-MD No
Radio No
Dimensions 78.7 x 71.8 x 16.9mm
Weight 90g
ATRAC ver Type-R
Battery NH-14WM "Gumstick"
Sidecar battery 1xAA
Voltage 1.5, 3
Power cable Center positive
Price (launch)
Inputs 3.5mm line in (analog-only), 3.5mm line in (optical multi), 3.5mm microphone
Outputs 3.5mm line out (analog-only), 3.5mm headphone
Control Remote (Sony), USB Mini-B

First portable netMD recorder launched by Sony. It was launched alongside the CMT-C7NT, LAM-Z1, and MDS-NT1 as the first generation of netMD devices. NetMD allows PC to MD download of audio files. Originally Open MG Jukebox (and later SonicStage) was required to use netMD, but these days most devices are supported by PlatinumMD and web MD.

Shipped with the RM–MC12ELK remote in Japan. It supports full-width and half-width disc/track titles, meaning Kanji and Katakana names work fine. International models seemingly shipped with the RM-MC11EL, which does not support full-width titles(and therefore means no support for full-width kanji/kana).

A few things to keep in mind for modern buyers:

  • A dock is required in order to use netMD. This can be expensive to buy separately.
  • Numerous reports of issues with the write head's ribbon cable. Not really repairable except for those with advanced soldering skills.

With these issues in mind, a later generation recorder such as the MZ-N910 would be a safer buy.

Maximum output (DC): Headphones: 5 mW + 5 mW (16 ohm)
Outputs LINE OUT: stereo mini-jack (dedicated remote control jack) /194 mV (10 kohm )

Mechanism Type: MT-MZN1-171
Optical Pick-up Name: LCX-5R
Chipset: CXD2677-202GA or -205GA

Search for the MZ-N1 on eBay

Content adapted from: Official Sony Press Announcement, MZ-N1, Brian Youn's MZ-N1 Review, Sony Press Release Announcing Net MD


The image below is an example of a broken write head. Users on the now defunct Sony Insider Forums posted that patching the broken cable was able to fix their device.

Find an old pair of headphones that you don't mind destroying. When you strip one of the cords you'll notice wires that are wrapped around some string. Separate two strands of wire that are different in color from each other. The wires should be thinner than human hair:

Cut a longer length than the original flex cable you are replacing. Pre-tin the wire tips. Carefully remove the write head arm from the MZ-N1. Do not apply too much force on it or it will bend. Cut off the damaged flex cable. Solder the two wires to the two contact points under the write head and thread the wires through the two holes as shown:

Make a path similar to the original flex cable, giving enough length so the write head can move side to side without tugging the wires:

Tape down the wires so they stay tucked as close to the MZ-N1 assembly as possible to avoid damage when putting the case back on. Make sure the wires are taped down to the assembly running underneath the write head arm:

Next, solder the wire ends to the main pcb. Be careful not to put them in the wrong order. Look at the original flex cable for reference. This is probably the hardest part of the repair. Take your time and tuck the remaining wire in some tape so that it doesn't tangle on the laser motor.

Have fun recording on your repaired Sony MZ-N1!

Credit goes to pureangst for the original tutorial on the Sony Insider Forum.

Be aware when removing the front panel PCB that the screws are driven into plastic and have a high chance they will no longer grip for a second installation.


MZ-N1 Front MZ-N1 Back MZ-N1 Left Side MZ-N1 Right Side MZ-N1 Top Side MZ-N1 Bottom Side MZ-N1 Docked MZ-N1 Dock Inputs MZ-N1 Dock Internals MZ-N1 Dock Internal back of circuit board

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  • equipment/sony/portable/mz-n1.txt
  • Last modified: 6 days ago
  • by specialk