Colours/finishes

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MZ-S1

(2003)

MZ-S1, picture by Nick Jarman

The MZ-S1 Net MD recorder was part of a new range of rugged personal audio models known as the “S2” series. S2 stood for Street Style and replaced the earlier “Sports” range, with its distinctive yellow livery and eye catching graphics. Founded in 1985 with the WM-F5, the Sports range had been in decline for some years. Some of the last models, such as the D-SJ15 portable CD player, had even lost most of the yellow, all that remained was yellow trim on otherwise black casework. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

S2 retained the essential characteristics of Sports, in that the models were rugged and splash resistant. In the UK, the original range comprised the MZ-S1 MD recorder along with the D-SJ301 portable CD player, the ZS-X3CP MP3 CD/Radio and a pair of mid-size accessory headphones known as the MDR-G75G; sadly there was no cassette model. This time the signature colour was white with dark grey trim and orange accents and details. This certainly looked fresh and modern but it was not as trend-setting as the Sports series, whose yellow finish was widely imitated. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Beneath its well finished and partially die-cast outer, The MZ-S1 was fairly conventional by the standards of the day. Technically it was similar to the MZ-N510 and could record from an analogue line level source, an optical digital signal or download tracks directly from a personal computer via a USB link using Sony’s Sonic Stage software. Rather then having lots of small buttons the main controls were combined onto a small and cleverly designed joystick that could be operated with one thumb while the machine was being carried. Oddly though for a model intended to complement active lifestyles there was no provision for remote control, preventing the owner from tucking the machine safely away in a pocket or bag. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

All the S2 products were well made, well thought out pieces of work but the combination of high prices and the fickle nature of modern youth meant that the range had a short life and found little in the way of commercial success which was a great shame. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Thanks to Scott Phelps for providing the model shown on this page. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.