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Gear Review




 The Denon DNM2300R

The Denon DNM2300R is one of the hottest pieces of gear to come out in a long time and certainly makes the bid for minidisc to become a viable solution for people that are tired of hearing poorly recorded songs on tape and as a new medium for creating music in those countries which allow it.

The DNM2300R also provides the user with the ability to instantly cue up songs with full labelling features so that every track can be easily recognized in the display window. No more double checking the jacket and track number to know what you have put into the machine. Another bonus is that you can move, insert, divide, combine, delete and edit tracks down to single frame accuracy.

Sound quality
The DNM2300 uses layer 4 compression which includes a sampling frequency of 46.1kHz. This sampling frequency is actually slightly better than that used on CD players (cd's use 44.1kHz). The difference between the sound of a MD vs CD is not something that will ever affect a DJ or club environment. The only way you could really tell the difference is if you had a pair of studio reference monitors (hint these cost about 2 grand a piece) and the hearing of a studio engineer. I am not saying that there isn't a difference between the formats but the difference is so tiny only the best trained ears will even be able to notice the difference. Using blindfold tests, no one can tell the difference between MD and CD. It has been tested.

Instant Start - Both drive bays feature instant start. Identical start time to the famous Denon CD players.

Hot Start - This is one of the most important and critical features of the DNM2300R. You have instant access to ten user selected tracks ( 5 per drive bay ). It is like having ten songs cued up ! Nothing on the market allows you instant access to ten tracks at the same sound quality as MD. Loading five songs into the hot start takes about 20 seconds on average.

Now before I proceed I feel that the following is a necessary explanation to understand the process of jumping from a recording device like tape to the advanced features offered by minidisc. Minidisc allows you to record up to 74 minutes of digital audio in stereo or 148 minutes in mono. Any track on the disc can be moved, deleted, titled or split(divided). Most mini disc machines allow you to set a cue point at the beginning of a track. The DNM2300 allows you to set that cue point and to set 5 more sub points within each track.

Mini disc titling is limited to 640 characters per disc. There is no limitation for each song title etc. The limit is set per disc. This allows enough room for 18-20 songs, with artist, song title, and bpm. Personally I have never used up the full amount.

Okay now back to the features.

Cue points - As stated above the DNM2300R allows you to store up to five sub cue points for each track. The hot start buttons can be used to play complete tracks or cue points, so if you wanted you could sequentially select five cue sub points in one song and program them into the hot start then play them back in order to make an entire song. (as a bonus feature of the DNM2300R it will play the five sub points seamlessly no matter where they are located on the disc if the seamless feature is on) OR even better, you could use the sub points from different songs to make a brand new song. Just think of the sub points as a sample that can be of infinite length. Now just try that with a turntable. Ok so, are you drooling yet ;o)

Something else you could do is to record some of your favorite scratch sounds, phrases, brakebeats etc and play them back using both drives and the hot start to create radical new hip hop sounds, dance tracks etc. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Seamless loop - Identical to the feature found on the DN2500F. You can select any two points anywhere on the minidisc and seamlessly loop those points once or continuously with no break in the music whatsoever.

Anti Skip / Shock buffer -The DNM2300R offers a ten second shock buffer that eliminates skipping completely unless you happen to be in an 11 second earthquake. This is an inherent feature to virtually all MD players.

Selectable Pitch - 4 or 8 % with an additional 4%+/- with the pitch bend.

User defined presets - Similar to other Denon units each user can set their favorite methods for using the machine. Pitch range, Elapsed/remain display and more can be programmed into the DDNM2300R so that the next time you use it all of the settings are exactly as you left them.

Keyboard data labeling - The DNM2300R will accept standard labeling procedures ( a dial which you have to spin to select each letter and then press enter to accept ) or you can use any standard 101 key keyboard. The DNM2300 has a plug in the back of the unit which will allow the use of a standard keyboard.

Manufacturer's spec sheet.

World's First Professional Double MD Recorder/Player

A-B seamless looping of unlimited length - 10 Hot Starts; load up to 5 tracks (per drive) into memory for instant "on the fly" track change - Shock memory - Next track reserve; allows a seamless transfer to your next selected track - Duplicates MD's including disc and track names - Editing capabilities that include undo and redo - Auto level record start; recording automatically begins once an audio signal is received - Auto track increment; will increment tracks automatically when recording analog or digital - SCMS option (on/off) - Rotary track selector knob - Jog/Shuttle wheel - Instant start; within 0.01 sec - Auto cue to music - Single/all repeat - Single/continuous play - Program play; up to 25 tracks per drive - Cue signals; up to 5 cue points can be written to each track for latter cue search playback o Pitch control w/pitch slider ±8% - Pitch bend ±9.9% - Records stereo or mono (74 min stereo, 148 min mono) o 86 frames per sec. for precise editing or cueing - Headphone jack for monitoring recordings - Sleep function; prolongs the life of internal parts - 2 digital inputs and outputs (coaxial SPDIF) - Unbalanced input/outputs - 29 total user adjustable presets customizes the unit to your needs - 2 pieces: controller 3U, drive unit 2U rack spaces.

Play Functions (Decks 1 and 2)

Hot Start (available on each drive)
A total of 10 Hot Start buttons are offered (5 per drive). Tracks can be loaded into Hot Start one at time or five sequential tracks at a time. Sound can be loaded into Hot Start from any point within the track. Loaded tracks can be replaced with new tracks. A Hot Start can also be used as a sampler, stuttering any cue point within a track.

Shock-Proof Memory
Featuring large capacity RAM memory, the shock proof function prevents momentary playback dropouts caused by bumps or excessive vibration.

A-B Seamless Loop
You can set a loop's Start point A and End point B seamlessly "on the fly" without interrupting playback. The B point can be updated to make the loop longer or shorter. Length of the loop is unlimited.

Single/All Repeat
1) 'Single' playback mode: Repeat a selected track.
2) 'Continuous' playback mode: Repeat a whole disc.
3) 'Program Repeat' mode: Repeat a program sequence.  Pitch Control Slider (each drive): ±8.0%, 0.1% steps  Pitch Bend: ±9.9% Temporarily bends the pitch to match the beats. This feature simulates "holding" or "pushing" a vinyl record.

Instant Start
Audio starts instantly (within 0.01 sec) no delay, no lag time.

Eject Lock
This feature is always active and will prevent removing the wrong disc while either drive is in "Play Mode".

Search Accuracy (86 frames per sec.)
Great for precise playback cueing and especially useful during editing.

Auto Cue
After a track is selected, it is automatically cued to the point where audio starts, rather than where the track starts. The level at which sound is first detected is user selectable between -36 to -60 dB (5 settings).

Power-on Playback
Simply turning on the unit plays back audio in one of two ways:
1) the entire disc from the first track
2) the program sequence from the beginning

Next Track Reserve
Turning the track selector knob in either direction during playback reserves the next track to be played and provides a seamless transfer. You can now select the next track to be played by name. No play list required!  End Of Message (EOM) At the end of a track, the FL display flashes, providing a visual warning to the operator that the track will end shortly. The point at which the EOM warning begins is selectable within a range of 0 to 60 seconds (8 settings).

Program Play
This function can program tracks to be played back in advance, including their playing order, one time or every time. By using internal memory, a total of six MDs (3 per drive), (25 tracks per disc) can be stored. Once stored, the DN-M2300R will automatically recognize the disc and activate program play.

Play Mode & Finish Mode
1) Play mode
Continuous: Plays a whole disc
Single: Plays a track
2) Finish mode (Stop, Next, re-cue)
Stop: Stops after playing a track
Next: Standby at the beginning of the next track after finishing a track

re-cue: After finishing a track, standby at the beginning of the same track  Rotary Track Select Knob (easy track selection) By turning the knob in either direction, tracks can easily be found, searching through them one at a time, or by tens when pushing down the knob while turning.
Recording Functions (Deck 2 only)

Auto Track Increment
The DN-M2300R detects the silent portion of the program material and automatically increases the track number. The level of the silent portion can be set within a range of -36 to -60 dB (5 settings). In the case of digital recording, the subcode (of DAT or CD) is detected to increase the track number automatically.



Type MiniDisc Recorder/Player
Audio Channels 2 Channels (Stereo), 1 channel (Mono)
Playback System Optical pick-up system (Semiconductor laser, non-contact)
Recording System Magneto-optical overwriting system (Magnetic field modulation)
Signal Compression System ATRAC (Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding)
Rotating-disc Speed Approx. 400-900 rpm
Recording/Playback Time 74 min. (Stereo), 148 min. (Mono) Quantization A/D Converter: 16-bit, D/A Converter: 18-bit Sampling Frequency 44.1 kHz Frequency Response 20 Hz-20 kHz (±1.0 dB)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 92 dB or better (Playback, A filter)
84 dB or better (Recording, A filter)
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.015% or less (Playback)
0.02% or less (Recording)
Channel Separation 82 dB or better (Playback, A filter)
78 dB or better (Recording, A filter)
Oversampling 8-times (D/A)
Analog Outputs Unbalanced, RCA Jacks
Output Level 1.7 V at 0 dB
Load Impedance 10 kohms or more
Analog Input (drive 2) Unbalanced, RCA Jack
Input Level 1.7 V at 0 dB Disc
Load Impedance 47 kohms or more
Digital Inputs (drive 2) 2 coaxial (RCA Jacks)
Signal Format IEC-958 Type II/SPDIF
Input Level 0.3-1.0 Vp-p
Load Impedance 75 ohms or more
Digital Outputs 2 coaxial (RCA Jacks)
Signal Format IEC-958 Type II/SPDIF
Headphone Output Stereo
Output Level 20 mW or more
Load Impedance 30 to 40 ohms


  • Power Source 120 V, 60 Hz

  • Power Consumption 30 W
  • Dimensions Player unit 482 (W) x 88 (H) x 252 (D) mm (excluding height of feet, 19.0" (W) x 3.5" (H) x 9.9" (D) keys, connectors and knobs) Control unit 482 (W) x 132 (H) x 40 (D) mm 19.0" (W) x 5.2" (H) x 1.6" (D)
  • Weight Player unit 6.3 kg (14 lbs)
  • Control unit 2.3 kg (5.1 lbs)

  • Auto Level Rec Start

    This function will enable the machine to automatically start recording when an audio signal being received exceeds a (user adjustable) preset dB level. Just press play from your external audio source and the machine will automatically begin recording.

  • 1 to 2 Synchro-Rec

    You can easily copy a MD from drive 1 to drive 2. (real time)
    Disc Name and Track Names are automatically copied.

  • CUE Point Writing and CUE Search

    Up to 5 cue points per track
    CUE points can only be written to the MD via drive 2 but can be recalled from either drive using CUE Search. CUE points can also be used to set A-B Seamless looping.
    Create up to 3 loops per track and recall them using CUE Search.
    Cue points can also be edited (erased, rewritten or added later)

  • Editing Functions

    Basic Editing
    DIVIDE: Smallest edited unit is 11.6 msec (or down to 1 frame)
    ERASE TRACK/ERASE DISC: Erase one track at a time or the whole disc.
    COMBINE: Combines two tracks together to make "one". MOVE: Changes a current track number to another.
    TRACK NAME: Track names can be entered using front panel controls.
    DISC NAME: Disc names can be entered using front panel controls.
    Undo/Redo Function Up to 2 editing operations prior to the most recent one can be undone then redone, if necessary.

  • Function Presets Since every DJ may have different needs, the DN-M2300R provides "Functional Pre-sets" that can be changed according to your requirements. These presets are stored in non-volatile memory and can be updated at any time. (11 presets for drive 1 and 17 presets for drive 2.)

Other Features

  • Digital Outputs (2 coaxial, 1 per each drive)

  • Manual eject/loading mechanism for reliability and for quick removal/insertion
  • Headphone jack with volume control to monitor recording and playback of drive 2
  • Large FL Display
  • Mono Playback/Recording capability
  • Jog/Shuttle Wheel

Design and specifications are subject to change for improvement without notice.




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