Vintage Digital

Sony MU Series of Processors

There may be one Sony MU Series processor that we all know by now, but did you know the Sony MU-R201 was part of a large range of products using the MU Series Moniker?

The black and green design aesthetic was used on most of the MU Series products, starting with the Sony MU-R201.
Sony MU-R201 Stereo Digital Reverb

By now we know everything there is to know about the Sony MU-R201; It was Sony’s first true stereo processing reverb, that started life as an OEM product for Ibanez that was later badged as a Sony product with updated algorithms. A huge hit in Japan and still in use in most high end studios through Japan, but only rising to fame now in the west.

Sony MU-L021 Compressor/Limiter

The Sony MU-L021 is the only other Sony MU Series product that you might know about as they do come up for sale from time to time. I suspect they were reasonably successful in the broadcast world, more so that live music production or in the recording studio. By all acounts it is a decent compressor/limiter, just not in the league of say an 1176.

Sony MU-E041 Parametric Equaliser

The Sony MU-E041 Parametric Equalizer is a versatile audio processing tool, designed to provide precision equalization for professional sound reinforcement and recording applications. Its four-band parametric EQ allows users to tailor the sound to their specific needs, with center frequencies of 80 Hz, 320 Hz, 1,300 Hz, and 5,000 Hz.

Sony MU-E311 Graphic Equalizer

The Sony MU-E311 Graphic Equalizer is a single channel 31 band (or third octave) equalizer with centre lit sliders for each and every frequency band. Upon it’s release it sold for ¥58,200 in Japan, or US$550 which is prety reasonable for the quality of the MU Series products. Of course you need a pair of them for stereo so they were likely sold in pairs.

Sony MU-E151 Graphic Equalizer

The Sony MU-E151 Graphic Equalizer is a stereo 15 band graphic equalizer featuring fully balanced XLR inputs and outputs, as well as unbalanced RCA inputs and outputs. Each of the stereo channels features a level control to compensate for the equalizer adjustments either raising or lowering the signal level.

Sony MU-p151 Power Distributor

The Sony MU-P151 is a power distributor that is quite possibly also a power filter. It is difficult to determine exactly what it does as the only information I can find on it is in Japanese. One site suggests it is capable of surge protection as well as cleaning the power and removes noise and interference. In total 17 devices can be connected at once, totaling 500 watts.

Sony MU-D100 Stereo Cassette Deck

The Sony MU-D100 ia a stereo cassette deck for professional use, equipped with a highly durable mechanism. The direct drive system with a three-motor configuration achieves stable tape running characteristics. The Dolby NR B/C noise reduction system features Dolby HX Pro which improves a high region characteristics for clearer sound.  Equipped with an hours meter that displays the total use time up to 10,000 hours and shows the time for maintenance for the heads. Other features include pitch control which can freely control, AMS (Automatic Music Sensor) function that allows you to quickly find the beginning of the current song or the next song, automatic rewind and automatic tape selector.

Sony MU-A081 4CH Power Amplifier

The Sony MU-A081 is a four channel power amplifier with 20 watts of power per channel into 4 ohm loads, and 40 watts of power into 4 ohm loads in two channel mode. With power output like that it is clear this was meant for low output monitoring situations in control rooms and the like rather than for driving main monitors or PA systems.

Sony MU-A201 4CH Power Amplifier

The Sony MU-A201 is a beefier power amplifier than the MU-A081, offering 50 watts per channel into 4 ohm loads, and 35 watts per channel into 8 ohm loads. Around the back it offers both unbalanced RCA inputs as well as fully balanced XLR inputs. You can stack inputs to make a two channel power amp with higher power output of 150 watts per channel.

Sony MU-X052V AV Mixer

The Sony MU-X052V is an audio/video mixer featuring four video inputs on RCA connectors, four pairs of stereo audio inputs as well as three mic inputs on both the front panel as well as the rear. The mixing functions are fairly rudimentary offering level and tone (via small screwdriver adjusted knobs) and  the system include a digital echo as well.

Sony MU-C031 Crossover

The Sony MU-C031 is an unusual inclusion in the line up being an electronic crossover network. Designed to be used between your mixer output, and the power amplifiers driving the PA speakers. The Sony MU-C031 has the ability to take balanced TRS  or XLR input, and split the signal into three bands for lows, mids and highs.

The Sony MU-R201 Digital Reverb released back in 1986 is clearly becoming more well known, with prices on the rise of late. Talk about a late bloomer! Most do not know that the Sony MU-R201 was just one piece of a very large range of Sony Professional Audio products all wearing the same design language.

While the Sony MU-R201 was not well known in the west, the rest of the range is virtually unheard of outside of Japan. The range consisted of everything ranging from Digital Reverb to Cassette Tape Recorders. The only other product that may be familiar to some, was the Sony MU-L021 Compressor/Limiter which do come up for sale every now and then. It seems that every week we find another member of the Sony MU Series of products, but to date we have the following:

Graphic Equalizer, Stereo Graphic Equalizer, Compressor/Limiter, Crossover Network, Cassette Deck, Mixers, Power Distributor and a couple of Power Amplifiers. Oddly, there is no digital delay. You may notice that some models have a single piece face plate, others like the Compressor/Limiter have detachable rack ears. Some models appear with both options. Over the coming months we will be adding information for the entire range here. Stay tuned and enjoy.

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