or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Korg MR-1: Can this be used as a portable player?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Korg MR-1: Can this be used as a portable player? - Page 3

post #31 of 261
Dear headfiers, thanks for good and informative discussion. Here are my contributions. I have been using the Korg Mr1 for three months now, recording from my good vinyl rig. My notes are based on the vinyl recording situation, not lacking battery in a live situation, problems with mic, or so on.

My general conclusion is that the Korg is better than any other recording device I have used so far, including a Studer Revox A77, various Sony DAT recorders and a Creative 24/96 sound card.

DSD does have some problems, perhaps a bit of harshness to the sound and a bit of (high frequency related) noise, but these are minor, compared to any other digital alternative I have heard. The DSD recordings bring me closer to the real sound. Broadly speaking, if MP3 gives me 30 percent and CD quality 50, hi-rez PCM gives 60 and DSD gives 70.

This judgement is highly subjective of course, but i think it fits well with the judgement of the market, considering SACD - it just wont die. The Korg Mr1 clearly overperforms for the price.

Usual audiophile logic seems to apply to the device. Better output cables make for better sound. Better input cables too. I use balanced cables and some connectors to minijacks that I bought on the net and modified. Sound would probably improve a bit with better power conditioning (haven't tried) and better damping (tried a bit, can't hear much impact). Like my portable DAT player, the Korg unit seems to be slightly more musical playing back on battery power, but this is a small difference, not sure.

My biggest trouble with the unit is the small hard disk, and advice regarding this is especially welcome. Going to 32 gb is ok, but why not more.

Uncle Eric: agree with your comments on recording as a neglected way to audiophilia.

Podtweaker: my general impression is, dsd is clearly better than the rest. Pcm improves upsampled, but it retains a boxy closed quality compared to dsd. Maybe, because i havent heard expensive pcm dacs (but so what, probably dsd would sound even more glorious, similarly optimized). Also agree with you on benefits amplifying portables like Zune.

Qusp: outboard dac - yes, the Korg Mr1 dac can probably be improved in many ways, but the outboard dac would need to be able to play dsd direct, like the Korg.

Like others on this thread I have no specific noise problems with the recorder.
post #32 of 261
^^ umm you missed my point, I said nothing about using an outboard dac with the MR-1 why would I need to do that?? the MR-1 doesnt have digital output, no matter whether you have a dac with DSD or not, you cant get DSD out of the korg. only analogue line-out, I was wondering how people compared the MR-1 plus portable amp to rigs utilizing a good quality portable outboard dac. a rig such as iriver h-120->optical->D10-Lisa III. that was my question. nice to know it does a good job of recording as well. i'm pissed though. I missed those ones for $199 they must've been snapped up by head-fiers because they've put the price up to $250 annoying because I just about pulled the trigger earlier this week, but thought sonce there was 10 of them and they didnt seem to be going anywhere, that they would still have one this week coming. oh well, $250 is still a good deal and i'll just have to live with it. buying one on wednesday.
post #33 of 261
Thread Starter 
Oghoter, thanks, lots of very intreresting observations & comments. Right off the bat I have to agree w/ you about DSD. It has a much more relaxed & natural sounding upper frequency response than PCM does, the 24bit/192khz files may be as extended but they still sound slightly more aggressive than DSD to me. DSD sounds more like good analog to me. So do you know of any way to "transfer" DSD to player other than "recording" it. I don't know how dedicated I feel about getting back into vinyl & setting the VPI table up again. I really don't have the time & energy to devote to this that I once did ! You spoke of maybe trying power conditioning. I don't know if you saw an earlier post of mine, but I had an external battery that meets the operating requirements of the player that I use at all times. I may get 20 or so hrs of play time before I have to recharge this battery. That was my greatest concern. The 32gb size is the largest Compact Flash card at this time that is being considered because they are thinking of changing to this from the internal HDD. Flash players give longer playback times between battery chargings. I have to reconsider the switch to flash as playback time is'nt an issue I'm concerned about anymore! I might just go w/ a larger capacity HDD! As for the internal DAC of the Korg I think it's actually pretty good. A little perspective is order here. For a portable player this is outrageously good! Real audiophiles finally have a PDAP they can enjoy when they're out !
post #34 of 261

general impressions of MR-1

Hi guys, great forum!

I'm a musician and was looking to buy a good portable player. I've used Sony cassette recorders in the past and was looking for something digital. After some research I settled on the MR-1 because of the reviews.

One outstanding one is here:
KORG MR-1 Tech Review

First thing you should do: UPGRADE the firmware.

Korg is actually offering a FREE battery pack (while supplies last), or you can get one for about $15. Personally, I don't want to wait 6-8 weeks (LOL) for the free one.

Various web-reviews I've seen often rag on the battery life (good point), the price (a moot point now that you can get it for under $250), and the included microphone. Common guys, get real! It clearly states that in the MR-1 docs that the included mic is ONLY for demonstration purposes. Further, any serious recordist is going use their own mic rig (costing 3-4x the price of the MR-1 itself).

Mics: Personally, I can't spend a ton of money on a mic, so I went the poor man's route and got the Sony ECMMS907. This is after reading many reviews of mics under $200. I know there are way better solutions out there, but I was looking for something easy, and compact.

Adaptors: Radioshack sells a little stereo adaptor that is sold as an "Aircraft Y-Adaptor Cable", and goes from a stereo input to out two male mono plugs. The cable is short and works great with the MR-1 if you're working with a 1/8" stereo mic plug.

One of the most impressive thing about the unit is the Auto-Level configuration settings, which are very flexible. I'm not exactly shure what the best settings are to use for the Auto-Level threshold, slope, etc, but if you want flexibility, the MR-1 offers it.

As far as a portable player, the charge time is a little over twice the play time, so that a big bummer. Personally, I would NOT use this as a player to run around with because 1) it's too big as compared to an ipod mini, and 2) the drive is not solid state, so if you drop it, you might kill it which would be a shame.
post #35 of 261
Thread Starter 
Vanarie, the majority of your posting was very interesting & informative, but I'll have disagree w/ your assessment of using the Korg as a portable player if you are more interested in high quality playback capability over ultimate convience. Ipods (& like knock offs of pods) are only mediocre when it comes to playback SQ. I guess the catch word here is "capability" & whether or not you're are willing to seek out the things to make this more of a player than was intended when it was designed. It's definitely a work in progress,but the difference is I don't mind the process. I hate settling for mediocrity just because it's always the path of least resistance. I guess the next thing I'll concentrate on is increasing the storage capacity. I'm not so sure I want to increase this to only 32g flash! Remember, I'm not really that concerned about battery playback time as I am running off an external battery. Decisions,decisions... I hope I'm not boring you guys(If I am well just EM me w/ your name & address, so I can send some guys over to beat the snot out of you!!! just kidding.. no I'm not! where did I leave my medication when I need it!! later!)
post #36 of 261
Anyone having it compare to main stream mp3 player, like sony, cowon, ipod ? thx
post #37 of 261
post #38 of 261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzer1975 View Post
Wow, that is really exciting! I did a side by side comparison & the form factor "appears" to be the same . Could it actually be as simple as swapping out the Hitachi drive for the Toshiba drive? I have'nt swapped out a drive ,is formatting the drive an automatic process or are there steps you have to perform to accomplish this? Sorry, for all the questions. The one thing I did notice was there a minimum order of 25 drives on the Tosh.(Or were you just using this site for the information?)& there was no price available as of yet. In my excitement I didn't notice the price of similar drives. Good work Dazzer! Keep us posted! Today I'm going to attempt to record the analog output of an SACD to DSF on the Korg. I think I have the right cables to try this, but I have some running around to do first. Once again, thanks for taking the time to open this puppy up & have a look! Steve. ( I thought I was changing my forum name, that's why my signature is different, I know "What a maroon!" )
post #39 of 261
in my innocence, I am at the very least, "hoping" that it will simply be a matter of swapping out the drive for another one.

I would imagine once swapped, it would be a case of connecting to usb and formating the drive to fat 32, or if possible formatting using the players inbuilt formatting tool.

I am hopeful though that all the system files etc will be located in a flash chip rather than on the hard drive and thus it should essentially be a simple swap.

As for the links I provided, I only used them to show the drive that is in there at the moment and also the span link to show the suggested alternatives they mention, rather than thinking of ordering from them places specifically.

I am more interested in (at the moment) finding either somewhere to purchase the external battery pack (shipping from b&h photo is $50 to the uk...I wish I noticed the battery pack when I made the order initially ) and discovering what the highest format doiwnloads from linnrecords will play natively on the korg.

As soon as I get into that and have secured extra battery power and am more familiar with high rez files etc the upgraded storage will be the natural step from there, but its looking *fingers crossed* extremely straight forward.
post #40 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Podtweaker View Post
Wow, that is really exciting! I did a side by side comparison & the form factor "appears" to be the same . Could it actually be as simple as swapping out the Hitachi drive for the Toshiba drive? I have'nt swapped out a drive ,is formatting the drive an automatic process or are there steps you have to perform to accomplish this? Sorry, for all the questions. The one thing I did notice was there a minimum order of 25 drives on the Tosh.(Or were you just using this site for the information?)& there was no price available as of yet. In my excitement I didn't notice the price of similar drives. Good work Dazzer! Keep us posted! Today I'm going to attempt to record the analog output of an SACD to DSF on the Korg. I think I have the right cables to try this, but I have some running around to do first. Once again, thanks for taking the time to open this puppy up & have a look! Steve. ( I thought I was changing my forum name, that's why my signature is different, I know "What a maroon!" )
actually, that ebay link shows a photo of a different drive, but the details are the same re:

hitachi htc426020G5CEOO which appears to be the model number of the drive
post #41 of 261
Thread Starter 
I am more interested in (at the moment) finding either somewhere to purchase the external battery pack (shipping from b&h photo is $50 to the uk...I wish I noticed the battery pack when I made the order initially ) and discovering what the highest format doiwnloads from linnrecords will play natively on the korg.
[/QUOTE]

I was'nt aware of the commercially offered external battery, but I was determined to get one & lucked into going to local store where they made one up for me. All he needed to know was what the power consuption of the player was & about how much playback time I was looking to get. The total cost to me was about $80, which I had no qualms paying. I'm not sure how much playback time I am actually getting yet, as it's been about 2 weeks since I've had it,but I have'nt had the time to spend more than an hour or two at a time listening at any given time. I'm guessing I have 15 or so hrs on it & the charge indicator on the Korg has remained on full.(That's how I'll know when I have to charge the external battery. That has become the external battery indicator). I've put a few of the Linn downloads on they sound very nice, but the 192khz files take up a "Lot" of drive space. (which is why we're looking for larger drives!)
post #42 of 261
which format did you choose to download when buying from linn records? I notice they have flac at 192khz.

Sorry for the naive questions, but did you choose the flac download and then simply convert that to wav or some other format? Also did you use the audiogate software to do the conversion?

Up until this point I have only been familiar with cd's ripping them into standard wav or mp3.

RE the battery pack, tbh it doesnt look available in the uk for some reason, ive searched korg's uk site and checked out their licensed distributors but I cant find it so it is looking more and more like I will have to try and go down the diy battery pack route myself.

I agree, larger storage space is crucial but it does look very promising at the moment, the connection from the hdd to the motherboard is just the standard zif ribbon so it doesnt even look like you may need some kind of adaptor unless of course you decide to go down the cf card route, but for my money hdd's at the present moment are more financially acceptable given the storage capacities available.

p.s. check out the thread you started on the computer audio forum, I have included a link there for a couple of free hi rez downloads which have been all I am listening to at the moment on the korg until I understand the linn record formats and what to do with them to play them on the korg.

p.p.s. podtweaker, I've just thought re battery pack. I know you have already found a solution, however, you should be able to still apply for a free battery pack from korg if you haven't already. If you don't have the form to apply, simply go to www.korg.com and look for the free battery pack offer print off the pdf fill it in and send it off and korg us will send you one gratis.

Cheers.
post #43 of 261
Thread Starter 
Dazzer, as we speak I'm recording a SACD of Saint Saens Piano Concertos onto the Korg via the jack of my Sony SCD-333es to the line in jacks. The levels look pretty decent & it sounds good through my headphones I won't know how well I've done till I play it back!. If you have'nt done so google Flac & then download Flac frontend ver !.2.1b to your Computer & you're ready to Download flac files to your computer. Download your files from Linn in Flac format to a folder/location on your pc. After the download has completed open up your folder to make sure the files are there. Close the folder up for now. Start up Flac frontend & now you will go back to that folder & place these files in the front end window, choose a destination for these files to be placed after decoding & hit the decode button on the window panel's side bar. The files will be decoded to Wav automatically fairly quickly. The files are now ready for the Korg(Bingo/Bango they're done) To everyone else, sorry to have dominated this thread so much today,but it's been a pretty productive day for me so far! Cheers, back at ya!
post #44 of 261
Pod tweaker, fantastic info, I really appreciate that.

As for the recording sacd, another superb idea, I will have a go of that from my sacd player and see what the results are like, I never thought of recording straight from sacd but thats the beauty of this player I guess.

Again, many many thanks for the info re hi rez flac conversion to wav.

p.s. just converted using flac front end, you sir are a gentleman, thanks for that info, I can now safely decide which format to spend my cash on over at linn records, many thanks.
post #45 of 261
well i'm finaly ordering mine tomorrow and i've got zif drives 20, 30, 60, 80, 120gb here, so i'll find one that works. its really encouraging that its a simple zif, but AFAIK there is zif 40 and zif 50. zif simply means zero insertion force, meaning it connects very easily, zif 40 is the one we want and that link seems to indicate we are sorted!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Korg MR-1: Can this be used as a portable player?