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Sony PCM M10 as portable player? - Page 2

post #16 of 250


That's a great suggestion Jalo.  I'd love to get the opinion of someone who can make that comparison.  I strongly suspect the DAC in a HiFiMan will easily outperform a $230.00 device that has the additional build cost of two electret condensor mics, mic preamps, and other recording-related circuitry. 


The PCM-M10 is a recorder first and a player as a feature of convenience while in the field, but I sure do like the way mine sounds.


By the way, here's the best review I've read to date on the PCM-M10 (as a recorder, not as a player, but there's a lot of information in this review, sample files, and links to other reviews.)



post #17 of 250

Thanks, my D50 has excellent recording ability.  It plays music very well also. Easily bested the ipod family.  One more question, when I first bought the D50, the highest capacity for the memory card slot was 8 Gig.  Now I can get a 32 gig memory stick pro duo but I want to find out if my memory card slot will recognize all 32 gig?

post #18 of 250



I can't answer your question from personal experience, as I'm using a 16 GB (Class 6) microSDHC card (by Transcend), but searching The Taperssection Forum just now, I came across this post.


I'm not sure if you have to be registered and logged in to see it, as I am at the moment, so here's an excerpt (below).


I realize that you're talking about Sony M2 cards, but this might still be applicable.


There's also a YouTube video out there of a Sony rep discussing the PCM-M10, where he suggests that 32 GB cards will work just fine.






"I have a 32GB card from Sandisk in my Clip+ mp3-player; I just put it into my PCM-M10, and all my ~30GB of music showed up fine there as well, no complaints from the M10.



I would not pay too much attention to memory limits in manuals and specifications. Manufacturers usually test their new devices with the cards that are available at the time of release, and 16GB was the largest microSD when the M10 appeared, so that became the maximum capacity they could state. For example, many old Sony-Ericsson phones still have "official" limits of 2GB or 4GB despite working with much bigger cards, or older notebooks can sometimes carry more RAM than originally thought because 2GB modules only appeared much later." 


(Posted to The Taperssection Forum by Grey Area on October 13, 2010, 06:53:04 PM)

post #19 of 250

Hey Zilch, even though you are not using the D50, the M10 is close enough and I really appreciate the info and yes I was able to go to the thread and read all the posts.  By the way, how do you like your M10 as a music player?  and how do you compare to other players.  I really didn't expect someone would reply to my question, you're awesome.

post #20 of 250

You're welcome, Jalo!


I'll assume you've already read everything on Page 1 of this thread,but in summary, I'll make a couple of points:


First, for lack of access to any other hardware, I can only compare the PCM-M10 to my lowly Sansa Clip. I don't have any other DACs for comparison (not even the ability to do a Line Out from the Clip, obviously).  So, in some ways, I'm ill-equipped to even offer an an opinion, much less an "objective" comparison.

That said, as I wrote in one of my posts to another PCM-M10 thread, "On a 10 scale for transparency and detail, if the Sansa Clip were at 0 (zero) and the PCM-M10 line out to Stepdance were at 10 (ten),  I'd say the PCM-M10's headphone out is at 7 (seven), easily."  This comparison was made using Shure SE530s. 


Lastly, the PCM-M10 Line-Out to the Stepdance and SE530, especially with 96-kHz 24-bit files, is amazing - stunning detail compared to the 44.1/16 files coming from my Sansa Clip's headphone out - a whole new world of joyful listening for me. 


In going from my Clip to this new rig, I feel like I've traded in a Honda 50 dirt bike for a Ducati 1198 R Corse  OK, maybe it's just a Honda VFR1200F, but it's still an incredible jump for me, a "night and day difference" in sound quality.    biggrin.gif



post #21 of 250

That is a big jump to M10 and Stepdance.  Thanks again.

post #22 of 250


post #23 of 250


Here's an excerpt from a post at this link, where a guy who is apparently experienced at using field recorders compares the playback SQ of the Sony PCM-M10 to it's older brother, the D50:

"The big advantage the M10 has over the D50 though is very long battery life (40 hours versus about 20) as well as far better sound out of it's line and headphone jacks, particularly at 48 khz and beyond. The D50 sounds terrible out of the line and headphone jacks - the sound becomes very fatiguing and coarse and anything beyond 24/44.1. Perhaps the DACs are very old technology or something. The M10 sounds fine in these respects though."

Having never heard the D50, I can at least agree that the M10 sounds "fine" to me, especially with 96/24 content, line out to a Meier Stepdance and SE530s!

(Currently at day 48 on a 65-day waiting list for Audez'e LCD-2s. Joy!)
post #24 of 250

Well, I don't know how accurate the info in that thread is as far as Headfi SQ is concern.  It seems they are talking about outdoor recording more so than hifi sounds.  For instance, I have been burning in my SR71B with my D50 line out to the Ibasso Boomsalng Dac and balance to the SR71b.  The sound is clearly better than my Ipod w/ LOD to SR71b or the Mustang and Pico Slim.  On a set of 4 AAA battery under optical line out use, I am going on 30 hours.  The poster also didn't differentiate between the two line outs.  The optical line out actually allow us to bypass bot hthe internal Dac and amp as oppose to the regular mini to mini line out which only bypassing the internal amp.  I do agree the headphone out is not good though.

post #25 of 250


I'll take your assessment of the D50's SQ in a heartbeat.  His opinion runs contrary to other reports I've read on the D50, but he's not a PCM-M10 fan boy (like me) - he goes on to dismiss both of the Sony flash decks in favor of other manufacturer's offerings - as field recorders. 


What I took from it, was that he does like the sound of the PCM-M10.


I've been trying to find out what kind of DAC Sony uses in the PCM-M10, but no luck yet.  I'm wondering if it's an R2R (multibit) design, a sigma-delta, or what?


Do you have any idea?





post #26 of 250

Thanks, I actually called Sony technical support and asked the person if he knows what Dac chip is used in the D50 and of course he has no idea what I was talking about.  I don't think he even understand what DAC chip means.  Nevertheless, I compared my D50 between the optical out and analog out and i find the analog line out has a fair amount of background noise.  But when I use the optical out, it is so much better and the difference is very clear leading me believe that the Dac may not be too great.  I hope your M10 fair better.

post #27 of 250


I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Sony call center rep didn't know what you were talking about.  frown.gif


Your assessment of how much better the D50 optical out is than the D50 analog out kind of lends creedance to that post to which I provided a link.  I'm thinking it's at least possible that the newer M10 has a better DAC than the D50, but I have no way of telling.  One could argue that Sony had very little incentive to put a good DAC in any of their flash recorders, given that playback is just a convenience feature in these appliances, but I'm not willing to assume that this thinking has any basis in reality, given that a desireable, Texas Instruments PCM1704 chip can be purchased at retail for about $25.00.


As you know, I only have a choice of line out or headphone out with the PCM-M10 - both of which are downstream of the DAC, of course.  I can hear a bit of hiss when using headphone out to my SE530s, but I'm completely content with the M10's line out to my Stepdance and SE530.  Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with other DACs, so I could be listening to crap and still be fat dumb and happy, but one thing's for sure, overall, the SQ with line out from PCM-M10 to Stepdance to SE530s is hugely better than my former rig, a Sansa Clip > SE530s.


I'm willing to trust the opinion of anyone more experienced than myself - on the conviction that my ears aren't sufficiently trained / sufficiently exposed to excellent gear.  Meanwhile, perhaps in ignorance of what could be improved, I'm loving what I hear.  I should stay away from meets, eh?



post #28 of 250



Here's an e-mail I received from Sony Customer Care, yesterday, in response to some questions I had asked about the PCM-M10:




Dear Mr. Michael,
We do apologize for the delay in our reply as we need to check with our counterpart.

Further, can you please confirm what type of DA converter is used inside the PCM-M10? Is it a mutlibit, R2R ladder DAC (like PCM1704) or delta-sigma design (like CS4382)?  

 -->    PCM-M10 is using "delta-sigma design" DA converter.
Can the Line Out from the DAC deliver 96-kHz 24-bit playback to an external amplifier or is playback limited to 48-kHz 24-bit?  

 -->    PCM-M10 does not convert 96kHz/24bit file.
         So, if you recorded with 96kHz/24bit, then Line Out will be  96kHz/24bit.
Thank you for the compliments. Comments were passed to engineers and designers.
Thank you and we will wait for your reply.




Originally Posted by Jalo View Post

Thanks, I actually called Sony technical support and asked the person if he knows what Dac chip is used in the D50 and of course he has no idea what I was talking about.  I don't think he even understand what DAC chip means.  




post #29 of 250

Zilch, Thanks so much for passing this along.  I am not familiar with that DAC but it is exciting to know that the M100 can play 96/24, it is awesome.  Thanks again.

post #30 of 250


For the record, I've just discovered that the PCM-M10 cannot play 88-kHz 24-bit files. 


I knew that it can't record them, but it can't play them either.  I had purchased and downloaded an 88/24 Wagner album from HDTracks.com, today, but after converting it from FLAC to 88/24 WAV (with dbPoweramp), when I tried to play it on the PCM-M10, an "Unknown Data" error was displayed. 


I had to convert the original 88/24 FLACs to 96/24 WAVs - they sound great, but it "feels" as if that can't be a good thing.  blink.gif


Still, I don't hear anything unsavory.



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