Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Sony PCM M10 as portable player?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sony PCM M10 as portable player? - Page 5

post #61 of 229

Thanks Mike and Mike!

post #62 of 229

Audiophiles in china like to use d50 n m10 as a portal source. Many of them said that 3.2v li-ion AA batteries will improve their sound quality ,really interesting.

post #63 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by otakuflick View Post

Audiophiles in china like to use d50 n m10 as a portal source. Many of them said that 3.2v li-ion AA batteries will improve their sound quality ,really interesting.


Interesting!  I can't remember where I had read about Chinese audiophiles using the Sony recorders this way, but I've never heard about anyone using "3.2v li-ion AA batteries."  

 

Are you sure about the voltage?  The Sony PCM-M10 accepts two 1.5 Volt AA batteries (3 Volts total) and the power jack expects the PSU to deliver 3 Volts.  If there is such a thing as a 3.2-Volt AA battery, the total voltage for two would be 6.4-Volts.  blink.gif

 

Mike

post #64 of 229

U can always replace another batteries with a dummy cell or dried up ones to make it 3.2v.That can be very light compare to using regular batteries.However they will only last 10 hrs+ and the UI can't detect battery volume properly since there is no dip in the output voltage like the alkaline or NIMH cells.I'll order some from taobao to try it out soon. Between MIKE can u give any advice on picking a headphone for m10?I‘m prepare to get a not so expensive amp.

post #65 of 229

Oh, they're using a dummy battery - for 3.2-Volts total.  Interesting.

 

I can't recommend a truly portable headphone for use with the Sony PCM-M10.  I use its Line Out with a Meier Stepdance and Audez'e LCD-2.   The amp you choose would have some bearing on the headphone you select, of course.  

 

Mike

 

 

post #66 of 229

OK,thank you so much.

post #67 of 229

Here's a surprisingly positive review of the PCM-M10's headphone out (using the internal amplifier) from an article at a blog called Everything Audio Network:

 

 

Quote:

Second Opinion!   Sony PCM-M10: My New Portable High-Res Music Player
 
Mike Rivers does a great job pointing out the virtues of the PCM-M10's recording capabilities. As with all recording pocket portables, I wanted to see how it handled my collection of high-res downloads, DVD/SACD copies and original high-res guitar tracks.
 
As a fan of high res PCM 24 bit music, an iPod does not cut it with its 16-bit 44/kHz maximum playback rate. I have found that the 24-bit capable digital media recorders make nice players for high-res music on the go. Do they sound like a high-end home playback system? Well, no, but 24-bit tracks sure sound better on one of these than a sample-rate converted or downloaded MP3 version of the same music.
 
To see how the PCM-M10 fared, I downloaded some ITrax (www.itrax.com) jazz cuts at 24/96 and compiled for transfer several other bits of music from my collection: acoustic guitar, and first-generation copies of DVD-As and SACDS in 24-bit/96. As long as they have .wav extension, the tracks dragged easily from my Apple desktop to the ‘M10,. But the transfer is really slow via the USB port. Lets just say a GB worth of high-res music took a long, long, long, long time.
 
After I transferred the tracks, I popped in a set of AKG K701 headphones via the 1/8th inch adapter,. The 701s are a fairly hard-to-drive set of ‘phones for small portables. Much to my satisfaction, the PCM-M10 actually drove the AKGs to a fairly loud level. And it did a nice job of reproducing high-res music. In particular, “Roundabout” by Yes, (analog copied from the Fragile DVD-A), sounded quite good: nice transient detail, good imaging and a nice job of reproducing the detail on Steve Howe’s classical guitar intro.
 
On the Lawrence Juber's rendition of "Strawberry Fields Forever" (from a 24/96 ITrax download) the fingerstyle guitar playing was impressive for a $300 buck player. This latest generation of converters — even running on lower voltages — sound really good.
 
I compared the M10 to its big expensive brother, the PCM-D1. The M10 has the same general playback tonal characteristics; the $2,000 D1 has more stereo image width and transient detail, but it is not really that much smoother. The M10’s music playback sounds more separated and detailed than a $399 M-Audio MicroTrack II, though the MicroTrack was analog-like smooth in its sonic presentation via headphones.
 
With the PCM-M10, I think I have found my new portable high-res player. It is iPod-sized, easy to use, sounds hi-fi, and, oh my, it plays forever on a set of double AAs. Mate the M10 with a pair of Shure's new $100 SRH-440 headphones, and you got a nice little hi-res playback system. Oh yeah, it records 24-bit, too.
 
– John Gatski

 

I wonder what he'd say if he programmed the jack for Line Out instead of Headphone Out and attached a great portable amp, instead?

 

 

By the way, my PCM-M10 has been in the hands of Head-Fi member dj nellie for comparison with the likes of an HM-801, a CLAS, and a WhipMod!

 

I've already read dj nellie's hard-hitting, but very credible review and have asked that a post be made to this thread for the benefit of the community.

 

Stay tuned...

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 7/31/11 at 4:19am
post #68 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post




Interesting!  I can't remember where I had read about Chinese audiophiles using the Sony recorders this way, but I've never heard about anyone using "3.2v li-ion AA batteries."  

 

Are you sure about the voltage?  The Sony PCM-M10 accepts two 1.5 Volt AA batteries (3 Volts total) and the power jack expects the PSU to deliver 3 Volts.  If there is such a thing as a 3.2-Volt AA battery, the total voltage for two would be 6.4-Volts.  blink.gif

 

Mike


 

Nope. Not Li-ions. LiFePO4 batts. Makes sound "more exciting".

Get a LiFe.rolleyes.gif

post #69 of 229

Mike was generous enough to loan me his PCM-M10, so that I could compare it with some of my other portable sources.  Thanks Mike, for allowing me to hear a very cool piece of equipment that I would never have heard otherwise. 

 

Here are the setups I tried:

 

1.  24/96 files (converted from FLAC to WAV) on the PCM-M10, lineout to TTVJ Slim and LCD-2, compared to 24/96 FLAC files on the HM-801 with the same amp and phones;

 

2.  24/96 files (converted from FLAC to WAV) on the PCM-M10, lineout to SR71b and balanced Ed. 8, compared to 24/96 FLAC files on the HM-801 with the same amp and phones; and

 

3.  24/96 and 16/44 files (converted from FLAC to WAV) on the PCM-M10, lineout to Pico Slim and UERM, compared to the same files on the Cypher Labs Solo (fed by an iPod Classic), same amp and phones.

 

General impressions:

 

Despite a clunky interface and compatibility with limited audio formats, I came away mostly impressed with the PCM-M10.  For the price, and considering that its primary intended use is as a recorder, it has a decent DAC that comes up a little short compared to my more expensive portable sources in terms of micro-detail, focus, and the expansiveness of its imaging.  However, the PCM-M10 managed to hold its ground in terms of tonal accuracy and was still fairly enjoyable.  It’s definitely a lot brighter than my HM-801, and somewhat moreso than the CLAS.  The PCM-M10's most distinctive trait, IMO, is its forward and slightly bright presentation of mids and upper mids.

 

Song Comparisons:

 

Diana Krall - "Walk on By" (LCD2 setup):

 

On the PCM-M10, Diana's voice sounds a bit limited to the center, and somewhat thin.  The accompanying instruments feel a little indistinct and hazy.  The bass line feels a bit light and lacking focus.  Cymbal taps sound fairly crisp.  I get the feeling that the soundstage is a bit constricted.  Overall, still very enjoyable.

 

HM-801:  The sound feels a little more open.  Diana's voice has a little more depth to it, maybe more realism and fullness.  The string accompaniment feels lush and expansive.  The bass line feels authoritative and the notes feel a bit easier to discern.

 

Dave Brubeck - "Blue Rondo a la Turk" (Ed. 8 setup):

 

HM-801:  The cymbal taps feel very crisp.  The tone of the sax and piano feel natural, but the origin feels a little distant.  The hi-hat line comes across very clearly and distinctly from the rest of the instruments.  The low bass drum kicks punctuating the piano solo feel very visceral, with good resonance.  Upright bass line is very clear, I can feel each pluck.

 

PCM-M10:  The overall presentation feels brighter.  The cymbal taps are clearly separated, but maybe a little less focused and more grainy.  But everything in the midrange sounds excellent, probably as good in terms of tonality and clarity as the HM-801.  Midrange definitely feels more aggressive and forward though.  I don't get the same feeling of air and spaciousness, but it doesn't feel overly claustrophobic either.

 

Led Zeppelin – "Black Dog"

 

PCM-M10:  Guitars seem a bit bright, almost to the point of being a little harsh.  Soundstage feels a little constricted compared to the CLAS; I don’t have the same feeling that sounds are radiating outward from the center.  Although missing a bit of visceral bass underpinning, I still felt the musicality and fun factor.

 

CLAS:  Balance seems a little better between treble, mids and bass—more neutral and less bright.  Vocals feel a little further back, and with more sense of resonance and space.  The drums seem to kick in from more distinct and precise locations, with more realistic slam and crispness.

 

Conclusion:

 

Overall, the PCM-M10 is an impressive music player, both for its size and cost but also because it seems (based on the awkward interface and limited format compatibility) that the player was almost an afterthought compared to the recorder.  In terms of pure sound quality, I'm not sure that it belongs in the same class as the CLAS other portables I own--the CLAS seems to have a clear edge in terms of detail retrieval, soundstage, tonal balance, and overall transparency.  But I thought the PCM-M10 measured reasonably well against the HM-801, and the choice between those 2 could be based more upon subjective preference (bright vs. dark, intimate vs. airy/distant) rather than pure technical ability.

 

I have to admit, I wasn't impressed with the PCM-M10 initially.  During brief listening sessions, it came across as somewhat grainy, lacking in detail and precise imaging.  But after doing some closer listening, I began to think that while I still preferred the CLAS and HM-801, the quality gap seemed to narrow and (at least in the case of the HM-801) the differences became more about sound signature.

 

I'm still not sure I would consider buying it unless I had a significant need for its recording capabilities, but I was definitely surprised that it wasn't absolutely outclassed by my other portables.  If you're looking for a 100% music player, I would suggest spending the extra money on a CLAS; iPods have a better interface, and the cost can be minimized if you already have a compatible iDevice and don't mind using stock interconnects.  But if your budget is strictly limited to the cost of the PCM-M10, and you may have use for a recorder, it sounds good enough that I don't think you'll feel constantly consumed by upgraditis.

 

Thanks again, Mike for the opportunity to add another piece of equipment to my limited audio knowledge!

post #70 of 229

dj nellie,

 

Wow!  Thank you so much for the thoughtful, in-depth, comparisons!  It's obvious that you have a good ear.  Anyone could argue that what you've written is just one person's opinion, but your opinion is spectacularly credible - in my opinion!  biggrin.gif

 

Given that I have no access to the HM-801 or CLAS, your assessment of the PCM-M10's performance is of tremendous value to me.  I didn't expect it to fare as well as it did, but my expectations were limited by my inexperience with other sources.  Perhaps in ignorance, where ignorance is bliss, I have greatly enjoyed the sound of my PCM-M10 Line Out + Stepdance + LCD-2, and I'm now far less anxious to consider upgrading to an iPod Classic + CLAS, which could easily exceed $900, depending on which interconnects are purchased.  

 

At least in terms of sound quality, ignoring the user interface, with your having found the PCM-M10 to be somewhat competitive with an HM-801, I think we can conclude that the $239 PCM-M10 does offer a lot of bang for the buck - especially considering its 96/24 capability, which the iPod-fed CLAS cannot enjoy (but which is possible with the even bulkier and more expensive iPad).

 

Thanks again, dj nellie, for your contribution to the community in providing us with impressions that are very difficult to find (due to the rarity of the PCM-M10 being used as a DAP).

 

---

 

I have some follow-up comments I'd like to make for the benefit of other readers:

 

For those concerned about the interface, I have to reiterate, as I have earlier in this thread, that although the PCM-M10 doesn't offer playlists, sorting by artist or by song, or a shuffle feature, you can navigate to specific folders, playing entire folders with gapless playback.  You can also tell it to repeat an entire folder, or to repeat individual tracks. You don't have to stop playing the current song to scroll through the list of songs in the current folder (and begin playing a different song if you want), but you do have to stop playing the current song to navigate out of the current folder to a different folder. There's nothing stopping you from putting every song in one folder, but I've chosen to put only one album in each folder, naming each folder as follows:

 

   <artist's name> - <album name>

 

It's not a DAP, to be sure, but despite my familiarity with iPod and Sansa Clip user interfaces, I'm not at all annoyed by the PCM-M10's interface - it soon becomes second nature.  I use 16 or 32GB microSDHC  cards (Transcend brand) as my primary storage and reserve the 4GB of internal memory as my one and only "playlist" - by copying favorite tracks from the currently mounted card to memory - a function that can be performed with the PCM-M10 menu or via Windows Explorer (or the Mac equivalent) when the PCM-M10 is connected via a USB cable. 

 

You can purchase Class 2 (slow) microSDHC cards and they will work fine in terms of playback speed, even for 96/24 WAV files, but buying the more expensive Class 6 or 10 (faster) microSDHC cards will speed things up considerably when you mount the cards in your laptop or PC to transfer music or make backups of the cards.

 

Remember that the PCM-M10 only supports MP3 and WAV formats from 44.1/16 through 96/24, but excluding 88.2 kHz files.  If you already own or end up purchasing any 88.2/24 content, you can up-sample them to 96/24 using dpPoweramp, for example.  This doesn't require any more effort than when purchasing 96/24 content from the likes of HDTracks or iTrax, as you'll be downloading in FLAC format and will be converting to WAV anyway, so it's no extra hassle to convert 88.2/24 FLAC to WAV vs. 96/24 FLAC to WAV. 

 

Lastly, I want to add that the stereotypical Japanese build quality of the PCM-M10 has to be praised, as well - it's obvious that the $239 street price could not be enjoyed if it weren't for all the amateur musicians out there buying it for use as a recorder in their home studios.  This thing must surely have a high volume of sales compared to a product like the HM-801. So don't let the price tag fool you.  wink.gif

 

Mike

post #71 of 229

Great Job, dj nellie and Mike.  I have almost everything that dj has except for the HM801.  However, I do have the Sony PCM D50.  I am somewhat surprised by the finding of the M10/HM801 comparison.  The 801 supposed to have a very good DAC.  I feel the same with the CLAS-it is just more clean and transparent with the CLAS.

 

When I use my PCM-D50, I tried the following combinations:

 

1.  Headphone Out---PCM-D50--headphone out to JH13/ESW10jpn.

2.  Line out---PCM-D50--SR71b/PICO Slim/Protector

3.  Optical OUT---PCM-D5 optical out to-DB1--balance to SR71b--Balance to JH/13/ED8/LCD2/HD800

 

Of the three configurations,  I find the difference between 2 and 3 the most significant.  I loose a lot of graininess that DJ observes with lino out.  So when I by pass the AMP/DAC of the D50, the whole presentation becomes much more refine with more body.

 

I do believe that the M10 may have a better built in dac than my D50 due to the M10 being a newer model.  But if anyone have use of a digital recorder, the recording ability on the D50 is unbelievable.  Thanks again, I have always wonder how the 801 compares.

 

 

post #72 of 229

I'm sold :)
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

 

<snip> you can navigate to specific folders, playing entire folders with gapless playback <snip>

 

post #73 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogears View Post

I'm sold :)
 

 



Keep in mind that it is gapless for WAV, not for mp3.

post #74 of 229

That's my only gripe though --- I'm almost done ripping my cds into FLAC :P

post #75 of 229

I don't know that - I'll have to test mine with MP3.  

 

Thanks,

 

Mike
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakalwe View Post

Keep in mind that it is gapless for WAV, not for mp3.

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Sony PCM M10 as portable player?