The owner of a PCM-D50 passes by calmly and states, ya haven't heard the D1 yet, eh?
New Sony M10 High Rez DAP waiting at my front door! - Page 3
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1. What is the playback interface like? How are music files displayed? Nested folders? How do you select songs...an entire album for example?
2. How is the headphone-out? (Neutral? Warm? Powerful?)
3. Have you connected the headphone-out/lineout to a separate headphone amp? Impressions?
4. Have you compared the M50 to other portable hi-rez recorders in the $200-300 price range, such as the M-Audio, the Edirol, or the Tascam?
5. Have you tried playing any hi-rez .WAV files?
I'll try to answer your questions.
1) Please see the last couple of paragraphs in a post I've made to another thread for addtional info.
2) I haven't spent much time listening to the PCM-M10's headphone out, but it drives HD280's with a lot more punch and transparency than a Sanza Clip. I realize that's not saying much, but my only other cans at the moment are Shure SE530's (which, as IEMs, are so efficient they're not useful for judging the amp's power).
3) Yes - see the link I provided above. I'm very pleased with the PCM-M10's Line Out to a Meier Audio Corda Stepdance.
4) No, I have no experience with other 96/24 capable recorders.
5) Yes - again, see the link I provided above. I am thrilled with how 96/24 WAVs sound with this combination: PCM-M10 Line Out -> Stepdance -> SE530. You have to have hardware that's transparent along every link in the chain to hear the difference between 96/24 WAVs and 44.1/16 downsamplings from those same files. The difference between 96/24 and 44.1/16 is undetectable to my ears when using the Sennheiser HD280s instead of the SE530s. (See the link.)
Hmmm... Writing this, I'm suddenly compelled to give the PCM-M10 headphone out a good long listen using 96/24 WAVs and the SE530s. Bypassing the Stepdance feels like sacrilidge, but I really want to know what the PCM-M10's amp sounds like.
I'll be back.
Edited by zilch0md - 12/29/10 at 9:32am
OK, first of all, the PCM-M10s headphone out has hiss (into Shure SE530s) that I hadn't detected previously. Please see my edit at the bottom of my post to the other thread.
Aside from the hiss, which is heard only at higher than "usual for me" volume levels with the SE530s, but not with the less efficient HD280s, I've just spent some time listening to several of my 96/24 tracks with the SE530s and I'm still impressed with the PCM-M10's amp (via the headphone out). It's just not as full a soundstage nor as transparent/detailed as what I hear with the Line Out to a Stepdance, but it's WAY better than my Sansa Clip in terms of transparency/detail into the SE530s using 44.1/16 files. And it really puts the Sansa Clip to shame with the HD280's, where its power just offers a lot more punch when a signal calls for it. But in terms of 96/24 detail, where only my SE530s can do justice (remembering that I only have the SE530s and the HD280s), the PCM-M10's headphone out just isn't as crisp as its line out to a Stepdance.
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 headphon out is at 7 (seven), easily.
I'm glad you're enjoying my review of the PCM-M10. I'm sorry it's so piece meal.
Here's a video interview of Karl Kussmaul (of Sony) at NAMM 2010 where he discusses the PCM-M10.
Some additional trivia you might find interesting:
The wired remote control is of value only when recording. It's of no use at all during playback.
I'm getting about 24 hours of play from one pair of rechargeable Sanyo Eneloop AA NiMh batteries. Unlike the Stepdance, I don't have any desire to purchase a PSU or a higher capacity external battery (3V) for the PCM-M10.
Both the specs and its menu settings indicate that it will not record in 88-kHz/24-bit format, even though it will do 48-kHz/24-bit and 96-kHz/24-bit (as well as several other WAV and MP3 formats). So that leaves me wondering if it can play 88/24 files purchased from www.HDTracks.com, for example, but... I'm afraid to try it. I know there's a pretty low probability of hurting anything, but I'm waiting to hear that someone else has done it first. Call me silly.
There's a single card slot under a lid on one side that will accept either a Sony M2 card or a microSDHC card. In both cases, the specs indicate a maximum capacity of 16GB. As the Sony rep mentions in the video and as I've read elswehre, it's OK to use the new 32GB microSDHC cards in the PCM-M10. I'm currently using a Transcend Class 6 16GB microSDHC card that's apparently overkill in terms of throughput, based on what I've read at taperssection. A Class 2 card (2 Mb/sec) is more than fast enough for recording and playback, but I got the Class 6 so that I could enjoy faster transfers from PC to card. It seems that some SDHC cards fail to perform as rated when installed in a USB card reader and, to be fair, there's a lot to be said about the speed of your CPU, your USB controller, etc. I'm thrilled to observe that my actual transfer rate to the Transcend Class 6 16GB card when it's mounted in my PC's card reader is 13.2 Mb/sec (not 6 Mb/sec), so it took 20 minutes 15 seconds to move the entire 16 GB. In theory, the less expensive Class 2 card (same brand) would require nearly 61 minutes to fill using my PC.
When you connect the PCM-M10 directly to your PC with the included USB cable, two logical drives will be created in Windows Explorer - one for the 4GB of internal memory and the other for your flash card, if any. No special drivers or software is required to copy, paste, delete, etc. (I've heard it's analagous for Mac users.)
It takes 10 seconds for the PCM-M10 to boot up when you first turn it on (scanning a 16GB card) and 4 seconds for it to shut down.
You can use an onboard Copy function to copy files from internal memory to flash card or the reverse.
You can Delete files (this can be done while they are playing the target file and requires fewer keystrokes and less time than with a Sansa Clip or Fuse). I love this because I'm very agressive with pruning a DAP - I always considered my Clip to be just one big playlist - if I don't listen to a song frequently I get it off the player.
Files can be Protected against deletion via the onboard Delete function (until you unprotect them). But this doesn't stop you from deleting them when the PCM-M10 is connected to your PC or when the flash card is moutned in a reader.
The only EQ functions are a choice of Bass1, Bass2, and OFF - I played with with the first two options for a little bit, but put it back to the OFF setting (permanently).
In the Detail Menu (a second level of settings below the main level) you can tell it whether you are using NiMh or Alkaline batteries - presumably to provide a more accurate indication of battery life on the display.
You can enable a level-meter during playback (which is not the default setting).
You can set the backlight for the amber LCD display to 10 second, 60 second, Always ON, or OFF. The OFF setting allows you to go into stealh mode when recording at concerts.
It also allows you to turn off all the LEDs (the read/write "accessing" LED, as well as the left and right channel clipping LEDs at each mic - another feature no doubt designed for stealth recording - or perhaps it's just for extending battery life.