[FS] Legendary Portable CD Player - Sony Discman D-311
Mar 29, 2006 at 7:36 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

janos

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I am selling a vintage discman Sony D-311, one of the best from Sony. The discman is considered as a legendary PCDP and is very hard to find. According to Duncan's review (or read below), Sony D-311 has good headphone out, very good line out and is rated as the winner of build quaility and overall quaility.

Quote:

Sony D311 (Manufactured 1992)

Considering that this Discman is 11 years old, it is amazingly thin, about 1 1/2 CD jewel cases deep, and about the same size as a jewel case in both width and length... only the external battery pack takes the unit outside of the jewel case size... amazing! Sony’s showcase to the world, of how to make a 'thin Discman'... Only 3000 are reported to have been produced, at an initial retail cost of approximately $450

Things are starting to look a lot more 'modern' now also, the illuminated LCD is gone... replaced by a very much more common place screen on the main unit, also there is a very simplistic remote control that has five controls, Play / Pause, track scan / access, stop, and 'DSP', which switches on either the bass boost (NOT Mega Bass) and DDS enhancement ~ there are three levels of each, but that can only be adjusted on the main unit itself.

The remote itself only displays the track number, little markers |<< and >>| depending on which way you're scanning through the tracks, and something that most MD users will be more than familiar with, a spinning 'disc' that shows you graphically if the unit is paused, playing or scanning, by how fast the disc 'spins'... all clever stuff for all that time ago! This was also the first sighting of Sony’s 'Micro-Plug' plug, if you don't have a mini to micro jack plug, you're stuck with either the supplied ear buds, or not using the remote control...

On the main unit, there are nine buttons, two switches, and a volume control, all lined up on the outer lip of the player, all are quite self explanatory, and are seemingly ergonomically positioned... The stop button doubles up as a 'charge' button for the internal battery (3.5v 550mah BP5)... for four hours charge, you would get two hours of playback from that cell, including the external battery pack (two AA batteries) you could get playback up to a seemingly respectable 10 hours or so... unfortunately the D311 that I acquired didn't come with a mains adapter, so I don't know if the internal battery works or not... time will tell

The LCD on the main unit shows track number, time elapsed, three level battery level meter, and Bass Boost / DDS level (if activated)... This LCD wouldn't look out of place, even on one of today’s modern players!

Build quality is up to the usual old school Sony standards, the unit is quite heavy, seemingly having a metal alloy shell, configured into a shallow 'D' shape, with a quite ingenious locking mechanism for the external battery pack... well done Sony!

Power Requirements:
Internal 3.4v Battery, good for 2 hours playback
External Battery Pack, good for 4 hours on fresh cells
Internal & External batteries combined: Approx 6 hour’s playback
Mains: 6v jack, Centre Positive

Main Features
Headphone Output: 9mw x 2 @ 16ohms
Volume Control: Analogue, rotary on both the main unit and remote control
Line Output: Standard 3.5mm jack
Bass Boost: 3 levels, activated on either the remote or the main unit, altered on main unit only
Disc Retaining method: Centre Spindle, Pop-On system
One Bit DAC (Delta / Sigma)

Extra Features
DDS Output: Three stage sound enhancement, boosts quiet sounds to make the sound more 'even' ~ activated on either the remote or main unit, changeable on main unit only
Remote Control: Simplistic remote, but all options are separate, no doubling up of button controls.

Current Availability: Very hard to find, Third rarest Discman out there (amongst the 'elite', only the D515 and D626 are rarer) occasionally sold on by Head-Fi'ers, but more often than not its a lucky hit on EBay, due to the rarity, and quality of these units, they have been known to exchange hands for as much as $500 for a mint condition unit!

Headphone Output

With S-Club 7s 'Reach', this appears to be much more airy than the D50, instruments are placed further out to the left and right of the head-space, bass is taut, and incredibly crisp with a more competent midrange that seems to compliment the Eggos that little bit more, the treble isn't the brightest, or the most extended that you'll ever hear, sadly that is only in the realms of the D50, but what you get is certainly clear enough and doesn't offend your ears, even when played at higher volumes... The fact of how easy it is to pick the mix apart, even on this 'pop' track is unnerving, you could literally point to an instrument in the sound-stage, and know exactly what its doing, or when its being used, I can safely say this is the only Discman I have that can do that!

Back to Tori Amos 'In your cloud', the improved midrange of this unit is easily apparent, with Ms Amos' voice being projected much more naturally, both tonally as well as spatially, with the swirling ensemble of instruments to the left, and the piano to the right sounding nothing but smooth, and natural... The bass seems to be a little overdone on this track, it does seem to take a little edge off of the music, but what bass there is, is yet again incredibly well defined, grinding away nicely...

The Gladiator track, homecoming is where things get really good though, Wahoo, the soundstage is magnificent, amazingly wide and well defined... again, you could easily point out exactly where each instrument is within this busy track, again, the film inserts appear to be thin, and not lifelike, so I really do feel that this is a failing on the mastering rather than the players part, but again whilst the speech is going on, there is a delicious guitar solo, where you can almost see the player plucking each string... and then the big bass over the top, its certainly not going to sound as strong or as vibrant as say, a fully optimised DT770 setup, but its damned impressive nonetheless, the 311 very nearly let go at 3:05 though, with the final huge crashing bass note... then again, to most people I probably listen to excess (I am currently listening at volume 7 of 10 on this player)

The separation (soundstage) abilities of this unit do nothing but impress me, yet at the same time everything sounds very smooth, almost contradictory of that... its a very clever thing that Sony pulled off with this player, the ability to have an ultra wide and clean soundstage, but without resorting to thinness, something even a few of today’s players could do with some tips on, and I’m not talking just Discmen!

Line Out Output

Full sized player! - they are the words screaming out of my mouth after the first few seconds of listening to the S-Club track, I can hear fully from first the headphone out, and now the line out why this player is so rare, and highly sort after... Bass weight is absolutely spot on, sounding rhythmic, and again, bouncy, separation is superb, allowing for an immaculate soundstage, vocal clarity is above all I’ve heard so far apart from my (now dead) Aura CD player, and the treble is held seemingly perfectly in check, not a hint of sibilance anyway, yet the sound is anything but dull, the whole sound to be just oozes quality ~ this goes further than just equalling the XE570 I have, it exceeds it, quite happily!

Where with the D50, I can hear a lovely clarity on 'In Your Cloud', the D311 takes it on to another level. the first thing I can hear is a little triangle being tapped, with a great clarity that I’d barely even registered on the other players, the bass is lovely, and rounded... close to being overloaded, but holding together, and sounding rich, along with Ms Amos' vocals that just seem to hang in the air, she doesn't seem to be tied to the instruments that are playing all around her, and even with the bass rolling around her and the instruments, everything can be located, and isolated with ease, the smile on my face would give away a lot, as to how I like the output of this player!

The orchestral Gladiator track, yet again impresses me on this player, is there nothing it can do wrong? you may be asking ~ and to my ears, the honest answer would be a resolute No!, separation, tonal quality, definition, pace... even those lacklustre quality film inserts sound impressive, and almost realistic... and the guitar, oh... no word of a lie, the clarity has brought a tear to my eye! that might sound very unbelievable, considering that this is just a portable player, but honestly... to my ears, this is well and truly up there with the all time greats, very much a 'must have'... Also, the crescendo at the end of the track is handled with complete ease, yet again this player passes a test with flying colours.

Personal Rating

Headphone Output :
*****
Line Output :
*****
Build Quality :
*****
Portability :
*****
Overall Rating :
*****


The Discman functions flawlessly without skip. The cosmetic condition is very good without visible scratch. The Discman comes with original remote, external battery pack and european AC adapter. The rechargable battery is dead thus not available.

I'll post some pics later.

I am looking for around USD$200 (shipped) and I accept paypal.
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 11:51 AM Post #2 of 5

djbnh

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You've got pm.
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 9:35 PM Post #3 of 5

janos

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adding pics.

Sony_D_311_B1.JPG


Sony_D_311_B2.JPG


Sony_D_311_B3.JPG
 

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