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Any guesses on if the Sony PCM-D1 Portable Recorder will soon be superceeded by something with XLR inputs?

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Peter Alvin
Any guesses on if the Sony PCM-D1 Portable Recorder will soon be superceeded by something with XLR inputs?
on Sep 6, 2010 at 2:34:29 pm

I've read that the Sony PCM-D1 is the highest quality portable recorder in it's $1,500-$2,000 price range. Is it good enough for nature recordings? It supposedly has the lowest "sound floor" of low noise at the moment.

I have a limited budget but can spend perhaps $2K or so.

Other people have said it's just better to go with Sound Devices 702 and buy some good microphones?

It seems that the PCM-D1 has been out for a while now and was curious to know if anyone perceives it might be replaced soon with another model with XLR inputs.

Peter Alvin


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Sam Mallery
Re: Any guesses on if the Sony PCM-D1 Portable Recorder will soon be superceeded by something with XLR inputs?
on Sep 8, 2010 at 3:48:43 pm

I doubt that Sony will come out with a PCM-D1-like-thing with XLR inputs anytime soon. Sony makes an XLR adapter for the D1 and the D50 called the XLR-1.

For sound quality, I would expect you would get better sound quality with a Sound Devices 702 and a good stereo microphone. The trouble is that a 702 is $1875, and a good stereo microphone like the Sennheiser MKE-44P is $700. You also need to buy additional wind protection for the mic, a case for the 702, additional batteries, etc.

The PCM-D1 is nice, but if I were spending the money I would get the Sony D50 instead. I don't think the PCM-D1 has any sonic advantage over the PCM-D1. As far as I know the only difference is the really nice looking VU meters on the D1.

The D50 is more compact, which is good, and the microphones sound great. It's true, the Sony D1 and the D50 have a lower noise floor than other portable digital recorders (not including Sound Devices' offerings).

I'd get a D50 and the Sony AD-PCM1 windscreen for nature recording, and a pair of Sony MDR7506 headphones for monitoring. It's a small kit, and it will kick butt. You can pay a lot more, and get a great sound too, but the results you can get with the D50 will likely be just as good. Plus, since it's small and all-in-one, you'll be able to pull it out and start recording quickly, as opposed to having a 702 with an external mic.

http://www.sam-mallery.com


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Nigel Lambert
Re: Any guesses on if the Sony PCM-D1 Portable Recorder will soon be superceeded by something with XLR inputs?
on Dec 5, 2010 at 2:21:06 pm

I have owned a Sony PCM D50 for quite a few years now, and just love it! I quite agree that the lack of XLR mic inputs and being confined to electret, mini-jack mics was a bit of a downer. I know that Sony make their XLR-1 adapter in order to use professional condenser mics, but it's way too expensive what what you get. I'm a voice over artist (Papa Dolmio in those Italian pasta sauce puppet commercials etc.)and often send sound files to the States "down the line" from my home studio. I was loathe to eBay the PCM D50 and start again with a new Fostex, Tascam ... or if I REALLY bit the bullet, Sound Devices 702 ...because the Sony, with it's super bit mapping, and amazingly clever limiter, is such a terrific little recorder!

Then I discovered Juicedlink, and their portable micro mixers just ticked all the boxes for me. Their CX 231 has two balanced XLR inputs, amazingly quiet mic pre's - either 12 or 48v. phantom power, and the whole thing can disappear in a trouser pocket! What I own is their CX 431 ... just the same but with four XLR inputs for the odd occasion when I record my local choir. Each channel can be potted hard left, hard right or centre. Both mixers have mini jack connection into the Sony, and 4 mics, using 200 feet or so of XLR cable, 48 volt phantom at 24 bit, 96,000 gives me up to one hour and 45 minutes with a single 9 volt PP3 battery!

The CX 231 costs about £260 - and the four channel is about £350. When recording a voice over, the combination of the virtually nil noise floor of the Sony and Juicedlink and then a Rode NT1-A studio condenser (claimed by Rode to be the quietest microphone in the world) gives me a sonic quality that is incredible. For choir recording I use two matched pairs of Rode NT 5's, and the sound quality is terrific.

Hope some of this will be of interest.


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