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Author Topic: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW  (Read 128485 times)

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Offline guysonic

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #375 on: January 08, 2010, 02:10:14 AM »
One problem, mentioned by Guysonic, I believe, is analog noise on the R09HR.  This is probably not audible in the recording, but I just tend to distrust a rig with any analog glitches.  I think the reason the original R09 had no glitches is because it is based on a single (Burr-Brown) chip, which includes preamp/adc/mpeg/etc.

Coming back to the Sony, I really like the battery life and powersave mode.  This a true field recorder.  You can leave this thing in pause-record for 12hrs if you need to...


True MIC input of R-09HR has very low level digital noise showing chance of coloring acoustic recordings, but this disappears LINE input using external preamp. 

As a result, 09HR remains my current choice with PA-3SX pre.  See graph below, and more information in the tech review at:

Sony M10 noise performance is virtually identical to D50, but actually has a far less digital noise showing.  However, M10 very low frequency response rolls off quicker so M10 noise is actually a bit greater (~3 DB @20 Hz higher) than D50

I'm still working with a TS member's loaned M10 and hope to finsh the report this week if at all possible.
"mics? I no got no mics!  Besides, I no have to show you no stink'n mics!" stxxlth taper's disclaimer


Offline dogmusic

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #376 on: January 08, 2010, 07:30:37 AM »
Looking at the two recorders of the current discussion, as a recordist not a stealthist, I like the layout of the M10 better. It's clearer, and the buttons are more like a recorder and less like a remote control (as on the R-09HR). The inputs and other functions are more accessible. It looks better and feels better in the hand.

There may be slight differences in recording quality, (and I think they are probably only slight), but sometimes the pure enjoyment of using a well-designed piece of equipment is part of the recording experience.

The R-09HR may be a bit superior sonically, but, IMHO, it's really ugly.

(BTW, these photos are not intended to show relative size.)

« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 07:34:30 AM by Dogmusic »
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Offline tekdroid

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #377 on: January 08, 2010, 09:37:40 AM »
More distinct Hold feature, clearer button design, etc.

I actually prefer the PCM-M10's button design. In-use, you probably will too (IMO). I know it's fashionable to dog on Sony (and frankly sometimes they really deserve it), but this is a great unit. Let me talk a bit:

1) the display is miles ahead of the Edirol on detail. The at-a-glance info is much better. The scrolling is less. There is simply more pixel detail allowing more to be shown at any one time, or simply shown more clearly. There is simply less menu-diving, generally-speaking. Compare and contrast. Look at PDF manuals back-to-back. Look at pics. See which one comes across as the toy in the display / usability department.

2) The Edirol's manual even warns, "A small amount of noise may be heard from the
display during normal operation
". Sony's doesn't 'cause they use a traditional LCD and traditional backlight that is noiseless.

3) Right under the LCD on the Sony there are dedicated DELETE and DISPLAY buttons (among others), using buttons that were designed with the finger in mind (with adequate surface area), not little cylindrical shapes scattered all over the surface like on the Edirol. Delete button is flatter than all the others, too, allowing you to 'learn' the position of others easier relative to this, too. (Incidentally the DELETE key is flatter than the web pics show, this must have been a sensible late-minute production change). Anyway, these dedicated buttons and better ergonomics and layout equal an enthusiastic YES PLEASE from me.

4) AAC and WMA support in addition to WAV and MP3. Nice bonus to expand the playback possibilities on the unit. The Edirol has no support for AAC and WMA playback.

5) Key Control and Pre-Recording. Yes please. I think these are far more useful than Reverb. A unit without at least one of them after having tried them? No thanks.

6) VOLUME control on the Sony allows easier up/down toggles of VOLUME. On the Edirol it's 2 separate gapped buttons that require more controlled finger movement. There is a raised dot on the Sony VOLUME control too, letting you know which side you are manipulating even if the unit is upside-down. It's the little things, and Sony's keep-your-finger-on-it volume toggle wins.

7) People are saying the Sony has quieter mics. I haven't tried the Edirol, but this doesn't surprise me because I think they are pretty darn good. For convenience, nothing beats recording then and there on your little unit. It's nice to know it isn't an area totally overlooked to please the accountants.

9) REC LEVEL dial is a great thing. I consider it a bonus to be able to manipulate the levels in HOLD and I consider it a bonus to have a REC LEVEL dial instead of buttons. Sony can consider every possible recording scenario by making HOLD behaviour menu-selectable, as mentioned (but I doubt I'd use it). The dial is actually very hard to accidentally move; it's well-protected and has just the right stiffness (it's not loose in motion like you may expect and doesn't protrude from any surface to make accidental brushings or movements possible in 99.8% of cases, I would guess). You need to try it.

10) Button layout. Keep in mind words don't do the Sony justice:

       [>>]                  [pause]                    [rec]
      / /                                                    / /
  [<<]                     [stop]                    [play]        [track mark]

REC: top-right button.
TRACK MARK: bottom-right button, further out.

Both dead-easy to feel anytime, anywhere, any place, anytime, without thinking. Always on the right means you simply reach for the right-edge of the unit and find them there. Rows are not symmetrical, which is great. Track Mark always has a re-assuring space above it (where the flush ACCESS light lives). REC is on the top row to the left of that space. Again, VERY easy to feel your way. Much better in use than in these words here.

PLAY: joined via a 'I can feel it' deep groove as you slide your finger down. PLAY also has a raised dot on it. Unmistakable feel.
STOP: right next to PLAY.
PAUSE: right next to RECORD.

Completely logical.

|<< and >>| are only totally out of the way, to the left, and also joined 'by feel' by a deep groove that you can feel as you slide your finger down (middle buttons have no groove, only the outer right and left ones do, so you always know where you are).

Lovely button design. Takes all of 2 glances to work out.

When you think about it, you only need to really manipulate 4 buttons for recording. |<< and >>| are ignored. 5 if you count the lovely TRACK MARK.

I dislike 4-way / 5-way navpads in a cluster on the Edirol. I think they're more inclined to get accidental pressings. Not to speak of the shape and scattering of the smaller buttons and switches on the Edirol, which are OK but just aren't when you compare it to a design that is just simply better and has more useful buttons by default (I can accept this is subjective to a certain degree, so take my likes for what they are).

11) Sony has the speaker in a better position (facing more towards you in most situations, rather than pointing down at your hand or the table as it rests on these..)

12) MIC and LINE inputs are on the top-section (preferable to me, but may not be to others or in all situations, but then again I think most situations it is preferable, and that's what matters to me). One also has a tactile raised dot for the total-in-the-dark-have-to-plug-it-in-and-don't-know-which-is-which scenarios). Not to mention the fact that Sony cleverly didn't make them the same colour.

13) Peak stereo LED indicators on the unit are totally worlds apart (and positioned better) from the poor (and sad) Edirol PEAK LED.

14) Battery life

I can go on...

With all this said, the Edirol is superior to me here:
1) The ability to rename files / create folders / move tracks on-unit (great stuff!)
2) Remote does more.
3) USB port is covered (I think all exposed ports should have those rubber pull-out/stick-in plugs to protect their cleanliness and prepare them for a long, fruitful life, especially in less-than-nice places)
4) has some switches the Sony only has in-menu (but IMO the switches are badly-positioned and harder-to-learn-the-position-of compared to Sony's more accessible-on-the-side switch positioning)
5) is user-upgradeable (but the benefit of this is's just a nice 'what if' blanket)
6) the option to turn ON and OFF the peak-hold on the level meters (usefulness debatable)
7) 3 low-cut frequency settings (Sony, just one!)
8) Perhaps one or two other things I am missing...

In my estimation, the Edirol (and others) have a new competitor and the new competitor should have them sweating in nearly every area that matters.

The talk of the Sony not making the grade is amusing to me - but I'm open to what else Sony is doing wrong here that they could learn from their competition (at the same or similar price-point).

Just some thoughts to chew on...

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #378 on: January 08, 2010, 11:41:00 AM »
Just to continue here...

I've tried a lot of recorders (Edirol R09, Sony PCM-D50, M10, Tascam DR07, etc), probably everything except the Edirol 09HR.

The M10 is the one I carry around, on, but in Lock mode.  I use the built in mics for ambient stuff (17dBA self noise!) and I run Countryman B3 on plug in power for music.  One recorder and it does everything.

I would not replace the Edirol HR if I already had one, but if they were the same price, I would go for the Sony.

Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at:

Offline EvilEye

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #379 on: January 08, 2010, 02:21:08 PM »
I mentioned this before, but I don't think anyone responded.

The Edirol can sample at 88.2khz - exactly double the CD standard of 44.1.  Sony doesn't.  I don't know if this makes a difference, and if downsampling 88.2>44.1 is easier / better than 96>44.1.

I was listening to Live Trane - the European Tour, and the notes indicate that was 24/88.2 mastering.
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Offline CatScan

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #380 on: January 08, 2010, 03:21:20 PM »
I think I found an answer to one of my own questions I posted here: if there are any recorders that have both pre-recording and voice activated recording. According to the Tascam DR-100 manual, it can do both!

However, it's bigger than the PCM-M10, more expensive, the external mic inputs are underpowered and I believe I read somewhere that the input amps are quite noisy as well, meaning (for me) that so far it doesn't beat the PCM-M10 specs. I'm hoping someone finds out that the PCM-M10 has firmware which can be upgraded so that there's a posibility such features can be added as a bonus later on.

Offline aaronji

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Re: Sony PCM-M10 audio recorder - NEW
« Reply #381 on: January 08, 2010, 04:43:59 PM »
Seems like time to start a part two of this thread...


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