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Author Topic: New SONY PCM-A10  (Read 2999 times)

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Offline shaggy

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 05:17:40 AM »
Hmmm, it has a "Zoom" setting.  :P :bigsmile:
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Offline aaronji

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2018, 06:08:12 AM »
Interesting.  I guess Sony didn't decide to exit the market after all...

The remote app should be well received by stealthers and it is pretty tiny as well.  It supports FLAC playback, so it might make a decent portable player.  I am always a little skeptical of built-in batteries, though, and the specs aren't very complete.  I am curious to read the reviews once they start coming out!

Offline adrianb

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 08:45:10 AM »
I predict that I will be buying one of these. I agree about the built-in batteries though.

Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 10:13:59 AM »
This is indeed a very interesting development, and just as I was about to order a Roland-R07. I guess I'll be holding back on that for the moment and pre-order one of these instead.
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Offline thomasdk7

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 10:21:01 AM »
Looking forward to hear more about recording Line In on this device. The manual mentions that you can select between "Mic In" and "Audio In", but haven't found more information about Audio In (Line In).

Offline yug du nord

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 10:55:26 AM »
Promising... 
But I don't like the built in USB-A for charging.
And unless it's next to the USB, I don't see a DC jack for an external battery.
It "only" goes down to 40Hz which seems goofy to me.
No phatty sub-sonic omni recordings with this.

Other than that, it seems like it could be great.
.....got a blank space where my mind should be.....

Offline heathen

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 10:58:02 AM »
It "only" goes down to 40Hz which seems goofy to me.
No phatty sub-sonic omni recordings with this.

My assumption is that spec refers to recordings made with the internal mics.  Just an assumption though.
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Offline yug du nord

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 11:03:34 AM »
/\
That makes sense...  let's hope that's for the internal mikes.
Good call man!
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Offline dogmusic

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 11:41:19 AM »
Here's the online manual:

https://helpguide.sony.net/icd/pcma10/v1/en2/index.html

This may be just a glorified voice recorder.
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Offline junkyardt

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2018, 11:57:52 AM »
This may be just a glorified voice recorder.

i think the URL makes that clear:

https://www.sony.com/electronics/voice-recorders/pcm-a10

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2018, 12:10:56 PM »
"When a plug in power type microphone is connected, power is automatically supplied to the microphone from the linear PCM recorder."

No option to manually change this in settings? So what happens if you have a battery box in between?

Offline dogmusic

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2018, 12:12:37 PM »
This may be just a glorified voice recorder.

i think the URL makes that clear:

https://www.sony.com/electronics/voice-recorders/pcm-a10

So, the question is how much of the M10 was carried over to this machine.
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Offline mnm207

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2018, 12:14:49 PM »
I think this is more a successor to Sony's ICD-SX2000 with the addition of the "Rehearsal" gain setting feature. That model no longer appears to be on Sony's website and there is more than a passing resemblance between the two. I didn't do a detailed comparison of the specs (as still listed on B&H), but they look pretty close. 

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2018, 12:18:11 PM »
Here are the details on MIC IN vs Audio IN — it's selected in software settings, though nothing on how this actually affects the preamp, etc.:

https://helpguide.sony.net/icd/pcma10/v1/en2/contents/TP0001684425.html

Given the promo photos of using it to record instruments, it looks like Sony is trying to replace the M10's functionality in a smaller form factor, a la the R-07. I won't be rushing out to ditch my M10s anytime soon — 10-15 hour battery life while recording is a major step down with the A10, even if still decent — but I'm certainly interested in hearing how this thing works in the field.

Offline dogmusic

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2018, 12:35:47 PM »
I think this is more a successor to Sony's ICD-SX2000 with the addition of the "Rehearsal" gain setting feature. That model no longer appears to be on Sony's website and there is more than a passing resemblance between the two. I didn't do a detailed comparison of the specs (as still listed on B&H), but they look pretty close.

My memory of the SX2000 is that there was something annoying in the implementation of making higher res recordings.
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Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2018, 01:05:58 PM »
It "only" goes down to 40Hz which seems goofy to me.

I didn't see that. Looks like quite a bummer. And I can't really think of a valid reason why Sony did this. The SX2000 had the same frequency range, but it was marketed primarily as a voice recorder. The PCM-A10 is clearly marketed for recording music, and it even has the "PCM" in the name, which suggests to me that Sony sees it in the same product category as their previous music recorders. I guess time will tell how this thing works out.
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Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2018, 01:22:06 PM »
I found a video of the A10 on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vjv6d71hJY

Some specs are visible in the background. They are in German. The topmost bullet point is "Diktiergerät", which means "Voice Recorder" or "Dictaphone"...
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 01:24:25 PM by Sebastian »
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Offline relefunt

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2018, 01:32:18 PM »
This may be just a glorified voice recorder.

i think the URL makes that clear:

https://www.sony.com/electronics/voice-recorders/pcm-a10

The M10 was also just a glorified voice recorder. This has 24/96 recording and 16GB internal memory. Can’t wait to tell the kids at the door pretending to do security that it’s my dictation device for work!
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Offline ilduclo

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2018, 01:52:03 PM »
m10 is 24/96, too, or is it not? At any rate, 24/96 is dogs can hear only

 :laugh:

Offline gewwang

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2018, 04:08:35 PM »
1.

Found this in the manual, which doesn't sound promising for stealth (or alot of field recording conditions):

https://helpguide.sony.net/icd/pcma10/v1/en2/contents/TP0001684409.html

Recording with manual volume adjustment (manual recording)
You can manually select the optimum recording volume level for the sound source.

Note
If you accidentally touch your linear PCM recorder or let an object come in contact with it while recording is in progress, rustling or scratching noises may be recorded.



2.

Is there a "hold" button? That was the biggest knock by people when the mixpre-3/6 came out.

3.

I suppose you could tell security it's a sex toy:


Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2018, 04:14:09 PM »
Note
If you accidentally touch your linear PCM recorder or let an object come in contact with it while recording is in progress, rustling or scratching noises may be recorded.

This is probably related to the internal microphones.

2.
Is there a "hold" button? That was the biggest knock by people when the mixpre-3/6 came out.

Yes, on the side. Combined with the power switch. Same as on the M10.
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Offline capnhook

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2018, 04:17:27 PM »



Looks kinda Trumpy, but what do I Know?

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Offline gewwang

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2018, 04:34:10 PM »
Note
If you accidentally touch your linear PCM recorder or let an object come in contact with it while recording is in progress, rustling or scratching noises may be recorded.

This is probably related to the internal microphones.


You're right, later in the manual the section on recording from an external device doesn't have that warning message.

At the $229 price point, it's definitely worth a tryout with external mics and a HQ preamp. The powering limitation kinda stinks.

Offline dogmusic

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2018, 05:09:09 PM »

The M10 was also just a glorified voice recorder.

Not in the sense of a dictaphone / memo keeper. The M10 was primarily for ENG (hence the omni mics) and of broadcast quality. A voice recorder implies fairly low quality.
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Offline MakersMarc

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2018, 09:12:50 PM »
This has the same cheapo look as some low end Tascam recorders. Hope it sounds great and I won't care how cheap it looks.
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Offline willndmb

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2018, 10:27:17 PM »
The built in USB is weird.
Says 15 hrs battery life but I wonder if you were not using google it for stealth and wanted to attach a battery pack if you could or if it would want to go into a transfer or charge mode
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Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2018, 03:07:23 AM »
The built in USB is weird.

I don't mind that. Actually I think it's quite handy for people who only use the internal memory and want to quickly transfer their recordings to a computer. Every time I want to do that with my M10, I have to search for that old-style miniature USB-B cable first.
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Offline Ozpeter

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2018, 10:22:32 AM »
At last they have dropped the M10 closely-spaced-omni mics, which were more or less useless for capturing any kind of stereo image.  The M10 mic quality was quite good apart from the imaging, so hopefully these will be generally as good with the added benefit of actual stereo.

Offline ilduclo

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2018, 03:05:53 PM »
I thought so, m10 settings. from crap to that only dogs can hear, I myself use 44.1 x24 as the smallest size that I can still do amplification on without hiss

 :guitarist:


from m10 manual p 42

LPCM 22.05kHz/16bit
LPCM 44.10kHz/16bit
LPCM 44.10kHz/24bit
LPCM 48.00kHz/16bit
LPCM 48.00kHz/24bit
LPCM 96.00kHz/16bit
LPCM 96.00kHz/24bit
MP3 44.10kHz/64kbps
MP3 44.10kHz/128kbps
MP3 44.10kHz/320kbps

Offline relefunt

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2018, 01:03:29 AM »
m10 is 24/96, too, or is it not? At any rate, 24/96 is dogs can hear only

 :laugh:
I guess my point was that there is no reason someone using it as a voice recorder would be using 24/96, so it can't just be intended for voice. Or maybe it is. I'm wrong all the time!
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Offline nulldogmas

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2018, 10:23:04 AM »

I guess my point was that there is no reason someone using it as a voice recorder would be using 24/96, so it can't just be intended for voice. Or maybe it is. I'm wrong all the time!

Given the photos, Sony clearly doesn't intend it to be used just as a voice recorder, even if they're categorizing it under "voice recorders."

Whether this makes it good enough for our purposes is an open question, but that was true for the R-07 when it came out, too. I'm cautiously optimistic, with an emphasis on the caution.

Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2018, 11:48:56 AM »
Got mine today. The build quality feels about the same as the recent Roland R07. Nowhere near as solid as the M10, but compared to that, it's really tiny. Did a quick test of the iOS app. What I really liked about the R07 app is the fact that you can re-connect from within the iOS app. For the Sony A10, you actually have to switch to iOS' Bluetooth settings to make the connection, then switch back to the Sony app.

I have some shows this and next weekend, so I should be able to run some tests.

Here's a first picture for size comparison.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2018, 02:41:42 PM »
I have some shows this and next weekend, so I should be able to run some tests.

I'm looking forward to reading about your findings! 

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2018, 02:50:54 PM »
Never understood the sony fluffing.

Very happy with my Roland R-05!
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Offline Popmarter

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2018, 05:44:47 PM »
Does it run for 31 days?  ;D
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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2018, 02:35:28 AM »
Never understood the sony fluffing.

Very happy with my Roland R-05!

Thank you for this valuable contribution to the discussion.
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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2018, 03:01:44 AM »
Never understood the sony fluffing.

Very happy with my Roland R-05!
ROLAND R-05??


What kind of Sony A-10 is that?


tell me more!!!??!
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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2018, 04:53:58 AM »
I am curious to hear your results...
Where did you get it, btw? I haven't seen in on B&H or anywhere else.

Got mine today. The build quality feels about the same as the recent Roland R07. Nowhere near as solid as the M10, but compared to that, it's really tiny. Did a quick test of the iOS app. What I really liked about the R07 app is the fact that you can re-connect from within the iOS app. For the Sony A10, you actually have to switch to iOS' Bluetooth settings to make the connection, then switch back to the Sony app.

I have some shows this and next weekend, so I should be able to run some tests.

Here's a first picture for size comparison.
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Offline robeti

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2018, 05:59:31 AM »
Never understood the sony fluffing.

Very happy with my Roland R-05!

Thank you for this valuable contribution to the discussion.

You're welcome!
Have a good weekend!  :cheers: ;D
mics: nakamichi cm-50 | nakamichi cm-300 (JB mod/cp1/cp2/cp3) | primo em4052pmi4's | sp-cmc-4u/at-u853a 4.7k mod (h/c/sc) | ca-11 (c)
power: ca-ubb (x2) | ca-9200
recorder: roland r-05 (x2)
video: panasonic hdc-sd600 | panasonic hdc-700 | sony hx9v | sony hx50v

Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2018, 07:04:47 AM »
Where did you get it, btw? I haven't seen in on B&H or anywhere else.

I ordered it from German retailer Conrad. They had listed it to be available for a November 17 delivery, so I was very surprised when I got the shipping confirmation two days ago.
Schoeps { MK6 | MK41V | MK4 } > NBob actives > {Naiant Tinybox v2.0 | Naiant IPA | Naiant PFAs} > {Zoom F8 | Sony PCM-M10 | Tascam DR-2d | Olympus LS-P1}

Recordings:
Live Music Archive | DaD Torrents | TTD Torrents | Etree Torrents

Offline Sevoflurane

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2018, 10:08:37 AM »
Will definitely be following this thread. I love my M10 and I definitely want to stay with Sony since it's all I have been running since I started. Just really happy with their quality.

The sticker does say "High-res audio"  :yack:

Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2018, 05:48:16 PM »
Here are my preliminary findings after the first few days and the first show with the A10. I am comparing the A10 primarily to the recently released Roland R-07 and the older Sony PCM-M10 (for which the A10 might be Sony's successor). One focus point for me is the comparison of the Sony and Roland iOS apps (as I am mostly a stealth taper and these apps will be how I presume to be using my recorders most of the time).

  • Build quality is on the same level as Roland R-07. Not as solid (and heavy) as the PCM-M10. It fits well into a hand.
  • The A10 starts up really fast (in less than 5 seconds it's ready to record onto an SD card).
  • Battery run time is exceptional. The specs list 20 hours of recording time at 24/44.1. However, I was able record from the Line-in for 23.5 straight hours on a single charge.
  • A completely discharged battery takes approximately 90 minutes to charge (via the USB ports on a 2014 MacBook Pro).
  • The input is switchable between Mic and Line levels via a menu. However, this menu only exists on the device and not in the iOS app.
  • By default, the A10 creates WAVE files that are 4 GB big. This is valid per the WAVE file specification. However, some programs can only handle files up to 2 GB. There is no way to change this behavior on the recorder
  • You need to establish the Bluetooth connection via iOS Bluetooth settings. The Roland app lets you do this from within the app. For the Sony, there is one additional app switch required.
  • I like the level meters on the A10 app better than the ones on the Roland app. They have the -12dB mark in the center and this feels much more like what I'm used to. In my opinion, the Roland app wastes way too much screen space to displaying levels below -20dB (where the details don't really interest me). Also, I like the fact that it gives me a number of the current peak level value. I also really like the fact that it displays the wave form from the last 10 or so seconds. I guess this makes it possible to spot problems like brickwalling early on during recording.
  • The Sony app does not have a slider for setting the recording levels like the Roland app does. Therefore, changing levels can be quite slow as you need to repeatedly press the + or - buttons
  • Setting recording levels on the Sony A10 is way easier than on the Roland R-07. On the Roland, once you push either the + or - button, a big popup appears on the screen with the current level value, obstructing the view of the level meters. The Sony keeps the level meters visible while adjusting levels. However, I must say that I still prefer the old PCM-M10's level wheel. It's way easier to make big adjustments with the wheel than to use discrete steps via the +/- buttons. On the other hand, for stealth situations it's nice to be able to engage the hold feature for the levels.
  • The battery status is displayed on the Sony app, although it only displays the same icon as the device (a battery with 4 segments). The Roland app displays a percentage value, which I find more useful
  • For cross memory recording, the manual of the A10 states that it's possible that some audio may get lost when switching from internal memory to SD card (or vice-versa).

I just came back from the first show with the A10. Actually, I took both the A10 and the Roland R-07 with me. I used a split cable to feed the same signal to both recorders. I uploaded the same song from both recordings. Both files are unedited, besides a little level bump of 1.2 dB on the R07 source to make both recordings the same volume.

The band is called Chvrches. This is Schoeps MK41V > tinybox > Sony PCM-A10 and Roland R-07. A10 levels were set to 9 and resulted in peaks at -5.5 dB, R07 levels were set to 18 and resulted in peaks at -6.7 dB.
Here's the WeTransfer link. Should be good for a week:
https://we.tl/t-XM2Nw4YrUr

I really can't hear a difference between the A10 and R-07. The frequency analysis shows a small difference around 20.5 kHz, but I guess years of loud shows left me incapable of hearing it. ;-)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 05:51:08 PM by Sebastian »
Schoeps { MK6 | MK41V | MK4 } > NBob actives > {Naiant Tinybox v2.0 | Naiant IPA | Naiant PFAs} > {Zoom F8 | Sony PCM-M10 | Tascam DR-2d | Olympus LS-P1}

Recordings:
Live Music Archive | DaD Torrents | TTD Torrents | Etree Torrents

Offline heathen

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2018, 06:26:33 PM »
I'm not really in the market for a new small recorder, but I still want to say thanks for putting so much effort into this comparison.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | AT AE5100s | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | DPA 4061s | CA-14 omnis | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05 | Tascam DR-2d

Offline MakersMarc

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2018, 06:30:16 PM »
Awesome review!

Even after selling three decks to get down to four, I really want to hear the A10 mic in with babynbox. Despite after buying three 620s and having them all nodded. Sick!
😈 Mk4v/41v>nbob actives>Baby nbox>Oade warm mod Marantz 620.

Open: 4v/41v>nbobs>nbox platinum>620

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2018, 11:59:36 PM »
A completely discharged battery takes approximately 90 minutes to charge (via the USB ports on a 2014 MacBook Pro).

good to know a quick 15 minutes with a portable charger at setbreak seems like more than enough to carry you thru a second set

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2018, 12:27:38 AM »
Thanks, Sebastian, for the detailed report! This all sounds very promising, especially that long battery life.

Offline Ozpeter

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2018, 06:53:40 AM »
Excellent comparative review - thanks!

I know that most participants here regard use of built in mics with horror, but it might none the less be interesting if you were able to somehow compare the three in that respect.  As is well known here, my opinion of the M10 mics is that the sound is good but the stereo image is useless.  The Roland I think has the same mic design as the M10 (I am open to correction!).  The A10 has cardioid mics that have a fighting chance of producing a stereo image - but maybe they sound crap for all that.  Any comments?

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2018, 08:44:47 AM »
I'd also be curious to hear a side-by-side comparison of the M10 and A10, with similar inputs. Does the new device have the same built-in preamp quality, despite being only a single jack for both mic and line in?

Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2018, 10:05:07 AM »
I'd also be curious to hear a side-by-side comparison of the M10 and A10, with similar inputs. Does the new device have the same built-in preamp quality, despite being only a single jack for both mic and line in?

I'm planning on doing that comp next. I don't think the single jack vs. multiple jacks thing has anything to do with the quality. To put it another way: We do not know that the M10 had separate preamps on the two separate inputs. And we don't know that the A10's input goes to a single preamp. Since it is switchable between Mic and Line input, it could theoretically also route to two separate preamps (although I highly doubt that).
Schoeps { MK6 | MK41V | MK4 } > NBob actives > {Naiant Tinybox v2.0 | Naiant IPA | Naiant PFAs} > {Zoom F8 | Sony PCM-M10 | Tascam DR-2d | Olympus LS-P1}

Recordings:
Live Music Archive | DaD Torrents | TTD Torrents | Etree Torrents

Offline nulldogmas

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2018, 12:33:08 PM »
I'd also be curious to hear a side-by-side comparison of the M10 and A10, with similar inputs. Does the new device have the same built-in preamp quality, despite being only a single jack for both mic and line in?

I'm planning on doing that comp next. I don't think the single jack vs. multiple jacks thing has anything to do with the quality. To put it another way: We do not know that the M10 had separate preamps on the two separate inputs. And we don't know that the A10's input goes to a single preamp. Since it is switchable between Mic and Line input, it could theoretically also route to two separate preamps (although I highly doubt that).

All very likely, but I'm still eager to hear how your next comp comes out.

I am getting tempted to sell one of my M10s and buy an A10 so I can do some side-by-side tests myself...

Offline Sevoflurane

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #51 on: November 12, 2018, 02:10:05 PM »
Thanks for the detailed report, Sebastian! Looking forward to hearing an M10/A10 comparison! But this looks like a great option for stealthing to move on from the M10.

 

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