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Author Topic: New SONY PCM-A10  (Read 9804 times)

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Offline dactylus

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #105 on: December 31, 2018, 10:57:32 AM »
^^
Thanks Sebastian!
hot licks > microphones > recorder



...ball of confusion, that's what the world is today, hey hey...

Offline mjwin

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #106 on: December 31, 2018, 01:27:49 PM »
Over the holidays I finally got around to some preamp noise measurements. I used the method suggested by Sound Devices with a 150Ω resistor between input signal and ground.

Thanks for that. A very reassuring result! The M10-A10 are so close that they probably use the same analog front end for the mic-in.

With the smallest handheld recorders, when it comes to sound quality & low noise , Sony seem to have always had the edge over the competition, way back through MiniDisc, the pro walkman D6 & beyond. Olympus popped up for a brief while with the LS10-11, but now seem to have reverted to their home ground of voice recorders.

Offline Twenty8

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #107 on: December 31, 2018, 02:16:09 PM »
Now if this thing would just crack the US market to retailers outside of B&H...

Offline DSatz

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #108 on: December 31, 2018, 11:53:49 PM »
Lutzow, in message #94 you pointed out a strange "bend" in the waveforms recorded by the D100 and M10. That is a small, negative DC offset which slowly corrects itself. I have no idea what causes it, though.

Sebastian, do you still have the WAV files from your input noise tests? I'd like to see them if I may. The enormous degree of difference that you found among the recorders is quite odd.

--best regards
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 11:56:14 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #109 on: January 01, 2019, 05:17:33 AM »
Sebastian, do you still have the WAV files from your input noise tests? I'd like to see them if I may. The enormous degree of difference that you found among the recorders is quite odd.

As always, David is right. I seem to have made a mistake with my original measurements. Some of the WAVE files contained peaks at the start or end of the files. I have no idea what caused them (probably some kind of handling noise), but when analyzing only the part of the audio without those peaks, the results are way more consistent. Therefore, I have edited my original post to reflect the corrected values. Could everyone who quoted those please edit their posts, so no future reader will get confused?

Anyway, I just finished a new test with a 220Ω resistor (which is the output impedance of my tinybox) and the new results are listed below. I also tested the MixPre's Aux input, which seems to be significantly louder than all the other recorders.

Please note that the dB values CAN NOT be compared between tests because the recorders are newly calibrated for each test. What can be compared are the relative differences between recorders in each test.

220Ω test results:
Description| Input Calibrated To| Value
A10 Mic Input| -6.0 dB| -85.3 dB
M10 Mic Input| -6.0 dB| -75.9 dB
MixPre-6 Mic Input 1| -6.0 dB| -99.6 dB
MixPre-6 Aux Input 5| -6.0 dB| -65.4 dB

I have uploaded all files from both tests here:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1L7-jZ-l5_YRqOYLaKM8DBZTEBKK9oKKz

Please note that for the A10 and M10 recordings, only the left channel was connected to the load resistor. Therefore, only the results of the left channels are significant for the tests. Please ignore the right channels.
Schoeps { MK6 | MK41V } > 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 willndmb

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #110 on: January 01, 2019, 05:53:46 PM »
Sebastian, do you still have the WAV files from your input noise tests? I'd like to see them if I may. The enormous degree of difference that you found among the recorders is quite odd.

As always, David is right. I seem to have made a mistake with my original measurements. Some of the WAVE files contained peaks at the start or end of the files. I have no idea what caused them (probably some kind of handling noise), but when analyzing only the part of the audio without those peaks, the results are way more consistent. Therefore, I have edited my original post to reflect the corrected values. Could everyone who quoted those please edit their posts, so no future reader will get confused?

Anyway, I just finished a new test with a 220Ω resistor (which is the output impedance of my tinybox) and the new results are listed below. I also tested the MixPre's Aux input, which seems to be significantly louder than all the other recorders.

Please note that the dB values CAN NOT be compared between tests because the recorders are newly calibrated for each test. What can be compared are the relative differences between recorders in each test.

220Ω test results:
Description| Input Calibrated To| Value
A10 Mic Input| -6.0 dB| -85.3 dB
M10 Mic Input| -6.0 dB| -75.9 dB
MixPre-6 Mic Input 1| -6.0 dB| -99.6 dB
MixPre-6 Aux Input 5| -6.0 dB| -65.4 dB

I have uploaded all files from both tests here:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1L7-jZ-l5_YRqOYLaKM8DBZTEBKK9oKKz

Please note that for the A10 and M10 recordings, only the left channel was connected to the load resistor. Therefore, only the results of the left channels are significant for the tests. Please ignore the right channels.
thanks
Mics - AKG ck61/ck63 (c480b & Naiant actives), SP-BMC-2
XLR Cables - Silver Path w/Darktrain stubbies
Interconnect Cables - Dogstar (XLR), Darktrain (RCA > 1/8) (1/8 > 1/8), and Kind Kables (1/8f > 1/4)
Preamps - Naiant Littlebox & Tinybox
Recorders - PCM-M10 & DR-60D

Offline aaronji

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2019, 07:19:46 AM »
^^ Thanks for doing these tests and posting your results, Sebastian!  Very interesting.  Just to clarify: I assume that the MixPre aux-in test was performed using the mic setting?  Also, I assume phantom/PIP was always off?

Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2019, 04:09:31 PM »
I assume that the MixPre aux-in test was performed using the mic setting?  Also, I assume phantom/PIP was always off?

All your assumptions are correct. :-)
Schoeps { MK6 | MK41V } > 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 DSatz

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #113 on: January 02, 2019, 07:48:16 PM »
Sebastian, thank you, but:

[1] I am most assuredly not always right.

[2] See #1 (because I am most assuredly right about #1).

[3] Your revised figures look a lot more like what I would expect. Also, they agree with the measurement results that I got with an M10 a few years ago, in which the 24-bit recording setting gave AT MOST MAYBE 1 dB lower noise than the 16-bit setting. (Which is a real cognitive trap, since with the recorder set to "24 bits", a person might well think that it was OK to record with maximum peaks at -15 or even lower ...)

--best regards
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 08:37:25 PM by DSatz »
music > microphones > a recorder of some sort

Offline peterjcm5

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #114 on: January 03, 2019, 12:53:39 PM »
There is some great technical information about the A10 in this post and I sure do appreciate it.  I am also wondering if anyone has any feedback from actual field recording experience with the A10?  I understand it just came out, especially in the US, and am wondering what some of the more experienced tapers (I am a newbie to the game) think of the unit.  I am very curious how tapers (if anyone has) compare it to the M10 and Roland R-07 for practical purposes and in terms of the different features?  I am trying to decide on what recorder to buy and am biding my time until I get a better understanding of what the A10 is capable of.  Thank you everyone, I really appreciate this site, especially as I enter into this "hobby".  Peace.

Offline Sevoflurane

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #115 on: January 03, 2019, 02:14:47 PM »
There is some great technical information about the A10 in this post and I sure do appreciate it.  I am also wondering if anyone has any feedback from actual field recording experience with the A10?  I understand it just came out, especially in the US, and am wondering what some of the more experienced tapers (I am a newbie to the game) think of the unit.  I am very curious how tapers (if anyone has) compare it to the M10 and Roland R-07 for practical purposes and in terms of the different features?  I am trying to decide on what recorder to buy and am biding my time until I get a better understanding of what the A10 is capable of.  Thank you everyone, I really appreciate this site, especially as I enter into this "hobby".  Peace.

A few pages back, there are samples from shows. I cannot tell the difference between sources. I am looking forward to grabbing this unit!

Offline Niels

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #116 on: January 09, 2019, 05:47:24 AM »
  • 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.

Sebastian - thanks for the comparison.

I'm assuming from context that you say that levels can be adjusted on the unit while recording - is that correctly understood? (I am asking because it was my understanding that ICD-SX2000 would need to be paused prior to making level adjustments on the unit - it was my impression that adjustments could only be made live via the APP).

Another question: When making a Level change on the A10, can you see the level value on the A10 screen so you know how much you "turned the knob"?

Thanks
Roland R-07, FEL Communications Clippy EM172, Shure MV88, iRIG PRE HD, RØDE M1, RØDE Link RX/TX, RØDE Lav.

Offline Sebastian

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #117 on: January 09, 2019, 03:48:12 PM »
I'm assuming from context that you say that levels can be adjusted on the unit while recording - is that correctly understood?

Yes. They can be changed while recording, both on the unit and via the app.

Another question: When making a Level change on the A10, can you see the level value on the A10 screen so you know how much you "turned the knob"?

Yes. It has a level scale that goes from 0 (off) to 30 (full gain). It also has a segmented level meter. Next to that, the current peak value is displayed as a decimal number (together with the usual "over" indicator). All of these values are displayed during recording and when changing the level setting. Actually, the screen layout does not change when adjusting levels - only the level scale value that is displayed does.
Schoeps { MK6 | MK41V } > 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 Lutzow

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #118 on: January 10, 2019, 04:55:57 AM »
... I am also wondering if anyone has any feedback from actual field recording experience with the A10? ...

Hi Peter,
I actually use it mostly for field recording, I am not into taping shows so much and I use the build in mics mostly. So the same way I use my PCM D100. And I compared it to the M10 too. (here are to Samples from the Beginning http://www.luzz.de/sub/audio/a10/index.html ) I own it now for over a month and I can tell you, the key feature of the A10 is size and weight!
From day one on I carry it with me in my pocket and I also started to use it as a dictaphone as well. Its great to have the feeling of beeing "prepared" if some interesting sounds appear.
I also considered the R-07 and the A10 looks much better and is even smaller. Beside the better usability in terms of leveling, display and startup. Also it is fun to adjust the mic angles (doesn't change much ;) ). Additionally the guy in the shop told me the R-07 has a delay when monitoring the recording via headphones and this turned me off.
Another big point for the Sonys (D M A) is Battery Life. As long as the A10 charges via USB it is pretty hard to bring it near 50% power till you reconnect it to get the files from the device.

So the Pros are:
- Great mobility! (Size and Weight)
- Display
- Usability
- Design (I love the Design! :) )
- Battery life

In my Opinion I see some big cons using it for Field Recording too. First of all, the build in Mic quality is not impressive. Its good and it might be even better than the R-07 or the Zoom H1/H2 (I don't know) build-ins. Second, the Headphone amp is weak, again this can be equal to others in this range, like the Zooms or the R-07. I can only compare to the Zoom H5 and I didn't like the Headphone amp either ;). The D100 is in both points on another planet. Also the M10s build in Omnis are better for Ambience Sounds and have a lower noise floor.

Cons:
- Build in Mics are mediocre (In the Field I think it's great if you use some good PiP Mics)
- Handling noise is an issue
- Weak headphone amp

Best
Lutz

Offline SoundHolic

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Re: New SONY PCM-A10
« Reply #119 on: January 14, 2019, 06:55:55 AM »
My A10 just arrived.

Before sell my M10, I did some simple test A10 and M10.

# Rec level
The A10 has 1~30 of input level.
2.5 of M10 is similar with 2 of A10 under Mic-IN setting.
4.0 of M10 is similar with 1 of A10 under Audio(Line)-IN setting.
I think the M10 has a wider range of gain control.

# Unity gain (?)
I'm not sure this is correct way to measure the unity gain.
Wav file (1K tone, -12dB) > M10 (Line-OUT) > A10 (Audio-IN)
Level 7 : -13.08dB
Level 8 : -11.58dB

# Plug-in Power
Like the M10, the A10 could power the PIP mics when set Mic-in not Audio-in.
AKG CK61s > Nbob Actives > Naiant IPA > Sony A10
Countryman B3s > Sony A10

 

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