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Author Topic: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1  (Read 3152 times)

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Offline jb63

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The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« on: November 16, 2014, 11:51:09 PM »
OK, now I'm an idiot, I know that.
Please feel free to remind me of that here.

I'm grabbing a bunch of stuff from spaulgal's post over in the year sale:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=170449.0

and I'll copy and edit a bit to get to the point.

I have a question about some gear in general, but mostly just my obsession with level meters . All other D1 threads are dead, probably rightly so, because A) its not the recorder for ANYthing we do here, and B) Sony dropped it like a hot cake and never supported it after its initial release. Its like the John Carter of sony audio.

Anyway, I used to use a NAK 550 to tape. The old 3 mics version and I loved it. I dug it out and the heads look good. I talked to the local cassette tech in SLC and he can overhaul it and get it back to factory specs for $400. (OW!) It cost $60 to find that out. I absolutely love the metering and controls on that deck, just because I'm getting old and and weird things are seeming more important now. Also, part of me thinks it would be fun to plunk that down on a table and roll tape, even if I had to change the cassettes all the time. But of course you know I'd be transferring everything to digital anyway, so....

When the D1 came out, I remember saying. "I want that just for the meters", but the price point was just stupid. It really just had a handful of great reviews and the "finest single piece of audio gear they ever created" moniker to go to bat for it. Leonard Lombardo pointed out that the A/D circuitry was probably never going to get better than this, but it HAS been 8 or more years since the thing was created.

I currently use Oade-Modded products and various preamps for the job, as well as mics that will always be better than what Sony crammed in the D1, so really, the only reason I can think of that I wish I had a D1 any more is those meters and a fantastic 1/8" in plug. But how fantastic can a 1/8" stereo in jack be? I mean, its doing A>D work with a bunch of circuitry right next to it. That has ALWAYS been bad. I never looked at any of the actual specs, just the stuff people said in reviews.

This machine seems problematic whenever I try to even PRETEND I would buy one. It doesn't even fit in your pocket!

Am I right that Sony never, EVER came up with anything that will allow a card bigger than 4GB in this machine-- plus it has to be their own card; that the mic pattern does not move; that there is no Digital in; that the battery life is the same as the D8...

BUT, again, if that A/D circuitry in the 1/8" jack has still not been surpassed since this model, making that (and old-time level meters) really the only thing that's special about it? And really? Could they really have made a 1/8" in jack so good that they never used it in another model after and all the 1/8" in jacks sony has made since are significantly worse?

If anyone would like to rant about this, I'd love to hear it, because while I know I'm an idiot, and I certainly don't have money to burn, I keep thinking I would love to build a little velcro box that holds an apogee mini MP; DVD battery and a D1, with openings for controls. Of course then I'd have to go somewhere where I could actually USE it.

I did a search for memory cards for the thing and found some chart:

https://docs.sony.com/release/ms_vr_compatibility.pdf

which leads me to believe I'll be teaching for sticks. I remember hearing that the D50 had a hard time with memory sticks, but at least you got 16GB.
with the D1 you get 4 internal GB and 4 on a memory stick with no cross-memory. So you get 2 hours of 24/96. Then you have to stop and start.

Finally, the only reason that I even think about this recorder is that The BEST recorder for the job on the market now is the PMD661. But its's HUGE. I've swapped out use of that for the R44, since, well, its not THAT much bigger and I get 4 channels (with, unfortunately only 1 digital in). The D1 is slightly smaller than the PMD661 and infinitely less versatile.

My current favorite recorder has been the Korg MR1, and I know that there will someday be another $1000 recorder that I will like, but until its the size of a mirotrack, what's the point?
Do I really only want a D1 because of some level meters and some heresay and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway?

Thanks for listening!

Please feel free to waste a bunch of your time telling me things I ought to know.
(Like, buy a freaking D100 or a retirement plan or something)

http://gearpatrol.com/2012/08/28/sony-pcm-d1/
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 11:53:39 PM by jb63 »
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Offline yates7592

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 04:08:55 AM »
I've never used a D1 but you did hear lots of glowing reports about it. But personally, I would not spend that kind of money on any recorder that only has 1/8" in and no P48, no matter how good it sounds. That issue, combined with the quite small 4GB single file size limit makes that a deal breaker for me. Not sure how long the batteries last, but I'm guessing battery life is pretty good as its a Sony.

Offline jb63

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 09:19:40 AM »
I know. The cons are HUGE.
And it's oddly ugly, even though you can take good pictures of it.
AND YOU CAN NEVER GET IT FIXED! (If it breaks, which it's not supposed to)

I didn't realize that it didn't even supply phantom power in the mic in jack.



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Offline H₂O

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 09:40:37 AM »
This deck was simply a showboat by Sony nothing more - it's like the Dodge Prowler or other limited run car derived from a prototype

It is not a practical device and was only barely one when it came out - and quickly became evident that it was not going sell alot with the fact Sony was forced to release the XLR-1 as a bandaide to allow it to compete with other recorders at it's price point

I cannot understand why anyone other then a collector would want to own this deck nowadays - similar to why TCD-D100's still can command $300+ on ebay

I do think it was necessary for Sony to make it so they could develop the D50, M1, and PCM-D100's from what they learned

I would have a very hard time believing it can produce better audio then a PCM-D100 or even the MR-1 taking the pre-amps out of the equation.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 09:42:16 AM by H₂O »
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Offline jb63

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2014, 02:14:02 PM »

I would have a very hard time believing it can produce better audio then a PCM-D100 or even the MR-1 taking the pre-amps out of the equation.
Exactly.
It really comes down to that 1/8" plug and those level meters!

Dodge Prowler! That is excellent!
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Online kevinsinnott

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2020, 07:18:36 PM »
I realize your post is four years old. However, I found it and apparently I can still post a reply so here goes. I own a Sony D1. I bought it open-eyed and open-minded. I am attached to great sound and portable recorders and, although I am not wealthy, I decided I could always sell it to a collector and I found it for far less than its initial price.

Here are my thoughts and answers to your very interesting questions:

I believe the D1 still has state-of-the-art sound. While its technology has flowed into succeeding recorders, including Sony's own D50, M10 and D100 models, I own those as well and the D1 still has something special My guesses (and they are educated guesses) is that it's due to attention to detail in electronic components, signal path design and construction. I'm pretty sure Sony and their lead design team had cost-no-object money to burn. While the cost was very high to its consumers, the cost to Sony might have been higher. They just wanted to prove they could do it and had the pockets to do so. Kind of like the old days of aviation when Howard Hughes decided airliners must fly higher than 20,000 feet and have radar installed so they could see each other regardless of visibility.

The D1 still amazes me in its pure sound output. The limiter is perfection. I did a recording the other day of a child, who suddenly lunged and screamed into the microphone to exercise his young boy's testosterone. I had placed the recorder in a room with him and his voice teacher and could not monitor the sound. I expected to hear great distortion and would have to edit to remove his improvisation. Shockingly, it was loud but had zero distortion! The D1 has an almost flawless stereo soundstage. It's mics, I believe they were custom designed by Primo for Sony, as incredible. I did an A-B comparison between the D1 and D100. I cannot know if the mics are supposed to be identical, but they do not sound identical. The D1 is cleaner.

The D1 just sounds free of any electrical noise.

Perhaps the most shocking to me is its signal superiority to my cherished Sound Devices SD722. The Sound Devices definitely has some benefits and flexibility, but the D1 just sounds more immediate and cleaner through its own microphones. I cannot know why. I have several excellent stereo microphones I can plug into the Sound Devices - my favorites being the AKG c522 and the Sony ECM-680s, but while they may have a bigger sound and different stereo placement characteristics, the Sony D1 will hold its own. For work where having a smaller machine is a factor, the D1 is still ideal for my work.

The D100, D50, M10 and other recorders I own all have their place. I still consider the D1 the best one I own, matched overall to the SD722.

I've corresponded with Doug Oade about my D1 appreciation and I suspect he might concur. Oh yes, and the analog meters are excellent and the most useful of all. I truly wish all manufacturers would find an inexpensive way to incorporate analog meters into digital recorders. 

Offline AB52

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2020, 10:15:37 PM »
I wish the D-1 had a digital input.  I had one and loved it.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 03:50:25 PM »
.. just because I'm getting old and and weird things are seeming more important now.
^
Excellent TS signature quote, there!
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Offline adrianb

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2020, 05:57:42 PM »
I owned one of these but sold it shortly after buying my D100. I did a few comparison recordings and decided there was nothing between them, so decided to put brain ahead of heart and sell the D1. Heart said keep it because it was like a piece of art and the levels are lovely, brain because the D100 sounded just as good and was more portable with better features. Also the D1 was selling for serious money, so it more than paid for my D100. I have to say that no other portable recorder I have owned has come close to either the D1 or D100 in recording quality.

A couple of months ago a mint condition Sony PCM D1 sold for £19.99 on eBay, which is about $26. I was very upset to miss that.
Mics: Sennheiser MKH 8040, Sennheiser MKH 8020, AT BP4025, AT 853 cards, CA CAFS, CA 14 Omnis, CA 11 (Cards + Omnis), Soundman OKM II Classic
Battery Boxes: Sony XLR-1, CA 9200 Preamp, CA Ugly 2 Preamp, CA Ugly BB, Shure FP24
Recorders: Sound Devices MP3, Sony PCM-D100, Sony PCM-D50, Sony PCM-M10, Sony PCM-D10, Roland R-07, Tascam iXJ2

Offline dogmusic

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2020, 08:36:06 AM »
I have to say that no other portable recorder I have owned has come close to either the D1 or D100 in recording quality.


Which is why the D10 is such an enormous disappointment for those of us hoping for a D100 with XLR inputs (a dream machine) and why it is such an incredible misstep from Sony.
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

"That's metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?" - Firesign Theatre

Offline adrianb

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2020, 11:32:14 AM »
Which is why the D10 is such an enormous disappointment for those of us hoping for a D100 with XLR inputs (a dream machine) and why it is such an incredible misstep from Sony.

Agreed. Bought one, tried it, back in the box. Will be up for sale at some point.

I suppose the clue was in the pricing, but it's a puzzle who they thought they were selling this to. The D10 is not just worse than the high end D1 and D100, but the D50 and M10 as well.

Mics: Sennheiser MKH 8040, Sennheiser MKH 8020, AT BP4025, AT 853 cards, CA CAFS, CA 14 Omnis, CA 11 (Cards + Omnis), Soundman OKM II Classic
Battery Boxes: Sony XLR-1, CA 9200 Preamp, CA Ugly 2 Preamp, CA Ugly BB, Shure FP24
Recorders: Sound Devices MP3, Sony PCM-D100, Sony PCM-D50, Sony PCM-M10, Sony PCM-D10, Roland R-07, Tascam iXJ2

Offline jb63

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2020, 01:15:17 PM »
Whoa! This thread. Okay.

Well years later I still say that it is merely the level meters on the D1 that keep me tempted. Anyone who taped in the analog era will probably agree.
BUT I don't think they are worth the headaches that the D1 contained. Really to make a new deck like the D10 they covered the important parts, they just failed at other stuff. I can't believe a D1 sold for that price, though. I still only want one for the meters and the meters on PMD620 are just fine, probably better.
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Offline dogmusic

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2020, 07:43:33 AM »
Really to make a new deck like the D10 they covered the important parts, they just failed at other stuff.

Actually, no, they failed at the most important part: the recording quality.
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

"That's metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?" - Firesign Theatre

Offline yug du nord

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2020, 09:47:30 AM »
Really to make a new deck like the D10 they covered the important parts, they just failed at other stuff.

Actually, no, they failed at the most important part: the recording quality.

Is that regarding specs or actual sound quality?
Internal mikes??..  Line-in??..  XLR mikes??
Thanks.
.....got a blank space where my mind should be.....

Offline jb63

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2020, 12:56:43 PM »
Actually, no, they failed at the most important part: the recording quality.

Wow. I didn't know it was that bad. I'll have to read some threads. Biggest problem with the D1 is that it's priced out into obsolescence within 2 years. Memory card is my biggest complaint.
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Offline dogmusic

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2020, 08:37:34 PM »
Really to make a new deck like the D10 they covered the important parts, they just failed at other stuff.

Actually, no, they failed at the most important part: the recording quality.

Is that regarding specs or actual sound quality?
Internal mikes??..  Line-in??..  XLR mikes??
Thanks.

According to a reviewer named George Vlad, the preamps are noisier than the D100 and the M10.

"The Sony PCM D10 is rather noisier than the M10 or D100 and has a small bump around 7kHz."

https://mindful-audio.com/blog/handheld-recorder-review

On Gearslutz, he comments on the internal mics and thought they were not as good as the D100.

"the D100 sounds decidedly better and cleaner even if you don't take self-noise into account. If you'll be mainly using the on-board mics, the obvious choice is the D100."

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/all-things-technical/1246955-new-sony-pcm-d10-2.html

He didn't test the line-in as far as I can see.

But adrianb actually owns one and said: "Bought one, tried it, back in the box. Will be up for sale at some point."
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

"That's metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?" - Firesign Theatre

Offline H₂O

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2020, 09:30:53 PM »
Wow. I didn't know it was that bad. I'll have to read some threads. Biggest problem with the D1 is that it's priced out into obsolescence within 2 years. Memory card is my biggest complaint.


I think he is referring to the D10 not the D1
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Offline dogmusic

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2020, 02:19:33 PM »
Wow. I didn't know it was that bad. I'll have to read some threads. Biggest problem with the D1 is that it's priced out into obsolescence within 2 years. Memory card is my biggest complaint.


I think he is referring to the D10 not the D1

Yes, I was referring to the D10. Sorry for any confusion.

Did anyone ever have any luck using a larger memory stick than 4GB in the D1? Did it ever work with an 8GB stick?
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

"That's metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?" - Firesign Theatre

Offline jb63

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2020, 04:17:40 PM »
Since it was Sony, I thought I’d wait for a micro usb adapter but one never materialized.
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Offline morst

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Re: The 2006 Sony PCM-D1
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2020, 03:51:28 PM »
Since it was Sony, I thought I’d wait for a micro usb adapter but one never materialized.
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« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 03:53:43 PM by morst »
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