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Sony PCM D100
Old 12th September 2016
  #1
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Sony PCM D100

I'm thinking of buying one of these recorders for board mixes. Have anyone here used this box and can give a review of it's performance?
Old 13th September 2016
  #2
Lux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I'm thinking of buying one of these recorders for board mixes. Have anyone here used this box and can give a review of it's performance?
Hi! I have a D100 since 2 month. I use as an additional recorder to Zoom F8.
I record nature sounds and all kind of ambiences. I often bring the D100 even when I dont plan to record, just in case something interesting shows up, I also bring it at planned F8 sessions, in case a bird start singing during the 10 minutes it takes to set up my F8 and two DPA mics.
The D100 sounds very good. It has no XLR inputs, which the most competitors have, but I searched for the best sounding recorder with the internal mics, because I use the F8 with my high end mics.
(Searched the net a long time before deciding, though the Tascam 100 mk3 was not out yet then)
The D100's mics sounds full, capture low end very well and it is not noisy. When I use the mic input (3,5 mm stereo, no phantom) with a Röde NT4-battery powered,it sounds also very nice, about the same sound quality as internal mics, maybe a little less noise. That is a very good credit to the inbuilt mics.
It starts up very quick, about 5 seconds, and about 2 seconds if it not has passed to long time since the last poweroff.
The preamp has very high gain, so I dont use it past 5 of 10 with internal mics.
Handeling sounds is a problem, using some mic stand is needed when recording quiet sounds. If one record quiet sounds D100 handheld, it often takes some cleaning with Izotope RX or similar.
Not perfect but maybe the best you can get today, if you can live without XLR inputs, and are willing to pay the relative high price this unit has compared to Zoom's and others...

Ps. The headphone output sounds REALLY good, and With this product you qualify for SonyPro support, which is very nice
Old 13th September 2016
  #3
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Lux, thanks for your informative review, the quality of the internal microphones are mentioned in every review I've read so far, but I'm really more interested in the line input capabilities and the various formats it supports since I'll be using it to record board mixes.

I know they are very different machines, but how does it compare to the F8 which is also on my short list?
Old 13th September 2016
  #4
Lux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Lux, thanks for your informative review, the quality of the internal microphones are mentioned in every review I've read so far, but I'm really more interested in the line input capabilities and the various formats it supports since I'll be using it to record board mixes.

I know they are very different machines, but how does it compare to the F8 which is also on my short list?
Oh, sorry, I did not read your subject correct.
I cant give an definitiv answer to that, because I have not used line in with either F8 or D100.
Guessing here, but I think soundquality at line inputs could be about the same on both machines. And the line in of the D100 is a real line in input.The Sony seams to have very good AD/DA conversion.
F8 are probably more insensitive to rouge handling in the field, and have many inputs
Old 13th September 2016
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux View Post
With this product you qualify for SonyPro support, which is very nice
What are the benefits of SonyPro support?
Old 13th September 2016
  #6
Lux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmusic View Post
What are the benefits of SonyPro support?
I dont remember all , but they guarantee support respons in short time, maybe also replace units during repair etc...
I had an issue with my unit, was not shure if it was normal or not. They just rplaced it with another unit, fast and with no problem or costs...
Old 21st January 2019
  #7
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GYMusic's Avatar
Sony PCM-D100 / D50

Do the Sony PCM-D100 and the D50 use the same 4 "AA" cell battery holders? Are they interchangeable?

TNX
Old 23rd February 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GYMusic View Post
Do the Sony PCM-D100 and the D50 use the same 4 "AA" cell battery holders? Are they interchangeable?

TNX
Yes to both questions.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #9
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no doubt the sony is very capable recorder - i prefer recording a stereo ambient pair along the board mix and therefore would not invest into 2 channel recorder. also, for live use, a spdif or aes input would be very helpful...

(happy if someone could point me at a recorder with these features but smaller than the tascam dr-680)
Old 23rd February 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
no doubt the sony is very capable recorder - i prefer recording a stereo ambient pair along the board mix and therefore would not invest into 2 channel recorder. also, for live use, a spdif or aes input would be very helpful...

(happy if someone could point me at a recorder with these features but smaller than the tascam dr-680)
If the digital input is optional, the DR-40 seems to meet your other requirements, recording two built in mics and two mic/line inputs simultaneously to 4 tracks:
DR-40 | OVERVIEW | TASCAM

I'm not familiar with any compact options that also include the digital I/O.
Old 24th February 2019
  #11
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Not pertinent to Didier's question, but note that Sony has a new model, the PCM D-10, that is similar to the D-100 but includes two XLR inputs (as far as I can tell, you can record with the built-in mics or the XLR inputs, not both at once, so it just has two channels).

Available in Japan now and repotedly in April in the rest of the world. See some details here: NAMM 2019: Sony XLR-Equipped PCM-D10 Portable Audio Recorder | B&H Explora
Old 24th February 2019
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
Not pertinent to Didier's question, but note that Sony has a new model, the PCM D-10, that is similar to the D-100 but includes two XLR inputs (as far as I can tell, you can record with the built-in mics or the XLR inputs, not both at once, so it just has two channels).

Available in Japan now and repotedly in April in the rest of the world. See some details here: NAMM 2019: Sony XLR-Equipped PCM-D10 Portable Audio Recorder | B&H Explora
Thanks for this info, after I got the D-100 I got rid of the Tascam DR-100MKIII and put away the ZOOM H-6 both of which I had only used a total of 3 times and never looked back. I needed high quality recordings, but didn't need digital input or to record the house like deedeeyeah...and I didn't see the practicality of a multitrack recorder that didn't allow overdubs, I have a 32 input PT system that fits in my backpack or Pelican case when I need a small multitrack system.

The D-100 has been perfect, excellent sound quality and lots of nice features, plus I can record/playback any format, from MP3 to DSD, none of the other handheld recorders that I tested (and I tested a lot of them), sounds even close, except for the small handheld Nagra stereo recorder which didn't suite my needs. I even use it as my primary listening device on long trips because it sounds so much better than the iPhone or iPad. I like the additional input features on this new version and note that it's less expensive than the D-100. I might grab one of these in the near future.

Last edited by Samc; 24th February 2019 at 02:27 PM..
Old 24th February 2019
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
The D-100 has been perfect, excellent sound quality and lots of nice features, plus I can record/playback any format, from MP3 to DSD. I even use it as my primary listening device on long trips because it sounds so much better than the iPhone or iPad. I like the additional input features on this new version and note that it's less expensive than the D-100. I might grab one of these in the near future.
The one sour note about the new D-10 compared with the D-100: no DSD recording.
Old 24th February 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
The one sour note about the new D-10 compared with the D-100: no DSD recording.
That probably explains the almost $300 higher price for the D-100 on the B&H site.
Old 24th February 2019
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
That probably explains the almost $300 higher price for the D-100 on the B&H site.
Yeah. I'd also want to see some reviews before shelling out the money for it; it does look like an improvement in several respects over the D-100 but for now that's all on paper.
Old 24th February 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
no doubt the sony is very capable recorder - i prefer recording a stereo ambient pair along the board mix and therefore would not invest into 2 channel recorder. also, for live use, a spdif or aes input would be very helpful...

(happy if someone could point me at a recorder with these features but smaller than the tascam dr-680)
I tested a bunch of the smaller, handheld recorders before I bought the Sony and don't remember any with digital inputs, and only a few of the bigger boxes have them. The ZOOM H-6 is the smallest of the multitrack recorders, and the only one that will allow you to record on 6 separate tracks simultaneously.

So you could record three stereo sub-groups, the console output plus and ambient pair all on separate tracks.
Old 24th February 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
Yeah. I'd also want to see some reviews before shelling out the money for it; it does look like an improvement in several respects over the D-100 but for now that's all on paper.
Not having DSD record/playback is not a deal breaker for me (I don't need it), and I really doubt Sony would put out an inferior product...plus I can always return it if it doesn't meet expectations.
Old 24th March 2019
  #18
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Questions on getting SDXC card. I am looking at preordering the D10 and wanted to get extra memory, but not sure on the speed/type of card regarding the speed. Does it matter at all?

There are 128GB SanDisk 80gb for $30 and a 128GB SanDisk with 300mb for $300


Does the read/rewrite speeds make any difference while recording on these Sony recorders?
Old 24th March 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDP View Post
Questions on getting SDXC card. I am looking at preordering the D10 and wanted to get extra memory, but not sure on the speed/type of card regarding the speed. Does it matter at all?
?
If I were you I'd wait to see what Sony recommends in terms of minimum write/record speeds for this particular recorder. It's already available in Japan and is supposed to be released in other markets next month (April), so it would be worth waiting to get their recommended specs before purchasing the cards, which you can get very quickly and easily so it's not going to hold you up if you wait.
Old 24th March 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
If I were you I'd wait to see what Sony recommends in terms of minimum write/record speeds for this particular recorder. It's already available in Japan and is supposed to be released in other markets next month (April), so it would be worth waiting to get their recommended specs before purchasing the cards, which you can get very quickly and easily so it's not going to hold you up if you wait.
I didn't see anything on their site or in the PDF manual. Even tried calling Sony Pro but they out source and they had no idea. Was hoping to put my order in on B&H photo before April first, since that is when they start adding tax.

But would anyone in general have any idea if getting a higher speed makes any difference?
I know copying the audio files to a computer, it would, but that's a moot point for me.
Old 25th March 2019
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDP View Post

But would anyone in general have any idea if getting a higher speed makes any difference?
.
It probably does. For example, Sound Devices has an approved media list for their recorders: Sound Devices - 6-Series - Approved Media List

If you're recording at lower sample rates you might be able to get away with a slower card, but I still think it would be worth looking into their recommendations if they're available. You can place your order for the recorder with B&H now and order the SD card separately from Amazon or another source.

I'll take a look and see if I can find any specs.
Old 25th March 2019
  #22
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Here's all it says on page 37 of the PCM-D10 manual; not very helpful.

SD cards that can be used with the
linear PCM recorder
With the linear PCM recorder, you can use the
following SD cards.
• SD card (capacity of up to 2 GB)
• SDHC card (capacity of 4 GB to 32 GB)
• SDXC card (capacity of 48 GB or more)
For the latest information about the
compatible SD cards, see customer support
websites on page 85.
Due to the specifications of the linear PCM
recorder, the maximum size of a single file
that can be stored on the SD card is less than
4 GB for an LPCM file and less than 1 GB for an
MP3 file.
Note
Not all of the compatible SD cards are assured for
successful operation.

Here are the customer support websites; it's not listed yet on the USA one and the Asia one just repeats what I copied above.

Customer support websites
Please access the following support websites to get the support information about your linear PCM
recorder:
For customers in the U.S.A.:
Support for Sony products | Sony USA
For customers in Canada:
https://www.sony.ca/ElectronicsSupport
For customers in other countries/regions:
Sony: Error 404: Not Found | Sony Asia Pacific
Old 25th March 2019
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDP View Post
Questions on getting SDXC card. I am looking at preordering the D10 and wanted to get extra memory, but not sure on the speed/type of card regarding the speed. Does it matter at all?

There are 128GB SanDisk 80gb for $30 and a 128GB SanDisk with 300mb for $300


Does the read/rewrite speeds make any difference while recording on these Sony recorders?
I think you’ll be fine with the 80gb card. I’ve used the same speed card with the Sony D100 with no problem — and with the Sound Devices Mixpre 6 as well.

High write speeds seem to be more crucial for cameras.
Old 25th March 2019
  #24
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There's been debate on a Zoom forum about the class of SD cards (mostly class 4/6 vs 10) and the relative ability to cope with fragmentation. I suspect it might depend upon which sample rate you're likely to be choosing to record at, and hence the density of the data stream ?

Have look at some of these threads and see if they're relevant to your situation ?

SD card Problem? - Zoom Gear & Home Recording Forum
SD Cards for the Zoom R16 - Zoom Gear & Home Recording Forum
My R16 messes up my audio tracks! - Zoom Gear & Home Recording Forum

Not a simple issue, it would seem ...?
Old 25th March 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
There's been debate on a Zoom forum about the class of SD cards (mostly class 4/6 vs 10) and the relative ability to cope with fragmentation. I suspect it might depend upon which sample rate you're likely to be choosing to record at, and hence the density of the data stream ?

Have look at some of these threads and see if they're relevant to your situation ?

SD card Problem? - Zoom Gear & Home Recording Forum
SD Cards for the Zoom R16 - Zoom Gear & Home Recording Forum
My R16 messes up my audio tracks! - Zoom Gear & Home Recording Forum

Not a simple issue, it would seem ...?
Thanks guys for all of your input.
Well this will be for recording sound design, atmospheres, foley, effects, and a ton of exterior sounds for Film and TV. All will be at 24Bit/48K. I've been waiting for this unit for over 10 years. I am a bit disappointed you can't record the 2 built in mice and an XLR simultaneously. The only pro unit that did that was the Roland R-26 which was 6 channels at once. But anyways, the specs are for internal 16GB 24bit/48K for 13.3 hours. I assume that is stereo built in mics?

If that is the case, I think 128GB SDXC might be an overkill?
Since that would give me 106.4 hours

I'm thinking 64GB might suffice. Theres a SanDisc 64GB at 170mb/s for $23

Since there no human to call at Sony pro who can help or speaks English. I actually called Zoom tech support, from what they told me, speed is a moot point for recorders and just helps on copying the files to a computer.
Attached Thumbnails
Sony PCM D100-img_6508.jpg   Sony PCM D100-img_6509.jpg  
Old 25th March 2019
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDP View Post
Thanks guys for all of your input.
Well this will be for recording sound design, atmospheres, foley, effects, and a ton of exterior sounds for Film and TV. All will be at 24Bit/48K. I've been waiting for this unit for over 10 years. I am a bit disappointed you can't record the 2 built in mice and an XLR simultaneously. The only pro unit that did that was the Roland R-26 which was 6 channels at once. But anyways, the specs are for internal 16GB 24bit/48K for 13.3 hours. I assume that is stereo built in mics?

If that is the case, I think 128GB SDXC might be an overkill?
Since that would give me 106.4 hours

I'm thinking 64GB might suffice. Theres a SanDisc 64GB at 170mb/s for $23

Since there no human to call at Sony pro who can help or speaks English. I actually called Zoom tech support, from what they told me, speed is a moot point for recorders and just helps on copying the files to a computer.
I put a 64GB card into my R16, formatted it in there, and it reported that the maximum recording time available was 32GB (which is also the stated maximum size of card on their "recommended cards" list) It may go beyond that, but why take the chance ?

Just putting more and more card space in the recorder doesn't mean that space is either recognized or available, so go with what the manufacturer recommends. Work out how much space you might conceivably use in a day's recording, and make that your maximum. If you're away from home it would be worthwhile taking a laptop and backup copy each day's SD card to the computer.

The temptation with a huge capacity card is to keep recording to it until it's full...but if you're not regularly downloading to other storage for safety/backup you can easily jeopardize several days worth of audio if the card becomes corrupt (through faulty shutdown, accidental power loss etc) Minimize this with backups, smaller capacity cards.... and changing them over more often.

Do get this card class (4 vs 10) thing sorted out for your recorder, perhaps simply by 'stress testing' it overnight at maximum rate ...and see if the card collapses ? Better to know this at home, than out on the road....

Make sure you name/label each card with a foolproof code system...and have adequate robust, secure storage for recorded cards whether you're travelling or at home. It doesn't take long to generate a a handful of written SD cards if you're not regularly saving their data ....and after a while they all look the same
Old 25th March 2019
  #27
Gear Addict
 

Agreed about backups; SD cards are notoriously fallible. Western Digital makes a very nice wireless hard drive purpose-built for copying SD cards so you don't have to bring a computer with you in the field, although I don't know if it does any kind of checksum. For mission-critical recordings it's important to use a clone tool with checksum to ensure your files copy correctly; drag and drop can result in corrupted files (rarely, but at least with checksum you have peace of mind knowing that your files copied perfectly...).
Old 25th March 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
Agreed about backups; SD cards are notoriously fallible. Western Digital makes a very nice wireless hard drive purpose-built for copying SD cards so you don't have to bring a computer with you in the field, although I don't know if it does any kind of checksum. For mission-critical recordings it's important to use a clone tool with checksum to ensure your files copy correctly; drag and drop can result in corrupted files (rarely, but at least with checksum you have peace of mind knowing that your files copied perfectly...).
It would be interesting to get in-field stats about failures worldwide...and more importantly, the mode or cause of such failure. They're in universal use in cameras (video and still), and just about all portable audio recorders (those which aren't CF or SSD/HDD)

I'd like to know the relative contribution (%-wise) of factors like fragmentation and bad sectors, failure to write headers, physical factors like excess heat/cold/humidity plus flexion of the outer shell, poor reader or write contact with the metallic fingers etc etc

That WD wireless hard drive sounds like a game changer if it allows one to leave the laptop at home ....
Old 25th March 2019
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
It would be interesting to get in-field stats about failures worldwide...and more importantly, the mode or cause of such failure.
It's probably more common among videographers than anything else, since those cards have to ingest an awful lot of data; many wedding videographers, for example, won't buy a camera that doesn't include two SD card slots so they can record to two cards simultaneously in case one card gets corrupted. It's not just about having two cards for more capacity, it's for redundancy as well. Weddings are one of those no-excuses situations, you can't go back and shoot it again.

Audio is a lot less of an issue but I've still heard reports of people losing audio recordings to corrupted SD cards.
Old 25th March 2019
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
Audio is a lot less of an issue but I've still heard reports of people losing audio recordings to corrupted SD cards.
Yes I'm sure audio is a comparatively light load, compared with video, or even hi-res stills !

All that you outline is the (perhaps simplistic and flawed) rationale behind my decision to have larger numbers of small to medium capacity SD cards...and rotate/cycle their use...rather than rely on fewer, larger capacity cards and subject them more use/delete/format cycles.
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