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Sony PCM-D1 Linear PCM Recorder - ProSoundNetwork.com

Sony PCM-D1 Linear PCM Recorder

The Sony PCM-D1 is a fascinating two-channel solid state memory recorder capable of recording for two hours at it's highest sampling frequency and bit depth of 96 kHz / 24 bits. Operation of the machine is quite easy and intuitive.
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(click thumbnail)ANALOG/ANALOG I/O
HEADPHONE OUTPUT LEVEL

At -0.1 dBFS digital level, just shy of onset of digital clipping, headphone output distortion at 1%

High impedance loading0.75V,-0.3 dBu
Loaded with 50 ohm 11.0 mW,0.74V,-0.4 dBu

INPUT SENSITIVITY

Line level input,for digital out 0 dBFS, Line input volume full up, Lch,Rch

44.1 kHz Fs509/537 mV, -3.6/-3.2 dBu
96.0 kHz Fs516/546 mV, -3.5/-3.0 dBu

INPUT IMPEDANCE

Line Inputs41 kilohm

OUTPUT IMPEDANCE

At Headphone Outputs0.7 ohm

FREQUENCY RESPONSE

44.1 kHz Fs+0.0, -1.4 dB 20 Hz - 20.4 kHz
-3.0 dB @ 13 Hz, 21.4 kHz

48 kHz Fs+0.0, -1.4 dB 20 Hz Ð 22.6 kHz
-3.0 dB @ 13 Hz, 23 kHz

96 kHz Fs+0.0, -1.4 dB 20 Hz Ð 43.4 kHz
-3.0 dB @ 13 Hz, 45.5 kHz

TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION

22 kHz measurement filter
44.1 kHz Fs< 0.011%, 20 Hz Ð 20 kHz
96 kHz Fs< 0.011%, 20 Hz Ð 7 kHz
< 0.027%, 20 Hz Ð 20 kHz

LINEARITY ERROR

44.1, 96 kHz Fs+/- 1.0 dB 0 to -100 dBFS
< +5.0 dB @ -112 dBFS

SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO

44.1 kHz Fs, Lch/Rch
Wideband65.2/57.5 dB
A weighted95.4/95.4 dB

96 kHz Fs, Lch/Rch
Wideband66.2/57.7 dB
A weighted95.6/95.3 dB

DYNAMIC RANGE

44.1, 96.0 kHz96.2 dB

QUANTIZATION NOISE

44.1 kHz Fs-90.7 dBFS
96.0 kHz Fs-95.0 dBFS

CHANNEL SEPARATION

44.1, 96.0 kHz Fs
Ch1 > Ch2, Ch2 > Ch 180 dB 20 Hz Ð 4.0 kHz
> 67 dB @ 20.0 kHz

ANALOG/DIGITAL I/O
INPUT SENSITIVITY

Line level input,for digital out 0 dBFS, Line input volume full up, Lch,Rch

44.1 kHz Fs 509/537 mV, -3.6/-3.2 dBu
96 kHz Fs516/546 mV, -3.5/-3.0 dBu

FREQUENCY RESPONSE

44.1 kHz Fs+0.0, -0.61 dB 20 Hz - 20.7 kHz
-3.0 dB @ < 10 Hz, 21.5 kHz

48 kHz Fs+0.0, -0.61 dB 20 Hz Ð 22.5 kHz
-3.0 dB @ < 10 Hz, 23.4 kHz

96 kHz Fs+0.0, -0.61 dB 20 Hz Ð 31.6 kHz
-3.0 dB @ < 10 Hz, 46.3 kHz

TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION + NOISE

44.1, 96 kHz Fs< 0.008% 20 Hz Ð 20 kHz

LINEARITY ERROR

44.1, 96 kHz Fs+/- 1.0 dB 0 to -112 dBFS
< +5.0 dB @ -120 dBFS

SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO

44.1 kHz Fs,
Fs/294 dB
A weighted97 dB

96 kHz Fs,
Fs/291.6 dB
A weighted97dB

DYNAMIC RANGE

44.1, 96 kHz97.5 dB

QUANTIZATION NOISE

44.1, 96 kHz Fs-94.5 dBFS

CHANNEL SEPARATION

44.1, 96 kHz Fs
Ch 1 > 2, Ch 2 > 1> 90 dB 20 Hz Ð 1.5 kHz
>76 dB @ 20 kHz

Note: Most measurements were made at 44.1 kHz and 96 kHz and with bit depth of 24 bits unless otherwise noted. The playback volume control was set to 4. The input volume controls were fully up with the Lch set down slightly to match the Rch at the digital output. The Sony PCM-D1 is a fascinating two-channel solid state memory recorder capable of recording for two hours at it's highest sampling frequency and bit depth of 96 kHz / 24 bits. Operation of the machine is quite easy and intuitive. Analog input/output measurements were made by inserting signals at the line input and taking signal output at the headphone output. Digital output was taken with a special Sony optical cable that terminates in a standard TOSlINK connector and plugged into the optical digital input of my Audio Precision System 2700.

As an aside, I remember thinking some 20 years ago that some day we might have a solid state record/play device and now, today, I have one in my hand - and a quite good one too! During the short period that I had it to measure, I went nuts recording various outdoor things and my three principle classical guitars to get a better idea of what they sound like when recorded. The playback results were superb. Taking the digital output into an external D/A converter sounds better than the analog headphone output but that sounds pretty darn good too. It sounded quite good on my Grado SR125 phones.

Frequency response for the sampling frequencies of 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz and 96 kHz are shown plotted in figure 1 for the analog output at the headphone jack. The frequency range is down to 10 khz to best show the high frequency rolloff shapes. The high frequency responses at the digital output look essentially like these in the figure. Including frequencies down to 10 Hz reveals a noticeable low frequency rolloff at either 44.1 khz or 96 kHz Fs being down 4-5 dB at 10 Hz on the headphone output and about 3.5 dB down at the digital output. Square wave response was indicative of FIR digital filtering having symmetrical mirror image ringing at the beginning and end of each half cycle.

Total harmonic distortion plus noise in a 22 kHz measuring bandwidth as a function of signal frequency and sampling frequency is shown in figure 2 for the analog output. Sampling frequency for the figure is 44.1 kHz and 96 kHz. THD+N as a function of level down from full scale is shown plotted in figure 3 for the analog output. Results are essentially the same for all three sampling frequencies. Deviation from linearity was essentially the same for all sampling frequencies and is shown in figure 4 for the analog output and a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz. The basic signal to noise ratio and distortion residual level of this machine are in the 96 dB range despite operating in the 24 bit mode. The limitation is presumably the analog electronics and the digital converters. Still, 96 dB is a quite usable range.

Channel separation was essentially independent of sampling frequency and direction. A plot of separation for the analog output is graphed in figure 5.