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Re: Sony HiMD questions

Subject: Re: Sony HiMD questions
From: "Rob Danielson" danielson_rob
Date: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:29 am (PDT)
At 12:30 PM +0000 7/11/06, maxfrick78 wrote:
>Hey everybody,
>I have an old Sony MD recorder (MZ-R55) that I use as my
>recorder. The noise floor of the mic preamp is terrible and useless
>for natural ambiences
>but okay for louder sources like busy train stations.
>Now I want to get one of the Sony HiMD 'pro-line' recorders, like
>the MZ-M100. I have
>checked some information in this group and on the web, but a few
>questions remain:

Are you sure the MZ-R55 is creating the noise with your set-up? Many,
including myself, used to believe that MD mic pres were the culprit,
but tests have proven they aren't that noisy. Mics that will run on
PIP that are noisy are very common. If you are curious about MD vs
Hi-MD mic pre noise performance, here's a comparison for some sense:

>1) How about the headphone levels? Can you boost them more than an
>old consumer-type
>headphone out ? I have Beyerdynamics DT 770 which is a great set of
>headphones but
>needs more level than most others, my MZ-R55's maximum output is not
>enough for
>decent monitoring.

The first generation US Hi-MD models and the Australian NH700 I've
tried have plenty of headphone volume.

>2) There already is a new series of HiMD's like the MZ-RH1. The big
>advantage for
>recording that I found was that finally you don't have to dive into
>the menu any more to
>set the record mode to manual gain. The recorder will remember your
>last setting. The
>disadvantage (in my idea) would be that they don't have the
>'outboard' AA-battery-holder
>any more that you can add when the powe of the internal battery is
>down. Any other
>essential differences for ambience recording that I'm missing here?

None I know of. The Hi-MD forum should be informative with MZ-RH1's
release.  I've been
meaning to look into the external powering options for the MZ-RH1.

>3) Sony HiMD recorders are praised for their low-noise

and high gain (75dB)

>mic preamps. I have read that this
>is possible because of a digital preamp, which probably means that
>there is a fixed AD-
>conversion-level (or maybe two, hi-sens and low sens..?). That would
>mean that at a
>certain volume the signal might clip at the input of the
>DA-converter. Of course the point
>when this occurs depends on the microphone too. Can anyone give an
>indication about the
>SPL or type of source when clipping starts to happen with a common
>mike that can handle
>high SPL? Or am I just too clip-phobic here and there's nothing to
>worry about? (Well
>actually the noise has given me more trouble than clipping in the
>past, so I just ask this to
>make myself feel certain I don't buy the wrong thing.. ;-)

Yes, you can get your HiMD mic pre to clip before your condenser mics
if you work at it. We've talked about clipping with ECM mics and
Richard has done some measuring .
The sources of clipping are a little tough to pin down without a test
bench. Perhaps people can share some nightmares, but mic pre clipping
with Hi-MD not been an issue for me at all.  Rob D.


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