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Old September 24th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #1
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Sony XLR-1 Adaptor for the PCM-D50 and D1.

Well my guess is this Sony 48volt XLR passive adaptor easily fits the Sony PCM-D1 recorder, but it sure has problems being fitted to the Sony D50 for easy operation.

The adaptor comes with a spacer plate and a base plate and you have 2 options to accommodate the D50. Both of them have operational problems.

Fitted alongside each other, they're to close together. So I made a plate to sit the D50 further away from the adaptor so I can easily access the controls on its left, easily plug headphones in and also get access to the low cut and limiter on/offs, which are under the D50.

Cheers.
Attached Thumbnails
Sony XLR-1 Adaptor for the PCM-D50 and D1.-xlr-plate.jpg   Sony XLR-1 Adaptor for the PCM-D50 and D1.-xlr-adaptor-mod.jpg  

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Old September 27th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #2
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I recently demoed and tried this exact setup; my biggest issue wasn't access to controls but that there's no easy way to make it a truly portable rig. There's no built-in clips for a shoulder strap and in this configuration shown here it's too cumbersome and unwieldy to be handheld.

Considering Sony put rubber feet on the bottom of the XLR-1 mounting plate they assumed this would transform the D50 into a table-top unit rather than an XLR-capable field recorder.

As a handheld device the D50 is an amazing unit bested only by it's big brother the D1, however when you consider the cost of the D50 and XLR-1 together - and it's lack of portability in the XLR configuration it makes more sense to simply use a unit that was designed from the get-go as an XLR-type input field recorder. I opted to go with the Tascam HD-P2 rather than fuss with the D50's shortcomings when using the XLR-1.

The HD-P2 is the same amount of money as the D50/XLR-1 combo almost to the dollar and, the HD-P2 does things the D50 can't such as timecode in/push/sync, has a much better LCD screen (I didn't like the fact that the D50 has no ability to change the contrast on the dimly lit screen) and a more organic, natural responding limiter.
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Last edited by Robert Lane; September 28th, 2008 at 10:40 AM.
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Old September 27th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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Yeah. D50 is great as is or with the mini jack line in but that xlr thing seems far too expensive.

I like the back lit screen.

cheers
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Old September 28th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #4
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It depends on what your needs are. After much research (read mucking about) I bought the Sony D50 as a small 2 track multipurpose recorder not needing timecode. Its biggest feature is its peerless sound quality, even the inbuilt mics do a creditable job with their 90 and 120 degree positions.

IMO the limiter sounds Ok, the headphone output sounds great and the 2 low cuts are 75 or 150Hz. I find the Sony Super Bit Mapping difficult to audition, but the theory and reason is there so I use it. The menu is easy to navigate, once you get used to it the storage folder system is great. The LCD light could be brighter, but I haven't found it too dim.

I also like its 5 secs pre-record..... saved my butt a couple of times.

The D50 is good enough to warrant running 48volt mics into it, so I looked at 2 other XLR adaptors first, but they've got limitations. The only option (so far) is this expensive Sony XLR-1 with the problems I listed above. So I made that plate (pix) to overcome them.

Sony do illustrate a 2nd option to mount this XLR adaptor, it's UNDER the D50. Hopeless!! Again you can't access the D50 limiter and low cut on/off switches, there's no tripod mount, so you'd have to handhold it outdoors or make some sort of support rig.

But another D50 standout is its amazing battery life. I'm still only halfway through the first 4 x AAs after I figure I should have used about 8 more. At this rate I'm *slowly* offsetting the cost of this adaptor. Rechargeable batteries are a drag if you do a lot of recording. Indoors now, I don't bother with its a/c power adaptor.

The more I use this combo the better it gets, I intended to be able to dismantle it but now find there's no need. With the D50 sitting forward on my plate I can use the inbuilt mics then easily swap to any 48volt XLR mics, including dynamics, by instantly accessing all the D50 controls on its left side.

Uploading is a snap, any computer sees the D50 as a USB mass or removable storage device without the need for any drivers. I've xfered stuff out on location.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
Considering Sony put rubber feet on the bottom of the XLR-1 mounting plate they assumed this would transform the D50 into a table-top unit rather than an XLR-capable field recorder.
The XLR-1 mounting plate also comes with a tripod mount on the bottom, I use that in the field and use the rig handheld by holding the XLR adaptor without problems. The D50 by itself is very susceptible to hand holding noises, for its mics you need a windscreen outdoors at all times.

The D50 manual only lists 4GB external cards, but I believe the D50 appeared before 8GB cards were available. I've ordered a second one along with the remote unit.

I did take more quick pix before.
Pix 1 shows the Sony XLR adaptor base plate with the table feet and tripod mount.

Pix 2 shows the XLR spacer plate fitted to the base plate.

Pix 3 shows the adaptor fitted with the D50 on the base plate as standard, but they're to close together. You can slide the adaptor on the spacer plate, back and down to access the left D50 controls, a right royal pain up on a tripod on location. Also I didn't like how that output cable runs under the base plate, another reason I angled my plate up.

Added to those advantages in post 1, this also allows AA battery and external card access without dismantling the D50 from the base plate.

Pix 4 shows the distance they really need to be apart sitting flat on the base plate, just to plug headphones in. Sorry 'bout the quality.

I'm not saying it's impossible to use this XLR-1 adaptor as it comes, it's just a dismal design by Sony for the price, for a 48volt supply and for easy, quick operation with the D50.

I'm posting this for anyone who's thinking of getting these units, I bought mine not knowing this, I didn't see it anywhere. Would I go this route again?.. probably, unless I found a suitable cheaper 48volt adaptor. The results I'm getting make it worthwhile. HTH.

Cheers.
Attached Thumbnails
Sony XLR-1 Adaptor for the PCM-D50 and D1.-underside-xlr-1-base-plate-medium-.jpg   Sony XLR-1 Adaptor for the PCM-D50 and D1.-xlr-spacer-plate-screwed-base-plate.-medium-.jpg  

Sony XLR-1 Adaptor for the PCM-D50 and D1.-xlr-1-adaptor-d50.-medium-.jpg   Sony XLR-1 Adaptor for the PCM-D50 and D1.-distance-needed-plug-cans-.-medium-.jpg  

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Old September 29th, 2008, 03:17 AM   #5
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One of the best dual phantom supplies ($130) Denecke | PS-2 - Portable Dual 48V Phantom Power Supply | PS-2 still only one level control for both channels.
And if you want to turn your PCM D50 to really controllable digital beast get the Core Sound — Mic2496 V2 but that's for the price ($600) of the Sony's own passive XLR adapter. But there you have it the price of a Tascam timecode enabled full blown field recorder with viewable display when bag recording. The Edirol R44 would be almost double the size of the D50 with phantom adapter but the footprint and the price is almost the same. The D50 is absolutely not usable in the field when used as bag recorder as the ergonomics just prevent it. I once mounted it to a boompole along with that Denecke phantom supply for OP to manage it directly and that's the only time when it was kind of usable.
I have a D50 and R44 here and I must say that I use the Edirol the most as it has regular inputs for all recording occasions except miniplug plug-in power that the D50 has. Managing too many different batteries should be a consideration too.
By the way D50 preamp(s) seem better when listening directly from recorder but the levels on the downloaded files are so low that boosting them in post will reveal noises you didn't hear when recording even then the preamps could be somewhere near the SD ones.

Cheers,
T
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Old September 29th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #6
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The D50 fits perfectly in my bag front pocket when connected between the SQN mixer 6 pin hirose output and the D50 mini jack line in.

I set it to record and use it as a stand alone wild track recorder or a backup for a wireless link. (in these scenarios I obviously am not using the built in mics - nothing against them though.)

Fits great in the bag and sounds very good. I disagree with the level issues stated above. The level is set with headroom and has no issue with noise or artifacts. In fact I am starting to just go 16 bit as 24 bit is overkill and uses more space whilst giving an increase in quality that is not required. It is hard to give up the 24 bit option but for speech with proper levels and active mixing I believe it is just making work.

Also I use 2500 NiMh and get amazing battery life. Enough to fill the inbuilt 4 gig and transfer and I've not come close to running flat.

My only gripe with this thing is that it does not time stamp the wave files such as a broadcast wave.

The xlr thing is pointless to me though. It breaks the design and trys to do what it is not meant to do. Get an FR2le for using external mic's if you don't own a mixer.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 06:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toenis Liivamaegi View Post
By The Way D50 Preamp(s) Seem Better When Listening Directly From Recorder But The Levels On The Downloaded Files Are So Low That Boosting Them In Post Will Reveal Noises You Didn't Hear When Recording Even Then The Preamps Could Be Somewhere Near The Sd Ones.
T
.........not True........
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Old November 7th, 2008, 07:45 PM   #8
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Would the juicedLink CX231 ($300) be a viable alternative to the XLR-1?
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Old May 20th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #9
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Allan:

Did you ever find a better way to attach the XLR-1?

Or, has Sony re-designed the plate yet?

Im wondering if there is any way to stack them together with a small airspace between for switch operation and the XLR-1 staggered down a bit away from the mics.

Or, should I just get a cheap phantom power supply and run unbalanced as I will only have 6' or shorter cables anyway? The one Toenis mentioned would work in conjunction with a short Male XLR to mini cable like this one:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old May 20th, 2009, 06:53 PM   #10
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Hi Tsu, there are a number of options for the D50 it depends on what and how you want to record.

The Sony XLR-1s 2 advantages are, it supplies 48V and 2 XLR mic inputs. Any other good unit that does this and has a stereo minijack output would be viable .. as long as you're comfortable with how they fit or stack together. The only advantage I can see with the CX231 is, if you want to use it as a mixer.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
Allan:

Did you ever find a better way to attach the XLR-1?

Or, has Sony re-designed the plate yet?

Im wondering if there is any way to stack them together with a small airspace between for switch operation and the XLR-1 staggered down a bit away from the mics.

Or, should I just get a cheap phantom power supply and run unbalanced as I will only have 6' or shorter cables anyway? The one Toenis mentioned would work in conjunction with a short Male XLR to mini cable like this one:
Hosa Technology | Stereo Mini Angled Male to 2 XLR | CYX-401F

Thanks,
Jeff
Hi Jeff, no redesign AFAIK. I'm happy with my custom built plate, it's almost as you describe.

I looked at stacking the D50 well above the XLR-1, they'd have to be to far apart to get to the D50 bottom switches. The CX231 has all the features you need without those Hosa cables.

But I wanted to keep the whole rig as small as possible. If you buy the D50 I'd use it for a while to get familiar with its internal mics, they're very good.

Cheers.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 09:58 PM   #11
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Allen, When you build your plate for your second unit build me one too.. :-)

I like it, works well and looks well...

Just let me know if you want to sell one...

thanks
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Old May 21st, 2009, 08:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Hi Jeff, no redesign AFAIK. I'm happy with my custom built plate, it's almost as you describe.

I looked at stacking the D50 well above the XLR-1, they'd have to be to far apart to get to the D50 bottom switches. The CX231 has all the features you need without those Hosa cables.

But I wanted to keep the whole rig as small as possible. If you buy the D50 I'd use it for a while to get familiar with its internal mics, they're very good.

Cheers.
Allan:

I have had the D50 since it first came out and it has been an incredible unit. I have captured some great stuff with the on-board mics. I have even used it to capture from my wireless and it's great for that too.

The CX231 has a pre amp, so I don't want that unit.

I would like to use the D50 with some of my condenser mics that I have good wind protection for, but at this point, I think I can wait a bit longer.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 06:00 PM   #13
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Hi Ray, no plans for a second D50 unfortunately. But the plate is not that difficult to make, I did consider making one out of wood.

Yep Jeff, glad I got my D50, I was surprised at the results with some external mics. The RODE NTG-3 sounds great via the XLR-1, the Stereo Videomic direct into the D50 had the extreme tops rolled off, bit of a puzzle.

I used the dynamic Shure SM58 thru the XLR-1 for some interviews, worked very well.

For all location fx stuff I set the D50 internal mics at 120 degrees which has a great soundstage in the right location. There's no comparison with any videocam internal mics.

Cheers.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 10:13 PM   #14
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Re: Sony XLR-1 Adaptor for the PCM-D50 and D1.

Asking about this rig on another forum .. 3 years later, is anyone using this adaptor or found a better option for their D-50?

Cheers.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 08:48 AM   #15
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Re: Sony XLR-1 Adaptor for the PCM-D50 and D1.

I use a Rolls 48 V Phantom Adapter the SONY is way off my budget.
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