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I am almost the proud (?) owner of a Sony PCM-501es Digital Audio Processor. I am in need of any info I can get, including specs, what were the popular modifications to this unit and can I make the mods myself? It looks as if I am going to be stuck with this thing, so I want to make the most of it. LOL.

BTW, I plan on using the unit in conjunction with a Toshiba Diomage S-VHS deck.




anonymous Mon, 05/21/2007 - 11:45

Hello man. I'm Thierry Dambermont. I'm in Belgium. I owned myself three of these devices back in the eighties. I still have two of them on a top of a shelf. The third one : I don't know where it is, lost, stolen?
I have about 500 videotapes with PCM signal which I transfered onto cd about 4 years ago. The thing I can say is that the sound of this device is not extremely good, for the ears of the audiophile which I became, but at that time it offered a very very good price/quality ratio, compared to better recording devices like the DAT (which appeared 4 years later than the 501ES). One thing to know is that the sound is better when using two of these devices along : you plug the video signal from the VCR into the "video in" of the PCM #1, you push the copy buttton, you take the "copy out" signal and put it into the "video in" of the PCM #2. Then the sound is better. Still, 4 years ago I had to use, with some tracks, an equal curv (I used Nero at that time) in order to get an even better sound quality, and sometimes a barely audible reverb effect (something like 0,003 second). Another thing to know is that you shouldn't record too close to the zero db, I mean too close to the saturation level. Why? Because due to the technical concept, the more the sound is loud ont he recording, the thinner the lines are on the video signal image, that means that it is more likely to have "drop outs" when recroded loud. I hope I'm making myself understand here, as english is not my native tongue, sorry! That leads us to the other problem with these devices : dropouts! Any problem on the videotape and it's a mess during one or two seconds in the recording. That's why I always made copies of my videotapes (using the "copy out" of course, but you know that, don't you?). I used the devices with my synth's. I didn't had a multiple track analog recorder, so I programmed my 16k copmputer to play the synth, recorded it onto one PCM, then changed computer programming to play once again the synth, played back the recording while mixing it with the synth, recorded it onto the other PCM of course, and so on, 3, 4, 5 times, maybe more. In order to keep sync, I always had to play back the recording in the same VCR that recorded it, otherwise the speed changed… one VCR do not play exactly at the same speed from another ! These are the tracks that I made 20 years ago! songs">
Undestand me, the sound of these 501ES devices is not bad at all, but it's a little bit less good than the sound of a cd.
Nowadays I use a TASCAM DV-RA1000 DSD recorder in order to backup my vinyl collection : recordable CD is not good enough for my audiophile ears. Bye.


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