Sony PS HX500 Hi-Res Turntable
Maarten | On 03, Oct 2016
After their CES announcement, Sony had asked if I wanted to review their new Hi-Res turntable. I said, “Yes”, but it wasn’t until August that a review unit was available.
For current U$ pricing at B&H:
One of the issues with reviewing turntables on YouTube is finding an appropriate music selection that would not infringe copyright. Luckily, not only had Toronto’s “The Intentions” recently released a new LP on vinyl, but they provided me permission to use it in the video. I’m most thankful for their support.
Back in the 80’s, pretty much as soon as the CD was introduced (I was working as an audio engineer at the time), I purchased my first CD player, the Sony CDP-101 hot off the first shipment. While I agree that the CD may not be perfect, I found it a substantial improvement (in dynamic range, in signal to noise, ease of access, etc.) to the LP. So, it is a surprise to me that vinyl has remained and is now again increasing market share.
Although I’ve never been without a turntable, I don’t play vinyl (or CDs) much – as the convenience of streaming far outweighs any other considerations. But I don’t listen to streamed music with anywhere near the attention those other formats commanded. That said, some of my favourite vinyl recordings have never appeared on CD or online.
So playing the HX500 (through my ProJect pre-amp, a Cambridge amp and my EPI 100 speakers was a pleasant and nostalgic experience. The warmth and presence of vinyl as presented by the HX500 is unparalleled.
Audio geeks from the 1970s may remember the Shure Audio Obstacle Course recordings. I made a recording from my Era III disk, which is admittedly no longer in great shape. If you’re interested, send me a DM via email and I’ll share a copy of recording from dropbox.
Behind the scenes
The on-camera scenes were recorded with the Fuji X-T2 with the XF16-55 lens using the Acros and Classic Chrome film stock emulations. I kept the light low and the ISO high (6400) to add more grain. The beauty and macro shots of the turntable were shot with the Sony A6300 with the SEL30M35 macro lens.
Audio was recorded using a Sony ECM44 (a mic that has remained unchanged since the 80s) to a Tascam DR-70D recorder/mixer and input to the X-T2.
Edited on FCP 10.2.3 on a 5K iMac.
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