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Sharp 1 bit blind listening test

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Recently I got a Sharp IM-DR420H to add to my collection. When I first saw this unit I was not aware of the 1 bit/4 pole headphone socket, and (of course) the seller lost the 4-pole to 3-pole adapter. I decided to buy it anyway as I didn't believe that connecting a 3-pole lead to my amplifier would make a huge difference. Some people on the forum said it doesn't matter, others say it doesn't sound right and you must use it or the unit may malfunction.

I've come up with the idea to create a blind listening test between the IM-DR420H (4-pole socket, without adapter) and the Sharp MD-MT20 (standard 3-pole socket). Two songs from the YouTube Audio Library were used to avoid any copyright issues.

How I did the recording;

  • Download files from the Audio Library
  • Use SonicStage to transfer the songs to the DR420 via NetMD in SP-mode
  • Play the files on both devices and record on an external USB soundcard (Behringer UFO202), using a standard 3-pole to RCA lead
  • Save the songs in Audacity to 16-bit WAV-files

The volume was set to 25 on both devices, 'Bass' function turned off, and after recording I let Audacity amplify the sound to the default value it automatically selects.

The attachment to this post is a ZIP-file which contains four files, two songs played back on each device.

Please let me know what you think, I'm very interested! Any feedback is welcome.

Sharp_test.zip (109.1 MB)

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Note that if you are using SS to transfer to a Net-MD unit in SP mode , you will NOT get SP quality but LP2 sound quality. The MD however can be listen by all MD unit.

Real SP quality is only possible with a real time recording.

That does not change the purpose of your test. 

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On 2017-6-1 at 11:08 AM, krisnadii said:

i much prefer the character of the 2nd device. the bass is better defined and the sound feels more vast. i think its clearer too. 

Yes, I agree. The 2nd device is the MD-MT20, with the standard 3-pole socket. The recording played from the IM-DR420H sounds less spacious to me, so it is definitely advisable to use the adapter on the Sharp 1-bit units.

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