Walkman One (for NW-A50Series)


This update wouldn't be possible without the generous donation of a WM1A from Nayparm (after having to sell mine). Check out his website, www.npaudio.uk, for hardware modifications for WM1A/Z, ZX300, and more!


Most of the answers to your questions are already answered below, or in the info files that can be found in the downloaded firmware archive, or in the FAQ. For example, in the "External_Tunings" folder there is a info file describing what to do to change the sound signature. Please read all this info, and if you couldn't find the answer to a certain question, you can ask it below, in the comments section, or via email. Thanks!


Updates (September 20th):
- instead of having separate firmware packages for different sound signatures, you can now choose (in the settings file) from 4 available sound signatures that come in a single package;

Midnight is now the "Warm" sound signature, while Dawn (v2.1, unreleased before) is the "Bright" sound signature. The other two sound signatures are "Neutral" (which sits somewhere between Warm and "Bright") and "WM1Z", which is the Sony NW-WM1Z sound.

- in the "CFW" folder in the internal storage, where the settings file can also be found, you will now see a "StockRevert" folder, containing everything required to get back to the stock firmware;
- in the same folder you will also see an "External_Tunings" folder, which contains the external tunings for the 4 sound signatures, as well as info related to the applying of these tunings (both these folders require about 246 MB available in the internal storage).


Features:
- 4 sound signatures in 1 package: "Neutral", "Warm", "Bright", and the "WM1Z" stock sound;
- an additional settings system, which can be found in the Internal Storage (in the "CFW" folder), allowing you to set various settings (open the settings file, [settings.txt], for more info);
- a boot log file for the settings system, to check if the settings file is read correctly and all the values are valid (can be found in the same "CFW" folder);
- 10-band equalizer/Tone Control (switch between these two from the EQ screen, by tapping on the bottom-right menu button);
- DC Phase Linearizer with 6 selectable modes;
- Vinyl Processor with 4 selectable modes;
- Direct Source replacing ClearAudio+ (while Direct Source is enabled, DSD and MQA playback will not work);
- visualizers: Spectrum Analyzer/Analog VU Meter/Digital Peak Meter (while in the playback screen, tap the bottom right button, and then tap "Change playback screen")
- info about the file being played showing up at the top of the playback screen;
- a bar indicating the audio volume is showing up at the top of the screen;
- the CEW2 region doesn't apply a volume limit with this firmware;
- three boot modes: "Normal", "Plus v1", and "Plus v2" (find settings for these in the settings file);
- DSEE AI (present on DMP-Z1);
- visualizations more in sync with the music;
- progressive JPEG and interlaced PNG album covers are supported.


Missing features in comparison to the stock firmware:
- FM Radio
- VPT Surround
- Language Study
- ClearAudio+
- Noise cancelling
- Line-out functionality


Boot modes:
"Plus v1" - a different flavor of the normal chosen sound signature;
"Plus v2" - usually better than the Plus v1 mode, and it also consumes less battery;
"Normal" - provides the normal chosen sound signature;


Please read the FAQ for more info about how to install/revert back to stock from this firmware, about the settings file, or about how to change/start in the chosen Plus mode.

You can also find info related to installing and reverting to stock or about the tunings in the downloaded ZIP archive, from the link below.

__________________________________

What should I do if I'm using one of the previous/existing custom firmware versions?

1. Revert to stock using the StockRevert package corresponding to your currently installed firmware

2. Install "Walkman One", following the instructions available in the downloaded ZIP archive


You can find the StockRevert for the previous modded firmware versions, here

__________________________________




Enjoy!



82 comments:

  1. Hi I have installed Walkman One but I can't apply External_Tunings.
    When I connect my Walkman and PC in USB mass storage mode, it is recognized by Explorer but not by External_Tunings.
    Help me :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, please read the information in the tunings folder very carefully. You don't need to try to apply all the tunings. Apply just one, depending on what sound signature you're using.

      Again, please read all the info available!

      Delete
    2. I read and understood, but I can't solve it.
      I'm trying to apply Bright but it doesn't work.
      Is it related to inserting the SD card into the walkman main unit?
      I'm Japanese and use Google Translate so it may be hard to read.
      I'm sorry

      Delete
    3. You first need to change the sound signature to Bright in the settings file, then restart the player, and then install the Bright tuning.

      Open the settings file, change SIG from 3 to 2 (SIG=2), restart the player, then install Bright tuning after restart.

      Delete
    4. I can't find this on the Walkman One (WM1Z)
      "first need to change the sound signature to Bright in the settings file"

      Delete
    5. Hey, just read the FAQ section carefully.

      Delete
  2. Would it be possible to implement some sort of play history log? I use last.fm, but at the same time, I mostly listen to music on my Walkman and there's no way to add your scrobbles unless you remember what you listened to. Rockbox has this feature, but I don't know how feasible it would be on one of these Walkmans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately this is not really possible, sorry.

      Delete
  3. In your opinion, which is the best sound signature to use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd go more towards "WM1Z", with the MX3 region, Plus v2, and different DAC init, but "Neutral" with the TW region is also a nice choice.

      Some people like "Bright", for example, so it all depends on you in the end.

      Delete
  4. Thanks again for another wonderful custom Firmware! I'm going to give this a try right now.

    What's your favorite sound signature? I'll give "Bright" a listen for now and then try the other ones as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoy "WM1Z" (MX3 region, Plus v2, different DAC init) with my Shure SE846. "Neutral" is also nice with the TW region, but it depends on your ears.

      Delete
  5. What are the main differences between Walkman One and Midnight v2 firmwares?:0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's mentioned above 😅

      Walkman One integrates 4 sound signature into one firmware.

      Please read the text above for more info.

      Delete
  6. I don't know why I still prefer original firmware with the VPT surround set to Studio better than any of the custom firmwares using Shure SE215. Is there something wrong with my ears?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You hear what you hear, there's nothing wrong with your ears. Enjoy.

      Delete
  7. Does the mod affect bluetooth or are the changes only really noticable when using a cord?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Different sound signatures won't have their specific effect via BT, but BT sound overall should be better.

      Delete
  8. In your opinion, is it worth updating if I have already installed the previous Midnight with the Project Z sound signature? Are there any further improvements? What do you think of Region J?

    Which one is darker? Midnight or WM1Z signature?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Midnight sound signature is also available in this firmware as "Warm", and changing the sound signature is easy.

      WM1Z is not as dark, it's more towards balanced, with plenty of mids.

      Delete
    2. in terms of sound quality, without considering the frequency response, is the WMZ1 better? For soundstage ecc...

      Delete
    3. I prefer it to be honest, at least with the Shure SE846.

      The thing is that you could install this firmware, test the "WM1Z" signature (with Plus mode or other settings on or off), and if you don't like it you can simply switch to "Warm".

      The "Warm" tuning is the Project Z one.

      If you decide to give it a try, read info about how to change the sound signature correctly (change signature in settings file, restart player, apply only corresponding tuning).

      Delete
    4. "The "Warm" tuning is the Project Z one."

      wait so the WM1Z is a brand new sound signature? Was it already present in any release prior to this one?

      Delete
    5. Yes, "WM1Z" and "Neutral" were not available before.

      Delete
    6. It is mentioned above :)

      "Midnight is now the "Warm" sound signature, while Dawn (v2.1, unreleased before) is the "Bright" sound signature. The other two sound signatures are "Neutral" (which sits somewhere between Warm and "Bright") and "WM1Z", which is the Sony NW-WM1Z sound."

      Delete
    7. Okok, I was convinced that the old Project Z was the current WM1Z, it will mean that I will try it

      Delete
  9. you said that "The "Warm" tuning is the Project Z one."
    in the previous firmware (Midnight_v2_(for_A50)) there were two external tunings, the Project Z and the midnight, so... where did the midnight one go? Are you not using it anymore because Project Z was already dark and better?

    and when i reverted to stock, the first installer worked, the second one asked me to plug the cable even if i already plugged it in, in USB mass storage mode, why?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ignore the second installer thing, it's fine.

      The Midnight tuning is no longer available.

      Delete
  10. one last thing: i don't understand why is called the "single package"
    as in previous firmware, I still have to install the external tunings from the pc, and in addition I also have to modify the settings file, where is the convenience in doing this? am I missing something? it is very convenient to have all the external tunings saved directly on the player, it would be even more fantastic if there was no need to install them from a pc, but perhaps it is not possible. What is the difference from the Midnight v2 for example? the fact that they're on the player?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Without the ability to change sound signatures like this, there would've been 4 separate firmware versions. That means using StockRevert and install another one every time you want something else, which takes some time.

      I think it's much more convenient and faster to be able to do it through the settings file instead.

      Delete
    2. oh okok, I didn't know you had to go back to stock firmware before installing a different tuning with the old firmware, thanks for the answers!

      Delete
  11. Can I ask you this question, you didn't answer it directly the last time. What happens when I enter one of the 3 boot modes?
    Ex. If I enter Normal boot mode when I choose WM1Z sound signature is it means that the sound is the WM1Z sound? Or I have to switch to one of the Pluses mode to have the WM1Z sound? The last one is the WM1Z sound signature the WM1Z sound signature when using the normal boot mode?
    Thanks for answering my questions, I really need to know, because I never heard the sound signature of the WM1Z before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The WM1Z sound is in the Normal mode, with all other settings (like DAC initialization) disabled.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for answering, your modification to the firmware is great btw!

      Delete
  12. No radio now? Not into my stock firmaware also.
    No chance to get one of the precious cfw with radio unlocking for european countries?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, the current version is based on the WM1A/WM1Z firmware, for greatly improved sound quality. This firmware doesn't support FM radio, hence why it's not available.

      Send me an email, I can help with the radio unlocking on the stock firmware.

      Delete
  13. Etymotic_IEMSeptember 29, 2021

    Hi man,

    First of all, terrific work. I've been following you for a while now and it seems that each update improves over the other. The neutral signature benefits my Sony WH-100XM3 pretty good and the Etymotic in-ears sound somewhat better (although I am yet to see which signature suits these in-ears best). Region: MX3, DAC: different.

    I was looking into the Sony NW-A105 and noticed that one of the latest firmware 'Enables sound adjustment during Bluetooth output'. If this is from the Sony player side, you think you might look into it and extract the code for the next update? Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey,

      I'm glad you're enjoying this :)

      Unfortunately it won't be possible to do what you suggested. First, we don't have any kind of access to the A105 firmware, and second, both players have a different OS, it's Android vs some custom Linux firmware.

      Delete
    2. Etymotic_IEMSeptember 29, 2021

      Thanks for the reply, I appreciate your efforts!

      Delete
  14. i don't know if this bug or issue only on my end, it seems the BT receiver mode is bugged?
    kinda stutter and hang audio when the screen is off, it just fine with screen is on tho

    setup :
    PC (BT 5.0) > walkman

    screen is on = totally fine
    screen is off = messed up

    current setup is the wm1z tune, plus v2, normal dac / different dac is same result

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is mentioned at the "Plus mode version" option in the settings file. Plus v2 mode with BT Receiver and screen off can cause this issue.

      I personally keep the screen on with brightness set to minimum, but if I want to use BT Receiver for a long time, I just boot into the normal mode instead.

      Delete
    2. ah i see, my bad for not notice it, and thanks for the info, will check later :)

      Delete
  15. Hello

    I was wondering if the mod DMP-A50R FE is not available anymore and in this mod what could be the setting configuration or the closest sound signature to the A50R mod, thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The DMP-FE is now as the Bright signature, so you could try that.

      Delete
  16. Hello,
    If the sound signature can be changed via setting in the setting files, then do I have to apply the external tuning everything I want to change the sound signature (notice four external tuning files are included in the downloaded package).

    Thanks.

    C.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Regarding whether external tuning file needs to applied, I have read the information file and have answered my own question.

    Thanks very much for all your effort, amazing work you do here.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Replies
    1. You could, but it won't sound as intended, and many things will not work.

      Delete
  19. Does it mean with this FW I can`t plugin chinch for connecting to my amp? only via USB?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you think about the line-out function that is normally available via the WM port, this function is not available. If you are not talking about that, please share more details.

      Delete
  20. Hi,

    Thank you for all your great work. I'm having issues with my A50 being detected when I try to install Walkman One. Anything I'm doing wrong?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you probably didn't revert to the stock firmware after being on some older custom firmware.

      Delete
    2. Is it still possible to download the old custom firmware? Would you be kind enough to put up a link.

      Thanks

      Delete
    3. I don't keep copies of old firmware, and old firmware doesn't sound as good as this latest one, plus there might be issues related to the installation/uninstallation.

      Delete
    4. If you read the info above carefully, you'll find a link to get previous StockRevert packages, if that's what you want.

      Delete
  21. Hi
    Thanks for sharing this, I really enjoy the improved sound quality. One thing just want to confirm you that though it is fine with FLAC file, it produces no sound when I play DSD file.
    Is this the same issue with you all? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems you didn't read the FAQ :)

      There is no sound playing DSD or MQA with Direct Source on.

      Delete
  22. Great thanks. Sure I can't read thru all the comments :).
    By the way, is there any quality compromise on the Direct Source off? What is your suggestion? If not DSD file-Source on and if yes-source off?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was talking about the FAQ, which is mentioned before the download link for the firmware, and not about the comments: https://www.nwmods.ml/p/faq.html

      Because this firmware was not intended to run on these players, Direct Source on just sounds louder than Direct Source off, otherwise there should be no quality compromise.

      Delete
  23. Hey, just wanted to say that i'm very happy with this mod in particular :') it's simply the most spectacular sounding mod you ever released to date. Currently using the wm1z tuning - plus V2 mode and it just sounds so right. I'll definitely be donating in the future, thank you for these mods, really!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this, and also thank you for your support. It's greatly appreciated!

      I'm glad you like it and that I was able to provide this. I use it myself, of course, on an A45 and also an A55, especially when I'm on the go.

      Delete
    2. No problem, i also wanted to know if you know if there is any major difference when choosing a region in the config file. To my understanding the japan region is the best "sounding" one, but above i read that you like to use the "mx3" region. Is there any region that is the "best" one?

      Delete
    3. I don't think there is a best sounding region. It depends on your listening gear, as well as your own ears. My advice is trying both J and MX3, for example, and decide for yourself.

      You could listen to the J region for a while, and then you could switch to MX3, playing some same songs you are familiar with.

      Delete
  24. sweetsweetwaterOctober 20, 2021

    I am using the NW-A50 with the display language "Japanese". The previous "DMP-A50_FEv2" kept the Japanese display, but the "Walkman One (for NW-A50Series)" changes to English display mode. Is it possible to set my device to Japanese display mode?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can go into Device Settings and change the language to Japanese if you want.

      Delete
    2. sweetsweetwaterOctober 20, 2021

      Thanks for the reply. I am very impressed with your efforts.

      However, after using it for a while, I encountered a symptom that the menu moves by itself. Since this does not occur when the hold button is turned on, I believe it is an abnormal behavior of the touch panel.
      Since it occurs even after restoring to stock ROM, I think it is a malfunction of my device, but I will give you the information for your reference.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, the firmware can't cause something like this. I'm sorry to hear about this issue.

      Delete
  25. Will DMP A50R be updated?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Walkman One firmware is basically A50R but even better.

      Delete
  26. Hi, after updating to the walkman one firmware, some album arts don't work anymore :(

    i had the FE firmware before upgrading to it, what changed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would try doing a full database rebuilt.

      Delete
  27. Hey, I have been looking at instlling this but am confused by the sound differences in sound signatures.

    Is there any explanation on what each one of them does to the bass, mids and treble respectively?

    thanks for doing this though!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well, "Warm" has an emphasis on lows, it sounds more relaxed but there are also plenty of details, at least with my headphones.

    "Bright" brings out the highs in the light, while "Neutral" is a combination between the two.

    "WM1Z" is how the WM1Z player sounds like, as good as it can on less capable hardware like that of the A55, when compared to the WM1Z.

    The changes are not as simple as an EQ, so I'd feel more comfortable trying the signatures out and deciding which one you like for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi MrWalkman, thanks for your hard work.

    1) Is there any particular reason for removing the VPT Surround feature ?

    In my opinion it is one of the best feature that Sony offers with these Walkman compared to other brands. I mean it is a good feature for not audiophiles like me especially in the Studio preset.

    ----------

    Since i put most of the tags directly into the filename and organize my library in folders, i don't like how the NW-A55 handles displaying folder/file names.
    On my old NWZ E585 (without touch screen), if you let the cursor on a specific folder, after 1sec it displays the full folder name in a pop up above or below and it disappears if you move the cursor again.
    But to see the full folder/file name from the Walkman NW A55 system explorer you need to press and hold on a folder and it only displays the 42 first characters of this folder name in a tiny pop up box (which is ridiculous).

    2) Is there a way to remove that 42 characters limit when pressing+holding on a file/folder ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello.

      1. I didn't exactly removed the feature, it's just that it's not available in the WM1A/Z firmware, which this mod is based on.
      2. I can't really modify this kind of behavior, as I don't have access to the player app's source code.

      Delete
  30. Good morning MrWalkman

    I have a problem with my NW-A55, I want to play music from the Micro SD but I can't.

    It allows me to record the music from the Music Center in the micro SD, but when choosing the music it is as if it were empty, it does not let me play the icon of the Sicro SD.

    I have checked the information icon of the device and it gives me the capacity of the Micro SD and when I have spare space.

    What I can do?.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, would you please try formatting your SD card from the player itself first?

      Back up your music first.

      Delete
  31. May my a55 high gain can drive Dunu SA6 at 113dB sensitivity and 60ohm impedance ? thank you sir

    ReplyDelete
  32. If an A55 or A55L is locked on Japanese language only will this firmware allow language to be changed to English?
    It's proving difficult to buy one of these in the UK without importing it from Japan and some sellers are noting "Japanese language only"
    Many thanks!

    ReplyDelete