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Author Topic: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4  (Read 762 times)

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Offline heathen

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DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« on: August 09, 2017, 06:33:01 PM »
I'm struggling to decide between these three recorders.  The 680mkII and 701D are very similar, and currently the same price.  I have a real concern with card availability for those, though.  The F4 is $100 more, but has a much longer (and more recently updated) list of tested cards.  The specs of the F4 look slightly better on paper, but I wonder if the difference between it and the Tascam recorders would actually make a real world difference for me (I'm pretty much exclusively recording loud stuff).

The reason I'm choosing between these three is I want something that can link the levels of four channels together for use with an ambisonic mic.  I'm not considering the F8 because it's overkill for my needs (and having more channels will just make me want to get more mics).

Because I doubt I could hear a difference between these three, I'm wondering if anyone has more practical considerations that might tip the scales.  Powering options in the field, significant issues cropping up, lack of support, etc.

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Online rippleish20

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 07:13:15 PM »
The F4 and F8 are good recorders in my opinion and I haven't had any issue with SD cards at all - they don't seem very picky to me. It's also very easy to power them via external batteries.
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Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 12:16:45 AM »
A few years ago I never would have imagined I'd write the following but here goes: between those three recorders and if you want fewer headaches, buy the Zoom. 
The two Tascam decks can be finicky with SD cards, and while there are plenty of happy owners of those recorders, there are also aggravated ones including a few friends of mine who have sworn off Tascam for good as a result of their reliability issues. 
Although the Zoom F4/8 series hasn't been around for that long, the initial reports and impressions appear to be positive, including statements from a few people I trust that own them.  My 2 cents, for what it's worth. 

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 03:27:53 AM »
There are lots of reasons for buying one deck over the other. I am a deck a holic, so I have many of them. The three decks you mention are all excellent in my use of them, but they all are different. You may want to think about what you are going to use them for to decide which is best.
One thing I think is important to mention is that none of the decks mentioned here have any issues with SD cards. The DR70d which famously had card issues and is picky in the cards it likes is not the same as the DR 701d. Other than layout they are not even similar. They have different preamps different components and most importantly a different operating system. Even the screen color is different, the 70d being yellow, and the 701d being the blue gray green clear color (hard for me to nail the color obviously but it is not yellow) I have used all kinds of cards, wintec, fuji, sony, lexar, microcenter, polaroid, sandisk to name a few and I have had no issues at all. Same with the DR680 and DR680MKII. So, to not buy those decks because of card issues is a decision based on misinformation.

Zoom F4 and F8 are nice decks. Also card solid. Lots of inputs. But if you want a digital in, this is not your deck. The DR680 and DR680MKII can be used as a bitbucket. For me, if I want to use a sweet external preamp like the V3 or SD USB Pre2 or apogee miniME to name a few, I want a digital out from that preamp into my recorder to get the full flavor of the preamp. With digital in using the DR680 or 680MKII, you can run 6 analog too for a total of 8 mics in if you do not care about the mix track. I find 6 easy to work with, 8 is a pain unless I am miking a bands individual instruments which is rare for me. There is an occasional 3 patterns plus a soundboard for 8 inputs too and that is great, but mostly I run 4 or 6 mics audience style.

Tascam dr701d is only 4 channel, but it is really rugged, and I really like the operating system. The deck is small, and I like the form factor. All my decks have custom cables of 10 inches or so that are left attached, so cables on all decks are easy to attach at any time, so the XLR placement on all the decks are not an issue for me. I like to travel with the DR701d. It's metal, easily attached to a small protective cage, and is light I also like the knobs and layout, and again the operating system.

You will likely decide on one of the decks, and you will probably enjoy whichever deck you end up with, because they are all excellent. And until or unless you try many different decks and form your own opinions, most advice is speculative and weighted by opinion. My advice is for sure, but I know what I like. I rotate amongst many decks, but the DR680MKII has been my main go to for many years (none of the above has anything to do with >:D by the way, that is a whole other story and an entirely different set of decks for me. The 701d is great for travel and venues where I need a smaller bag. My zoom sits a lot, but it is very nice. I like the Tascam better, the sound and the operating system. Maybe because I have so many Tascam decks, but my Zoom is great but seldom used. I just added a Sound Devices Mirer 6 and that may slide the DR680MKii out of rotation for a while. I also really like the DR60d with a Naiant Tinybox on 3/4, it is better IMO than my DR70d, but it’s a bit larger too and I prefer it with an external preamp for 4 channel effective operation. Again, each has its merits and downsides, so think about your style, your important features and what your ears like too.   

Anyway, my point is unless you know specifically how you will use the deck, what mics you will use with it and how much you intend to grow your recording hobby, you might as well throw a dart at a picture of the decks and see where it lands, because with so many good decks to choose from, people do and should have very different opinions on what they like and use and why and how they record, so relying on what others think is valuable, especially here, but it should be taken with a grain of salt and then applied to what you want or think you want based on your specific recording habits and criteria..
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 09:22:46 AM »
^ Spot on. +T

Intended to make the same correction about no significant SD card issues with any of these recorders, but Dallman covered that and more.  Of these I've only used the DR-680 (both versions) and completely agree with his assessment. I've considered moving to the F8 to make 8 channel recording easier without the need for an external preamp, but can't really justify that enough to make the move, and in some ways the 860 is better suited to what I'm doing anyway. 

Dallman, I'm very interested in your thoughts about the comparison between the Dr-680mk2 and the MixPre-6, even though the SD is not really an appropriate option for me as it's less suited to what I'm doing in a few ways.
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Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 11:03:59 AM »
Excellent writeup, dallman.  My apologies regarding SD card issues, I was thinking of the -70D and stand corrected; thanks, guys. 

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 12:52:56 PM »

Dallman, I'm very interested in your thoughts about the comparison between the Dr-680mk2 and the MixPre-6, even though the SD is not really an appropriate option for me as it's less suited to what I'm doing in a few ways.
Thanks Gutbucket and Fried Chicken Boy, I thought it was important to respond above to get  the OP thinking.  Regarding the question posed to me (And if I can hijack the thread for a post, especially since this fits the overall theme of the topic)...

For me it is too early to give much feedback about the SD MixPre6. I really like the functionality size and build. I'm one that likes to look at every menu item every knob and play around. That is probably why I have a lot of decks  ::). As you know, you cannot be afraid of your deck, you need to "drive" it, not the other way around. I'll know more going forward, it just seems like since I got the deck, I've had much more  >:D type evenings and for me, the MixPre is not for a low pro situation, that's way too much work for virtually no payback. As you know location is primary, as so much gear today is so good that much of it becomes nuance and personal preference. That said, those MixPre6 preamps sound great, they are very quiet, and what I mean is even in a noisy chatty crowd, you can hear the quiet, or sense it. Or I've talked myself into believing that.

What I have not reconciled is exactly how I want to use the deck. Will it be primarily be used as a a 4 channel or 6 channel deck. I think 5/6 on it is fine, for me, I have has zero gain or overload issues thus far, not even close, so perhaps mic matching is important as others have had issues, I am not sure why. I will say with the MixPre6, on 5/6, I want to use a preamp with gain controls or good gain controls. I have a CA Ugly preamp, version1 with fixed gain and fine tuning only, and a Tinybox and a pipsqueak which of course have 3 fixed gain positions. I do not particularly like using the preamps with the MixPre 6, because adjusting gain on channels 5/6 is awkward.especually when also looking at channels 1,2 3, 4, which is a different screen, so even if it is just at the beginning of a show, I want the preamp to have the gain adjustments for easy fine tuning. That for me means probably the SD USB Pre 2 as my external preamp, and that also means analog out on the MixPre 6 which also means for me, I'll want to bring as a backup, a bitbucket deck for digi out of the USB Pre2, and now my gear has grown large enough that maybe the DR680MKII is the better easier choice. These are the kinds of things I am working out still. I do not use the mix track on either deck, because when I record an AUD show, ideally I like to make 3 recordings, Cardioid, Hypercardioid and Omni and then decide which I like best, so the mix track is just a hodgepodge of mics the way I am using the deck(s).

I will say that as far as the MixPre6 not having a digital AES or SP/DIF in, the preamps on channels 1-4 are of a quality, where that is why I am using the deck, for those preamps, so this deck was not designed to be a bitbucket and it is not. Why put a preamp on top of preamps that were designed to be quiet and top notch? I feel the design was to be a great small sturdy 4 channel deck that can do more if needed. Maybe it would have been nice on 5/6 to have that functionality, but the deck was designed I think to really be a 4 channel machine that can do more.

One last thing, powering the unit. Again, lots of people have what they like or prefer. For me, just like every deck I use, I just have an external battery. I invested in a few USB C ready batteries, and I just plug them in exactly the same way I plugged in the USB micro plugs or barrel plugs. No issues no problems no worries. I don't have, use or like the Sony style batteries, but had I owned a previous SD 7 series machine or a Sony camcorder, maybe I'd feel differently. The way I use the deck there is virtually zero chance I will have an issue with the USB C jack. I could make the small complaint that it does make finding the very tiny power on/off switch a bit difficult as it is right next to the USB C input, but again as I am using this deck in an open situation, it is not an issue to reach down and look at the deck as I turn it on or off.

So maybe in wrap-up I would say the Tascam DR680MKII, is a great sounding versatile deck that can record 8 channels, but for me comfortably records 6 channels, 2 of which are always digi in through an external preamp, which for me is the SD USB Pre 2. The SD MixPre6 is a great sounding deck that can record up to 6 channels with 2 being analog in through an external preamp, which again for me is the SD USB Pre 2. Undetermined yet for me, is whether using 5/6 regularly is worth it because of how good the deck sounds or not worth it because I want to take advantage of the small footprint. Both decks have a great deal of functionality and are best taken advantage of when one understands the menus and features which may be a process of experimentation and asking questions on sites like TS.com.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 12:55:22 PM by dallman »
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Offline dogmusic

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 01:21:33 PM »

Dallman, I'm very interested in your thoughts about the comparison between the Dr-680mk2 and the MixPre-6, even though the SD is not really an appropriate option for me as it's less suited to what I'm doing in a few ways.
Thanks Gutbucket and Fried Chicken Boy, I thought it was important to respond above to get  the OP thinking.  Regarding the question posed to me (And if I can hijack the thread for a post, especially since this fits the overall theme of the topic)...

For me it is too early to give much feedback about the SD MixPre6. I really like the functionality size and build. I'm one that likes to look at every menu item every knob and play around. That is probably why I have a lot of decks  ::). As you know, you cannot be afraid of your deck, you need to "drive" it, not the other way around. I'll know more going forward, it just seems like since I got the deck, I've had much more  >:D type evenings and for me, the MixPre is not for a low pro situation, that's way too much work for virtually no payback. As you know location is primary, as so much gear today is so good that much of it becomes nuance and personal preference. That said, those MixPre6 preamps sound great, they are very quiet, and what I mean is even in a noisy chatty crowd, you can hear the quiet, or sense it. Or I've talked myself into believing that.

What I have not reconciled is exactly how I want to use the deck. Will it be primarily be used as a a 4 channel or 6 channel deck. I think 5/6 on it is fine, for me, I have has zero gain or overload issues thus far, not even close, so perhaps mic matching is important as others have had issues, I am not sure why. I will say with the MixPre6, on 5/6, I want to use a preamp with gain controls or good gain controls. I have a CA Ugly preamp, version1 with fixed gain and fine tuning only, and a Tinybox and a pipsqueak which of course have 3 fixed gain positions. I do not particularly like using the preamps with the MixPre 6, because adjusting gain on channels 5/6 is awkward.especually when also looking at channels 1,2 3, 4, which is a different screen, so even if it is just at the beginning of a show, I want the preamp to have the gain adjustments for easy fine tuning. That for me means probably the SD USB Pre 2 as my external preamp, and that also means analog out on the MixPre 6 which also means for me, I'll want to bring as a backup, a bitbucket deck for digi out of the USB Pre2, and now my gear has grown large enough that maybe the DR680MKII is the better easier choice. These are the kinds of things I am working out still. I do not use the mix track on either deck, because when I record an AUD show, ideally I like to make 3 recordings, Cardioid, Hypercardioid and Omni and then decide which I like best, so the mix track is just a hodgepodge of mics the way I am using the deck(s).

I will say that as far as the MixPre6 not having a digital AES or SP/DIF in, the preamps on channels 1-4 are of a quality, where that is why I am using the deck, for those preamps, so this deck was not designed to be a bitbucket and it is not. Why put a preamp on top of preamps that were designed to be quiet and top notch? I feel the design was to be a great small sturdy 4 channel deck that can do more if needed. Maybe it would have been nice on 5/6 to have that functionality, but the deck was designed I think to really be a 4 channel machine that can do more.

One last thing, powering the unit. Again, lots of people have what they like or prefer. For me, just like every deck I use, I just have an external battery. I invested in a few USB C ready batteries, and I just plug them in exactly the same way I plugged in the USB micro plugs or barrel plugs. No issues no problems no worries. I don't have, use or like the Sony style batteries, but had I owned a previous SD 7 series machine or a Sony camcorder, maybe I'd feel differently. The way I use the deck there is virtually zero chance I will have an issue with the USB C jack. I could make the small complaint that it does make finding the very tiny power on/off switch a bit difficult as it is right next to the USB C input, but again as I am using this deck in an open situation, it is not an issue to reach down and look at the deck as I turn it on or off.

So maybe in wrap-up I would say the Tascam DR680MKII, is a great sounding versatile deck that can record 8 channels, but for me comfortably records 6 channels, 2 of which are always digi in through an external preamp, which for me is the SD USB Pre 2. The SD MixPre6 is a great sounding deck that can record up to 6 channels with 2 being analog in through an external preamp, which again for me is the SD USB Pre 2. Undetermined yet for me, is whether using 5/6 regularly is worth it because of how good the deck sounds or not worth it because I want to take advantage of the small footprint. Both decks have a great deal of functionality and are best taken advantage of when one understands the menus and features which may be a process of experimentation and asking questions on sites like TS.com.

Is there an audible improvement using the MixPre-6 preamp over the Tascam DR-680 MKII preamp?
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Offline heathen

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 01:36:28 PM »
If the MixPre6 could gang all four XLR inputs, I'd consider it.  I confirmed with the company that it can't do that, and when I asked if they are planning to add that functionality in a future firmware update they said, "Although we don't comment on product development outside the company, we have noted this request for future consideration."

Going back to the three recorders that are the subject of this thread, the 701D doesn't feel like much of a step up from my 70D.  I think that criticism is more psychological than anything else, if I'm honest.  Given the added features of the 680mkII, and that it's the same price as the 701D, it seems easy to justify choosing the 680mkII over the 701D.

That would leave the 680mkII and the F4.  I know it may seem minor, but I really can't seem to get past the SD card issue.  While people may get cards that aren't on Tascam's approved card list to work, I don't relish the idea of dealing with that trial and error.  It's also not very comforting that they haven't updated the tested media list in more than two years.

I also like that the F4 is smaller than the 680mkII, and the F4 seems to have a better power connection (Hirose).

Some of the added features of the 680mkII aren't really of interest to me.  I don't have any plans in the foreseeable future to use the digital in, and the two extra XLR inputs could even be seen as a negative since they'll just tempt me to run more mics  ;)

At the end of the day, it's not an easy choice.
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Offline dallman

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 04:16:34 PM »

Dallman, I'm very interested in your thoughts about the comparison between the Dr-680mk2 and the MixPre-6, even though the SD is not really an appropriate option for me as it's less suited to what I'm doing in a few ways.
Thanks Gutbucket and Fried Chicken Boy, I thought it was important to respond above to get  the OP thinking.  Regarding the question posed to me (And if I can hijack the thread for a post, especially since this fits the overall theme of the topic)...

For me it is too early to give much feedback about the SD MixPre6. I really like the functionality size and build. I'm one that likes to look at every menu item every knob and play around. That is probably why I have a lot of decks  ::). As you know, you cannot be afraid of your deck, you need to "drive" it, not the other way around. I'll know more going forward, it just seems like since I got the deck, I've had much more  >:D type evenings and for me, the MixPre is not for a low pro situation, that's way too much work for virtually no payback. As you know location is primary, as so much gear today is so good that much of it becomes nuance and personal preference. That said, those MixPre6 preamps sound great, they are very quiet, and what I mean is even in a noisy chatty crowd, you can hear the quiet, or sense it. Or I've talked myself into believing that.

What I have not reconciled is exactly how I want to use the deck. Will it be primarily be used as a a 4 channel or 6 channel deck. I think 5/6 on it is fine, for me, I have has zero gain or overload issues thus far, not even close, so perhaps mic matching is important as others have had issues, I am not sure why. I will say with the MixPre6, on 5/6, I want to use a preamp with gain controls or good gain controls. I have a CA Ugly preamp, version1 with fixed gain and fine tuning only, and a Tinybox and a pipsqueak which of course have 3 fixed gain positions. I do not particularly like using the preamps with the MixPre 6, because adjusting gain on channels 5/6 is awkward.especually when also looking at channels 1,2 3, 4, which is a different screen, so even if it is just at the beginning of a show, I want the preamp to have the gain adjustments for easy fine tuning. That for me means probably the SD USB Pre 2 as my external preamp, and that also means analog out on the MixPre 6 which also means for me, I'll want to bring as a backup, a bitbucket deck for digi out of the USB Pre2, and now my gear has grown large enough that maybe the DR680MKII is the better easier choice. These are the kinds of things I am working out still. I do not use the mix track on either deck, because when I record an AUD show, ideally I like to make 3 recordings, Cardioid, Hypercardioid and Omni and then decide which I like best, so the mix track is just a hodgepodge of mics the way I am using the deck(s).

I will say that as far as the MixPre6 not having a digital AES or SP/DIF in, the preamps on channels 1-4 are of a quality, where that is why I am using the deck, for those preamps, so this deck was not designed to be a bitbucket and it is not. Why put a preamp on top of preamps that were designed to be quiet and top notch? I feel the design was to be a great small sturdy 4 channel deck that can do more if needed. Maybe it would have been nice on 5/6 to have that functionality, but the deck was designed I think to really be a 4 channel machine that can do more.

One last thing, powering the unit. Again, lots of people have what they like or prefer. For me, just like every deck I use, I just have an external battery. I invested in a few USB C ready batteries, and I just plug them in exactly the same way I plugged in the USB micro plugs or barrel plugs. No issues no problems no worries. I don't have, use or like the Sony style batteries, but had I owned a previous SD 7 series machine or a Sony camcorder, maybe I'd feel differently. The way I use the deck there is virtually zero chance I will have an issue with the USB C jack. I could make the small complaint that it does make finding the very tiny power on/off switch a bit difficult as it is right next to the USB C input, but again as I am using this deck in an open situation, it is not an issue to reach down and look at the deck as I turn it on or off.

So maybe in wrap-up I would say the Tascam DR680MKII, is a great sounding versatile deck that can record 8 channels, but for me comfortably records 6 channels, 2 of which are always digi in through an external preamp, which for me is the SD USB Pre 2. The SD MixPre6 is a great sounding deck that can record up to 6 channels with 2 being analog in through an external preamp, which again for me is the SD USB Pre 2. Undetermined yet for me, is whether using 5/6 regularly is worth it because of how good the deck sounds or not worth it because I want to take advantage of the small footprint. Both decks have a great deal of functionality and are best taken advantage of when one understands the menus and features which may be a process of experimentation and asking questions on sites like TS.com.

Is there an audible improvement using the MixPre-6 preamp over the Tascam DR-680 MKII preamp?

That is a tough question but in my opinion the preamps on the MixPre6 are better sounding, then I rate the DR680 MKII and DR701d tied and slightly better than the DR680. But these comparisons like all sound comparisons have an emotional component too and they are all close, so others may disagree. FWIW my ears are 62 years old but I still hear pretty well and have used hearing protection at shows since my 30's.

As for the OP, it is great to see you come to a decision, but it is sad to see you base your decision on misinformation. My guess would be that there are about the same number of incompatible cards for the Zoom machines as for the Tascam DR680 series. Same for the DR701d. And while the 701d may look the same in form factor as the 70d, but it is a totally different machine with a different operating system and preamps. Your decision is fine, but eliminating the deck that you might actually like better because of some incorrect perception is certainly your choice. I just think it is important to point it out so that maybe you would make a decision based on what you want in a deck or like in a deck.
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Offline heathen

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 04:25:46 PM »
As for the OP, it is great to see you come to a decision, but it is sad to see you base your decision on misinformation. My guess would be that there are about the same number of incompatible cards for the Zoom machines as for the Tascam DR680 series. Same for the DR701d. And while the 701d may look the same in form factor as the 70d, but it is a totally different machine with a different operating system and preamps. Your decision is fine, but eliminating the deck that you might actually like better because of some incorrect perception is certainly your choice. I just think it is important to point it out so that maybe you would make a decision based on what you want in a deck or like in a deck.

Well I haven't put in the order yet, so no final decision yet! 

As for the incompatible cards, I'm looking at the official lists from Tascam and Zoom.  For the 680mkII there are a grand total of four cards tested "OK" that are more than 8 GB and don't have some kind of qualification (any card that performs worse when reused is out of the running for me...I prefer to transfer data to my computer and then reuse cards).  For the 701D there are seven.  For the F4 there are dozens.  (Though who knows whether Zoom uses the same testing criteria as Tascam...for all I know Zoom might just throw a card in a deck and if it reads fine they call it good.) 

A question: you mention the 701D has different preamps than the 70D, right?  I was under the impression they're the same, but if you're right that could change the analysis.

I am correct that the 701D and 680mkII have the same preamps though, right?

Another question that I haven't been able to discern: does activating the "hold" switch on the 680mkII lock out everything?  The manual gives the impression that it just keeps the machine from powering off.  Does "hold" lock out the mechanical switches on the top of the deck?

Edit to add: I was under the impression that the 701D can record the 4 XLR channels and a stereo feed from the 3.5mm jack as well, all at the same time.  Now I'm not so sure, but maybe I'm just confusing myself.  Can anyone confirm?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 04:34:45 PM by heathen »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 04:37:35 PM »
Thanks for the details, dallman.  The SD gear is excellent, yet for me its clear the MixPre-6 isn't especially well suited to displacing my R-44 or DR-680's.  I'd been wondering if it could gang channels, thinking of heathen's search, and now that question has been answered, at least for the present time.

heathen-
Check how the channel ganging works on the F4.  I'm not up on the specifics of how it is implemented on the Zoom, but as we've discussed that functionality is critical for ambisonic mic use and I actually find it invaluable for all my mulitchannel use as it makes managing input gain so much easier, accurate and enjoyable.  That is to say- make sure actually using the gang function is quick, easy and intuitive.  Once you get the hang of it on the 680 it's a breeze and one of my favorite features of that deck.  A critical issue is the recorder having the functionality you need, yet in practical use, it is nearly as important how it is implemented and how quick and easy it is to use.

Yes the extra two inputs (ch 5&6) may not be necessary for you (but tempting).  I will say three things about that:
1) Soundboard feed.
2) An extra pair of inputs is invaluable for making comparisons with your standard setup.  Once you become familiar with your ambisonic recording rig, you may want to compare other stereo mic setups to it. An ambisonic microphone is amazingly flexible but is always limited to coincident configurations.  Of course you can make a comparison recording using a separate recorder, but its nice to be able do it all into one machine, and easier to manage.  Or you may wish to add a pair of spaced omnis with the ambisonic mic between them, which is what I'd choose to do outdoors.  I'm considering setting up a second rig which will use the Tetramic in the center + two spaced omnis into my older DR-680mk1.
3) The last concerns my own trend which may not apply to you-  Each time I bought I recorder with additional channels I soon found ways to use them and wished for the ability to record another channel pair.  2>4>6.. and that's my temptation with the F8 - getting 8 channels of mic inputs without needing any other external gear except an external battery.  Honestly for me the point of diminishing returns was 6.  I'm happy there.  I can experiment with 8 using the V3 digital in, and 8 straight in would just make that easier and simpler.


I don't worry about these issues at all, though I certainly don't mean to dismiss your concerns about them:

> I don't even think about what SD card I throw into the DR-680 other than it's capacity.  Every card I have ever tried has worked in it.  This really is a non issue.

> In reality the power connector may be a personal preference thing more than anything, but everyone's comfort level is different.  There is much to be said for a locking Hirose connector, yet the simple cable latch hook next to the connector effectively locks the simple coaxial power input cable into the 680, and I've never had an issue with that either.  FWIW, the only issue I have with the power input on the 680MK2 is that Tascam changed the connector size slightly from that of the MK1, which is annoying since I still use both recorders. 



Just noticed your last post while typing-
Not sure if the 680MK2 and 701D preamps are the same (I think they are), but I'm completely happy with the 680MK2 pre's as transparent inputs.  Use external preamps for color if you like, but the internals are good.
You can set the lock switch to lock either the front panel, top panel, or both panels.  I rarely use it though- may depend on your bag configuration, taping method and comfort level.  I use a soft sided cooler as a taping bag and it's well protected so locking isn't necessary unless I'm leaving the rig running and want that extra insurance.  Trying to remember if it actually locks the toggle switches on the top panel.  I don't think it does but could be mistaken (and I don't think I've checked that on the MK2).  The bigger issue for me is making sure the top toggle switches aren't accidentally changed with the recorder unlocked when I'm reaching in to turn the power on and off.  Again, depends on how you have it in the bag, you need some access to the top panel, but once recording all adjustments are made via the front panel.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 04:56:12 PM by Gutbucket »
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Offline heathen

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 04:45:44 PM »
Yes the extra two inputs (ch 5&6) may be necessary for you (and tempting).

I should have been clearer about this from the start, but the two extra inputs are essential for me.  I want to be able to run split omnis or, when omnis aren't appropriate AT853 cards, in addition to the 4 XLRs for the ambisonic mic.  All I need is a mini input for those extra channels, though (and in the case of the 680mkII, I could just get a mini to 1/4" adapter, I believe).
Recording: Countryman B3 | CA-14 omnis | AT853 cards | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5 | Zoom F4 | Tascam DR-70D | Roland R-05
Playback: Monitor Audio Silver 10 | NAD C 275BEE | Emotiva TA-100

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2017, 04:55:33 PM »
Yes the extra two inputs (ch 5&6) may be necessary for you (and tempting).

I should have been clearer about this from the start, but the two extra inputs are essential for me.  I want to be able to run split omnis or, when omnis aren't appropriate AT853 cards, in addition to the 4 XLRs for the ambisonic mic.  All I need is a mini input for those extra channels, though (and in the case of the 680mkII, I could just get a mini to 1/4" adapter, I believe)

Ah okay, clear on that.  Actually I meant to type "many not be necessary for you (but tempting).
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Offline heathen

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Re: DR-680mkII vs. DR-701D vs. F4
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2017, 06:23:14 PM »
The more I think about it, the less I can justify the added cost of the F4 as compared to the DR-680mkII.  If the two cost the same, I'd probably lean more towards the F4.

I'm going to sleep on it, but does anyone think there's a really compelling case to be made for the F4 over the 680mkII?   ???
Recording: Countryman B3 | CA-14 omnis | AT853 cards | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5 | Zoom F4 | Tascam DR-70D | Roland R-05
Playback: Monitor Audio Silver 10 | NAD C 275BEE | Emotiva TA-100

 

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