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Author Topic: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?  (Read 7180 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2016, 09:48:03 AM »
is there a 4 channel recorder that can accept two different mini-plugs as sources??.... so I can run both tinybox rigs into one recorder rather than having to use two r-05's....

Tascam DR2d natively accepts two stereo mini plug inputs.  Most importantly it is basically same size as an R-05.  It similarly replaced the use of two R-09s for me. 

I would not call it the best 4ch deck by any stretch of the imagination.  However it is the smallest recorder capable of 4 channels, the only one I can comfortably fit into a pant pocket, and the IR remote allows for transport control with the recorder stashed away and on hold, two features which make make it uniquely suited to what I use it for.  It's gain control is very limited, but the external preamps take care of that, it's metering is good featuring a numerical readout as well as a bar-graph, and it's ADC is improved significantly over the R-09's to the point where I'm completely satisfied with the quality of it for whatever music I'm recording.

Since I'm always recording 4 or more channels, the move from using two separate 2-channel recorders to using a single four (or more) channel recorder was perhaps the single most important change in ease of recording of any I've made.   Less important overall but an important subsequent step of that evolution was getting Chris Church to build me a 4ch CA-UGLY so that I could move from using two separate preamps to a single pre, greatly simplifying all associated wiring and pocket bulk.   That rig is now simplified and compact enough that a few times I have carried two Dr2ds in the same pant pocket to enable recording of more than 4 channels, along with a second preamp.  A single IR remote will control both recorders simultaneously.

In that way although DR2d is certainly not the best 4ch recorder in a general sense, it is the only solution I've found which works for this application, and thus ranks defacto best by default.

For open recording I switch to using an OCM R-44 or DR-680, both of which provide balanced inputs and phantom power.
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Offline boltman

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2016, 07:08:01 PM »
The 744 is an absolute beast. Even with all the newer Sound Devices recorders out today, the 744 still gets tons of respect in the location sound/film world. I have one in excellent/almost mint condition for sale if you want it lol.

Love my 744 but you only get 2 XLR inputs with pres.

I don't care if it's long in the tooth or only has two pres: it's the best festival deck for 4 ch.  I'm using it all summer at a weekly music series--2 channels of board and 2 channels of Schoeps.  If I need it, I have the 442.

Offline tim_k

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2016, 09:15:48 PM »
Zaxcom Maxx seems forgotten in the taper world, but certainly worth consideration as an excellent sounding 4-pre recorder.

Offline morst

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2016, 10:33:24 PM »
I'm sure I''l get slammed for this but I say the Tascam Dr70d.

It's $200. Use a card on the approved list and it's rock solid.

Save your money for transducers.
Upgrade that firmware to 1.14, and this is the rock-solid advice that most people should listen to. (Cost-no-object crowd, yes, I love your SD and 'Sax machines!)

hey, BEST best? Spend LOTS of money and get fractionally better results. My ears say "go get sushi and run the Tascam, now that it's reliable enough (1.13 or 1.14 firmware seems stable, and BOY do I like sushi.)"

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Offline aaronji

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2016, 04:57:11 AM »
^ Good to hear that you aren't having any more problems!  Your trust factor is high now, with the new firmware?

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2016, 12:11:07 PM »
^ Good to hear that you aren't having any more problems!  Your trust factor is high now, with the new firmware?

My thoughts as well.  IIRC, Morst was one of the more vocal criticizers of the DR-70D.  Is there a silver lining on that cloud?  :)

Offline morst

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #36 on: July 13, 2016, 01:40:24 PM »
Trust? Not exactly, but the DR-70D has not failed on an approved card since 1.12 firmware...

I still run the Sony PCM-M10 separately for every set.

Until I run an infinite number of successful recordings on the Trashcan, I won't be able to trust it. That means never.
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Offline robin746

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2016, 12:16:08 PM »
No-one seems to have mentioned the Zoom F8. This records four inputs with duplicates of each as a safety, for a total of eight tracks at 192 kHz. Each has independent limiter (digital only, but configurable), HPF, levels, etc. Dual redundant SD cards too.
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Offline voltronic

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2016, 12:52:24 PM »
No-one seems to have mentioned the Zoom F8. This records four inputs with duplicates of each as a safety, for a total of eight tracks at 192 kHz. Each has independent limiter (digital only, but configurable), HPF, levels, etc. Dual redundant SD cards too.

Yes, the F8 should be part of the conversation, especially if we're talking about SD decks that are much higher priced.  Same goes for the DR-680, a 6-track machine.  I always run safety tracks on my 70D when recording 2 channels, and is the main reason I want an 8-channel recorder down the road.

Pretty sure the F8 can't do 192kHz on all 8 channels, but I think it can do 96kHz x 8.
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Offline sveinpetter

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2016, 03:05:06 PM »
From Zoom F8 user manual: • Recording of up to 10 tracks simultaneously
Inputs 1–8 and a stereo mix (left and right) can be recorded at the
same time (8 tracks when the sampling rate is 192 kHz).

Offline robin746

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2016, 07:02:09 PM »
Yeah I was pretty amazed at that! I will have my F8 in a couple days and will be testing all the claims... but everyone seems very happy with it.
Theatre of Noise contains info on recorders and mics. Plus rants about film, observations on politics, and other stuff.

Offline voltronic

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2016, 07:18:44 PM »
From Zoom F8 user manual: • Recording of up to 10 tracks simultaneously
Inputs 1–8 and a stereo mix (left and right) can be recorded at the
same time (8 tracks when the sampling rate is 192 kHz).

OK then, I stand corrected.  That's pretty amazing for a $1000 recorder.
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Offline robin746

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2016, 03:22:26 PM »
Well, I have done some real-world recording and can report that the Zoom F8 is indeed amazing. The pre-amps held up to various microphones, even working quite well with contact mics. I did some very quiet recordings and can hear nothing the F8 added to the signal chain. With my Tracer battery I got over 12 hours of use on one charge. Details can be found on my blog, Theatre of Noise.

And now we have the new cheaper F4, listing at $650. It would seem that the OPs question is answered!
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Offline ramallo

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2016, 09:17:23 AM »
Alta 4Minx, one of the best in sound quality, but expensive

Offline Mike Stranks

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Re: what do you think the best current 4ch deck is?
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2016, 12:37:53 PM »
Took delivery of my Zoom F4 last week. Best preamps in any recorder I've ever owned and knock things like the H5 and H6 (which are not that shabby) into a cocked-hat.

For those like me who've come up thru the 'cheap 'n' cheerful' route there's lots to take on board, but more a question of 'how?' rather than 'why/what?'

For the size/quality/price there's little (nothing??) to beat it.... The Tascam DR680 is a worthy 'also-ran'...
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