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Author Topic: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)  (Read 10322 times)

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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2016, 05:10:31 PM »
I preordered one!  I was looking into more expensive solutions, but I don't run 4 channels very often so figured I'd give the f4 a shot.  I can run my tinybox on the 5/6 to run 6 channels of mics and still have a really small foot print. 

Exactly! This is exactly what Ive been thinking, JBell! That 1/8" IN on 5/6 is pretty damn cool, and would be perfect for someone like me who almost ALWAYS runs 4 channels, but has the ability to get a SBD patch, even though it doesn't happen very often 8) That's the biggest selling point to me right now!

I kinda wish the F4 case was smaller than the F8's, but the F8 isn't THAT big to begin with, so no biggie there. I just wished Zoom would've used a smaller case/chassis, because I love how tiny my 70D is!
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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2016, 01:33:02 PM »
That is adding on the same accessories used by the F8/H6/H5. Which includes the option to add in two more XLR inputs.
The accessories include several different mics like:
https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/product-accessories/xyh-5-xy-stereo-microphone-capsule

But the adapter for XLR inputs is the one most of us would presumably use:
https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/product-accessories/exh-6-dual-xlrtrs-input-capsule

Thank you for the info and clarification, jefflester and IronFilm.  While a proprietary add-on/connector is a nuisance, it's good to know that Zoom makes it so that you can use the same one among their devices. 

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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2016, 05:43:58 AM »
If I understand correctly that EXH-6 module does have two pre-amps, since it accepts mic level input. Any thoughts on the quality of those pre-amps? I am assuming quite a bit less than the F4/F8?

Regards, Christine

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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2016, 07:47:01 AM »
If I understand correctly that EXH-6 module does have two pre-amps, since it accepts mic level input. Any thoughts on the quality of those pre-amps? I am assuming quite a bit less than the F4/F8?

Regards, Christine

Preamps, yes.  Phantom power, no.  The Zoom website has almost no info on the EXH-6, but the description from dealers makes its features clear.  From B&H:
Quote
The EXH-6 from Zoom adds two additional XLR/TRS combo inputs to the Zoom H5 and H6 handheld recorders. This makes the H5 capable of recording up to four external signals simultaneously, and the H6 up to six. Capable of handling either mic or line-level signals, each input is equipped with its own preamp and -20 dB pad. Please note, this module does not provide phantom power.
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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2016, 07:51:46 AM »
To me that suggests the pre-amps are H6 quality. Agreed?

Regards, Christine

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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2016, 08:49:20 AM »
To me that suggests the pre-amps are H6 quality. Agreed?

Regards, Christine

The EXT-6 first came out as an accessory when the H6 was released, and it also connects to the H5 and Q8 (and now the F8 and F4 as well).  Given that it does not pass P48, who knows what other differences there are compared to the built-in H6 preamps? 

Since the EXT-6 has been out for a quite a while as an accessory for those other units, we can safely assume that it doesn't have the new higher-quality preamps of the F4 / F8.  Zoom does not publish block diagrams for these accessories, so unless someone opens one up it's unclear exactly what's going on in there.  So that means its preamps are certainly not going to be higher quality than those in the H6, and they might actually be lower. 

This attachment is only going to be useful for mics that don't need phantom, unless you're using an external preamp or power supply in which case the its effects on the sound are going to be minimized.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 08:51:02 AM by voltronic »
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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2016, 10:07:27 AM »
To me that suggests the pre-amps are H6 quality. Agreed?

Regards, Christine

The EXT-6 first came out as an accessory when the H6 was released, and it also connects to the H5 and Q8 (and now the F8 and F4 as well).  Given that it does not pass P48, who knows what other differences there are compared to the built-in H6 preamps? 

Since the EXT-6 has been out for a quite a while as an accessory for those other units, we can safely assume that it doesn't have the new higher-quality preamps of the F4 / F8.  Zoom does not publish block diagrams for these accessories, so unless someone opens one up it's unclear exactly what's going on in there.  So that means its preamps are certainly not going to be higher quality than those in the H6, and they might actually be lower. 

This attachment is only going to be useful for mics that don't need phantom, unless you're using an external preamp or power supply in which case the its effects on the sound are going to be minimized.

Its probably a mistake to assume the adapter contains the pre-amps...

Not impossible the internals contain extra preamps (especially if this is the same chips as the F8) - and the adapter only houses the control knobs.
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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2016, 10:23:25 AM »
Its probably a mistake to assume the adapter contains the pre-amps...

Not impossible the internals contain extra preamps (especially if this is the same chips as the F8) - and the adapter only houses the control knobs.

That would be an interesting scenario.....  :hmmm:

Regards, Christine


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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2016, 02:09:26 PM »
To me that suggests the pre-amps are H6 quality. Agreed?

Regards, Christine

The EXT-6 first came out as an accessory when the H6 was released, and it also connects to the H5 and Q8 (and now the F8 and F4 as well).  Given that it does not pass P48, who knows what other differences there are compared to the built-in H6 preamps? 

Since the EXT-6 has been out for a quite a while as an accessory for those other units, we can safely assume that it doesn't have the new higher-quality preamps of the F4 / F8.  Zoom does not publish block diagrams for these accessories, so unless someone opens one up it's unclear exactly what's going on in there.  So that means its preamps are certainly not going to be higher quality than those in the H6, and they might actually be lower. 

This attachment is only going to be useful for mics that don't need phantom, unless you're using an external preamp or power supply in which case the its effects on the sound are going to be minimized.

Its probably a mistake to assume the adapter contains the pre-amps...

Not impossible the internals contain extra preamps (especially if this is the same chips as the F8) - and the adapter only houses the control knobs.


That's a fair point - it could just be controls and connectors.  It says "each input is equipped with its own preamp" but it doesn't specify where that preamp circuit actually is.  The proof would be if the other mic attachments they sell have a preamp built into them or not. 

I just noticed that in the B&H sales page I linked earlier, I forgot to include the last part which may be relevant:
Quote

The EXH-6 from Zoom adds two additional XLR/TRS combo inputs to the Zoom H5 and H6 handheld recorders. This makes the H5 capable of recording up to four external signals simultaneously, and the H6 up to six. Capable of handling either mic or line-level signals, each input is equipped with its own preamp and -20 dB pad. Please note, this module does not provide phantom power.

    Two 5 volt preamps for to minimize distortion even at high volumes


I'm going to guess that the 2 x 5V powering is likely the same as what is provided as polarization for the other mic attachments that work on that same port - in other words, they're all made to work on Plug-In Power.  It also doesn't appear that there's any way to disable the 5V when using the EXH-6, but that's low enough that you probably aren't going to damage a dynamic mic or a line level source attached.

The real problem I have with that sales statement is that it's misleading.  It says that it doesn't supply phantom power, which is true if you're talking about the voltage specs for that term.  But it says that it supplies 2 X 5V, without using the term "plug-in-power".  For someone who doesn't understand what kind of condenser mics need which kind of powering, this might cause confusion, especially since most big-brand PIP mics connect via a minijack, whereas this has two XLR/TRS combo inputs, which look identical to the other inputs on Zoom recorders people are plugging their mics into.

A coworker bought an H6 a while back and he picked up the EXH-6 with it, thinking he could connect six P48 mics to it.  I had to break it to him that it wouldn't work that way.
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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2016, 04:12:52 PM »

I asked the EXH-6 preamp question of Zoom in a comment to their FB ad post and got the following response.  So as indicated above, the preamps are the H6 preamps.  It adds two tracks to the F4, but not to the F8.


"EXH-6 preamps are the same H6 preamps. When used with F4 it can provide 5th and 6th XLR/line inputs. With F8 it would just replace 1 and 2 (not as useful). For the F8, the mic capsule input is more for the rest of our interchangeable capsules."
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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2016, 04:17:05 PM »

I asked the EXH-6 preamp question of Zoom in a comment to their FB ad post and got the following response.  So as indicated above, the preamps are the H6 preamps.  It adds two tracks to the F4, but not to the F8.


"EXH-6 preamps are the same H6 preamps. When used with F4 it can provide 5th and 6th XLR/line inputs. With F8 it would just replace 1 and 2 (not as useful). For the F8, the mic capsule input is more for the rest of our interchangeable capsules."

Thank you for getting that cleared up.

Regards, Christine

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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2016, 04:35:08 PM »

I asked the EXH-6 preamp question of Zoom in a comment to their FB ad post and got the following response.  So as indicated above, the preamps are the H6 preamps.  It adds two tracks to the F4, but not to the F8.


"EXH-6 preamps are the same H6 preamps. When used with F4 it can provide 5th and 6th XLR/line inputs. With F8 it would just replace 1 and 2 (not as useful). For the F8, the mic capsule input is more for the rest of our interchangeable capsules."

That's a pretty odd response, IMO.  First of all, if it only passes 5V instead of 48V, is it really the "same" preamp?  Also, if what they say about the F4 and F8 is true, then they should list the EXT-6 as incompatible with the F8 since it is truly downgrading the capabilities of two of the inputs, as opposed to adding functionality.
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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2016, 05:44:23 PM »
Wait a sec.... excuse my ignorance, but it says "Two 5 volt preamps". To me that means the preamps themselves run off 5 volts. Why are we sure that means they pass 5 volts through the XLR connectors to whatever is attached? Doesn't the H6 (for which these modules were designed, right?) itself run off 5 volts?

Regards, Christine

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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2016, 05:59:47 PM »
Wait a sec.... excuse my ignorance, but it says "Two 5 volt preamps". To me that means the preamps themselves run off 5 volts. Why are we sure that means they pass 5 volts through the XLR connectors to whatever is attached? Doesn't the H6 (for which these modules were designed, right?) itself run off 5 volts?

Regards, Christine

That makes a lot more sense
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Re: Zoom F4 with six inputs and eight tracks (is like a new low priced F8!)
« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2016, 10:17:27 PM »
Wait a sec.... excuse my ignorance, but it says "Two 5 volt preamps". To me that means the preamps themselves run off 5 volts. Why are we sure that means they pass 5 volts through the XLR connectors to whatever is attached? Doesn't the H6 (for which these modules were designed, right?) itself run off 5 volts?

Regards, Christine

That makes a lot more sense

Maybe I'm missing something here, but that doesn't make sense to me at all.  Lots of other portable recorders run off 5V power, whether from 4 AA batteries (1.5V x 4) or from an external cell phone battery on a USB connector supplying 5V.  But the F4 and F8 (which the EXT-6 also connects with) will not run on 5V; they have a Hirose connector which requires 9-16V DC, or 8 AA batteries (1.5V x 8 = 12V).  The "two 5 volt preamps" statement is being made about the EXT-6 itself, and not conditional upon on which Zoom recorder it is attached to.  Lots of things happen between the power supplied to the overall recorder and the powering voltage to the mics, and I don't think you can draw a conclusion between those two things.

Also, look at the entire statement in their sales language (emphasis mine):
Quote
Two 5 volt preamps for to minimize distortion even at high volumes

That last part makes it very clear that they are talking about the voltage supplied to the microphones.  The funny thing about this is that 5V may be a bit on the low side for using PIP mics to record a loud source.  That's one of the reasons many members here use 9V battery supplies for PIP mics, rather than running from a recorder's built-in PIP supply which is typically no more than 3-5V.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 10:19:24 PM by voltronic »
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