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Author Topic: tascam DR701d or DR70d  (Read 7059 times)

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Offline myotis

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tascam DR701d or DR70d
« on: June 16, 2016, 02:24:10 PM »
There is obviously a reasonable amount of interest here in the DR70d, but with little mention of the DR701.

I want a recorder in the DR70/701 format for use with a DSLR, for  ambient natural sounds, and for bird song recording with a parabolic reflector. I can afford the DR70, and could push myself to the DR701, but I'm not sure what to do. Whatever I buy, I don't visualise "upgrading" anytime soon, so would rather go for the 701 if that is seen as more future proof. But would also be much happier spending less.

If you were buying new today, would you spend the extra on the 701, or go for the 70. 

I already have a Sony M10, but would like the Tascam for the format and the XLR connectors.

Any advice appreciated.

Many thanks,

Graham

Offline Brian G

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2016, 08:25:23 AM »
Have you looked at the DR-40?  Unless you want 4 channels.
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Offline myotis

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2016, 09:04:50 AM »
Have you looked at the DR-40?  Unless you want 4 channels.

Hello Brian,

No I haven't, but I did when I bought the sony M10. 

I possibly should have been more explicit in what I meant by "format".  I want something that will mount under the camera when used with DSLR and that can be run from a bag when I am using the Parabolic reflector.

I have used a few different approaches with the sony M10, and have used "over the shoulder" marantz recorders in the past, so I am confident I want this style of recorder.

I might want  4 channels as recording ambient sound, along with shotgun/parabolic captured sound is something I would like to do. But that could be done with the Sony plus a second recorder.

Having said all that, I am interested in why you suggest the DR-40 over the DR70/701.

Thanks,

Graham


Offline aaronji

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2016, 09:08:59 AM »
The 701 has better specs, if Tascam can be trusted on that front, which may be of benefit in your application.  Made out of metal, too...

Offline myotis

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 09:18:16 AM »
The 701 has better specs, if Tascam can be trusted on that front, which may be of benefit in your application.  Made out of metal, too...

Yes, on the spec front, the 701 has some video specific features that would seem to be worthwhile, and monitoring individual tracks sounds useful, but often things that sound useful, turn out not to be that useful in practice.  I am guessing that the slightly better pre-amps aren't seen as that important, which I assume is because the 70D pre-amps are "good enough"  Certainly at my level of sound expertise, I am sure they would be good enough !.

Thanks,

Graham

Offline voltronic

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 09:21:40 AM »
On paper, the 701D seems like a relatively poor value unless you absolutely need the HDMI camera triggering and timecode input (no timecode generator).

The lower-cost Tascam's are a better value overall, I think.  Besides the 70D and DR-40, the 60D is on sale all the time now.

Here's the thing though - if you're doing ambient / bird song, you're going to want something with preamps that have very low noise at very high gain, and that means a higher class of equipment.  That should be your #1 priority here.  All of those Tascams will have unacceptable noise for you at the highest gain levels.  If you weren't doing ambient recording, I'd say the 60D or 70D would be the way to go, but I don't think you'll be satisfied with the preamps and I doubt the 701D preamps are going to be that much quieter than the 70D, even though its specs are a little bit better.

The cheapest way for you to go is to look for a used Sound Devices MixPre  / Shure FP-24 preamp on eBay for $300-$400, which you connect to your M10 with a mini stereo cable.  I have that setup, and it works great.  More gain than you will ever need, and very, very low noise even when you crank the level.  You'll have to use the Tape Out on the MixPre/FP24 with the M10 which will deliver 56dB max gain, but that gain level will be actually quiet enough to use for your purposes, as opposed to the Tascams which will deliver that much gain but have all kinds of noise in there along with it.

You can't do an under-camera mount this way, but you could use a small shoulder bag or backpack like this.  I do a lot of marching band recording in the fall, and I sometimes use the FP-24 > M10 in a backpack while using a monopod to hold my camera and mics.  You could also look for a MixPre-D which has the DSLR plate, but it's much more expensive and and you'd still have to mount the M10 somewhere.

If you need this to be a one-box solution, I'd keep saving my money and get a used SD 701 or 744, which are going for a little over $1k right now.  There's also the Zoom F8 (one for sale in the YS right now) but I haven't seen any reviews of how quiet its preamps are when cranked all the way, since most people here typically aren't doing that.  It would allow you the under-camera setup though.
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Offline aaronji

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2016, 09:51:31 AM »
The 701 has better specs, if Tascam can be trusted on that front, which may be of benefit in your application.  Made out of metal, too...

Yes, on the spec front, the 701 has some video specific features that would seem to be worthwhile, and monitoring individual tracks sounds useful, but often things that sound useful, turn out not to be that useful in practice.  I am guessing that the slightly better pre-amps aren't seen as that important, which I assume is because the 70D pre-amps are "good enough"  Certainly at my level of sound expertise, I am sure they would be good enough !.

Thanks,

Graham

I was referring specifically to the noise and distortion specs (although the maximum signal levels are also of interest to many here); they are considerably better on the 701.  Really, the 701 is more-or-less in the middle, assuming Tascam's numbers are accurate, between the 70 and the SD 702.  For quiet stuff, that will be audible...

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2016, 10:30:37 AM »
The 70d caught on here like wildfire for a time because it offers 4xlr inputs with phantom power in a small case and initially could be had for under $200.  I am not sure if the market was saturated before the 701 came out, if cardgate scared other buyers or if the 701 is just still priced too high for TS members because I only remember one member buying a 701. 

That HDMI feature is useless unless your DSLR outputs time code via HDMI. 

Whether the 70d is good enough for your song bird recording, I think you would want input from someone who has used it for that purpose. 

What parabolic dish and microphone would you be using?  I doubt any of us have a dish, but maybe someone here could do a sample ambient outdoor recording?  Would that help?  Can you make a dish or do you have to buy one?

Please check but I believe BH photo has a 30 day return policy if the 70d doesn't work for you.


Offline myotis

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2016, 11:04:58 AM »

The cheapest way for you to go is to look for a used Sound Devices MixPre  / Shure FP-24 preamp on eBay for $300-$400, which you connect to your M10 with a mini stereo cable.  I have that setup, and it works great.  More gain than you will ever need, and very, very low noise even when you crank the level.  You'll have to use the Tape Out on the MixPre/FP24 with the M10 which will deliver 56dB max gain, but that gain level will be actually quiet enough to use for your purposes, as opposed to the Tascams which will deliver that much gain but have all kinds of noise in there along with it.


The need for very low noise had crossed my mind, but I am trying to balance cost, quality and convenience (isn't everyone), and the sound is an add on to my photography, which also has its own financial demands.  And I was encouraged by some of the good things I had read about the 701 pre-amps.

I have seen the set up you describe mentioned elsewhere, and I did at one time keep an eye open for an SD MixPre on eBay, but they are few and far between on eBay in the UK, and seemed much more money than the ones available in the US.

But you have certainly set me off re-thinking what I thought I was going to do.

Actually, there is probably no reason why I can't, longer term, look at the DR70 or 701 Plus the MixPre, so I had the convenience for general video/audio, but  with the  MiXPre for birds/ ambient stuff. That is probably more versatile than a S/H SD recorder. But as you can see I am back thinking it out again.

Thanks,

Graham
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 12:02:30 PM by myotis »

Offline myotis

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2016, 11:11:53 AM »
Quote
I was referring specifically to the noise and distortion specs (although the maximum signal levels are also of interest to many here); they are considerably better on the 701.  Really, the 701 is more-or-less in the middle, assuming Tascam's numbers are accurate, between the 70 and the SD 702.  For quiet stuff, that will be audible...

 I confess, that I was working on the assumption, that as a beginner, this  might be good enough for me, at least for a few years, as I build up other kit (good microphones) and develop my expertise. But maybe, this isn't a clever approach at all. 

Cheers,

Graham
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 11:27:10 AM by myotis »

Offline myotis

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2016, 11:25:14 AM »
The 70d caught on here like wildfire for a time because it offers 4xlr inputs with phantom power in a small case and initially could be had for under $200.  I am not sure if the market was saturated before the 701 came out, if cardgate scared other buyers or if the 701 is just still priced too high for TS members because I only remember one member buying a 701. 

That HDMI feature is useless unless your DSLR outputs time code via HDMI. 

Whether the 70d is good enough for your song bird recording, I think you would want input from someone who has used it for that purpose. 

What parabolic dish and microphone would you be using?  I doubt any of us have a dish, but maybe someone here could do a sample ambient outdoor recording?  Would that help?  Can you make a dish or do you have to buy one?

Please check but I believe BH photo has a 30 day return policy if the 70d doesn't work for you.

I have a dish, a copy of the  old Amberwood model (maybe be unheard of in the US, so  http://www.wildlife-sound.org/equipment/amberwood.html) that I am just using with a Rode Lavalier mic, and my Sony M10.  The person who made the dish is the chairman of the Wildlife Sound Recording Society also makes/sells mics, but he felt my mic would be fine. I have only used it a few times so far.

I suspect, that personally, my ear isn't good enough to pick up some of the differences people speak about here, I some times listen to tests, and can't really tell the difference, but it still needs to be good enough for other people to listen to.

I haven't come across anyone using the Tascams for bird recording, which is why I asked here, because I also be using it for other things, but I feel these are less demanding.

Thanks,

Graham

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2016, 10:16:38 PM »
What is the typical distance between you and the bird you intend to record?   Never tried it.  Might be fun to rig something up.

One thing about the 70d is battery life is maybe 2-3 hours vs 30-40 hours on the m10 meaning you would want to use an external 5v battery.  Something else to carry and mount. 





Offline myotis

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2016, 12:40:56 AM »
What is the typical distance between you and the bird you intend to record?   Never tried it.  Might be fun to rig something up.

One thing about the 70d is battery life is maybe 2-3 hours vs 30-40 hours on the m10 meaning you would want to use an external 5v battery.  Something else to carry and mount.

Distance varies, and I'm not getting as close as I need to to. One suggestion I have seen is to visualise it as a 135mm lens on a full frame camera (I have a 21" dish) in terms of isolating a bird.  But I have also used it to try and isolate a group of birds e.g. birds on a rocky island.  So I suspect I have been recording from 20m to 200m +.

But with mixed success. Firstly I hadn't realised how noisy the world is, of noise I do not want to have in the background, and secondly I was following best advice and kept the mic sensitivity on low,  but its obvious it needs to be on high for the most of what I am doing.  I am also not spending nearly  enough time developing any real skill, I have very little spare time at the moment.

It's still good fun, however, at how well it isolates distant sounds.

Cheers,
Graham

Offline Sonus Captor

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2016, 02:08:28 PM »
DR-701 or DR-70? Hard to say. Spec-wise the DR-701 is the better recorder. Curtis Judd liked it in his review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl0DnLRkFDE
The question is: How much better? Here in Germany it's twice the price of a DR-70.
I owned a DR-40 and wouldn't recommend it for your needs. It's a solid performer for the price, but the DR-60 (no built-in mics)
and the DR-70 (built-in omnidirectional mics) have much quieter mic preamps than the DR-40 or the Zoom H4n.
Here's an audio test of the Tascam DR-70D vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5tGpKlNxhI

Offline myotis

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Re: tascam DR701d or DR70d
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2016, 03:36:02 PM »
DR-701 or DR-70? Hard to say. Spec-wise the DR-701 is the better recorder. Curtis Judd liked it in his review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl0DnLRkFDE
The question is: How much better? Here in Germany it's twice the price of a DR-70.
I owned a DR-40 and wouldn't recommend it for your needs. It's a solid performer for the price, but the DR-60 (no built-in mics)
and the DR-70 (built-in omnidirectional mics) have much quieter mic preamps than the DR-40 or the Zoom H4n.
Here's an audio test of the Tascam DR-70D vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5tGpKlNxhI

I have seen these thanks, I suspect that from a general tool for video, either the 70 or 701 would be fine, but Voltronics  has me thinking about how good these would be for low noise ambient conditions or bird recording when the gain is likely to be turned up. But the 701, does seem to have pretty good pre-amps for the price point.

Having said that,  lots of people do bird recording with fairly ordinary recorders e.g. Olympus LS11, so I suspect that either the 70 or 701 would be good enough for me.

But I think I may put a little bit more time into thinking about it.

Cheers,

Graham


 

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