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Author Topic: How much quality difference does the recorder make?  (Read 1635 times)

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Offline CaptainSumo

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How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« on: October 20, 2017, 09:31:35 AM »
Please forgive my ignorance. I'm trying to find my way around here, and I have much to learn.

I'm wondering what recorder/mic/pre-amp to get. At the moment I'm leaning towards the Church CA-14 with 9200 pre-amp, but I'm wondering what recorder to pair them to. A number of popular options around here, such at the Sony PCM-M10  and Edirol R05 are no longer available for a fair price, so I'm wondering what I can get for a reasonable price that would do the Mics justice. As far as I understand it, the mics and pre-amp should be doing most or the work.

For example, would I notice much quality difference between a Tascam DR-100MKIII and a Tascam DR-40? That's nearly a € 200 price difference. I can easily find what extra features I would be getting, but the quality at 48000Hz 24 bit is what I'm really interested in.

Thanks!

Offline acidjack

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 10:19:44 AM »
If you're using Church mics and preamp you don't need a recorder with XLR inputs. The short answer on difference in preamp quality is "near zero" with that rig. I'd avoid Trashcan products because they generally work poorly. For the same price as the DR-40 you can probably get a bunch of other options with a mini plug input that will better suit your needs. The DR-40 and DR-100MKIII will be unnecessarily large due to their XLR inputs.
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Online nulldogmas

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 10:24:42 AM »
What acidjack said. The difference in recorders at this stage of the game is mostly in features, not audio quality, and you don't need a ton of features with that mic/battery box combo. (Which is an excellent small rig, btw.)

You can still sometimes find M10s around for close to their original retail price — keep an eye on the Yard Sale here.

Offline lsd2525

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 10:34:09 AM »
What acidjack said. The difference in recorders at this stage of the game is mostly in features, not audio quality, and you don't need a ton of features with that mic/battery box combo. (Which is an excellent small rig, btw.)

You can still sometimes find M10s around for close to their original retail price — keep an eye on the Yard Sale here.

^^^ This. A good clean M10 will provide years of quality recording. At rugged as you will find in this class, small, easy to use, insane battery life.
Mics: ADK A51s; AT4041; Superlux S502; CK91 active w/homebrew BB; AT853; Naiant X-X; Nak 300's
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Offline CaptainSumo

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 10:40:43 AM »
Great to see such a consensus! Makes my decision a whole lot easier.

Will keep my eyes open for an M10. It seems to get a lot of love around here.

Does anyone have any experience of the Olympus LS-14? That's also an option.

Offline nolamule

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 10:42:28 AM »
Not sure if this one is sold or not: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=183950.0

Offline hoppedup

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 10:49:00 AM »
All my recorders are "trashcan". I've only had one issue, an XLR cable getting stuck in the 70D. Just FYI, the DR-40 does not even have a mini-jack input.

If you cannot find an M10 or R-05 at a reasonable price, the Tascam DR-22WL might fit the bill. $118 right now at B&H. I've only used mine a couple of times, but it worked fine paired with CA-14 and 9200.
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Online heesu

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 10:52:31 AM »
Yeah, just to echo everyone else - you don't necessarily need to go cheap here, but this is a place to save some $. I used a bottom of the line tascam dr-07 for many years, that sound just as good as anything I've done with a D50 or R26.

Hit up the yard sale & you'll find something good & inexpensive.

Online gewwang

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 10:59:25 AM »
The Tascam DR-100MKIII is my super stealth deck and while larger than the Sony, it has some features that could be useful if going directly in from mics to recorder. For one, it has ability to change input levels on each channel. Another, the input levels can be held on the Tascam but not on the Sony when engaging the hold button. I also prefer stealthing with XLR ins instead of minijack in as there's a lower chance of issues with the XLR ins.

When I stealthed with the m10, I used to have to tape down the mini cable into the unit, every switch on the back of the unit as well as a piece of tape over the level adjustment knob. With the Tascam, I don't have to tape down anything.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 11:07:42 AM by gewwang »

Offline CaptainSumo

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 11:03:38 AM »

Online heathen

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2017, 11:58:05 AM »
If that M10 from the YS doesn't pan out, I'd recommend the Roland R-05.  I love mine.  It looks like they can still be bought online if you look around a bit.  (Full Compass appears to have them in stock.)
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | Countryman B3s | CA-14 omnis | AT853 cards | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
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Offline furburger

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2017, 12:39:32 PM »
a used Tascam DR-2D

they were $150 new, and with the "dual" mode, you can err on the side of "too hot" and still walk away with an excellent capture.
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people who are fans of the music, they LOVE what I document and capture...people who are fans of themselves....not so much.

Online Gutbucket

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2017, 12:43:59 PM »
Does anyone have any experience of the Olympus LS-14? That's also an option.

Not many here use the Olympus recorders, but there are a few. Haven't heard much about them in a few years.  Do a search.  Records fine and compact if I recall correclty.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

Offline CaptainSumo

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 01:01:00 PM »
If that M10 from the YS doesn't pan out, I'd recommend the Roland R-05.  I love mine.  It looks like they can still be bought online if you look around a bit.  (Full Compass appears to have them in stock.)

Full Compass does indeed seem to have them, but they won't ship outside the US :-(

Offline CaptainSumo

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2017, 01:02:24 PM »
All my recorders are "trashcan". I've only had one issue, an XLR cable getting stuck in the 70D. Just FYI, the DR-40 does not even have a mini-jack input.

If you cannot find an M10 or R-05 at a reasonable price, the Tascam DR-22WL might fit the bill. $118 right now at B&H. I've only used mine a couple of times, but it worked fine paired with CA-14 and 9200.

A timely warning on the DR-40! Thanks!

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2017, 02:26:21 PM »
Does anyone have any experience of the Olympus LS-14? That's also an option.

Not many here use the Olympus recorders, but there are a few. Haven't heard much about them in a few years.  Do a search.  Records fine and compact if I recall correctly.
My buddy who is a boom operator in Hollywood uses an Olympus LS-100 for his stealth deck. The internals create decent sounding recordings. Another friend has an Oympus LS10 and makes good recordings with the internals. I would buy Olympus if stealthing was my deal. It has a mini-jack input. It (LS-100) is larger (and more expensive new) than an M10 though.
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Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2017, 03:00:48 PM »
I do recall discussion about one or two models of the Olympus recorders having a built-in high-pass type response on the mic input (not a user switchable filter).  Can't remember which, and could be now obsolete models.  Something to check though.
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Offline nak700s

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2017, 07:03:15 PM »
The Sony M10 is a perfect pairing with the CA-14's & the CA9200.  Do yourself a favor and find one.  They're out there and are worth a few more bucks than most of the smaller recorders.
Normal: Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD 744T (or) Sony PCM-M10
Normal: Crown CM-700's >> SD 302 >> SD 744T
Stealth: CA-14c >> CA 9200 >> Edirol R-09HR
Ultra stealth: AudioReality >> AudioReality battery box >> Edirol R-09HR
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2017, 12:03:08 AM »
The Sony M10 is a perfect pairing with the CA-14's & the CA9200.  Do yourself a favor and find one.  They're out there and are worth a few more bucks than most of the smaller recorders.
seconded
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

Offline CaptainSumo

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2017, 10:16:23 AM »
You guys are awesome! Thanks for all the advice! I particularly appreciated the PM from KISSFAN offering to help me out!

In the end, I decided I would be foolish to ignore the advice of so many knowledgeable people, and bought a brand new Sony M10 on EBay. It cost me a fair bit more than it would have a couple of years ago, but not as much as some of the units I had been considering. I figured it was worth the price.

Thanks

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2017, 10:56:27 AM »
You guys are awesome! Thanks for all the advice! I particularly appreciated the PM from KISSFAN offering to help me out!

In the end, I decided I would be foolish to ignore the advice of so many knowledgeable people, and bought a brand new Sony M10 on EBay. It cost me a fair bit more than it would have a couple of years ago, but not as much as some of the units I had been considering. I figured it was worth the price.

Thanks
Although our experience so far is only one show, kindms M10 seems to be a great addition to our arsenal. I am certain you will be pleased with this purchase.
Make some great recordings!      :guitarist:
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI

Offline bucsab12

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2017, 11:02:12 AM »
The M10 is a great recorder. You will love it.
This is the only recorder I have been using since 2010 and it is great for stealth taping because of its size and the fact that it doesn't have 2 large mice protruding from the unit.
Just buy a pair of rechargeable batteries and you are set.

I just wanted to highlight that most of the brand new M10 units on ebay come from Japan.
The text next to the buttons will be in Japanese, which is not a big deal, but I think that the menus will only be in Japanese as well.
I don't think you will be able to change the language to English/French/Spanish like in the US version (some more languages in the EUR version).
It is still manageable but will just require a bit more effort to know what the menu functions are.
Please see the post below from a few years ago:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=130924.msg1735495#msg1735495

Sony may have changed the firmware in the later Japanese M10's so it may have the language option in the one you bought.
If you bought a US/EUR version one, or you know Japanese, please disregard everything I wrote in the second part of the post  :)
Enjoy your new recorder!

Offline CaptainSumo

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2017, 11:12:51 AM »
The M10 is a great recorder. You will love it.
This is the only recorder I have been using since 2010 and it is great for stealth taping because of its size and the fact that it doesn't have 2 large mice protruding from the unit.
Just buy a pair of rechargeable batteries and you are set.

I just wanted to highlight that most of the brand new M10 units on ebay come from Japan.
The text next to the buttons will be in Japanese, which is not a big deal, but I think that the menus will only be in Japanese as well.
I don't think you will be able to change the language to English/French/Spanish like in the US version (some more languages in the EUR version).
It is still manageable but will just require a bit more effort to know what the menu functions are.
Please see the post below from a few years ago:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=130924.msg1735495#msg1735495

Sony may have changed the firmware in the later Japanese M10's so it may have the language option in the one you bought.
If you bought a US/EUR version one, or you know Japanese, please disregard everything I wrote in the second part of the post  :)
Enjoy your new recorder!

Thanks for the warning. I had already read that post, and duly avoided the Japanese language units :-)

Offline robeti

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2017, 01:54:53 PM »
Roland r-05 works best for me.

Of course they are deleted now.
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Offline morst

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2017, 08:55:12 PM »
I posted a video on youtube almost 7 years ago, of how to check your firmware version on the PCM-M10. Mine is 1.00 and I have not ever heard of any other version.

If anyone gets the Japanese version, there's a Language setting buried in the menu of my USA black model:

press the Menu key to enter menu mode
press 7 clicks on the Fast-Reverse button to Detail Menu
press the Play Button to choose it
press 3 clicks on the Fast-Reverse button to Language menu
use FF/FR to select language from the menu
press PLAY to choose it
press 2 clicks of the Menu key to exit all menus


Mine only lists English, Spanish, French, but when it's in those languages, the word (Language) in the menu is listed along with Idioma and Langue for clarity.
Idioma (Language) - Español
Langue (Language) - Français


Quote
Do you have Firmware Version 1.00? Hold the STOP key to find out.
To find out the firmware version of your Sony PCM-M10 solid state audio recorder, power the machine up, then press and hold the STOP button. After about 5 seconds,, the screen will display the current firmware version. My PCM-M10/BLC is a black color model, from USA. It reports Firmware Version 1.00. If yours differs, please post here.

https://youtu.be/58y_wbGgq3g

The M10 is a great recorder. You will love it.
(SNIP)

Sony may have changed the firmware in the later Japanese M10's so it may have the language option in the one you bought.
If you bought a US/EUR version one, or you know Japanese, please disregard everything I wrote in the second part of the post  :)
Enjoy your new recorder!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 08:57:34 PM by morst »
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Offline OS_Taper

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2017, 06:47:16 PM »
Does anyone have any experience of the Olympus LS-14? That's also an option.

Not many here use the Olympus recorders, but there are a few. Haven't heard much about them in a few years.  Do a search.  Records fine and compact if I recall correctly.
My buddy who is a boom operator in Hollywood uses an Olympus LS-100 for his stealth deck. The internals create decent sounding recordings. Another friend has an Oympus LS10 and makes good recordings with the internals. I would buy Olympus if stealthing was my deal. It has a mini-jack input. It (LS-100) is larger (and more expensive new) than an M10 though.


I have used the LS-10 and when it was released, moved to the LS-11.  Very stealth, great battery life, and awesome results.  I would highly recommend this as an option if you can track one down.
Mics: Neumann KM150(stereo pair),  TLM107(stereo pair), KMR 82i(stereo pair),
Recorders: Zoom F8, Zoom H4N, Olympus LS-11

Offline CaptainSumo

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2017, 12:40:15 PM »
What acidjack said. The difference in recorders at this stage of the game is mostly in features, not audio quality, and you don't need a ton of features with that mic/battery box combo. (Which is an excellent small rig, btw.)

You can still sometimes find M10s around for close to their original retail price — keep an eye on the Yard Sale here.

^^^ This. A good clean M10 will provide years of quality recording. At rugged as you will find in this class, small, easy to use, insane battery life.

The Sony finally on Tuesday, and I'm delighted with it! Thanks guys!

One thing I can confirm is the comments about the battery life! 35 hours activity on a 2300 mA pair and counting. Puts all it's rivals to shame; you have to wonder why no other unit comes close to that!

Offline bucsab12

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Re: How much quality difference does the recorder make?
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2017, 11:06:28 PM »
Glad to hear you like it. It is a great recorder.

The battery life is indeed amazing. I did a battery test using Sanyo 2700 rechargeable (the old kind, not the LSD ones) batteries in 2010 and the M10 dies after over 44 hours!
I used MP3 format so I won't run out of space. You can see that old thread here:

http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=138990.msg1801415#msg1801415

Enjoy your new recorder!

 

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