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Offline harmon712

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built in preamps
« on: March 30, 2016, 02:32:59 PM »
I'm thinking about trying to save money for a Sound Devices 702.  What other recorders have good built in preamps for a lower price to look into?

Right now I use Marantz PMD620 MKII with a Naiant Tinybox and sometimes mics straight into a Zoom H4n (mostly at festivals or if I want to run both recorders)

Thanks for any info
Mics: Neumann KM184, Busman BSC1, Rode M5
Pre: Sound Devices USBPre 2, Naiant Tinybox, PreSonus BlueTube DP V2
Recorders: Marantz PMD661 MKII (Oade Concert mod) & Marantz PMD620 MKII
Stand: Triad-Orbit T3 w/ T-ES Elevator Shaft
Video: Canon VIXIA HF R500
Photo: Canon T3i w/ Sigma 18-50mm & 50-150 f/2.8 lenses
Bag: Gruv Gear Club Bag

Offline aaronji

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2016, 04:12:16 PM »
If you like the PMD620, maybe consider a PMD661 (perhaps with an Oade mod). The menu systems are almost identical. I don't have one, but know a bunch of tapers that love theirs, and have thought about picking one up several times...

Offline H₂O

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 08:43:22 PM »
There is no guarantee you will like the preamps in the SD7xx series and there are ALOT of decks out there today with both more than acceptable preamps built in or you can find modded with "better than stock" preamps at a better price point than the 7xx series.

I bought a SD 702 in 2007 and sold it in under a year because I couldn't stand the preamps with my various setups.  The v3, eaa, and Schoeps preamps I owned where leaps and bounds better sounding IMO.

Now I run a Tascam hs-p82 and couldn't be happier (although the Sonosax SX-AD8+ has caught my eye - now I just need to save up ;)) - I still own my EAa, a Grace prototype, and a Schoeps pre as well though.
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Offline harmon712

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2016, 02:17:21 AM »
If you like the PMD620, maybe consider a PMD661 (perhaps with an Oade mod). The menu systems are almost identical. I don't have one, but know a bunch of tapers that love theirs, and have thought about picking one up several times...
If I decide to go with the the PMD661 who does the Oade mod?
Mics: Neumann KM184, Busman BSC1, Rode M5
Pre: Sound Devices USBPre 2, Naiant Tinybox, PreSonus BlueTube DP V2
Recorders: Marantz PMD661 MKII (Oade Concert mod) & Marantz PMD620 MKII
Stand: Triad-Orbit T3 w/ T-ES Elevator Shaft
Video: Canon VIXIA HF R500
Photo: Canon T3i w/ Sigma 18-50mm & 50-150 f/2.8 lenses
Bag: Gruv Gear Club Bag

Offline aaronji

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2016, 03:44:33 AM »
Oade Brothers Audio. Doug (Oade) will also modify decks purchased elsewhere, which wasn't always the case.

Offline harmon712

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2016, 04:02:43 AM »
Oade Brothers Audio. Doug (Oade) will also modify decks purchased elsewhere, which wasn't always the case.
Yep, I just found out and came back to say so.  Thank you

Here's a direct link if anyone else is interested http://www.oade.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=OBA&Product_Code=PMD661CM-GND&Category_Code=PMD661CM
Mics: Neumann KM184, Busman BSC1, Rode M5
Pre: Sound Devices USBPre 2, Naiant Tinybox, PreSonus BlueTube DP V2
Recorders: Marantz PMD661 MKII (Oade Concert mod) & Marantz PMD620 MKII
Stand: Triad-Orbit T3 w/ T-ES Elevator Shaft
Video: Canon VIXIA HF R500
Photo: Canon T3i w/ Sigma 18-50mm & 50-150 f/2.8 lenses
Bag: Gruv Gear Club Bag

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2016, 04:15:55 AM »
I'm a fan of the Tascam DR-70D! The issues are all worked out and you just need to update the firmware to v1.13 and then use an approved SD card[or ones we've been using successfully on ts.com], and you should be good to go! They can be had for under $300/new, or under $200/used! Its has 4 XLR/1/4" combo jacks[Phantom Powered Inputs, as well as a regular MIC-IN w/ out Phantom, and a LINE-IN] and is a BREEZE to run with an external USB battery!

I have run both my mk41>KCY>VMS02IB>70d and mk4>PFA>70d preamps, numerous times over the last year, and I can BARELY hear a difference in my Schoeps pre and the 70d! As always, YMMV! I have numerous recordings on archive.org that you can check out with BOTH preamps of mine! And most often, especially outdoors, I prefer the mk4>PFA>70d source 8) My Phish MMP Night 2, I ran both setups as usual, and not only myself, but the DL'ers, preferred my mk4>PFA>70d source ;D

For the price/size/quality of preamps, there's nothing else even comparable IMO! And now with the new v1.13 firmware, everyone's sd card issues have gone away! I have run flawlessly on even older firmware, since last summer when I got my PNY Elite SD Cards! Once everyone started using the same SD cards, the issues and "Write Timeout" errors seemed to vanish too! As with most devices, its just picky about what SD cards it likes ;D

I JUST sold my last M10 and bought a 2nd 70d + 64gb PNY Elite 95MB/s Class 10 card, because I like my 1st one so much :) My new to me[12 hours of use] used 70d will be here today! I'll be running it almost 24/7 to see if its as SOLID as my 1st one 8) And the external USB batteries are super easy to get and power the 70d for very long periods, even at 24/96 on all 4 channels 8) And they run forever going VMS>XLR>70d LINE-IN on just 2 channels, even at 24/96!

Here's my most recent bookmarks from the last 5 years 8) You can easily find the different sources since I left a comment on every UL with the source info :) You should find a ton of mk41>KCY>VMS02IB>70d and mk4>KCY>PFA>70d sources very easily :)

http://archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 04:20:09 AM by F.O.Bean »
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
128gb | 64gb SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC-I

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean | http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/Bean420 | http://bt.etree.org/mytorrents.php

Offline aaronji

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2016, 04:31:21 AM »
I'm a fan of the Tascam DR-70D! The issues are all worked out <snip>

I wouldn't bet on that, particularly.  Given the history, I would personally be extremely reticent to buy a 70D.  I am happy it seems to be working for you, and others, but that's not where I would look for a new recorder... 

Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2016, 05:32:15 AM »
I guess a Zoom F8 would be cheaper than a used 702! Check out the Zoom F8, if having 8 channels isnt overkill :)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1140426-REG/zoom_zf8_f8_field_recorder.html

If I didn't need [2] separate decks for recording 2 stages at festies[why I have [2] Tascam 70d's], Id invest in a Zoom F8 most likely!
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 05:35:24 AM by F.O.Bean »
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
128gb | 64gb SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC-I

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean | http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/Bean420 | http://bt.etree.org/mytorrents.php

Offline acidjack

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2016, 07:45:03 AM »
The short answer is for recording rock bands from the audience, most of them are going to be pretty close these days, even inexpensive decks. I do think the Zoom F8's are a bit quieter than some of the other things I've owned, but not so much so that I'd spend the extra money just for that reason. Personally I loved my Sound Devices preamp, but didn't need it anymore when I got the Zoom. Preamps aren't exactly a "snake oil" product, but given the variabilities and general limitations of recording rock bands from the audience, which is what most of us are doing, I don't know that I'd place a lot of stock in having one vs. the other.
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

Offline todd e

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2016, 11:06:56 AM »
The v3, eaa, and Schoeps preamps I owned where leaps are bounds better sounding IMO
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 12:04:22 PM by todd e »

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2016, 11:18:56 AM »
Oade Brothers Audio. Doug (Oade) will also modify decks purchased elsewhere, which wasn't always the case.
Yep, I just found out and came back to say so.  Thank you

Here's a direct link if anyone else is interested http://www.oade.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=OBA&Product_Code=PMD661CM-GND&Category_Code=PMD661CM
Just to further this: I own a OADE Concert Mod PMD661 and have liked the quality of the Pre-amps quite well. Doug will ask you what mics you use and suggest a mod which will work best for them.
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 MakersMarc

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2016, 12:14:25 PM »
Oade Brothers Audio. Doug (Oade) will also modify decks purchased elsewhere, which wasn't always the case.

And last time I looked, Doug was selling mod 661s for 549 shipped. That's insanely cheap. I paid 699 for both of mine. I'd buy one for sure if I didn't have two. All you need and IMO better sounding than SD 7xx.
Mk4v/41v>Nbob kcy x2>nbox platinum/Naiant PFA/Naiant IPA>Oade warm mod Marantz 661 x2/Sony pcm m10x3

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2016, 12:19:31 PM »
I'm a fan of the Tascam DR-70D! The issues are all worked out <snip>

I wouldn't bet on that, particularly.  Given the history, I would personally be extremely reticent to buy a 70D.  I am happy it seems to be working for you, and others, but that's not where I would look for a new recorder...

I'm in agreement with aaronji on this; no offense to those who are having a good experience with the 70D and think highly of it.  As of today, there appears to be a new wrinkle with certain USB cables not working with it. > http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=175623.msg2182522#msg2182522
If you must have a 4-track Tascam recorder, the DR-60D is a bit more reliable but there are only two XLR inputs. 

All that said, the Marantz PMD661 and Zoom F8 suggestions are both very good ones.  The PMD661 can be had new (non-Oade) for under $400, and if you need the 8 channels the F8 is about $1k.  At that price range, I'd also suggest the 4-track Roland R-44 which has a very proven history in the field. 

Offline harmon712

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2016, 12:53:12 PM »
I'm going to save for the PMD661.  Thank you  ;D
Mics: Neumann KM184, Busman BSC1, Rode M5
Pre: Sound Devices USBPre 2, Naiant Tinybox, PreSonus BlueTube DP V2
Recorders: Marantz PMD661 MKII (Oade Concert mod) & Marantz PMD620 MKII
Stand: Triad-Orbit T3 w/ T-ES Elevator Shaft
Video: Canon VIXIA HF R500
Photo: Canon T3i w/ Sigma 18-50mm & 50-150 f/2.8 lenses
Bag: Gruv Gear Club Bag

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2016, 02:13:34 PM »
^  Good choice, great deck.  To expound on what acidjack said about most of us recording loud rock bands, the Oade mod might not be necessary.  You'll have to decide whether or not it's worth the extra money for the types of recordings that you do.  With 100+ dB coming out of speaker stacks, is the additional detail and clarity that the mod purports going to be noticeable?  I honestly don't know. 

Offline acidjack

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2016, 02:37:17 PM »
^  Good choice, great deck.  To expound on what acidjack said about most of us recording loud rock bands, the Oade mod might not be necessary.  You'll have to decide whether or not it's worth the extra money for the types of recordings that you do.  With 100+ dB coming out of speaker stacks, is the additional detail and clarity that the mod purports going to be noticeable?  I honestly don't know.

You and I have compared an Oade R-44 vs. the non-modded (from regular use, not in a side by side comp) -- you tell me, but I'd be hard pressed to say there's a ton of difference. Oade's mods supposedly make the decks a bit quieter (and I also do think the Zoom preamps are noticeably quieter) but it's really not something you notice at all unless you're recording something quiet, which a PA system is not...
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
Pres/Power: Aerco MP2, tinybox v2  [KCY], CA-UBB
Decks: Sound Devices MixPre 6, Zoom F8, M10, D50

My recordings on nyctaper.com: http://www.nyctaper.com/?tag=acidjack | LMA: http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/acidjack | twitter: http://www.twitter.com/acidjacknyc | Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/acidjacknyc

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2016, 04:31:44 PM »
You and I have compared an Oade R-44 vs. the non-modded (from regular use, not in a side by side comp) -- you tell me, but I'd be hard pressed to say there's a ton of difference. Oade's mods supposedly make the decks a bit quieter (and I also do think the Zoom preamps are noticeably quieter) but it's really not something you notice at all unless you're recording something quiet, which a PA system is not...

I agree.  Comparing our recordings, which for a long time comprised your OCM R-44 and my unmodded R-44, with loud rock concerts I can't really hear a difference except for the different mics we use.  In fact, there were several times when we synced the two decks via your USBPre2, ran 8 tracks, and I still really couldn't hear much difference at the preamp level.  As stated before, it comes down to how quiet your source material is and, I suppose, how critical your hearing and playback equipment is. 

Offline down2earthlandscaper

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2016, 04:49:35 AM »
I'm going to save for the PMD661.  Thank you  ;D

FWIW, I have an un-modded PMD661 and I love the sound of the stock preamps. I've been pairing this deck up with Nak 700's lately, and I'm really pleased with how nicely they sound together.
I know a lot of people just use the PMD661 as a bit bucket, with some other preamp between the mics and it. (Another excellent use of this deck) I haven't even tried that yet because I'm just so happy with how the Marantz preamps sound. I'd say my only real gripe with the deck is that the headphone amp is pretty poor(on my unit anyway). I crank it up all the way and still have trouble hearing what I'm recording.
Mics: CA-14(cards & omnis) and CA-11(cards & omnis) ; AT853's(cards, hypers, mini shotguns); Busman BSC-1 (cards, hypers, omnis)
Nakamichi CM300's (CP-1,2,3,4) Nakamichi CM700's (cards, omnis)
Tascam PE-120's (cards, omnis) Peluso CEMC-6 (cards and subcards)
DPA 4061's DPA 4022's
Preamps: CA-9100; Naiant Tinybox (12v/48v + PIP 8V); Naiant Littlebox;
DPA MPS6030; Sound Device Mix Pre-D
Decks: Sony PCM M10; Edirol R-4; Zoom H6; Marantz PMD-661; Sound Devices 722

stevetoney

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2016, 05:26:46 AM »
You and I have compared an Oade R-44 vs. the non-modded (from regular use, not in a side by side comp) -- you tell me, but I'd be hard pressed to say there's a ton of difference. Oade's mods supposedly make the decks a bit quieter (and I also do think the Zoom preamps are noticeably quieter) but it's really not something you notice at all unless you're recording something quiet, which a PA system is not...

I agree.  Comparing our recordings, which for a long time comprised your OCM R-44 and my unmodded R-44, with loud rock concerts I can't really hear a difference except for the different mics we use.  In fact, there were several times when we synced the two decks via your USBPre2, ran 8 tracks, and I still really couldn't hear much difference at the preamp level.  As stated before, it comes down to how quiet your source material is and, I suppose, how critical your hearing and playback equipment is.

I can't speak to the quality difference between the modded units, but the point made above about playback equipment is IMHO a very important point.  If you're an audiophile, incremental improvements in sound quality will probably hold increased value to you because you'll hear them on the back end and (probably) perceive that you've gotten something back for the extra money spent.  If you're not an audiophile, then there's a greater chance you'll be happy with a stock unit.  I didn't fully realize this (to my tastes anyway) until I started upping my investment in the back end. 

I also feel that my sound tastes have matured greatly since I've tried out so much gear over the years, so I know what I like so much more now than I did when I got my first higher end recording rig.  How picky someone is about their sound, I think, can be a pretty big factor in what people tend to recommend.

As always, you have to take the advice you get here sorta holistically to help with your decision making, but you're the only one that can determine what ends up being a value adder for you.  And the only way you can do that is listen, listen, listen.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 05:31:32 AM by tonedeaf »

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2016, 07:06:26 AM »
I thought the 661 was unuseable for loud recording without the Oade mod...(I seem to recall this from Oade himself) - perhaps Im thinking of a different model.

Although - they are on the "mkII" model - as I recall nothing really new in the mkII version...(Original 661 came out in 2009 I think)
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TASCAM DR-70D/Tricorder

Offline BonoBeats

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2016, 07:59:36 AM »
This EBay store sells the Tascam DR-680mkii for just over $450:

https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/182055263798

Nice, clean preamps and eight channels for less than an Oade mod two channel PMD661. It also doesn't suffer from some of the issues that have plagued the DR-70d.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 08:02:52 AM by BonoBeats »
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Offline MakersMarc

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2016, 10:38:43 AM »
^  Good choice, great deck.  To expound on what acidjack said about most of us recording loud rock bands, the Oade mod might not be necessary.  You'll have to decide whether or not it's worth the extra money for the types of recordings that you do.  With 100+ dB coming out of speaker stacks, is the additional detail and clarity that the mod purports going to be noticeable?  I honestly don't know.

It's a huge payoff for not much money, and Doug stands by his work. And he's Doug freaking Oade. IMO you get about 80% of m148 goodness in a small all in one. Post an ISO in the yard sale if you don't want new.
Mk4v/41v>Nbob kcy x2>nbox platinum/Naiant PFA/Naiant IPA>Oade warm mod Marantz 661 x2/Sony pcm m10x3

Offline dactylus

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2016, 10:49:58 AM »

I'll echo the other recommendations for the Oade modded 661's.  I went with the Oade Concert Mod, twice, and I love the sound of the recordings that I've made with this compact deck!

hot licks > microphones > recorder



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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2016, 12:45:17 PM »
^  Good choice, great deck.  To expound on what acidjack said about most of us recording loud rock bands, the Oade mod might not be necessary.  You'll have to decide whether or not it's worth the extra money for the types of recordings that you do.  With 100+ dB coming out of speaker stacks, is the additional detail and clarity that the mod purports going to be noticeable?  I honestly don't know.

It's a huge payoff for not much money, and Doug stands by his work. And he's Doug freaking Oade. IMO you get about 80% of m148 goodness in a small all in one. Post an ISO in the yard sale if you don't want new.
I've spoken with Doug about what exactly he does, and how it affects the outcome. Mainly, the reduction in circuit noise by swapping out the op amps lowers the Pre-amp's noise floor. And if you're going to be doing classical or vocal recordings choose either the FET or super mod. For the extra $100 (each mod's cost) it is well worth it. FCB and Acidjack are also not "wrong"- if all you record is loud rock n roll from PA stacks, it might not ever be apparent to your ears on playback. TD is also correct in pointing out that the better your playback gear the more you will notice these differences.
http://www.oade.com/          has all four mods featured right on the main page.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 06:56:51 PM by rocksuitcase »
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

Online gratefulbrad

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2016, 07:52:13 AM »
I own a couple Oade Concert Mod Marantz decks, both the PMD660 and 661.  They have never given me a problem, ever. 
http://db.etree.org/gratefulbrad
Mics: JW mod AKG c460bx6-c480bx2/ck61x5/ck62x3/ck63x2, AKG Actives > Naiant PFA, Neumann KM100 > LC3 > AK43
Decks: OCM Marantz PMD661, T-Mod Tascam HD-P2, Tascam DR680 MKii, SD744t
Pre's Etc: Grace Lunatec V3, MIC2496, SD442

Offline mec111272

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2016, 08:56:59 AM »
I have and Oade Advanced Concert mod (ACM) PMD-660.  As others have said super solid, has never given me any trouble, and man is it quiet.  I have 2 Busman mod PMD-660's that have a very irritating ticking that I can't get rid of, and trust me I read all of the threads  and tired all the tricks..

My addition to the conversation:  Doug implied, and I have seen, that the mod to the Line-in is not as warm as the mod to the XLR inputs.   This has been helpful as I run a M148 in front of the line-in, running into the XLR's ends up being too much bass. 

All that being said the biggest point made here is on playback.  The biggest shortfall for most people that listen to our stuff is that they either stream it off archive, or download and listen on their laptops.  MOST LAPTOP HEADPHONE JACKS ARE ABSOLUTE SHIT.   Go spend $300 on sweet headphones and listen on that fucking jack and you have wasted your money.  A $20 USB audio adapter can do more for a lot of peoples listening experience than the guy recording it spending $2K on a new piece of kit.

I apologize for the slight veer off-topic.
Neumann KM-140,Church Audio Ca-14, Card Omni, CAD e70

Edirol UA-5 (T+ mod), Church Audio CA-9200, M148

Tascam DR2D, Marantz PMD 660 (Oade Songcatcher)

Offline yates7592

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Re: built in preamps
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2016, 03:57:37 PM »
I happen to believe that quality preamp, whether internal or external, is absolutely paramount for top pulls; even in a loud PA environment. I'm mostly taping quite loud/very loud bands from near stage. I get some PA influence from hanging stacks above or speakers to each side, but a lot of what I'm getting is stage acoustics from drums, amps, probably monitors. These are not rock and roll garage bands but experimental, electronic, ambient. That kind of stuff. There's a huge dynamic range there in a 3D soundstage and top pre's really help to capture the microdynamics of the moment and that "being there" feeling. And yes, playback gear is equally important.

 

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