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Author Topic: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?  (Read 38551 times)

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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #90 on: November 21, 2017, 10:03:42 AM »

I'm interested. This has a lot of the same features I like about my DR60d (camera out for feeding my vid cam, all the inputs I could need, small, 5V USB power) but the form factor seems better and it has two more input tracks. I've used the DR60 quite a bit but it just never seems to find a happy home in any bag I've used it in. The "pound of butter" size makes it just kind of awkward.

 I used a couple of different Marantz decks over the years and really liked them. My first "real" deck was a PMD670 but it was only 16 bit. Ran it digital in from a V3. It was rock solid. After a while I got it modded by Busman and it sounded fantastic but I moved to a Busman R4 since I liked having a hard drive instead of cards.

Later I used a PMD620 for quite some time. Also rock solid.

My only concern is the quality of the onboard preamps. The preamps in the PMD670-671 were useless until modification but after modding were spectacular! Preamps in cheap decks have gotten a lot better in the last few years. I'm optimistic.

This thing lurched along getting to market. The initial photos that were released ending up not being like the end product. I guess a redesign stalled it. Hope they did their testing before getting it actually released.
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Offline dactylus

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #91 on: November 21, 2017, 10:12:15 AM »
Just speculation, but possible reason they are dragging their feet releasing it is to allow retailers to move the remaining pmd661mkII decks, with the mkIII already absorbing some of the demand. When the 706 hits the streets, any left over 661mkIIs will be dead weight. Just a guess based on marketing decisions like Honda stalling the 2017 CRV for 3 months to allow dealers to move the remaining 4th Gen body styles first.

^
DATBRAD has Doug weighed in on the 706 yet?
He said he'd received some dealer info on it, but hasn't gotten one in his hands yet. As soon as he does, he's going to determine if the preamps are in need of upgrades. He's going to email me when he's got them in stock.

Hi DATBRAD,

Do you know if Doug Oade still plans on evaluating the preamps on the 706?  Although the last thing in the world that I need now is another deck I have been delighted with the performance of my Oade modded 661's for many, many years now.

David
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Offline IronFilm

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #92 on: November 22, 2017, 12:34:41 AM »

This thing lurched along getting to market. The initial photos that were released ending up not being like the end product. I guess a redesign stalled it. Hope they did their testing before getting it actually released.

One can optimistically hope that all the extra time they took to get this to market made it even better! Fingers crossed.

Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #93 on: November 22, 2017, 07:31:34 AM »
I just heard back from Doug. He's supposed to get with his Marantz rep next week. He's not sure if he will stock the PMD-706 until he opens one up. I asked about the low max input levels and what he thought and he replied "The overload point for the line in is too low. If it uses the same XLR front end as the 561, that will be easy to fix. As it is most soundboard feeds would be severely distorted. I'll let you know what I think when I get one to check out."
I'll pass along any updates he gives me.
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Offline Cheesecadet

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #94 on: November 22, 2017, 10:03:32 AM »
Excuse my ignorance, but could you just run an attenuater cable between sbd and input of the deck such as Naiant MPD or something similar to drop the dB and avoid distortion?

Would the low input levels be an issue for distorting if you are just running mics into the unit or does this just apply to the soundboard feeds?

On another note, I would like to know if the gain pots are a smooth transition when adjusting gain gradually or if it is digital steps.

Really interested in this unit too.
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Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #95 on: November 22, 2017, 12:44:26 PM »
Excuse my ignorance, but could you just run an attenuater cable between sbd and input of the deck such as Naiant MPD or something similar to drop the dB and avoid distortion?

Would the low input levels be an issue for distorting if you are just running mics into the unit or does this just apply to the soundboard feeds?

On another note, I would like to know if the gain pots are a smooth transition when adjusting gain gradually or if it is digital steps.

Really interested in this unit too.

Just attenuating the signal would fix the overload, but would also decrease the effective dynamic range, since the noise floor would be increased proportionally.

None of Doug's mods to my knowledge involve adding any resistors to cheat the overload point (same thing attenuators do). Instead, his first step is upgrading the input capacitors.

Input capacitors are used to filter things like DC offset, and to buffer any sudden changes in a circuit's voltage, smoothing out the signal. The input capacitors prevent the sound from deteriorating due to under-voltage, but upgraded input capacitors alone won't actually improve the sound. They support the operational amplifier stage by feeding whatever power is needed for short bursts (transients). It is this first step that contributes to increased headroom that informs the final dynamic range the unit can capture.

Next to be swapped out are the operational amplifiers. These are either Bipolar or FET chips, and are what takes the signal from the input capacitors and steps it up to either line or mic level. The quality of this stage is what determines both the headroom, and noise floor, which produces the resulting dynamic range improvements. Overall a cleaner signal will be the end result.

Bottom line, there is a world of difference between sticking an attenuator in front of a recorder compared to actually rebuilding the XLR inputs and operational amplifier circuits to allow for hotter input signal without overloading the signal before hitting the A/D chip. Just like with the old PMD-660, I think this is going to be one of those recorders that is almost useless to concert tapers unmodified.

Hope this helps!
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Offline hi and lo

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #96 on: November 22, 2017, 01:35:53 PM »

Input capacitors are used to filter things like DC offset, and to buffer any sudden changes in a circuit's voltage, smoothing out the signal. The input capacitors prevent the sound from deteriorating due to under-voltage, but upgraded input capacitors alone won't actually improve the sound. They support the operational amplifier stage by feeding whatever power is needed for short bursts (transients). It is this first step that contributes to increased headroom that informs the final dynamic range the unit can capture.


Aside from filtering DC Offset, input capacitors do none of these things. These are all functions of the power supply filtering caps, which the audio signal does not pass through.

And generally speaking, using input capacitors is not ideal and there are far better circuit topologies that cheaper, more reliable, and more effective to address the needs of input capacitors. Capacitorless inputs are the preferred input design and although I haven't seen the circuits in question, I would be pretty surprised if they're using input capacitors.

I've said it before here and it's an unpopular opinion, but these modifications are always a bit of snake oil. They might offer some improvements, but rarely, if ever, are measurements provided to quantify them.

Offline Cheesecadet

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #97 on: November 22, 2017, 08:29:42 PM »
So say Oade gets ahold of a unit and decides it needs to be modded to acceptable standard for another $250. $250 + 300 msrp for $550.  Wouldn’t most just spring the extra $150 to get an SD unit in the mix pre3 at that price point?
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #98 on: November 22, 2017, 11:19:02 PM »
I think that's the practical question.  Once you reach SD price territory, why not buy SD? 

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #99 on: November 22, 2017, 11:32:12 PM »
Well to be fair you'd have to compare with the price of the MP6, right?  If someone is looking at a 6-channel recorder, the MP3 probably won't be in the running.
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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #100 on: November 23, 2017, 09:40:17 AM »
I would think most people only need 4 channels if they want mics and a board feed or if mixing two sets of mics. At least that is my situation. Personally anything more than 4 channels becomes work for me and that’s not why I do this.  I just like the form factor better than the Tascam dr70 with Xlrs on both sides and was hoping the marantz unit would sound better without modding them.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 11:20:50 AM by Cheesecadet »
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Offline dallman

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #101 on: November 23, 2017, 11:43:09 AM »
I would think most people only need 4 channels if they want mics and a board feed or if mixing two sets of mics. At least that is my situation. Personally anything more than 4 channels becomes work for me and that’s not why I do this.  I just like the form factor better than the Tascam dr70 with Xlrs on both sides and was hoping the marantz unit would sound better without modding them.
I think everyone is a bit different. I always like to record with 6 mics, for me that's a breeze, but more becomes cumbersome. I like to use a cardioid pair, hypercardioid pair and an omni pair, and then see which I like best. I feel shortchanged with 4 mics but when traveling I often do opt for 4 mics, just because that's less gear and less mics to pack and deal with. I'd use a dr680mkii but travel with a dr701d which is much smaller. Switching to a MIxPre6 recently could change all of that though  :bigsmile:
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Offline waltmon

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #102 on: November 23, 2017, 12:15:28 PM »
Just got a new Oade cm mod 661 mk2...anxious to hear it in action...sorry off topic. I love the sound of my MP6...but no digital in etc
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Offline pohaku

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #103 on: November 23, 2017, 12:41:36 PM »
I would think most people only need 4 channels if they want mics and a board feed or if mixing two sets of mics. At least that is my situation. Personally anything more than 4 channels becomes work for me and that’s not why I do this.  I just like the form factor better than the Tascam dr70 with Xlrs on both sides and was hoping the marantz unit would sound better without modding them.
I think everyone is a bit different. I always like to record with 6 mics, for me that's a breeze, but more becomes cumbersome. I like to use a cardioid pair, hypercardioid pair and an omni pair, and then see which I like best. I feel shortchanged with 4 mics but when traveling I often do opt for 4 mics, just because that's less gear and less mics to pack and deal with. I'd use a dr680mkii but travel with a dr701d which is much smaller. Switching to a MIxPre6 recently could change all of that though  :bigsmile:

Six would generally work for me as well.  Board feed if I can get it, and then usually a pair of hypers and a pair of cards (sometimes short guns).  Then pick and choose.  If you use individual cases for your gear (Pelican, etc.), the load does begin to add up though.
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Offline DATBRAD

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Re: Marantz PMD-706 Six Channel Recorder?
« Reply #104 on: November 23, 2017, 01:43:09 PM »
If Doug ends up offering mods for the XLR inputs on the PMD-706, my hope is that his pricing will be in line with his mod for the R44, $175. Even if it ends up costing roughly the same as a Tascam DR701, then it will still be worth it to me if the lock switch doesn't affect the gain controls, that will be enough to tip the scale to the 706 to me. Since time code isn't a feature I care about as much as having to disengage the transport lock to adjust levels. I'm hopeful this unit will allow gain adjustment while lock is on, because that would be a deal breaker for me, mod or no mod.
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