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Author Topic: 744T vs current options  (Read 2162 times)

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Offline jerryfreak

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744T vs current options
« on: May 01, 2018, 07:19:51 PM »
i always wanted one of these, now that they are under a G i might pull the trigger

sound/spec wise did anything better ever really come along for our purposes. i remember when these came out they had favorable reviews with people claiming they approached the resolution of a V2/AD2K combo (gold standard IMO)

some of the random things im not using i could sell to consolidate toward this:
#1 pmd 661
#2 pmd 661 (oade mod)
littlebox
one of my tinyboxes
extra ad2k

good move for under a G or obsolete?

probably worth mentioning i dont have any bodies that require phantom (right now i have CMRs and NBOB actives>tinybox so this would purely a gearslut purchase with limited advantage over the AD2K>pmd 661 as a bit bucket. would be rare to "need" 4 channels but fun to have for the occasional matrix or something

« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 07:33:16 PM by jerryfreak »

Offline H₂O

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 10:29:40 AM »
Total depends on what you are looking to do...


the new MixPre-6 and Zoom F4/F8 are pretty well liked and offer 4+ channels with preamps.


744t offers 4 channels of digital inputs which neither of the above recorders offer (neither have digital inputs) - 744t has only 2 channels of pre-amp though


The 702/722/744 have very transparent pre-amps which can sound harsh with certain mics IMO - they definitely do not have the slight warmth of the grace pre's which many of us prefer.

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Offline Gordon

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 10:32:41 AM »
slight warmth of the grace pre's which many of us prefer.

can't say I've ever heard grace described as warm!  I loved my v3 don't get me wrong......

LOVE my mp6!
Neumann ak40 > Nick mod lc3 > Naiant PFA or km140 > Sound Devices MixPre-6

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Offline jbell

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 05:23:14 PM »
I'd skip the 744t and get a Mixpre-6!!  Unless you really need the digi in. 
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Offline jcable77

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 07:07:39 PM »
Ive been wanting one of these lately since watching the prices drop. Multiple digi in’s has been something id love to mess with for a while, but after a couple tries of running the minime into the digi in of my r44 and the v3 analog into 3+4 of the r44 im not sure id really be gaining all that much in quality. Im still in the mindset that most of these recorders conversion is subpar, but i think that may be something i need to grow out of. Of course the mp6 would be ideal if i didnt have to sell the v3 and mm’s to get it.
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Offline fanofjam

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 02:56:11 PM »
i always wanted one of these, now that they are under a G i might pull the trigger

sound/spec wise did anything better ever really come along for our purposes. i remember when these came out they had favorable reviews with people claiming they approached the resolution of a V2/AD2K combo (gold standard IMO)

some of the random things im not using i could sell to consolidate toward this:
#1 pmd 661
#2 pmd 661 (oade mod)
littlebox
one of my tinyboxes
extra ad2k

good move for under a G or obsolete?

probably worth mentioning i dont have any bodies that require phantom (right now i have CMRs and NBOB actives>tinybox so this would purely a gearslut purchase with limited advantage over the AD2K>pmd 661 as a bit bucket. would be rare to "need" 4 channels but fun to have for the occasional matrix or something

Sound and spec wise, I think you'd be giving sound up if you went from AD2K > PMD-661 to 744. 

That said, even though they're being sold off for cheap, a 744 is far from obsolete.  The Zoom F8 started to drive the market price down for the 744, but then the MP6 really has driven it way down.  But IMO market price isn't necessarily a reflection of whether a piece of gear is obsolete...we're not talking 16bit DAT machines here.  The 744 still has a hella feature set.  That said, for me personally if the 744 is at the same price point as an MP6, I'm buying the MP6...it's smaller and has four internal pres that beat the 744 internal pres.  But if I needed the digi-ins or time-code I'd be all over the 744 at a grand.

Offline dactylus

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 09:38:03 PM »
Has anyone done an actual comparison of the SD702 /722/744 pre's vs the new MixPre series?  Or the SD788 vs the new MixPre's?  I'd love to see a blind test comparison of the 7xx series vs the MixPre series.
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Offline florian.ardelean

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2018, 09:02:38 AM »
Newer is not always better. We live in a capitalist economy and new products reflect the wishes of the consumers. Most consumers nowadays want new features, better screens, light weight, smaller form factor. Since a good ear must be trained, most people can't tell the difference between a high-quality and a mediocre chain when it comes to audio recording.

Most consumers are music enthusiasts or podcasters, or videographers. The portable recorder market really took off with the advent of DSLR video. This is a market to which Zoom catered with a very good foresight 13 years ago when the original H4 made history, because its main competitor, the M-audio MicroTrack failed in many respects (internal battery and lack of internal microphones and XLR connections being the main culprits, in my opinion). At the time the only cheap alternative was the minidisc with many disadvantages. On the professional side there was the DAT, but much more expensive.

With that said, I bought a second-hand 744T three years ago and made a lot of money with it. Never serviced it once, even though the buttons don't work very well and the screen has some black lines. Recently when inquiring about servicing I found that this recorder was made in 2005. 13 years of use out of a 4000$ recorder is exceptional.

Sound Devices still offers the 702 recorder. And the 788 as well.

My advice: buy the 744T. Build quality is outstanding.

Fun fact: at a low-budget shoot I took a short bathroom break, and left the sound bag on the grass, with the entire team standing near it. A stray dog came by, sniffed the bag and... you guessed it... took a short bathroom break himself over my 744T. The crew quickly stopped him but a tad too late... in any case when I returned I turned it off of course and removed the battery. I used the backup recorder for the remainder of the shoot. When I got home, I opened it up, cleaned it out thoroughly, and let it to dry for 5-6 days in the sun. I put it back together and the screen was showing nothing... but when the 744T warmed up, the screen started to show again. After 2 weeks, when the screen dried out as well, it worked perfectly even when cold.

And it still works to this day.

Try that with a Zoom!
Recorders: SD 744T Tascam HDP2 Sony D50 Olympus LS100 Zoom H2 Tascam IM2
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Offline scb

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2018, 09:39:10 AM »

The 702/722/744 have very transparent pre-amps which can sound harsh with certain mics IMO - they definitely do not have the slight warmth of the grace pre's which many of us prefer.

The Grace preamps are definitely more transparent than the Sound Devices 7xx preamps

Offline dactylus

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2018, 09:43:15 AM »
Newer is not always better. We live in a capitalist economy and new products reflect the wishes of the consumers. Most consumers nowadays want new features, better screens, light weight, smaller form factor. Since a good ear must be trained, most people can't tell the difference between a high-quality and a mediocre chain when it comes to audio recording.

...My advice: buy the 744T. Build quality is outstanding...


^Thanks for your post.  I purchased a new SD722 in 2007-2008 and I've had ZERO issues with it since then.  I used it as recently as 3 weeks ago. 

I've wanted a 744T for years and when the prices started dropping on the 7xx series I picked up a used 744T in mint condition.  I don't regret that purchase one bit.  There are a number of used 744T's on the market now and if you are patient you can pick one up at an amazing price.  I do not consider the workhorse 7xx series machines to be obsolete. 

As several folks have already mentioned, if the choice is between a 744T and a new SD MixPre let your needs and budget be your guide...
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 09:49:44 AM by dactylus »
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Offline noahbickart

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2018, 03:23:43 PM »
I don’t know if I could hear the difference between the mixpre6 and 744t preamps, though the new ones measure better.

There are also 4 xlr inputs on the mixpre6 vs. the 2 on the 744t, along with two more line in inputs. It’s easier to power and much smaller. It uses modern recording media.

I’d buy the new deck unless you need digital in/out
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2018, 06:09:34 PM »
what a shame those new decks dont have at least 2 channels of digi in.

theres a 15% off coupon today on ebay, max $100 discount

the only 744T on there right now is a grand and ive seen the recent ones close in the 7s, so i can wait

i think ill buy a new dac instead.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 06:26:27 PM by jerryfreak »

Offline nak700s

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2018, 05:50:01 PM »
I've seen the mix-pre's in action, and have heard the results.  They seem like great machines, and certainly have their benefits.  That said, I love my 744T and wouldn't trade it for the world.  I use 4 tracks more than I use just 2, and I'm happy with it in every aspect. On occasion, I will make a 5 channel recording (using the 3 inputs on my pre (SD 302) and love it.  The only drawback, in my mind is the weight of the machine.  I can live with it.  My advise, hit up a taper friendly show and look, ask questions, learn the differences as they would apply to you, and make an educated choice based on your needs and desires.

Question for the mix-pre users:  On the 744T, when using the TRS line inputs, I can set my levels in the negatives when needed (eg. a hot line in from the SBD).  Are you able to do that on the mix pre's as well?  I would imagine they kept that feature, but figured I'd ask.
Normal: Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD 744T (or) Sony PCM-M10
Normal: Crown CM-700's >> SD 302 >> SD 744T
Fun times: 3 Crown CM-700's >> SD 302 >> SD744T + 2 Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD744T
Stealth: CA-14c >> CA 9200 >> Edirol R-09HR
Ultra stealth: AudioReality >> AudioReality battery box >> Edirol R-09HR
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Offline morst

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2018, 06:40:54 PM »
Question for the mix-pre users:  On the 744T, when using the TRS line inputs, I can set my levels in the negatives when needed (eg. a hot line in from the SBD).  Are you able to do that on the mix pre's as well?  I would imagine they kept that feature, but figured I'd ask.
The range on inputs 5-6 of the MixPre6 (the 2.5mm stereo connector) is -40 dB to + 40 dB with firmware 2.20. Default is + 6 dB.

For the inputs 5-6 from USB source, the range is just as wide, but slightly different: -50 dB to + 30 dB
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Offline IronFilm

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2018, 02:02:47 AM »
Question for the mix-pre users:  On the 744T, when using the TRS line inputs, I can set my levels in the negatives when needed (eg. a hot line in from the SBD).  Are you able to do that on the mix pre's as well?  I would imagine they kept that feature, but figured I'd ask.
The range on inputs 5-6 of the MixPre6 (the 2.5mm stereo connector) is -40 dB to + 40 dB with firmware 2.20. Default is + 6 dB.

A useful point to note is you lose inputs 5/6 if using an external TC generator.

Offline nak700s

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2018, 01:41:11 PM »
Question for the mix-pre users:  On the 744T, when using the TRS line inputs, I can set my levels in the negatives when needed (eg. a hot line in from the SBD).  Are you able to do that on the mix pre's as well?  I would imagine they kept that feature, but figured I'd ask.
The range on inputs 5-6 of the MixPre6 (the 2.5mm stereo connector) is -40 dB to + 40 dB with firmware 2.20. Default is + 6 dB.

A useful point to note is you lose inputs 5/6 if using an external TC generator.

It was just a question out of curiosity.  I'm very happy with my 744T and have no intention of buying a MixPre...  Thank you for the answers :-)
Normal: Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD 744T (or) Sony PCM-M10
Normal: Crown CM-700's >> SD 302 >> SD 744T
Fun times: 3 Crown CM-700's >> SD 302 >> SD744T + 2 Nakamichi CM-700's >> SD744T
Stealth: CA-14c >> CA 9200 >> Edirol R-09HR
Ultra stealth: AudioReality >> AudioReality battery box >> Edirol R-09HR
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Offline dointhatrag

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2018, 11:35:55 AM »
the functionality of the 7 series is second to none. Prices are coming down. Buy them up. In the past I used them for line in or digi in. with either sonosax or apogee in front. Never liked the pre's but like I said the functionality is amazing. Bullet proof and lots of pretty lights.
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Offline tim in jersey

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Re: 744T vs current options
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2018, 09:08:19 AM »
Holding on to my 744t. I'm increasingly getting digital outs from the SBD as opposed to analog...

 

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