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Author Topic: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?  (Read 2364 times)

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Offline MattinSTL

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Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« on: September 19, 2005, 12:07:14 PM »
I've already got my money laid out on another recorder, but I don't want to risk a bashing just 'cause I'm considering this as an alternative... so you can assume what the other one might be.

As for the modded pmd660... I'm scared of subjective analysis of mods. Does Doug do any REAL testing for measurably improved SN and other specs? Or do I just have to listen to a file and say, "Boy! That IS better!"

After spending YEARS in the high-end stereo world I know that people are incredibly good at talking themselves into hearing huge differences and maximizing subtleties in their own minds.

So what do these mods gain you? 12db increase in SN? Does anybody know?
I didn't know there was a problem until I saw myself sitting there with a glass of tap water, eating an oregano sandwich on a two week old hamburger bun... and the only thing going through my mind was, "God I love this new shotgun!"

Current mics: 480b/ck61/ck63/ck69, Rode NT1000, Oktava mk012 hyper/cardioid, MKE-2, D230, RE50.

Past mics: MKH-416, AT4073a, ME-66, NT2000, NTK, NT3, TR50, M-150, M58, ATR55, MS907.

Offline Zaphod

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2005, 12:18:18 PM »
I don't think he even bothers with specs as his reputation in the taper market speaks for itself...however I could defenitly be wrong, you could always send him an email.
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Offline kgreener

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2005, 12:26:04 PM »
"Actually, the soundstage is very accurate, free of the typical distortions that shrink an image to less than the size of the source. The EMMLabs DCC2 has allowed me refine my designs and am now able to get an even more accurate soundstage at low price points. The great strength of the DCC2 is a lack of distortion of the soundstage. It is as large as the original, this is most impressive for outdoor recordings ! The key to getting an accurate soundstage, free of spatial distortion, is being able to select the right combination of components along the signal path. This cannot be done with test gear or by specification, it must be done by ear. Without complimentary components in the signal path, you end up with gear that looks good on paper but produces a soundstage that is at best, tall and wide with a poor sense of depth.
The Advanced Concert MOD PMD660 has a very fast, accurate, low noise and transparent mic preamp design with a great soundstage. The Advanced MOD for the PMD671 will be a 24/96 version of the PMD660 so it will have a soundstage capable of even more detail !
peace...Doug"

http://www.oade.com/Tapers_Section/Forum/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=100&topic_id=3196&mode=full&page=

Offline MattinSTL

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2005, 12:46:14 PM »
Bear with me here... I'm definitely NOT a smartass so please don't take this the wrong way... but then why doesn't everybody get these? Why the frenzy for MicroTracks? Is it the price difference alone or the 24/96 or the combination of Ipod like appearance at a good price and all that other stuff?

I used to go to CES every year and after years of auditioning cables... yeah, listening to cables... and a ton of other stuff I'm a little paranoid when it comes to subjective stuff.

Has anyone else heard really good sounding recordings off a stock 660? I've heard some stuff that sounded pretty good and I'm wondering if there's a way to measure the results of the mod.

I guess if something sounds good then you just use it and don't worry about it... which makes sense.

Also I guess the MixPre is out if I get an ACM 660, right? As best I can tell the modded 660 doesn't want a mixer ahead of it... I sent an email to Doug to try getting this stuff answered.

I don't guess anybody has ever taken any before and after pictures of any of that either have they? I'm sorry but I can't help but to be curious about what's really getting improved inside of the unit since you lose line in...?

Since I'm pretty comfortable with risk taking (and this probably isn't much of a risk anyway) I may just try one out... and yeah, I do think hearing is believing... but I'll tell you right now that I'll do a direct test with this thing and 2 other configurations all on the same bench... and you'll hear a split of the same dialog/sound running 3 ways... then you can crank up your headphones as high as you want and hear the differences exactly.

If Doug really wants to show the differences in a fair way then he should be using a multitrack and playing the exact same dialog over 3 configurations... to my ears it sounds like in the "stock" clip that he's about 12-18" farther away from the mic... So is that the result of improvements to the machine or increased room acoustics due to a longer distance to teh mic? Pretty much ALL I do with a recorder is dialog and I've done dialog with all the mics you see listed below... if you factor in the Lectro wireless sets and various lavs that's about $8K worth... and I can usually tell how far somebody is from a mic in about 1.5 seconds.

In one of the other forums I belong to a guy did a test like that to prove a point about a piece of really good gear... I think it may have even been a V3... and in his test you hear the character of the mic changing rather then what sounds like the room changing. I've listened over and over 20 times now and I'm telling you the room acoustics are changing somehow... it's either the room itself or the distance to the mic. You can hear reverb in the stock configuration and cleaning up the signal path will only make that sound more accurate, but it won't get rid of it. You gotta' do something physically different to change that.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2005, 01:09:06 PM by MattinSTL »
I didn't know there was a problem until I saw myself sitting there with a glass of tap water, eating an oregano sandwich on a two week old hamburger bun... and the only thing going through my mind was, "God I love this new shotgun!"

Current mics: 480b/ck61/ck63/ck69, Rode NT1000, Oktava mk012 hyper/cardioid, MKE-2, D230, RE50.

Past mics: MKH-416, AT4073a, ME-66, NT2000, NTK, NT3, TR50, M-150, M58, ATR55, MS907.

Offline Zaphod

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2005, 12:52:49 PM »
Bear with me here... I'm definitely NOT a smartass so please don't take this the wrong way... but then why doesn't everybody get these? Why the frenzy for MicroTracks? Is it the price difference alone or the 24/96 or the combination of Ipod like appearance at a good price and all that other stuff?

Because most people have higher end pre-amps and the PMDxxx have pres built in, which isn't a necessity for most. I think a lot of folks just want a recorder that takes digi-in at 24/96.
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Offline ehren

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2005, 12:55:10 PM »
Exactly what Zaphod said, that and they are still pretty new and Doug doesn't mass produce these. Really Doug's reputation in the community should speak for itself. Specs are specs, and if they are important to you, then Doug's gear isn't for you.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2005, 03:57:41 PM by ehren »

Offline kgreener

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2005, 12:55:26 PM »
no man, i don't take you as a smartass, i was just giving you some info on some of the tools Doug uses to "measure" how his mods sound, that's all.  some folks have questioned whether Doug's mods are just hype or do they really improve the quality of sound.  having owned two UA-5's modded by Doug (warm and T+) I can honestly say that to my ears I think the extra $ are worth the mods he performs.  i know there are a ton of other folks who will back me up on this too.  oh yeah, from what i've read, the pre's on the stock 660's overload easily when introduced to concert level recording, so there's a good chance you will get nothing but a distorted recording when using the stock 660.  i'm no expert on this, only reviewing what i've read.

+t for a good dialogue.

p.s. download one or both of these shows recorded by Nick to hear the advanced mod in action:

http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=18231
http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=17890
« Last Edit: September 19, 2005, 12:57:52 PM by kgreener »

Offline Ed.

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2005, 12:58:51 PM »
do these have a digi in?  i was under the assumption that the only ins on them were xlr.

many people here run outboard pre's and adc's and they'd like to use those with a recorder.  why people who want an all in one option don't look more into these, i don't know, cuz i'd say that this is probably a pretty solid stand alone option for most newbs or tapers that don't run a pre/adc that they're already in love with.

edit: d'oh, what they said.


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Offline Zaphod

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2005, 01:02:22 PM »
The PMD671 has digi I/O
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Offline kgreener

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2005, 01:02:54 PM »
no Ed, no digi-in, you are correct on that.  with the mods, it is a nice little 16-bit box, if that's what you're looking for.  imo, Nick's recordings sound amazingly good to my ears...good stuff.

Offline MattinSTL

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2005, 01:18:50 PM »
Listen to this: CLICK HERE.

That's a stock pmd660 sitting next to a computer with an AKG mic... and at the end you get 6 seconds of silence... with the exception of the computer noise.

Now listen to the clip on the oade site: CLICK HERE. Are you beginning to understand my point about room acoustics and distance to the mic yet?

To my somewhat trained ears I hear either a jump in distance to the mic or the air is on... Oh and thanks to Alex Gee from Austrailia for posting that for us.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2005, 01:26:47 PM by MattinSTL »
I didn't know there was a problem until I saw myself sitting there with a glass of tap water, eating an oregano sandwich on a two week old hamburger bun... and the only thing going through my mind was, "God I love this new shotgun!"

Current mics: 480b/ck61/ck63/ck69, Rode NT1000, Oktava mk012 hyper/cardioid, MKE-2, D230, RE50.

Past mics: MKH-416, AT4073a, ME-66, NT2000, NTK, NT3, TR50, M-150, M58, ATR55, MS907.

Offline kgreener

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2005, 03:16:47 PM »
Listen to this: CLICK HERE.

That's a stock pmd660 sitting next to a computer with an AKG mic... and at the end you get 6 seconds of silence... with the exception of the computer noise.

Now listen to the clip on the oade site: CLICK HERE. Are you beginning to understand my point about room acoustics and distance to the mic yet?

To my somewhat trained ears I hear either a jump in distance to the mic or the air is on... Oh and thanks to Alex Gee from Austrailia for posting that for us.

so many variables, so little time...

Offline d5

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2005, 09:55:04 PM »
many people here run outboard pre's and adc's and they'd like to use those with a recorder.  why people who want an all in one option don't look more into these, i don't know, cuz i'd say that this is probably a pretty solid stand alone option for most newbs or tapers that don't run a pre/adc that they're already in love with.

That's the trade-off with this recorder; the simplicity of an all-in-one recorder vs. flexibility that a digital input provides. Also, if 24 bit resolution is important to you, then this recorder isn't for you. I've been using one for a few months now and am very happy with the sound of it. As others have suggested, download Nick's recordings, Ratdog in particular, take a listen.
JW mod AKG 460/ck61's > Sound Devices 702

Offline d5

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2005, 10:02:29 PM »
Has anyone else heard really good sounding recordings off a stock 660? I've heard some stuff that sounded pretty good and I'm wondering if there's a way to measure the results of the mod.

This is the only post I ever recall seeing where someone used mic's straight into a stock PMDxxx ...671 in this case:
http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=38508.msg523077#msg523077
I assume the 660 and 670 share the same basic design where it wasn't built for concert sound levels.
JW mod AKG 460/ck61's > Sound Devices 702

Offline MattinSTL

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Re: Oade Thread... ACM PMD660... any hard specs on that?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2005, 12:32:24 AM »
What I really want is to adjust levels on the fly... like with a MixPre or some other mixer... and get good, clean recordings.

I wish Doug woulda' done a mod to take advantage of the 15db improvement that line offers over mic in these units... and then go from there!

If I can't plug a MixPre into one of these then it may be out for me... but I don't have a problem with the 16/48 part.

We'll see how it plays out and I'll let you guys know what happens. What I'm looking for doesn't quite exist, but it almost does... a little more Dr. Frankenstein and I think I'd have it.

The thread on the MicroTrack battery life is downright FRIGHTENING... I'd really like to find an alternative that I can pair up with a MixPre... and that I can still afford. With a bigger paycheck I'd have just got a 722 and ended it.
I didn't know there was a problem until I saw myself sitting there with a glass of tap water, eating an oregano sandwich on a two week old hamburger bun... and the only thing going through my mind was, "God I love this new shotgun!"

Current mics: 480b/ck61/ck63/ck69, Rode NT1000, Oktava mk012 hyper/cardioid, MKE-2, D230, RE50.

Past mics: MKH-416, AT4073a, ME-66, NT2000, NTK, NT3, TR50, M-150, M58, ATR55, MS907.

 

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