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Poll

Which sounds better to you?

Sample A
3 (42.9%)
Sample B
0 (0%)
They both sound the same to me
4 (57.1%)

Total Members Voted: 7

Author Topic: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05  (Read 811 times)

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Offline heathen

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COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« on: April 22, 2018, 01:09:02 PM »
Having just received the Zoom F1 I was eager to find out if it's capable as the next generation of mini recorder.  There have been some unanswered questions in the F1 thread about what sort of signal this can handle through its single mic/line in input.  Having no actual technical knowledge, I decided to do a head-to-head comparison between the F1 and my R-05.  I ran a pair of CA 14 omnis into a CA9200 (0 gain, so it was just acting like a battery box).  I then connected a Y cable to the output of that, and connected one to the "line in" of the R-05 and the other to the "mic/line in" of the F1.  Neither deck was sending plug in power.  The level setting for the F1 was "Lo" (options are "Lo-, Lo, Mid-, Mid, Mid+, Hi-, Hi, Hi+, Hi++ or AUTO"), and the R-05 was at 30 (it goes up to 80, I think).  I got the levels matched very closely.  Here you can see photos of the setup: http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=186170.0

For post, all I did was use Audacity to trim the files to a sample that had some loud and (relatively) quiet portions, and amplify both to -0.5 dB.  I tried to use the exact same segment of music but this was not done precisely by any stretch of the imagination.  Hopefully they are matched close enough in volume (I know humans have a tendency to think a louder source sounds better, and I hope to have avoided that).  I'll edit this post to add a poll if I can figure out how.

I could have (and still could in the future) done a comp between the F1 and the F8, but I didn't think that would be a fair first comparison since the F1 isn't in the same category as the F8.  I'll probably still do this at some point in the future.  This won't be the last of my testing with the F1.  I definitely want to try it in a really loud metal show, at least.  If anyone has ideas for further testing or comps, I'm all ears.

Here are the sample files to compare (don't read anything into which is A or B...I flipped a coin to decide which one is A): https://we.tl/P9Y9IQoxd3
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 01:14:42 PM by heathen »
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | CA-14 omnis | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline florian.ardelean

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Re: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 06:55:14 AM »
Thanks for sharing! My 2c.: The differences are minor. Sample A seems to have better defined bass (maybe less distortion in the ADC). Sample B has less information over 20 kHz but who can hear that anyway.

Sample B is .1~something dB lower than Sample A. Very close indeed.

I tried to phase-align and phase-invert the tracks to see what gets left out but couldn't do that, sync was way off in a matter of seconds.

So what worries me is that the internal clock is very different for the two recorders. One of them is very slow compared to the other - but there's no telling which one is better - such a comparison is useless unless it was made versus a professional quartz-drive recorder.

In a loud environment, I think any of the two will do. What matters much more is choice and placement of mics in my opinion. And reliability of the recorder of course :)

I'm curious which is which, I think B would be the zoom F1 (since accurate clocking, deep bass and high definition (<80Hz) and >20Khz HF are less important for a recorder meant primarily for voice)

Florian
Recorders: SD 744T Tascam HDP2 Sony D50 Olympus LS100 Zoom H2 Tascam IM2
Mixers: SD 422 SD 302 Mackie VLZ4
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Offline heathen

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Re: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 03:16:17 PM »
So what worries me is that the internal clock is very different for the two recorders. One of them is very slow compared to the other - but there's no telling which one is better - such a comparison is useless unless it was made versus a professional quartz-drive recorder.
What is the chance of this making an audible difference?
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | CA-14 omnis | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline farve4

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Re: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2018, 04:18:56 PM »
I have used the Zoom at 4 concerts and love it, 2 of them are up on dime . I have a show tonight and will be using it again. Only issue I have is the gain function.

Offline heathen

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Re: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2018, 04:25:32 PM »
Looks like so far three people prefer A, and three can't tell a difference.  I'd love to hear some thoughts about why they preferred A (and if more people preferred B, I would still want to know what's behind that).
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | CA-14 omnis | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline checht

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Re: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2018, 05:26:32 PM »
Looks like so far three people prefer A, and three can't tell a difference.  I'd love to hear some thoughts about why they preferred A (and if more people preferred B, I would still want to know what's behind that).

Liked the low end of A more, using reference headphones.
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Offline heathen

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Re: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2018, 12:11:22 AM »
I compared these two myself using the Foobar2000 ABX Comparator component.  (For anyone who hasn't used this, I highly recommend it if you really want to do genuine comparisons.)  Playback was computer (using WASAPI) to Violectric HPA V90 headphone amp to Beyerdynamic DT880 headphones.

Bottom line: I couldn't tell them apart.  Result of 15 trials with the ABX Comparator: "Probability that you were guessing: 84.9%"
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 12:22:38 AM by heathen »
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | CA-14 omnis | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline Ozpeter

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Re: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2018, 02:34:35 AM »
In days gone by, small Mackie mixers had a mic-level output, so you could plug a CD player into it, then connect the mic-out to the mic-in of a recorder.  That way you could readily test recorders with an much better quality source than a live recording of a band's PA speakers, which is an inherently poor quality source.  I guess a suitable attenuator would do the same.

With the samples kindly posted, I'm not hearing much if any difference, and I wouldn't expect to.  As someone above says, mic quality and placement are likely to be the significant factors in the outcome (unless something is grossly wrong with the recorder), and source quality is kind of important too...

At the end of the day, there's every likelihood that the F1's internals are the same as the H1N, which is about as low-end a recorder as you can buy.  But having said that, even a low-end recorder these days can provlde a sufficently good recording (if fed from a good mic etc rig) as a more expensive one.  Maybe side by side comparison via an impeccable playback system might reveal differences, but not many people are going to sit down and do that kind of analysis (or test recording in the first place).

Offline heathen

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Re: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 06:28:05 PM »
The download link for the sample is good for a couple more days, so I'll wait until the link expires before I post which sample is which recorder.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | CA-14 omnis | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline heathen

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Re: COMP: the new Zoom F1 v. Roland R-05
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2018, 08:09:47 PM »
In light of Florian's comment I ran both samples through spek and the results are attached.  This bears out his observation about less information >20 kHz in sample B (and I agree with his implication that it may not matter, realistically).

Also, A is the R-05 and B is the F1.
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031s | CA-14 omnis | AT853s (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3s | AKG 460/ck61 | Studio Projects CS5
Pre: CA9200
Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

 

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