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Marantz PMD-671



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 1st 05, 06:13 PM
Scott Chapin
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Default Marantz PMD-671

Anyone used one of these yet? I was going to use it for video work and I
heard the preamps on the PMD-670 had a lot to be desired. They say the new
preampss are nice, but are they?

Thanks

Scott Chapin


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  #2  
Old October 1st 05, 06:42 PM
Mike Rivers
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Default


Scott Chapin wrote:
> Anyone used one of these yet? I was going to use it for video work and I
> heard the preamps on the PMD-670 had a lot to be desired. They say the new
> preampss are nice, but are they?


No personal experience, but the October issue of Electronic Musician
appeared in my mailbox today and there was a picture of one on the
cover, together with a number of other portable recorders, for a survey
article. There's bad news and potentially good (but untested) news
about the preamps. The reviewer said:

"I wanted to love the unit, but the mic preamps were disappointing.
Their high self0noise made any recording that I gathered preactially
unusable for professional applicaitons without using lowpass filtering
to remove the hiss. I was using an MKH40 which is one of the quietest
mics you can buy. It's a great machine for someone who already owns a
high-suality portable mic pre. Othewise, this machine would be stellar
if [Marantz] would improve this one problem. Since then [the reviewer]
got his wish: according to Marantz, recent firmware and hardware
updates have addressed such concerns."

They liked the Edirol R4 a lot, and this is the one I've been attracted
to. The reviewer made the point that I often have - that with a
built-in hard disk, you can keep a month's worth of work on board
without having to unload it or drop in a new and fairly expensive flash
memory card.

Based on this article (and I would never make a purchase of something
like this without the opportunity to try it before committing) the R4
at $1900 sounds like a much better deal than the PMD671 at $1200. On
the other hand, $700 can buy a few large flash memory cards (that you
then have to manage). But you get four tracks with the R4.

  #3  
Old October 1st 05, 07:13 PM
Scott Chapin
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Mike Rivers" > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> Scott Chapin wrote:
> > Anyone used one of these yet? I was going to use it for video work and I
> > heard the preamps on the PMD-670 had a lot to be desired. They say the

new
> > preampss are nice, but are they?

>
> No personal experience, but the October issue of Electronic Musician
> appeared in my mailbox today and there was a picture of one on the
> cover, together with a number of other portable recorders, for a survey
> article. There's bad news and potentially good (but untested) news
> about the preamps. The reviewer said:
>
> "I wanted to love the unit, but the mic preamps were disappointing.
> Their high self0noise made any recording that I gathered preactially
> unusable for professional applicaitons without using lowpass filtering
> to remove the hiss. I was using an MKH40 which is one of the quietest
> mics you can buy. It's a great machine for someone who already owns a
> high-suality portable mic pre. Othewise, this machine would be stellar
> if [Marantz] would improve this one problem. Since then [the reviewer]
> got his wish: according to Marantz, recent firmware and hardware
> updates have addressed such concerns."
>
> They liked the Edirol R4 a lot, and this is the one I've been attracted
> to. The reviewer made the point that I often have - that with a
> built-in hard disk, you can keep a month's worth of work on board
> without having to unload it or drop in a new and fairly expensive flash
> memory card.
>
> Based on this article (and I would never make a purchase of something
> like this without the opportunity to try it before committing) the R4
> at $1900 sounds like a much better deal than the PMD671 at $1200. On
> the other hand, $700 can buy a few large flash memory cards (that you
> then have to manage). But you get four tracks with the R4.
>


Thanks Mike,

I was going to get the Fostex, but it doe s not record to standard wave.
That would mean buting extra software to handle the broadcast wave format.
This sounds like the Marantz would have to be sent back to the shop to be
modified. Oh well.

I need to look at the Edirol. I was attracted to the Marantz due to the
arrangement of the controls and prtability.


Scott Chapin


  #4  
Old October 1st 05, 08:02 PM
Mike Rivers
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Posts: n/a
Default


Scott Chapin wrote:

> I was going to get the Fostex, but it doe s not record to standard wave.
> That would mean buting extra software to handle the broadcast wave format.


I have no problems importing broadcast wave files from my Mackie HDR
into Audacity, Fast Edit (an ancient 16-bit version) or Sequoia 7.
Unless you're already committed to some special software that you know
won't handle broadcast wave files, this shouldn't be a problem. The EM
article does mention a rather disappointing battery life, however -
barely an hour on eight AA cells.

> This sounds like the Marantz would have to be sent back to the shop to be
> modified. Oh well.


I seem to recall that the previous model, the 670, had a "recall
available" (if you learned that they had a fix for the noisy preamps)
so I would have thought that it was fixed with the 671. Apparently it
had to do with the gain structure and required changing some resistors.
It might be worth a call to Marantz to see if the "fixed" version is in
production yet, and if so, what serial number you should look for to
know that you won't have to send it in for modification.

  #5  
Old October 1st 05, 08:17 PM
Scott Chapin
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Mike Rivers" > wrote in message
ups.com...
>
> Scott Chapin wrote:
>
> > I was going to get the Fostex, but it doe s not record to standard wave.
> > That would mean buting extra software to handle the broadcast wave

format.
>
> I have no problems importing broadcast wave files from my Mackie HDR
> into Audacity, Fast Edit (an ancient 16-bit version) or Sequoia 7.
> Unless you're already committed to some special software that you know
> won't handle broadcast wave files, this shouldn't be a problem. The EM
> article does mention a rather disappointing battery life, however -
> barely an hour on eight AA cells.
>
> > This sounds like the Marantz would have to be sent back to the shop to

be
> > modified. Oh well.

>
> I seem to recall that the previous model, the 670, had a "recall
> available" (if you learned that they had a fix for the noisy preamps)
> so I would have thought that it was fixed with the 671. Apparently it
> had to do with the gain structure and required changing some resistors.
> It might be worth a call to Marantz to see if the "fixed" version is in
> production yet, and if so, what serial number you should look for to
> know that you won't have to send it in for modification.
>


Thanks again Mike.

I use Sound Forge, CD Architect, and Audition (Cool Edit). I'll have to
check Audition, but SF does not, as of Ver 7.0, support bmf files. Yes, I
did notice that battery life on the Fostex rather sucked, not to mention its
lack of portability.

I record stereo, so the coaxial level controls on the Marantz, are more
appealing than the Edirol R4. All be it, the four channels would appear to
be nice.

Oade Brothers mentions some mods available, if the Marantz is bought from
them. They say the MOD unit is $975, but it is not clear, if that is the
total price. If so, I might jump on it. A basic concert MOD is available
now, and an Advanced Concert MOD available this month. Supposedly it will
enable higher front end loading, and I would need that.


  #6  
Old October 1st 05, 10:52 PM
Scott Dorsey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mike Rivers > wrote:
>
>Scott Chapin wrote:
>
>> I was going to get the Fostex, but it doe s not record to standard wave.
>> That would mean buting extra software to handle the broadcast wave format.

>
>I have no problems importing broadcast wave files from my Mackie HDR
>into Audacity, Fast Edit (an ancient 16-bit version) or Sequoia 7.
>Unless you're already committed to some special software that you know
>won't handle broadcast wave files, this shouldn't be a problem. The EM
>article does mention a rather disappointing battery life, however -
>barely an hour on eight AA cells.


The broadcast wave file is basically a standard wave file with additional
information in the header. Any software that can read a standard wave file
can read it, although it may not necessarily preserve the additional header
information (which contains stuff like the title, for instance). The whole
purpose of the broadcast wave format was compatibility with the older software.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #7  
Old October 2nd 05, 01:48 AM
Scott Chapin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Scott Dorsey" > wrote in message
...
> Mike Rivers > wrote:
> >
> >Scott Chapin wrote:
> >
> >> I was going to get the Fostex, but it doe s not record to standard

wave.
> >> That would mean buting extra software to handle the broadcast wave

format.
> >
> >I have no problems importing broadcast wave files from my Mackie HDR
> >into Audacity, Fast Edit (an ancient 16-bit version) or Sequoia 7.
> >Unless you're already committed to some special software that you know
> >won't handle broadcast wave files, this shouldn't be a problem. The EM
> >article does mention a rather disappointing battery life, however -
> >barely an hour on eight AA cells.

>
> The broadcast wave file is basically a standard wave file with additional
> information in the header. Any software that can read a standard wave

file
> can read it, although it may not necessarily preserve the additional

header
> information (which contains stuff like the title, for instance). The

whole
> purpose of the broadcast wave format was compatibility with the older

software.
> --scott
>
>
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."



Hmmm. I downloaded a sample bwf from the net and it had a .wav extension.
Sound Forge would not open it, but Windows Media Player played it.


Scott Chapin


  #8  
Old October 2nd 05, 01:56 AM
Scott Chapin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Segensreich Maschinerich" > wrote in message
...
> Scott Chapin in >:
>
> >Anyone used one of these yet?

>
> Yes. I bought a PMD671 in April this year. I returned it meanwhile.
>
> >I was going to use it for video work and I
> >heard the preamps on the PMD-670 had a lot to be desired. They say the

new
> >preampss are nice, but are they?

>
> The data sheet tells you it's 65 dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio, which
> translates to a *really really* audible noise floor in real life.
>
> For comparison, I have a DAW with two 10,000 rpm SCSI disks, a 120mm
> fan, a CPU fan, a fan for the graphics card, and two fans in the power
> supply. When I sat directly in front of *that thing* and recorded my
> voice through a Mackie 1202 into my computer, I got actually *less*
> background noise than with the PMD671 recording in a quiet room.
>
> Other observations:
>
> 24 bit recording didn't work due to a firmware bug causing a wrong byte
> order in the generated files. Marantz's email support didn't reply at
> all to various emails, notwithstanding their promise to reply within 48
> hours. The tech support guy on the phone kept asking whether the power
> supply was plugged in properly. He couldn't answer the question whether
> the firmware can be updated via the USB port, or whether I must send it
> physically to Marantz to have it fixed. He had not heard of any problems
> with the unit's 24 bit recording mode either.
>
> Precisely matching the levels of the left vs. the right channel is
> something I found impossible due to the less-than-perfectly-smooth
> operation of the associated knobs. The VU meter was pessimistic BTW,
> signalling overload even when the peaks were some 6dB below 0.
>
> My unit's quarz frequencies seemed a little off, so that simultaneous
> recordings through other digital devices (i.e., RME ADI-8 AE) drifted
> apart audibly after a couple minutes. [Subsequent investigation revealed
> that it was indeed the PMD671 which was to blame.] I guess you'll have
> to expect the same from your video camera.
>
> My item was, let's say: fastidious when it comes to CF cards. It
> wouldn't work with a 45x Transcend card (which works perfectly with my
> digital cameras), causing the recorder to hang on bootup after
> transferring the files to the computer.
>
> BTW, there were reports of corrupted recordings with the PMD670 (this
> item's predecessor), which is apparently why Marantz introduced a
> read-after-write "Virtual Third Head" for confidence monitoring.
> I understand this feature wouldn't prevent corrupted recordings, it's
> only that you realize it faster. Hence, if you can repeat the take, it's
> fine, but if you, say, record live music, you're screwed.
>
> It is perfectly possible that some of the above issues were solved in
> the meantime. However, nonetheless I cannot recommend this item (nor the
> company that makes it) in good conscience, not least because of what
> I experienced with what Marantz chose to call "customer support".
>
> SM
> --
> reply-to works, even if it doesn't look as if it did.


Wow...bummer. What a glowing review! Thanks for the heads up. Guess I need
to deal with broadcast wave files.


Vielen Dank!

Scott Chapin


  #9  
Old October 2nd 05, 03:38 PM
Ty Ford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sat, 1 Oct 2005 14:13:39 -0400, Scott Chapin wrote
(in article >):

>
> "Mike Rivers" > wrote in message
> oups.com...
>>
>> Scott Chapin wrote:
>>> Anyone used one of these yet? I was going to use it for video work and I
>>> heard the preamps on the PMD-670 had a lot to be desired. They say the

> new
>>> preampss are nice, but are they?

>>
>> No personal experience, but the October issue of Electronic Musician
>> appeared in my mailbox today and there was a picture of one on the
>> cover, together with a number of other portable recorders, for a survey
>> article. There's bad news and potentially good (but untested) news
>> about the preamps. The reviewer said:
>>
>> "I wanted to love the unit, but the mic preamps were disappointing.
>> Their high self0noise made any recording that I gathered preactially
>> unusable for professional applicaitons without using lowpass filtering
>> to remove the hiss. I was using an MKH40 which is one of the quietest
>> mics you can buy. It's a great machine for someone who already owns a
>> high-suality portable mic pre. Othewise, this machine would be stellar
>> if [Marantz] would improve this one problem. Since then [the reviewer]
>> got his wish: according to Marantz, recent firmware and hardware
>> updates have addressed such concerns."
>>
>> They liked the Edirol R4 a lot, and this is the one I've been attracted
>> to. The reviewer made the point that I often have - that with a
>> built-in hard disk, you can keep a month's worth of work on board
>> without having to unload it or drop in a new and fairly expensive flash
>> memory card.
>>
>> Based on this article (and I would never make a purchase of something
>> like this without the opportunity to try it before committing) the R4
>> at $1900 sounds like a much better deal than the PMD671 at $1200. On
>> the other hand, $700 can buy a few large flash memory cards (that you
>> then have to manage). But you get four tracks with the R4.
>>

>
> Thanks Mike,
>
> I was going to get the Fostex, but it doe s not record to standard wave.
> That would mean buting extra software to handle the broadcast wave format.
> This sounds like the Marantz would have to be sent back to the shop to be
> modified. Oh well.
>
> I need to look at the Edirol. I was attracted to the Marantz due to the
> arrangement of the controls and prtability.
>
>
> Scott Chapin
>
>


Scott,

I was pulling .wav files off the FR-2 and importing them into Pro Tools with
no problem. Is there something about the other data that you need?

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com

  #10  
Old October 2nd 05, 03:40 PM
Ty Ford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Sat, 1 Oct 2005 20:48:59 -0400, Scott Chapin wrote
(in article >):
barely an hour on eight AA cells.
>>
>> The broadcast wave file is basically a standard wave file with additional
>> information in the header. Any software that can read a standard wave

> file
>> can read it, although it may not necessarily preserve the additional

> header
>> information (which contains stuff like the title, for instance). The

> whole
>> purpose of the broadcast wave format was compatibility with the older

> software.
>> --scott
>>
>>
>> --
>> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

>
>
> Hmmm. I downloaded a sample bwf from the net and it had a .wav extension.
> Sound Forge would not open it, but Windows Media Player played it.
>
>
> Scott Chapin


Was it 24-bit or of a higher sample rate than SF could handle?

Ty



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com

 




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