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Old October 16th, 2007, 03:10 AM   #1
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H2 vs H4 vs R-09

Although I've read through the threads, this is still a question to ask.

Now that it has been out in the field, how does the Zoom H2 stack up to the others in the sub $500 market?

Personally, I'm looking for a recorder for a community band. I want internal mics for ease of use but the option for external mics requiring phantom power. I was set to buy the Marantz 660 but was surprised to hear about the hiss.

How is the shootout shaping up? Is the R-09 the clear winner?
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Old October 16th, 2007, 03:30 AM   #2
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Hi Doug,

I must have gotten gyped - Marantz forgot to include hiss in my PMD660, and no, I didn't buy the option with the low noise pre-amps. Are you aware of this chart?

http://www.avisoft.com/test/noisefloors.pdf

If you have better data, please share it with us...

Thanks, Michael
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Old October 16th, 2007, 04:31 AM   #3
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Bill Pryor stated he returned one due to the noise level. Others have made complaints, too. Glad you are happy with yours. Would you record a concert with the built-in mics?

I'm also looking for something easy to use. I want to be able to hang a recorder on a pole or stand and tell a non-techie assistant to press the record button, sit down and forget about it. It doesn't need to sync with video.

Looking at the H2, H4 and R-09, each one is about $100 more than the next. Is the value worth the extra $100?

I'm making the purchase for a community band, so the needs are a little different than for myself.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Lange View Post
I'm also looking for something easy to use. I want to be able to hang a recorder on a pole or stand and tell a non-techie assistant to press the record button, sit down and forget about it. It doesn't need to sync with video.
i think any one of these recorders will allow you to do this, as long as you yourself are "techie" enough or willing enough to do the proper set-up on the front end...with the Zoom H4, you really need to spend an hour with the manual figuring out the menu structure and learning the unit's features, if you want to use its full range of miking options. reading the manual and learning the unit in advance is not a big deal, but it is also not everyone's cup of tea....

if you are just using the built-in mics and don't need the H4's flexibility in terms of accepting XLRs and phantom power, then you can probably work with its cheaper cousin. you can plug and play with the built-in mics, but anything beyond that will require you to learn the unit. but if you know the unit and if you do the mic set-up, the assistant *can* simply push a button once the show starts.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Lange View Post
Bill Pryor stated he returned one due to the noise level. Others have made complaints, too. Glad you are happy with yours. Would you record a concert with the built-in mics?

I'm also looking for something easy to use. I want to be able to hang a recorder on a pole or stand and tell a non-techie assistant to press the record button, sit down and forget about it. It doesn't need to sync with video.
Doug,

Sure, I use the PMD660 to record my client's weddings, interviews, plays, musical performances, etc.

No, anyone serious about sound quality would never use an internal microphone by any company. Perhaps that's part of the problem you've heard others complain about noise hiss. Anyway, internal mics are always cheap and subject to proximity effect - if you're going to spend $500+ for a recorder, you're going to need to spend hundreds (to over $1000) for decent XLR microphones. If you're on a limited budget, consider the Oktava MK012A hyper-cardioid mic - for indoor use, you can't beat it for the price (although it's quite sensitive).

Happy hunting, Michael
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Old October 16th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #6
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Michael, I totally agree with you on the general quality of built-in mics. But it isn't for me and I have a $500 ceiling. I don't want to become their volunteer recording engineer because I bought them complex hardware that requires me to be there or the use any of my recording equipment.

When I made recommendations for purchase, the Maranrz 660 was my first choice and the H2 was my last choice. I've never been impressed by anything made by Samson. In order to achieve their price points, Samson makes too many compromises in engineering the product, although fills the vast home-hobby niche. However, supurb preamps with cheap mics designed for speech only will still sound inferior to cheap preamps with cheap 1/2 inch condensors.

So back to my orginal question- H2, H4 or R-09? Is the R-09 $200 better for out of the box recording than the H2 with the H4 somewhere in between?
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