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Old February 1st, 2009, 09:01 AM   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Roma, Italy
Posts: 83
I too am in touch with John at Pinknoise in the UK for my sound equipment. I've looked across the different pro audio equipment companies and these guys seem very reasonable.

Regarding the field mixer, John was pushing the ENG-44 as an alternative to the Sound Devices. It did indeed seem a very reasonable cost for a 4-channel mixer. However I did a bit more digging and came across this review:

Sign Video ENG-44 Field Mixer Review

The general gist is that they've used it intensively for a year and have now retired it in favour of the SD 442.

Personally, I don't need a 4-channel mixer and will mostly use 2... Although there is a chance I'll need two lavs and a pole in the future, so I've decided on the SD 302 before the price increase.

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Old February 2nd, 2009, 09:23 AM   #17
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Miami, FL USA
Posts: 1,475
My company has the SignVideo mixer and I bought an Azden 42 for myself, so maybe I can help...The signvideo mixer has peak reading leds which are very accurate and useful. The various switches for line/mic level, for example, are inconvenient as they are on the bottom of the unit and have to be moved with a stylus or paperclip or something...a minor thing. When we were shopping for a mixer, I found a reference to it being originally made for law enforcement use, it appears to be rugged and "mil-spec" quality and has served us well.

The Azden is compact, has very nice features (such as a mic level mini-plug output for a digital recorder) in addition to the 2 xlr mic/line outs. The VU meters are calibrated to professional +4db line level, which may be good or bad depending on what you are sending signal to. After using both for digital recording, I would rather have 0dbFS meters like the SignVideo as this is what is important in this instance, the VU meters are fine for analog but are hard to figure for digital because they aren't peak reading and are tricker to use to avoid overload distortion, imho. The limiters only come into play on real high levels, not useful. But it is a well-made and very satisfactory field preamp/mixer and easier to wear for a boom operator than the Sign, which is larger and seems to be made for tabletop use.

The Signvideo does have a separate boom operator's headphone out (it'
s xlr, you use an xlr-1/4" adapter at the phones end, lets you use one of your spare xlr cables instead of having to remember a long phone cable, cute idea) /Battle Vaughan/ video team
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