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Old March 8th, 2010, 08:45 PM   #1
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Zoom H4n weakness...

Hi all. I bought a Zoom H4n in late December. Overall, I was happy with it. Until tonight...I was recording a test voice over for narration for a short film I'm doing, and the H4n took a short tumble off the counter it was sitting on. It fell about 1 and 1/2 feet, maybe, and landed on a pile of folded bath towels. I picked it up, and continued recording. When I finished, I connected it to my laptop to dump the recorded files for editing. I noticed that one of the built in mics was at a weird angle, so I went to turn it, and it flat out snapped off! Granted, its still connected to the main body by some wires, but wow, that seems fragile!
I'm trying to get in touch with Zoom to check on warranty and repair and all that, but I just thought I'd let everyone know that this unit is pretty weak, as far as the "metal" of the internal mic housing is concerned. I know some folks were asking questions about its lack of a "cage" around the mics. Seems like some kind of cage would have prevented this from happening to begin with. Of course, me not knocking it off the counter would have prevented it even more, but these things do happen. Something to think about.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #2
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Thx for the heads up, I just ordered one to fool around with yesterday. I'll be sure to put soft pillows in my laundry basket instead of towels!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #3
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Of course, some crazy glue would probably fix this without having to send the thing off for repair, which would probably take a month...Though I'm sure that would void the warranty!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 10:54 PM   #4
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The mics do seem a tad on the weak side, might be worth a try with the factory?
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Old March 8th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #5
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I really only use mine with external mics, so it doesn't seem like too big of a deal to me. Just a heads up for other users/potential users. The mic that broke off still functions. I'll get it fixed by the manufacturer if its not a huge pain in the you know what. I'm having trouble finding any way to contact them about this issue, however. Customer service seems to be lacking...
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Old March 8th, 2010, 11:40 PM   #6
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So, I've heard and the manual was nice as well!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 11:52 PM   #7
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I honestly never looked at the manual. It was very intuitive for me to operate. 5 minutes after I had it out of the box I was recording stuff. Granted, I haven't delved into using it as an interface or for any of the more "musician oriented" features. I only have used it to record stereo and mono wav files with one or two external mics. It also sync'd to my laptop to transfer the recordings with no problem the first time. Overall, I like it a lot, until I can afford something in the $1000 + range.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Balla View Post
I honestly never looked at the manual. It was very intuitive for me to operate. 5 minutes after I had it out of the box I was recording stuff. Granted, I haven't delved into using it as an interface or for any of the more "musician oriented" features. I only have used it to record stereo and mono wav files with one or two external mics. .
I exchanged my Zoom for the Tascam DR100 (which I love) mainly because I wanted separate leveling and to a lesser extent the better battery system. But that manual did bug me, made me wonder about the company's competency, I also was annoyed by all those musician features like the metronome.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andy Balla View Post
...I'll get it fixed by the manufacturer if its not a huge pain in the you know what. I'm having trouble finding any way to contact them about this issue, however. Customer service seems to be lacking...
The US distributor is Samson Technologies, you can also email them at zoom@samsontech.com.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info Seth! As for the musician features, part of the reason I got the Zoom, since I'm a musician as well. Seemed like an all around neat little deal. Gonna go email them now! Andy
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Old March 12th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #11
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Bought my H4n back in Oct, 2009. Got it out to use at last week wedding and noticed the onboard mics had popping and static noises. Still records ok when using external mics. Purchased from Sweetwater, they said they would send it to Samson for me but it would take at least 6 weeks.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 09:29 PM   #12
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I got the same time frame from B&H, where I got mine. Samson told me it would be $50 per hour for labor, plus parts! That's just nuts! I think I'm going to keep the H4n around for use with external mics and as an interface, but I'm going to get something else as soon as funds allow. Andy
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Old March 17th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #13
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$50/hr for electronics service work is a great price.

However, I see your point - how many hours of service is a $300 device worth? If I had a $2800 Sound Devices recorder, I wouldn't be flinching at $50/hr.

I guess this is one of the consequences of using prosumer gear. Some of it just isn't economical to fix... making it throwaway. Ouch.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #14
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With an SD recorder it's possible such things would be covered under warrantee or in the name of good customer relations. You really do get what you pay for when you buy "real pro" gear.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 08:59 AM   #15
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Seth, yes, that was my issue with the repair rate...is it worth it to spend probably well over $100 to get this thing fixed? I'm just going to rig it as best I can, and step up to something better when I have the cash. Lesson learned, maybe...
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