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Old June 8th, 2012, 06:12 PM   #1
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MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Has anyone tried to take the digital out from the SD MixPre-D into the Digital in of the Tascam DR-680? If so could you tell me first if it works and if it does did you notice any improvement in sound quality?

Thinking about getting a MixPre-D and am wondering if this is a possible setup.

Thanks,
Garrett
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Old June 11th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #2
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Hey Garrett. I remember a while back you were going to do a 680 review. Did I miss that? Curious if you are liking the preamps in the 680 or whether this post is a sign that you want better performance.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 08:30 PM   #3
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Hey Tom,

I haven't done a comprehensive review yet. I did a quick one a while back. I'm trying to arrange some time to do some comparisons in the near future. Allee has some mics that he'd like to also test as well as do some comparisons for testing various boom techniques. Maybe we could use your CS-3e and mine and test out going into your MixPre to the DR680 and one straight into the DR680. That would give a direct A/B comparison.

Overall the mic pres on the 680 are pretty good. Not as good as on the SD mixers. You can tell when doing a direct A/B comparison but they are good and if you don't have anything to compare them to you wouldn't be disappointed. I am just wondering if you bypass thye DR680 mic pres and the A/D converter and just recorded the straight digital output from the MixPre-D if there would be an even greater improvement.

-Garrett
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Old June 13th, 2012, 12:26 AM   #4
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Good to hear that you're liking the 680. For some reason I have a hard time getting past the majority of the top-panel switches not being exposed when in a bag. But I suppose the beauty of a 680 would be that you could use it without a bag, without a mixer, in many cases.

I keep thinking that a sound devices 702 might be a better investment, as it might depreciate less rapidly than plastic Tascam gear, and would keep me from feeling the upgrade itch for a long time. But the nearly $2k price is hard to justify when even my $100 DR-05 has a lower noise floor than the CS-3e (fed through the mixpre). And the DR-05 has decent ergonomics when velcroed onto the top of my bag. Must... resist... SD.

I'm always up for experiments and listening to other mics, and the next few weeks are a good time for me.
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Old June 24th, 2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

This video doesn't have the MixPre-D with the digital connection, but I thought I'd throw out an A/B of the DR-680's Pres vs the MixPre.

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Old July 9th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #6
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Tascam DR-680 Review : UPDATED

review of DR-680.... bottom line is people are overly concerned about pre maps. even really cheap gear have good pre amps these days Tascam DR-40 Recorder Review DR-40 review with samples. $160 unit and its fine. its not 1962....

S
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Old July 9th, 2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Nice review Steve!

Your DR-680 review is what sole me on buying mine. I agree on the Tascam input level readings. I always seem to have much less level than my meters indicate while recording, however the recordings are so clean I don't hear added noise when I bump up the levels in post.

Keep rockin' man!

Chad
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Old July 9th, 2012, 01:32 PM   #8
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Thanks Steve and Chad,

Both of your reviews and samples were what sold me on the DR-680. Haven't regretted it yet. I have tried it with and without a mixer and better pre's and there is a slight improvement. You wouldn't hear any problems unless you do a direct A/B. For me the biggest weakness of the DR-680 are it's limiters and the ability to easily adjust levels on the fly. That's the main reason I'd be looking to something like a MixPre-D or even a 302 if the cost were right.

Thanks and keep up the good reviews.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 12:56 AM   #9
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Thanks Chad. The MixPre seemed to lower the transparency (perhaps rolling off very high end?) in your comparison, by my listening.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 01:15 AM   #10
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Thanks Steve and Chad,
For me the biggest weakness of the DR-680 are it's limiters and the ability to easily adjust levels on the fly. That's the main reason I'd be looking to something like a MixPre-D or even a 302 if the cost were right.

Thanks and keep up the good reviews.
thanks ! and.. it totally depends on what you record. I'd been thinking of getting a 442 as a front end to the 680 just to have 4 level controls + another 2 mixer outs to feed to cameras. all in one bag that could do all - dslr shoots + typical ENG shoots w/o changing gear around except... its freaking heavy ! and the number of times I have more than 2 mics in use is rare. typical network news feeds are 1 sometimes 2 mics. ONCE it did three...
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Old July 10th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #11
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Tom,

It's hard to really tell listening to a YouTube video. I don't know what types of other processing or compression is going on. Listening to the original sound files would be best. But, through my JBL monitors it sounds like the bare DR-680 has a little rounder bass and emphasizes the bass more. I don't hear it as being more transparent. In fact, the sound stage sounds flatter and imaging is better through the MixPre. One thing is clear, the amount of difference really depends on which mic is being used. I think I still prefer the sound with the MixPre up front and don't forget that Chad's DR-680 has the Busman mod so there is even more difference with my DR-680.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 12:56 AM   #12
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Re: MixPre-D & Tascam DR-680

Just checking in to see if anyone has tried this yet. Just wondering if the digital out of the MixPre-D can be read by the digital input on the DR-680?

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