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Old August 16th, 2013, 05:58 PM   #1
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Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

I was wondering if anyone has any comments on whether the mic preamps and the line inputs really are improved over the H4N. There are several early "reviews" online which mainly quote the manufacturer's marketing blurb, but has anyone used one for real in the field?

The six channel recording facility using the optional extra twin XLR inputs would be useful to me if it could do a reasonably clean recording even if only through a line input (I have a mixer with reasonably good preamps - certainly much quieter than the H4n's).

Working mainly as SPC I prefer to capture my audio in more than 2 channels and do the mixing at leisure.

(And yes, I would just buy a SD 788T if I could afford one, and would seriously consider renting for a really important gig). :-)
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Old August 19th, 2013, 12:07 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

Here is a FULLY optioned one.
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Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?-zoom-h6.jpg  
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Old August 19th, 2013, 02:31 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

I understand that the #5 and #6 xlr's do not provide phantom power. Here is some more info:
Zoom H6 Digital Recorder + Rode ProCaster – First quick sample CheesyCam
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Old August 19th, 2013, 03:26 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian P. Reynolds View Post
Here is a FULLY optioned one.
Very good! :-)

Some wag commenting on an early review of the H6 remarked that the shotgun module seemed "pleased to see you." (Sorry about that - I thought it was funny!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Martin View Post
I understand that the #5 and #6 xlr's do not provide phantom power. Here is some more info:
Zoom H6 Digital Recorder + Rode ProCaster – First quick sample CheesyCam
The lack of phantom power on the plug-in XLR module is not really a concern to me as I would be recording from a mixer. I don't think the battery life would be much to write home about anyway if running 6 channels of 48V phantom power from 4 AAAs.

EDIT: Beginning to see various deals on the H6 from various UK suppliers, but nobody seems to have the optional modules yet.

Last edited by Colin McDonald; August 19th, 2013 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Added quote and a bit more
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Old August 20th, 2013, 06:13 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

The extra modules are not due out until October/November I think.

Someone who *has* used the H6 has commented that it's noisy - this was on the Planet5D forum and it is in THIS THREAD.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

Thanks for that link, John.

Hmmm, it doesn't appear like the H6 stood up well to the Tascam DR-60D but on the other hand it wasn't a very scientific test from the description.

I haven't used that TASCAM model myself (nor would it be of much use to me anyway) but I would not be astonished to learn that there are recorders our there with a better S/N ratio than the Zoom H6, even if the H6 turns out Ito be better in that respect that the H4n (not hard, many would say!)
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Old August 21st, 2013, 01:04 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

John, as always, thank you for your time in drilling this down for all of us to see. I'm interested in the Z H6 and need reasons NOT to spend money on it......

Grazie

Last edited by Graham Bernard; August 21st, 2013 at 01:45 AM.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 01:35 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

I am always a bit nervous about posting links to other fora/forums, but the US Zoom forum (which has a different and quite specific focus) has a link to a more favourable test with files to download for comparison at Zoom Gear & Home Recording Forum • View topic - H6 comparison

Still not 100% clear that the H6 is significantly quieter in use than an H4n which is my main concern.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 04:32 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

Hi,

Does someone compared the Zoon H6 with the Tascan 100 MKII?
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Old August 21st, 2013, 05:02 AM   #10
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

I think it needs a well respected magazine, like Sound On Sound, to do a well researched and proper review of the machine.

I think that SOS are getting one for review.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 01:13 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

I found this review to be very helpful, even if it's not scientific.


There is also a comparison fom Juicedlink that though a bit biased, is still helpful


~Jay
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

What I need to know is if we can believe the spec in the PDF user manual
http://www.zoom.co.jp/download/E_H6.pdf
Quote:
INPUTS 1 – 4
Connectors XLR/TRS combo jacks (XLR: 2 hot,TRS:TIP hot)

Input gain (PAD OFF) –∞ to 55.5 dB
Input gain (PAD ON) –∞ to 35.5 dB
Input impedance 1.8kΩ or more
Maximum allowable input level +22 dBu (PAD ON)
Phantom power +12/+24/+48V (can be turned ON/OFF independently for INPUTS 1–4)
Equivalent input noise (EIN) –120 dBu or less
Since I seem to remember that the lowest it can go (or at least be accurately measured) is about -132 dBu the quoted figure would be fine if actually achieved.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 07:36 AM   #13
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A little birdie tells me...

(if anyone has been so impetuous as to actually buy a Zoom H6 before we find out if it's any good)

...That the RC4 remote control unit from the Zoom H4n will work with the H6 on the following functions:
•monitor/headphone volume
•file play, pause and stop
•file select, fast forward and reverse
•record, pause (mark) and stop

The input select and Rec level buttons on the RC4 - as one would expect - do not work.

My little birdie does not have the facilities to test the noise level on the H6 but is very chirpy about the quality from a few test recordings so far.
:-)
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Old September 4th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #14
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A test of sorts

Not quite sure what, if anything, this proves, but here it is anyway:

I recorded two empty WAV files at 96kHz/24bit on channels 3 and 4 of a Zoom H6. No mic or line inputs were connected to the XLR/TRS input sockets, so what was recorded was basically silence with circuit noise and possibly a modicum of digital dross.

On Channel 3, I recorded as follows
from 00min 00sec with the H6 gain fully down at 0
from 01min 00sec with the gain at 1
from 02min 00sec with the gain at 2
from 03min 00sec with the gain at 3

and so on up to
from 10min 00sec until the end at 13min 00 with the gain at 10

On Channel 4, I recorded as follows
from 00min 00sec with the H6 gain fully down at 0,
from 11min 00sec with the gain fully up at 10 (as Ch 3)
from 12min 00 sec I switched on the -20dB pad on the Ch 4 input


After importing the two files into Audacity, the result looked as in the pic below.

Conclusions I can draw from this
(1) The H6 preamps are pretty quiet with the gains fully down :-)
(2) It gets noisier as the gain is increased :-)
(3) Both channels seem to behave in a similar fashion
(4) A clean hot signal would stand a better chance of being recorded acceptably (this did not necessarily work with the H4n)

As for the strange negative offset from 01:00 to 02:00 on Ch3, I have no explanation. Might be a problem with Audacity rather than the H6.
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Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?-zoomh6_emptychtest.jpg  
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Old September 4th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #15
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Re: Anyone used a Zoom H6 yet?

I've been pondering an H6 so this is interesting... thanks for performing the tests and posting the results!

From my experience, it might be more relevant to terminate each input with a resistance that is roughly equal to the source impedance of a mic. The value shouldn't be too critical. So, for example, I'd perform the test with perhaps a 470 ohm resistor connected between pins 2 and 3. This will tend to make the noise level more realistic, because open inputs can have relatively higher noise level than you'd experience with a source connected. And of course it won't cause any problems with phantom powering, as long as you connect only between pins 2 and 3, and leave pin 1 (ground) unconnected.
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