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Old December 2nd, 2007, 01:59 PM   #166
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Ahhh, good battery point. I dont know why, but I had forgotten/thought they changed that and had put the Microtrack II back into my wish list. *sigh* S/pdif is HANDY!
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 08:07 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Tuffrey View Post
I returned my H2 [...] Sometimes with these cheapo things the first impression can be overly favourable, but given time the truth emerges [...]
I have griped about the MicroTrack's built-in battery problem many times, but other than that, I've found the MicroTrack 24/96 (which I own) and I assume the new Microtrack II (which adds a good limiter and true Phantom Power) to be the best value in terms of price/performance. The TRS balanced connectors (mic or line input) are a big plus compared to the H2 for me, which offers a wiz-bang first impression, but for a basic, solid, tiny recorder, the MicroTrack II is a contender. Bells and whistles are only good if you actually need them. I use the MicroTrack with my mixer and pro mics, so fancy built-in stereo mics don't do anything for me.

Now if only M-Audio would do something about the built in battery issue. They offer a replacement for $75.00 (US). Another power option is that since the MicroTrack takes power from the USB, in addition to AC power, you can also tap off a nearby laptop or USB battery pack. Of course that puts a damper on portability, but often for long recordings a power source is nearby. To be fair, the LiIon battery in the MicroTrack runs longer than the AA batteries that power the H2, and so you can see that the designers wanted to optimize small size (replaceable batteries would have made the device larger) and long running time. And unless you're using AA rechargeables in the H2, your going through a lot of battery waste.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #168
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H2 - Initial Impressions

Well my new Zoom H2 arrived today and my initial impressions are very positive!

Popped in a couple of AA batteries (about the only thing that does n't come with this thing) and managed to get it all working without anything more than a casual glance at the extensive manual (but I will read it to ensure I fully understand this thing!)

Menu all seems pretty intuitive and I like the fact that once you've set things up how you want it's simplicity to prepare for recording (setting levels) and then start and stop recordings etc.

Got it linked up to a PC pretty quickly and had a listen to some quick 16/48000 .wav recordings (upto 24/96000 is possible on this thing but might be a bit overkill!) Recordings seem very clean, good stereo separation and the H2 even seemed to make a pretty decent job of recording lovely clear sound from my Rode Stereo VideoMic (plugged in through it's 3.5mm external mic socket after I'd enabled the 2.5V plug in power within the H2's menu.) The tripod fitting on the bottom is going to be a great asset too. Sure, this H2 is not professional level gear but it's absolutely ideal for the level I'm working at - and for 138 quid it's brilliant for my needs.

By the way, it came with 1.10 Firmware loaded (Sept 2007) and a 512MB SD card (I've got a 4GB card arriving in a couple of days.)

Obviously, I'll need to spend quite some time with this thing to form a true opinion - something I think I'll enjoy....I'm certainly very happy right now!!!!
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Old December 4th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post

from my Rode Stereo VideoMic (plugged in through it's 3.5mm external mic socket after I'd enabled the 2.5V plug in power within the H2's menu.)
Why did you have to enable plug-in power? I've got a Rode SVM. It has an internal 9V battery & I don't remember the owner's booklet mentioning plug-in power at all.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 04:11 AM   #170
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Zoom H2 - 2.5V Plug-In Power

On both my Rode VM & SVM I find that I get much better response (with all kinds HDD disc etc. recording units, not just this new Zoom H2.... from first impressions) when plug-in power is available and enabled. On camcorders, as you say this does not seem to be needed.

I've read elsewhere (Zoom H2 & H4 Forum) that others find the signal too weak for some applications (with the SVM and H2 combination.) I've not had time to truely verify that personally with my new H2 yet (for my very quick test yesterday I just enabled it, having read these comments previously.)

Sure, the VM and SVM are nice and "hot" on both my Sony HC1 and a mate's Sony PD150 that I am sort of permanently borrowing (with Rode XLR conversion plug - mono of course from the SVM in this situation and camcorder's 48v phantom power turned off to prevent blowing the mic up!!!!)

If the sound is indeed too quiet with the H2 WITHOUT the 2.5v plug-in power enabled on it's 3.5mm Stereo Mic-in Socket then I suspect it will be down to the Zoom's electronics characteristics and nothing to do with these generally excellent Rodes, which as you say have their own on-board power amplification.

Give me a day ot two and I'll try and report back with more details specifically about how I find the H2 with and without the SVM and with and without plug-in power enabled. If others have experience of this scenario please chip in too!
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Old December 5th, 2007, 07:10 AM   #171
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Zoom H2 Update

OK, could n't resist another quick play with it this lunchtime!

Plug-in power (on or off) seems to make no audible difference with the Rode SVM. For sure, the noise floor (a low level background hiss) is noticeable regardless of the various AGC settings tried when using this particular Mic - at some point I'll try the VM as well but I believe from something I read on a Rode website it's essentially the same circuitry. I'm pretty sure this noise will be mainly from the H2 as I've not noticed it before (but have n't critically listened for it or noticed it before either.)

From various reviews/web forums I know that ALL the other digital recorders at this sub 250 quid price point (e.g. Microtrack 24/96000 and Edirol etc.) have similar noise/hiss issues with Mic-in/on-board Mic's. Maybe the Microtrack II will be better (anyone got theirs yet and care to do a Rode SVM test?) You get what you pay for - and I'm not prepared to pay 1000 quid right now. Maybe the new 200 quid M-Audio Microtrack II will excel on this specific point?

For the Rode SVM and Zoom H2 combination, best (well better) results seem to be with manually setting the gain, not using the AGC options (that I've tried so far.) It's usable but perhaps not as superb as I first though now I'm listening more critically. I've read (on H2 & H4 Forum) that the H2 Line-In is the better (less noisy) of the two inputs on the H2 but of course you would need to amplify the signal to that level which is yet another link in a chain.

However, all is not lost! The Mic-in was going to be a bonus for me if it worked well. The H2's noise floor seems to be a LOT better/quieter with the internal Mics so I think that's definitely the route I'll use it, i.e. as a highly portable self-contained recording unit. I tried it briefly like this in the pub last night and it captured ambient sound/friends talking superbly well and tonight I'll try it with my elder daughter (she's playing keyboards at a school event in a local village church!)

I think the path forward for me is that the Rode VM or SVM's will (mostly) stay on the cameras and the H2 will be placed in a better/nearer perfect position to capture back-up (but, hopefully, the primary!) stereo sound. I'll also use it (a lot!) for ambient/wild sound capture for adding into existing video projects since it's so small and portable and appears to be excellent for this judging from my first experiences.

Bottom line, still seems to be a GREAT buy, I'm still happy, but don't buy it for the Mic-in function (if my very quick testing with the Rode SVM is typical.) Hope this helps someone thinking about getting a digital audio recorder and let's hear how the new M-Audio Microtrack II is from someone soon - they should start shipping today in the UK!!!

Edit: Adding in a useful link to the excellent Zoom H2 + H4 Forum which has tons of information about this product and a link specifically about the noise level on the H2 Mic-in.

http://www.2090.org/zoom/bbs/viewforum.php?f=15

http://www.wildlife-sound.org/equipm...mh2/index.html

Edit 2: Below is a link to a review of the original Microtrack citing that it too had some noise issues on the pre-amps. I guess nothing is perfect at this sort of price point.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar0...microtrack.htm
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; December 5th, 2007 at 10:26 AM. Reason: typos!, + adding useful web links
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Old December 6th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #172
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H2 with Azden SGM-2X ?

I own the Azden SGM-2X and while it is not a "hot" as in output level mic, I am wondering if anyone has tried one adapted to the proper plug as a single channel recorder? I am shooting shorts on Super 8 and 16mm lately and am looking for a decent field recorder. While I think flying the H2 from the boompole might be fine, the wideness of the pattern in outdoor setting is likely to be an issue. Just wondering what the SGM-2X might sound like not being that hot, directly into the H2.

We have an H4 at work and while I was the one to push them into buying that one for their field audio recording sessions, the tiny display and the awkward menu's bother me. Plus, nobody seems to be able to correctly understand the H,M,L in the inputs on the H4. Confuses me.

Anyway, anyone tried this combo yet? By the way, specs on that mic are here:
http://www.azdencorp.com/shop/custom...&cat=22&page=1


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Old December 6th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #173
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Hmm... do we need a dedicated sub-forum for digital audio recorders? I think we do.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 10:56 PM   #174
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Hmm... do we need a dedicated sub-forum for digital audio recorders? I think we do.
Yes - please!

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Old December 7th, 2007, 07:26 AM   #175
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H2 Update/Separate Section

One other quick update for you on the H2. I'm findind that when listening to recorded sound files on the unit itself that they seem more noisy than the actual same files are when downloaded to PC (so it seems to be a bit like the Fostex FR2LE in that repect!) Used it to record some carol singing & my 9 year old daughter playing keyboards in a local church the other night - very pleased with the results!

Not sure if we need a separate section on Digital Audio Recorders or not...but I can see there will be more and more of these devices appearing so maybe yes.

Either way, this forum will still be a treasure trove however it's great information is organised!
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Old December 7th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #176
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Samson may have wimped out on the playback amps to save space. I can see where accurate monitoring would be a good thing and noisy amps would be a bad thing giving people a false impression that their recordings were noisy. Trouble is, how can you trust the internal playback and monitoring now if it's not as clean as the recording itself.

I think maybe I too am on the verge of asking too much from a $199 device.

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Old December 7th, 2007, 09:25 AM   #177
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I think maybe I too am on the verge of asking too much from a $199 device.
This may be true, but you're not alone I think in most cases we want more out of a money.

As I read through a lot of these threads, I can see two camps those who have spent a ton of money on gear and those who haven't. In most cases it seems that people want the functionality/clarity of device X that cost 5x (or more!) of device Y which they own. But as you point out sometimes that's simply asking too much from a consumer device. That doesn't make it a bad device, it's just not designed to do some of the things device X was designed to do.

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Old December 9th, 2007, 04:38 AM   #178
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There doesn't seem to be any discussion yet re: the new MARANTZ PMD620, which is starting to show up at suppliers.

Has anyone had a look yet?

http://www.d-mpro.com/users/folder.a...9&SubCatID=188

Last edited by Tom Vandas; December 9th, 2007 at 04:39 AM. Reason: added link
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Old December 9th, 2007, 06:25 AM   #179
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Wow, missed this one! Looks very interesting as a Zoom H2 etc. type competitor. Shame it lacks XLR inputs though (which I would have expected if it was a true "professional" unit.)
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Old December 9th, 2007, 06:43 AM   #180
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Hello,

So if I'm reading this thread right, the H2 isn't up to professional quality recording.

Besides not having XLR inputs, is the actual audio quality lacking?

How does it work with professional mics using adapters... professional level results?

The Marantz are known for noisy amplifiers, why would this new unit be any better?

Thanks!
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