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-   -   Marantz PMD660 v. 670 (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/51831-marantz-pmd660-v-670-a.html)

Dan Brown September 27th, 2005 08:49 AM

Marantz PMD660 v. 670
Hi, it's been a while since I visted. Glad to see all the great people are still here.

My inquiry...

I need to retire my Marantz PMD221 cassette recorrder, as it is just getting old and tired. Looking for a new set up to do interviews (no video) where I mic myself and 1-3 other interviewees. I'm thinking that the Marantz CF card recorders would be good. But which one? I'll transfer the audio to my Mac for editing, storage, and buring CD's.

I'd also like some suggestions for microphones. Again, someting to record 2-4 people at a conference table, something easy to set up and unobtrusive to the interviewees. Maybe ENG handhelds on desk stands (which could be used handheld sometimes)? Maybe laveliers clipped to their shirts (wiring could be a hassel)? Wireless? Dunno, need some help.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Oleg Kaizerman September 27th, 2005 09:27 AM

i think that the 660 would be better option , smaller lighter , have few years over the 670 for the preamp design. cheaper?

about mikes , cardioid pzm/s could be nice option you can throw them on the table and pick up groups of people , ATmake very nice and not so expensive , the sanken cub1 are better option but about twice the price .
for small profile mikes on the table , the audix 1245 cardioid could be a nice choice 2
the lavaliers are quit a problem ( wireless or not)if you have more then 2 people you will get only these 2 , the others would sound quit bad .
of course , you can go for automatic mixer ( lectrosonics or shure) and hook more mikes to your recorder without to much trouble .
if you have little extra to spend and you already oWn laptop and need multi miking situation ,motu traveler or simillar can also be the way to go

Steve House September 27th, 2005 10:21 AM

If your interviewer and particpants are seated around a table, you might consider a boundary layer mic on the table surface in the centre of the group.

Henry Cho September 27th, 2005 12:44 PM

i would advise against the standard 660 if you need anything more than audio for archival purposes. the internal mics are not very good, and the preamps are noisy and very sensitive. the oade brothers (oade.com) mod the 660s and 670s they sell for an extra fee, and apparently the updated preamps sound much better (no firsthand experience with this). if you like the form factor of the 660, i'd say go with the mod. based on my brief correspondence with oade a few months back, the standard 660 and 670 sound very similar. oade recommended stepping up to the 671, with much better preamps straight out of the box, budget permitting. also, check the microtrack thread started only a few days ago -- there's some coversation on the 660 in there.

Dan Brown September 27th, 2005 04:39 PM

Thanks for the boundary mic idea. That will work. I put together a kit with the PMD660, two AT Pro42's and an AT804. That seemed good until the last post. Are these problems that were fixed by Marantz, or is there a basic flaw in the '660 design. And yes, the form factor is very appealling.

Matt Gettemeier September 27th, 2005 05:26 PM

Dan you absolutely MUST get your 660 from Oade... I can give you a number of reasons the least of which is the price. $459 plus $20 shipping... $479 total. (beat that)

Okay more important then that is the option to get the unit modded. Basically what Oade does is replace the standard electrolitic caps with film caps, standard resistors become Vishay, and cheap op amps get swapped for high-end op amps. This mod, called the ACM mod, will dramatically lower the noise floor in the 660 and improve the actual sound of it too! Getting a 660 with this mod will eliminate the line input however... so it depends on what you want to do with the unit... if you're going mic-in without a mixer then there's NO reason I can think of to not get the unit configured like this... but the price does go to $709 plus $20 for $729.

The ACM 660 will smoke most other recorders on fidelity and clean signal. Doug actually told me that even a stock 660 will sound pretty much better then a stock 670.

The other thing to remember is that if you get a 660 from Oade... and get it stock... you can always send it to him at a later date to have the mod added. They will NOT mod units purchased elsewhere.

The biggest complaint on the stock 660 is noisy mic inputs... maybe not JUNK... but they definitely have some hiss. The mod eliminates that completely.

You can go to the Oade site and listen for yourself... or else ask a community of a couple thousand tapers who consider Doug to be a saint for his work on this.

Henry Cho September 27th, 2005 06:16 PM

the only issue marantz resolved was a problem with early units' built-in pad taking way too much off the mic signal. to their credit, when i sent mine in, marantz support was courteous and extremely prompt getting my unit back to me. unfortunately, they didn't do anything with the preamps and the sound was unacceptable for anything classified as "pro" gear. there was a pmd660 forum at transom.org i used to check out regularly, and some users found the 660 liked certain mics over others, not surprisingly. i experimented with what i had or could get my hands on. the me66, at4053a, and the at4073a sounded horrible -- a whisper up close would overload the preamps, and there was major clipping with mic placement anywhere closer than 18 inches. never mind the always present hiss. the mic that sounded the best was the at897 running off battery power (phantom power off). still, none of these mics, including the at897, sounded near as nice as when i plugged them into my m-audio omni i/o. the omni i/o doesn't have the best preamps in the world, but they sounded helluva lot cleaner than anything in the 660. i really, really wanted the 660 to work out, but after a couple of really bad real-world experiences, i couldn't get rid of it fast enough. out of the box, it's simply not a pro-quality audio recorder. i don't have the 660 anymore and was thinking about picking up the fostex fr2, but i'm considering picking up a new 660 from oade now. they had just started modding 660s shortly before i got rid of mine, and it seems like they've come a long way and taken the 660 to another level. in any case, good luck.

Dan Brown September 27th, 2005 06:30 PM

Thanks very much, I did listen to the .WAV files at Oade. Uhm, if I'm going to pay that much, should I seriously consider the PMD670?

Henry Cho September 27th, 2005 07:07 PM


from everything i've read and heard, including directly from the folks at oade, the 670 has most, it not all, the same problems as the 660. oade mods the 670 as well... in fact, they were modding the 670 before the 660 was even out. if you're not interested in getting your equipment taken apart and pieced back together, the 671 might be a good option. with better preamps and error-checking (apparently some 670s had data loss issues), it seems like a solid machine.

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