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Re: HHB Portadisc

Subject: Re: HHB Portadisc
From: Walter Knapp <>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 22:57:50 -0400
trogon14 wrote:
> I'm looking into buying the HHB Portadisc player and Have heard that
> there was a issue with the batteries. Does anyone know if this has
> been resolved?
> Also wondering if the preamp is needed?
> Thanks
> Joseph Brooks

You called it a player. You should be aware this is a recordist's
machine. The bells and whistles are in recording and transferring the
recording. The playback is pretty mundane in it's features. Works fine,
but not really special.

The HHb Portadisc uses AA NIMH Batteries. There are no issues that I
know of with it's battery usage. It's internal charging system is not a
high speed charger, more like medium to slow. If you need faster, then
you take the batteries out and stick them in the charger of your choice.
For me that's not been a problem, I mostly charge in the Portadisc.

The one I received came with a set of 8 Fuji AA's that did not last near
as well as other brands I use. Other's report the same experience. But,
since it's AA's, replacement is very easy. In fact I replaced those
batteries with higher capacity ones shortly after getting the Portadisc
and used the Fuji's in my headlamps after that. In any case, the
Portadisc comes with two battery caddies, so you will want to get at
least one additional set (of 8 AA's) for the second caddy.

Battery usage is about 3 disks per charge. Unless you spend a lot of
time in record pause, or have phantom powered mics that draw a lot of
current. That's what I get, and I'm recording at night, so almost always
running with the illumination light on.

I use my Portadisc with Sennheiser MKH mics as well as a Telinga Pro V.
These are very low noise mics producing high quality sound. I've found
no problem using the Portadisc's pre with those. I do believe that if
mics of even better standard were to exist then the pre on the Portadisc
might be limiting.

I have a Sound Devices MP2 pre. I got it primarily for it's ability to
decode M/S setups in the field. I don't find using it for a pre to give
me any better recordings with the MKH. I can use it and the Portadisc's
pre in tandem to get a slight bit more gain from the mics than either
can do individually. So, in routine usage I don't use the MP2.

Some have had some complaint about the gain with individual models of
mics. I'm not convinced there is any problem with the Portadisc in those
cases, probably more some mismatch between mic and Portadisc. Or
excessive confidence in the mic's reach.



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