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Re: Marantz PMD670/Sound Devices 744t

Subject: Re: Marantz PMD670/Sound Devices 744t
From: Jeff Klatt <>
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 14:35:53 -0700 (PDT)
So far it all sounds very promising.  I have an RME
QuadMic that I can use for channels 3 & 4 (or all four
channels - not sure if there's a quality difference
between the RME and SD preamps).=20

Perhaps much of  it will come down to the success of
the user interface?

Here is an odd question perhaps.  Being that the
7-series is aimed at the film/video market, as
Jeremiah pointed out, does that imply any difference
in quality?  I mean if it was just aimed at
phonographers and audiophiles, would we see a
difference in features and quality beyond
idiosyncrasies like time code?


--- Rob Danielson <> wrote:

> Good detective work Jeremiah. A list of cc's on an
> email I got from
> SD does have several film/video users. 99.99% of all
> field recording
> is stereo or mono. SD has tried to get the most
> wanted features into
> the recorders at a price where they can turn some
> volume.  Lang's
> suggestions about ganged record levels are good but
> its not common
> practice in field production. Their programable
> headphone monitoring
> might be adapted for doing a quick calibration in
> the field.  Adding
> an MP-2  preamp is not a lot of extra bulk in order
> to do 4 channels.
> Yes, I'd rather not have another pair of xlr
> pigtails to fight but
> the mic pre circuits account for a lot of the space
> and enclosing two
> channels makes a very very small recorder that
> serves 90% of the
> uses.  There are many ingenuous features in these
> recorders, one is
> their battery solution which will cut down on a LOT
> of bulk/mess.
> Pros enjoy paying extra money for gear that runs
> reliably in the
> field for years and gets great results. If you spend
> many hours using
> it, its well worth it. Here's a quote from their
> recent report to
> pre-buyers:
> "Numerous 744T "beta" units have been under test in
> locations throughout
> the world for the last five weeks.  This last stage
> of development--a
> step that is essential to the success of our
> products--has gone very
> well.  In fact, it has gone so well that beta
> testing revealed several
> problems, some minor, some significant.  These
> problems have been
> corrected for production and production units are
> now in process.
> However, several of these problems did impact the
> overall schedule,
> which delayed the start of first production. As
> mentioned in my last
> memo, it is essential to Sound Devices and our sales
> partners that
> "7-Series models meet customer expectations for
> reliability and
> performance out-of-the-box."  Quality product is our
> first commitment. "
> Rob D.
>   =3D =3D =3D
> At 10:16 PM -0700 8/12/04, Jeremiah Moore wrote:
> >  >The one thing that bothers me most about the 744
> is that only two channels
> >>have mike preamp inputs. The other two require an
> outboard preamp. This
> >>annoys me to no end and I'm sure I would never be
> happy with it if I bought
> >>it. Why didn't they add the additional preamps? I
> guess because they wanted
> >>the 744 to have the same footprint as the 722,
> which is quite compact to be
> >>sure.
> >
> >Here's how I see it: It's typical in film and
> documentary production
> >sound to record wireless lavalier mics which output
> line level hence
> >needing no preamp, and it's rare enough to have
> more than one or two
> >preamps needed (for primary and secondary boom
> mics).   SD is aiming
> >the 744 squarely at the film/video production
> market, with the
> >timecode features etc.  Having the extra preamps
> onboard would mean
> >more weight/bulk, and would be rarely used in that
> application.
> >
> >As for reputation, the jury's out.  A lot will rest
> on the field
> >usability.  It's a lot of features to cram into
> such a tiny package
> >with such a limited interface.  We're all expecting
> them to do a
> >great job, and hopefully they will!
> >
> >-jeremiah
> >
> >
> >
> >>For doing 4-channel recording under typical field
> conditions, one desires to
> >>gang all four channels and use only one volume
> control. This is especially
> >>important in the dark. And who wants to pay all
> that money and then have to
> >>balance the channels by ear later in the studio??
> Not me.
> >
> >
> >>The 722, on the other hand, allows for ganging of
> its two channels
> >>(important for stereo recording), and seems like
> it will be a marvelous
> >>instrument that I would never want to upgrade (why
> bother, with those
> >>incredible specs?). So I am thinking seriously
> about purchasing the 722.
> >>
> >>Dangit anyway, Sound Devices should have put their
> marvelous preamps on all
> >>four channels in the 744. At least that's my
> opinion.
> >>
> >>OK, I'll quit ranting.
> >>
> >>Lang
> >>
> >>
> >>Thanks for the replies to my questions on
> alternative
> >>portable recorders.  Oryoki, yes the model he was
> >>talking about was the CDR300. Thanks for the
> warning
> >  >about its weight and other issues.  Also great
> to know
> >>about he pre-roll buffers in certain devices.
> Adam
> >>and Don, thanks for mentioning the PMD670.  That
> >>spurred a busy few days of researching some of the
> >>other recorders out there.  I haven't read
> anything
> >>bad about the PMD670, so it sounds like a solid
> option
> >>(two puns there? sorry).
> >>
> >>Rob D. also mentioned the 744t to me.  This is
> >>obviously the most capable (and expensive) of what
> I
> >>have been looking at so far (Marantz PMD670,
> Fostex
> >>FR-2, Sony Hi-MD).
> >>
> >>But I have a question about this unit.  It seems
> to be
> >>of high quality with regard to electronics,
> >>environmental durability, light weight/design,
> etc..
> >>But my question to the experienced folks in this
> >>group: does it seem to be the sort of device that
> will
> >>last for years and continue to be something worth
> >>using and keeping?  The Portadisc seems to have
> this
> >>reputation.  People who use it love it and and use
> it
> >>for years.  Does the 744t seem to have that aura
> about
> >>it?  Are there any major features lacking which
> will
> >>likely be addressed by another device within the
> next
> >>year perhaps?  I don't believe it's even available
> >>yet, so I know there's only so much that can be
> said
> >>at this point.  But based on the specs and the
> >>reputation of Sound Devices, what's the general
> >>feeling?
> >>
> >>Thanks for any thought and insights here....  I'm
> >>pretty much still just a lurker, but am always
> >>impressed by the expertise here and fascinated by
> the
> >>discussions.
> >>
> >>Best,
> >>Jeff
> >>
> >>--- Adam Liberman <> wrote:
> >>
> >>>   Jeff,
> >>>
> >>>   You might look at the new Marantz PMD670 as an
> >>>   alternative to the Hi-
> >>>   MD. It is designed for remote recording and
> records
> >>>   onto memory
> >>>   cards or a removable hard-disk.
> >>>
> >>>   - Adam Liberman
=3D=3D=3D message truncated =3D=3D=3D

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