> I understand that the major difference between models lies in their
> pre-amps. I ask myself how the quality of the pre-amps is measured?
I'm always going on about the way quoted figures do not always
correspond to what you hear, which is all that matters. The bit in
recorders which digitises the incoming sound is as good as you need in
almost any reasonable recorder, so the money buys something else, like
ease of use, facilities, reliability and of course low input noise.
Everyone hss their own opinions and favourites, but in general money
does buy quality.
It depends on where you are going to record, but with quiet locations,
the mic output level is also very important. With a higher level mic
output, you can get away with a higher input noise. Look for the mv/Pa
figure for the mic and over 10mv/Pa is better. For instance 24mv/Pa
will give you 8dB less noise from the same preamp because you turn the
volume down. Ideally the mic noise should be higher than the preamp
noise, so with a high output mic you can get away with a higher input
noise level. Everything is interactive.
As an example, I sometimes use Sennheiser MKH mics with a 24nv/Pa
output into a "toy" Tascam DR-100. In a location with a bit of wind in
trees, it masks the high preamp noise. For regular use, I still use
the DR-100 but through an SQN mixer, and the only system noise I hear
in a flat calm comes from the mics - in a fog or with snow.
North Devon, UK
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - Ambrose Bierce