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Re: Marantz PMD661 opinion please

Subject: Re: Marantz PMD661 opinion please
From: "Jez" tempjez
Date: Tue Jun 4, 2013 9:36 am ((PDT))
no probs Eric - I didn't include every recorder in the same price range bec=
ause it really does depend on what features are most important - also, pric=
es vary quite a bit by country, so here in the UK the 661 is around the sam=
e price as the FR-2LE, the R-44 etc.  So, when mentioning the LS-100 I took=
 the approach of 'chap has =A3500 or so to spend on a recorder & wants to b=
e able to do a wide range of things without it being bulky, always having t=
o have external mics, wanting quiet pre-amps for the price, xlr inputs' etc=
. & in that case the Olympus wins. I'm sure someone else on here will have =
the analysis stats for the pre-amps of the LS-100 & the 661 but hands on i'=
d say there is nothing between them.

The headphone issue on the LS-100 isn't a big problem, it's just on the low=
 side so it takes a bit of getting used to - which one always has to do wit=
h each new recorder anyway.

FR-2LE: a bit on the bulky side / internal mics not great.
R-44: not a hand held / pre-amp noise can be an issue if one goes outside t=
he 12 noon outer dial rule.
Tascam DR-100mk II: internal mics not as good as the olympus / pre-amps a b=
it noisier
R-26: very plastic / all kinds of noise issues
Zoom H4N: plastic / coloured sound via not great internal mics / noisey pre=
Zoom H6: as above
Sony PCM-50: good internal mics / no xlr inputs
PDM661: sturdy construction / decent pre-amps / internal mics not great / b=
attery life not great

the ones above that operate only on standard batteries might also be an iss=
ue for some folks.


--- In  Eric Fassbender <> wrote:
> Jez, sorry to be nit picking, but from how I read your email, there is on=
ly the LS-100 in the same price range of the 661, which is similar in quali=
ty but has a problem with headphone out, as you point out. What are the rec=
orders that "plenty of folks [...] say you get more for your money"? From w=
hat I can see all other recorders in your list are way above the price of t=
he 661 and LS-100 and if you mean that one gets more value for money if one=
 invests in a recorder in this more expensive category then you are partial=
ly right. Of course you will get better quality with these, however, it rea=
lly depends on the use case. Scott's question was about a mid-price recorde=
r (limited budget). So which other recorders are there in this price range =
that have quieter pre-amps and how do the 661 and LS-100 really compare in =
terms of quality? I haven't tested the LS-100 and if you have both, I'd be =
very interested in a comparison recording :) However, looking at Scott's ot=
her requirements (interviews, live concerts), the LS-100 may be the better =
choice because it seems a lot smaller than the 661.
> What limitations do you refer to with the 661? I have found none, other t=
han that I would sometimes like a couple more channels ...
> Cheers,
> Eric
> On 04/06/2013, at 7:24 AM, Jez <> wrote:
> > oh oh :) this is one of those questions that can result in tons of diff=
erent answers, of course.
> >
> > It all depends on what features you want on the recorder & which are mo=
st important. The Olympus LS-100 is, imo, the best all round hand held reco=
rder with decent-ish built in mics for below =A3400 for example, but of cou=
rse like every recorder it has some quirks (low headphone output that takes=
 some time to get used to etc.). I try to keep up with developments at all =
price ranges but have to say that if you can afford it it's worth stretchin=
g your budget a bit. Again its just my opinion but I think there's not much=
 advantage in recorders over =A3400 until one begin to look at something li=
ke the Tascam DR-680. Some folks like the Roland R-44 & R-88 or the Fostex =
FR-2LE also for example.
> >
> > Just to be clear the Marantz is ok & if you like the features & don't m=
ind its particular limitations then i'm sure you'll get a lot out of it.
> >
> > --- In  Eric Fassbender <eric@> wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi Jez,
> > >
> > > could you please provide some examples? I would be very interested to=
 improve my gear.
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > >
> > > Eric
> > >
> > >
> > > On 04/06/2013, at 2:04 AM, Jez <tempjez@> wrote:
> > >
> > > > the 661 has ok pre-amps but not the quietest in this price range. I=
f you start with a zoom then just about anything else will be a big step up=
 as they have some of the noisiest pre-amps. The 661 is an ok recorder for =
sure, but there are plenty of folks who'll say you get more for your money =
with other recorders (good in-built mics, better power usage etc etc).
> > > >
> > > > --- In  Tim Kahn <timothy.kahn@> w=
> > > > >
> > > > > I also have the 661 and I love it very much. I moved from the ori=
ginal H4. I purchased mine from Doug Oade ( with the "super mod" w=
hich supposedly uses quieter pre-amps than the stock unit. I have never tri=
ed a stock unit so I can't say for sure there is a difference. I have used =
the 661 in a lot of different applications and conditions and except for 2 =
occasions it has worked as it should.
> > > > > In the two occasions that it failed, it was raining very hard and=
 the recorder got wet. It seems water can get between the buttons on the fr=
ont panel and cause erratic behavior (like a particular button is being pre=
ssed over and over rapidly, for example). In both cases I placed the record=
er in my food dehydrator, set on low, and left it to dry over night. Now it=
 works perfectly well again. I should add that in both cases the rain was e=
xtremely heavy and I was in the rain for extended periods of time and I'm r=
eally surprised that there was not more damage.
> > > > > My main complaint with it is that there are not two separate knob=
s for gain adjustment. For a stereo pair where you only need to change the =
gain for both at once its fine, but often I have two lav mics on people and=
 it is a two hand job to change the gain on one channel and almost always y=
ou will change the gain on the other as well. If you happen to have especia=
lly large fingers it might even be more annoying.
> > > > > But really, for me it has been an excellent recorder standing up =
to my particular abuses very well.
> > > > > Here is a recording I am particularly fond of: http://www.freesou=
> > > > > Tim
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On Jun 1, 2013, at 10:17 PM, shooze53 wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > Hello folks,
> > > > > > I have a question regarding the quality and durability of the M=
arantz recorders. I have in the past owned the ZOOM H4n and Tascam DR100-mk=
II recorders. Both have their strengths I suppose, but those strengths are =
not the durability of the switches and controls. The Tascam I had for appro=
x. 6 months, and it was suitable for some situations using onboard micropho=
nes, but the rotary wheel started to fail, and the power switch was always =
a little questionable from the very beginning. I returned it, unsatisfied.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I am now considering purchase of the PMD661 Marantz recorder fo=
r field recording, (as well as other uses, ie. interview and live music rec=
ording) Does anyone have experience using the Marantz product? If so, any c=
omments as to durability and ease of use, and sound quality would be very u=
seful and helpful in my decision to purchase.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > i am on a limited budget, but am willing to spend what is neede=
d to obtain both high grade audio, and durable hardware.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Thanks in advance.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Scott
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >

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