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Re: Mixpre D: is a bit bucket worth the trouble and money

Subject: Re: Mixpre D: is a bit bucket worth the trouble and money
From: natureguyusa
Date: Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:07 am ((PST))
Hi Jon,

I have used M-Audio Microtrack and Microtrack II's for years as digital bit 
buckets to connect to the SPDIF output of my own designed, ultra low noise mic 
preamp. The Microtrack II's allow for headphone monitoring. Microtracks would 
probably be pretty hard to find now, and if you do find them, you will probably 
need to change the battery inside them. The lowest cost digital input recorder 
on the market now is the Tascam DR-100MKII, for around $200, which is a decent 
recorder as well with a -120dB input noise. I used one for a while. If you 
haven't already bought the MixPre-D, you might want to consider the Tascam 
DR-680. The DR-680 is the lowest noise bang for your buck, has 6 channel input, 
digital in/out, with a recorder, for about half the cost of a MixPre-D. It's a 
battery hog, but most low noise devices are. The DR-680 has only 2-3dB more 
input noise than a Sound Devices 700 series or the same input noise as the 
MixPre-D. I haven't actually used a DR-680, so there might be issues with it 
that I am not aware of. One thing about the MixPre-D is that the A/D converter 
used is only rated at 103dB, which is not very good, so you might be better off 
using the line output. The best preamps today should have 120dB A/D converters 
or you really are just using 16 bit performance, which some will argue is all 
anyone needs, but you miss an extra 20dB of dynamic range to be able to record 
at lower levels to make sure you do not clip. I routinely record at -30dB 
average with my set-up with a 120dB 24bit A/D conversion. That said, the DR-680 
only has a 100 or so db A/D converter as well. Using a digital out to digital 
input allows you to completely bypass input amps of normally noisy inexpensive 
recorders. The next best thing is to use a line input with and a low noise 

Bruce Rutkoski
Professional Parabolic Microphones

"While a picture is worth a thousand words, a 
sound is worth a thousand pictures." R. Murray Schafer via Bernie Krause.

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