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Base price for recorder with XLR?


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#1 John Young

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 07:28 AM

I have been looking for a portable machine for some time. I would very much like a Nagra, but they are out of price range right now.

Surly, someone in the last 50 years made a portable reel to reel with XLR input. The reason I ask, is because I would like to use all the good mics I have, and I HATE adapting XLR to 1/4". Those adapters put way too much stress on the plug, and they are like a foot long when you are done (I have no idea why, someday I will make my own).

Anyhow, if that is not a possibility, what about 1/4"? I'm not a big fan of digital recorders, which is why I would like to stay away, but if I HAD to go that route, I would might.... have to see.

Is phantom power out of the question?
Am I asking too much?
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#2 Adam Garner

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 08:46 AM

John:

Look into a Zoom H4. I use one that captures good sound. It's got 2 XLR inputs, phantom power (if I'm remembering correctly), and can handle 96k/24bit, which is sweet. While it's digital it starts around US$299-ish.
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 10:05 AM

I have been looking for a portable machine for some time. I would very much like a Nagra, but they are out of price range right now.

Surly, someone in the last 50 years made a portable reel to reel with XLR input. The reason I ask, is because I would like to use all the good mics I have, and I HATE adapting XLR to 1/4". Those adapters put way too much stress on the plug, and they are like a foot long when you are done (I have no idea why, someday I will make my own).

Anyhow, if that is not a possibility, what about 1/4"? I'm not a big fan of digital recorders, which is why I would like to stay away, but if I HAD to go that route, I would might.... have to see.

Is phantom power out of the question?
Am I asking too much?

Very few professional quality analog portables have ever been manufactured, with XLR's on them Nagra and Stellavox is about it. Uher's can be pretty good but they use DIN plug inputs.

If you have to use a recorder with 1/4" phone plug inputs don't use a one piece adapter, have someone make up adapters that use a foot or so of quality mike cable with a female XLR at one end and a male phone plug at the other. That puts a lot less stress on the connectors.

Have you considered a DAT machine? I just bought a Fostex PD-4 portable DAT timecode recorder with 48 volt phantom off ebay for $500. . It's in close to mint condition and working quite well. It even came with an AC adapter and a PortaBrace bag. The price range on PD-4's is from $500 to $1200 or so. Coffey Sound has one at $1200 right now. I think Trew Audio is still repairing them and is said to have the best parts stock.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 03:06 PM

My father used Uher for years until suddenly he realised you could get a compactflash recorder of vastly higher technical standard for practically peanuts.

I don't see the margin in doing anything else now.

P
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#5 Alex Donkle

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 12:44 PM

Recording to tape at this point is more of a novelty than a quality improvement. Sure, when they first got introduced DACs weren't the greatest, but at this point the higher end equipment is built extremely well and there's no reason not to record digital except maybe for a special effect or two (mainly tape saturation, although I've only ever really used that in band recording).

Sound Devices 702 is very solid, 100% professional grade ($1900). A step down would be a Marantz PMD661 with a Sound Devices MixPre mixer on the front end ($1200). Or just the PMD661 alone ($600).
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#6 John Young

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 08:30 AM

I totally understand all of your quips about digital being easier and whatnot, but I rather hate digital. Now, if I can find a nice digital recorder with 1/4" input or XLR for cheap, I will go that route. That ZOOM H4 or whatever looked promising. I don't see the point of spending digital money on a digital recorder when I can spend cheap money on an expensive tape recorder that USE to be expensive.

The reason I wanted a tape recorder, is because that's the way it has been done for years, and I see no reason to change. I HATE CDs/DVDs because they are inherently more fragile than tape, even if you take good care of them. Scratches and nicks make for bad playing CD's. OK, so the players have gotten loads better over the years. I still think tape is better. Just my thoughts. I have never had a tape "skip". If part of the tape is damaged, the transport pulls the tape right on past that part and keeps going. I can just cut that bad part out.

Recording to card is ok, but it lacks that analogue feel that I do so like. Sorry I ranted about CD's there, I know they have nothing to do with anything.
I guess I want to record on tape because it's a physical medium. Digital recording is sort of like air, and those pesky files can find their selves misplaced.
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#7 Claus Harding

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 04:35 PM

Well, then the Nagra or Stella, by process of elimination, are it. If money is low, I guess EBay is the next stop if you want to go that route.

Prepare thyself... :lol: The "portability" of a Nagra comes with a load of 'A'-size batteries.
Fantastically well-built and good-sounding machines, though.

If you wind up with a Zoom, the H4 is a real chameleon: it's a dinky little plastic box that actually puts out surprisingly clean sound with some good external mics. It does have Phantom Power built in. The only drawback is that it gobbles 'AA' batteries rather fast.


Claus.
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