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Dear All,

I have heard so much good about Sound Devices 7-seriers recorders, in the beginning I thought
it was a lot of hype, but I believe I'm starting to hear the difference of quality preamps... So to my question:
I'm planning to either buy a MixedPRE or a used Sound Devices 702 to use with my Sennheiser and Telinga microphones. Its hard to find a good offer for SD recorders so question:

Is the MixedPRE (or if anyone suggests a alternative) the "same quality" option as purchasing a complete SD recorder? I mean do I get the preamps, and can I connect it to another recorder (for a package) that is more flexible and cheaper in the end?

Many thanks,

PS. I don't know if its ok to ask for a offer for a used SD recorder here but if, please let me know.


DonnyThompson Wed, 03/11/2015 - 04:23

Chris, post: 426117, member: 1 wrote: Its time for me to start researching more microphones.

@Chris ... there are several mic manufacturers that work with ultra-sensitivity technology. I remember reading an article a few years back about one in particular....can't remember who it was, though ... Sanken, maybe? ... who made a microphone sensitive enough to pick up the heartbeat of a beetle...

Apparently it doesn't have to be as expensive - or even as big - as one would think...

One wildlife recorder found that there are some cheap electret microphones in the budget range that have a useful response up to about 60kHz. One of these capsules is the Panasonic WM61A.
You can pick them up for around $10. ;)

anonymous Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:36

DonnyThompson, post: 426132, member: 46114 wrote: I remember reading an article a few years back about one in particular....can't remember who it was, though ... Sanken, maybe? ... who made a microphone sensitive enough to pick up the heartbeat of a beetle...

I remember that, I'm so intrigued. Thanks for the links.

drumrob Wed, 03/11/2015 - 08:10

I believe the MixPre-D uses the same preamps as its larger brothers in the Sound Devices mixer family. So if you only need two inputs and two outputs, the MixPre-D with something like the Tascam DR-40 recorder would be a very nice combination. For more money, you can get the Sound Devices SD552, which combines a 5-input mixer with a built in recorder. That gives you more inputs, much more flexibility on outputs, and less of a hassle because you don't have to hook up a separate recorder. They list here in the US for about $3500 (I know!), but you can probably find a good used one for $2100-2200 or so.

Have fun!


DonnyThompson Mon, 03/16/2015 - 05:57

I know very little about this device, or even the company in general, but I think you'd need to weigh the cost of good external preamps against those that are already built into the model that Rob mentioned... also, keeping in mind the converters; again, I don't know enough about this gear to be able to comment either way...

External mic preamp prices are all over the map, from bare bones budget/entry level models starting at $70 or so, all the way up into the thousands. I'm assuming that you want a preamp that is as transparent and as quiet as possible, so I would definitely steer away from anything with transformers, as these will have a tendency to "color" the sound.
(There's nothing at all wrong with a transformer based mic pre, generally, those that use them are using them because they like the character/color that they can add to the source - but in your situation, I would think you would want the signal to be as clear/transparent as possible, with no added noise or coloration).

I would assume that the preamps built into the mixer model would be of very good quality - after all, the company seems to have a niche in the remote/field recording market, and one would assume that they would want their clients to be happy with the equipment, and so would provide the best components possible at the price they are selling for.

There are some very nice transparent mic pre's out there - Grace, Millennia, Gordon... all fall into the "super-clean ultra-transparency yet dead-silent" category ... but... they are not cheap. The most basic Grace model, the M101, is around $700 - for one channel. The Millennia HV35, which is also a single channel mic pre, is also around $700. The Gordon (Model 4), which is considered by many to be the "Holy Grail" of transparent mic pre's, is around $1800 for a single channel, although they do have a 2 channel model (model 5) available for around $2600. ;)

I suppose the best thing to do is to do some research, weigh out the costs vs the quality and capability, and decide from there what your best option(s) would be.