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    signal to noise ratio question for portible hd recorders.


    hey everyone ...... I recently got my microtrack stolen which I am happy about because it was useless to me but and I now have the insurance money to by something better.. so I am now looking at buying a new portable hd recorder...

    I found the microtrack absolutely useless for low level recordings as the noise factor was so great... and lets face it most field recordings are low level ambiances.....

    but I'm a bit confused on the whole matter... the microtrack supposedly had a 100 db signal/noise ratio which is quite good but in reality that was not the case..

    at uni I am using the tascam hdp2 which is absolutely excellent with low level recordings which only has –60 dBu (Trim max) to –13.8 dBu (Trim min) ( what ever that means)

    I have also used the Marantz PMD670 which is great with low level recordings, but and only has a 65bd noise floor....

    so yeh I'm a little confused on the whole situation......

    at the moment the fr2le which has an 85db ratio looks like the most attractive option with its xlr inputs and sexy design...... but if it is noisy what's the use..
    I've also heard good things about the zoom recorder..........

    if any one could give me advise on any of these matters... or recommend a good budget recorder it would be greatly appreciated.

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    You have to take care about the noise floor of the mic - preamps and this is NEVER -100dB at the Microtrack. So far the Fostex FR-2 was known to have good Mic Preamps but it costs about 1100 Euro. Because the Fostex-ER2-LE should have the same Mic Pres as the FR-02 (without LE) I am waiting for this device with should come to the market at mid of May. The FR-02LE cost just 599 Euro if this is a suitable budget for you I would take this if I would be in you situation. I will probably buy the FR2LE if it comes here

    -Erdie

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    hi ktime,
    manufacturers specs are often seriously misleading, to the point of becoming irrelevant. it seems highly unlikely that a microtrack 2496 would ever give a 100dB SNR, regardless of how you measure it or interpret the results. at the other extreme, the figure mentioned for the hdp2 seems to be a worst case scenario, mine never gives snr of under 85dB at max gain with XLR's shorted. Reviews I've seen indicate that the Zoom H-4 seems to be on a par with the MT2496 regarding noise ie. there's lots of it. The FR2LE would be a more serious option and hopefully will improve a bit on the original re noise. If so it would be quite a quiet box.
    Ben

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