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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Simon View Post
    Just wanted to update this thread to say that my H4n failed recently and I took advantage of a B&H sale and bought the F4 for $450. It was soooo worth the investment. The F4 works perfectly for my needs, and with excellent sound quality.

    Thanks for the recommendation.
    I was pretty hot on buying one of the SD MixPre-3 or 6 but I am having a hard, long look at the F4, it is such a more versatile device, it's hard to ignore. I think the Kashmir pre-amps will sound a lot better than what the F4 has but the TC features could be super handy for certain projects. Difficult choice on which to go with, but leaning toward the F4.
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    Having moved from the Sound Devices 442 to the Zoom F8 (5.0 software), I am thrilled so far. I was concerned about the small form factor of the knobs and visibility of the screen, and they are not an issue (for a guy with bifocals). It eats batteries compared to the 442, but then it is doing so much more processing than the 442. It is packed with features. It's menu is well thought out and has shortcuts for quick changes. [edit] This also was a concern to have operation be menu driven rather than switch and knob driven. But it is very quick to get to essential functions rapidly and I find no disadvantage in having so many features menu driven [end edit]. The only two features it does not have over the F8n is switchable mic/line on the XLR (line available on the 1/4" jack) and pro-level line out on the mains, which also for me, is not an issue. Thumbs up on the Zoom Fx units.
    Last edited by Paul F; 10-12-2018 at 10:47 AM.


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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F View Post
    Having moved from the Sound Devices 442 to the Zoom F8 (5.0 software), I am thrilled so far. I was concerned about the small form factor of the knobs and visibility of the screen, and they are not an issue (for a guy with bifocals). It eats batteries compared to the 442, but then it is doing so much more processing than the 442. It is packed with features. It's menu is well thought out and has shortcuts for quick changes. The only two features it does not have over the F8n is switchable mic/line on the XLR (line available on the 1/4" jack) and pro-level line out on the mains, which also for me, is not an issue. Thumbs up on the Zoom Fx units.
    I'm thinking I would power off of an Anker Candy Bar battery so battery consumption shouldnt be a factor, although not sure how to turn USB output into DC into Hirose to power the F4? There should be a way. Compared to the Kashmir preamps, what are your thoughts on the quality and transparency of the F4/F8's mic pre-amps.
    Gear matters. But just a little. Story is everything.


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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    not sure how to turn USB output into DC into Hirose to power the F4? There should be a way.
    USB power is typically 5 volts DC. The F4 requires at least 9 volts (9-16v according to the specs") via the Hirose.

    Most reviews rate the F series preamps on par with the MixPre (aside from the analog limiter). I have not done any A-B comparisons, though when I get some time I plan an A-B listen it with my old 744 / 302 rig.


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    If you want to use the candy bar, there is this, without the Hirose - https://www.amazon.com/HeavenLights-...T5A41G5VKT6GMP

    There are USB - Hirose cables, but I haven't seen one with the converter to 9 or 12v.

    I don't feel qualified to discuss pre-amps. I'll leave it to Rick and others to provide opinions about the pre-amps.


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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    I was pretty hot on buying one of the SD MixPre-3 or 6 but I am having a hard, long look at the F4, it is such a more versatile device, it's hard to ignore. I think the Kashmir pre-amps will sound a lot better than what the F4 has but the TC features could be super handy for certain projects. Difficult choice on which to go with, but leaning toward the F4.
    I’ve done TC shoots alongside RED with the MixPre-6. Just slap a Tentacle Sync or similar in the bag, fed into the Aux 5/6, and it’s no problem. I use Tentacles for recorder, camera, and slate, and they’re solid.

    The Kashmir pre-amps are excellent. The F4/8 pre-amps aren’t bad - certainly a vast improvement on any of Zoom’s previous field recorders - but lack some low end against the Kashmirs. You may also find the headphone amp on the Zoom to be a little anemic.

    And the honest-to-goodness, analog limiters on the MixPre are incerdibly clean. The hybrid limiters on the F-series are okay, but not as reliable.

    I’m on a project right now where the producers brought some sound gear they said I was welcome to use. It includes an F8. I played with it. It’s a good machine, but I still like the SD machines better. Went with a MixPre-10T instead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    I'm thinking I would power off of an Anker Candy Bar battery so battery consumption shouldnt be a factor, although not sure how to turn USB output into DC into Hirose to power the F4? There should be a way. Compared to the Kashmir preamps, what are your thoughts on the quality and transparency of the F4/F8's mic pre-amps.
    I would not use a USB power block for this. First as mentioned it's going to be 5V not 9V second they mostly don't have as much Watt Hours as you will want. I would instead go with something like this
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    This is actually the smallest one they make and I have run stuff for hours on them. We had a power outage last night and I used one to power the WiFi router, which has a fair draw, and it ran three hours and only dropped one (out of five) led on it's gas gauge.

    I ended up with a stack of them for a lighting project and they have been fantastic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noiz2 View Post
    I would not use a USB power block for this. First as mentioned it's going to be 5V not 9V second they mostly don't have as much Watt Hours as you will want.
    Those are very good points. Having brought that up, you remind me that the USB is spec'd to deliver only 500ma, which is way short of what the F4 needs according to Zoom specs.


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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noiz2 View Post
    I would not use a USB power block for this. First as mentioned it's going to be 5V not 9V second they mostly don't have as much Watt Hours as you will want. I would instead go with something like this
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    This is actually the smallest one they make and I have run stuff for hours on them. We had a power outage last night and I used one to power the WiFi router, which has a fair draw, and it ran three hours and only dropped one (out of five) led on it's gas gauge.

    I ended up with a stack of them for a lighting project and they have been fantastic.
    This is helpful, thanks!
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    I have been using my mixpre 3 quite a bit. Far more than I would have thought because it is so limited and only records to one card.

    A couple of thoughts on it. It is really great for run and gun doc shoots. I use it in a small bag with a couple of receivers and boom. I use the 1/8" stereo out to feed camera hops. If I need timecode, I just feed it using my wireless timecode system. A couple of medium sized L batteries will run it for more than an entire day and the big dials and lights make it easy to glance down and see what is happening with levels. I have a full size system, but I find the nimbleness of the MixPre 3 to make it so much easier use when I am running around with just one or two channels.

    Tip: you can actually take the card out of the mixpre 3 and put it into a six series recorder in order to create a sound report. The mixpre 3 doesn't have this function right now, but it does allow you to name channels and create notes using the bluetooth app.


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