Marantz PMD620 Review
Oryoki’s First Impressions of the Marantz PMD620 (plus responses). It seems as though the preamps are better than expected.
The preamp specifications Marantz publishes for the PMD620 are similar to the specs of the PMD660 recorder. This is not a good sign, because the PMD660 is (correctly) criticized as having relatively high self-noise and poor performance when recording loud material.
However, in my brief tests the PMD620 sounded better than the specs might suggest.
The built-in mics are adequate. They have a somewhat better sound when you point the top of the mic at the subject, holding the recorder as if it were a TV remote control. The sound is thinner and brighter when you point the front or back of the recorder at the subject (this points the top of the recorder and the mics at the ceiling).
[…] Compared to my Oade-modified PMD660, the PMD620 was a bit noisier, but sounded very good as long as the preamp gain was held a little below maximum. Overall, I’d say the PMD620’s preamp is better than the stock PMD660, and similar to the well-regarded Sony Hi-MD minidisc recorder.
In an addenda message, the author reports on a nice test of what happens to a recording when the battery nears the end of its life. He he inserted a 4GB card and recorded until the battery ran out. The upshot is that the PMD620 fails gracefully:
The PMD620 created a 2.7 GB file, proving that there is no 2GB file size limit with this machine. […] This demonstration shows that the PMD620 has good manners as it approaches the end of battery life. The open file was closed and saved properly as the machine shut down.
P.S. Want to see photos and product specifications and download the manual for the Marantz PMD620? Hereya go.
This recorder has a problem with the firmware update. Certain types of SD memory it simply does not like, these including Transcend and Kingston. Any file over several minutes in length (aren’t they all) will not play on your PC until you go back and try to play the file on the recorder itself first. When you do this, a small window comes saying ‘restore’ only then the file will play (Most of the time). Tech support was of no help. Only recommended we don’t use these brands.
They also say they have not heard of the problem before. However, if the problem is not known, then how does the recorder know to ‘restore’ the file when you try to play it? This ‘restore’ function MUST be written into the latest firmware update to happen. Naughty, naughty, being deceptive to the customer…
Some technical information: