Marantz PMD660 Professional Solid State Recorder

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Can run for hours on four AA batteries. Records on Compact Flash media cards, will store more than 36 hours of mono on a single card.

Field recording means more than just "battery-operated." It takes ruggedness, flexibility, specialized features, and the highest audio quality. It also takes experience to really understand what happens in the field, and to design the right tools for the job. Marantz Professional has that experience. For more than 20 years, Marantz Professional has designed and built field recorders that are up to the challenge, and the PMD660 is no exception. Critical field applications like electronic journalism, technical investigation, and documenting legal proceedings have been waiting for a high-powered, high-quality, high-reliability solid- state recorder in a compact package. Now Marantz Professional has answered-with the PMD660.

Marantz' newest PMD recorder is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but it has features that make more expensive, full-sized field recorders green with envy. It can run for hours on just four AA batteries. It records on Compact Flash media cards which you can find in any discount store, and will store more than 36 hours of mono on a single card. If audio quality is your key requirement, you get over an hour of pristine, uncompressed, 16-bit .wav files. Editing can be achieved right there in the field using either of two editing modes, or you can use your favorite audio editing application by transferring files to your PC- the PMD660 even has its own USB port. XLR inputs, phantom power, built-in mics and more-it's all there in the PMD660.

One last read more thing. Because the PMD660 is a solid-state recorder, it has no moving parts to break or service. There, it just paid for itself. And it's only from Marantz Professional.

Smallest PMD yet-fits in your hand

Records uncompressed 16-bit PCM .wav files at 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.

Records mono .mp3 files at 64 kbps

Records stereo .mp3 files at 128 kbps

Uses inexpensive, widely available Compact Flash media (CF)

1 GB CF card can hold over 1 hour of uncompressed stereo

1 GB CF card can hold over 17 hours (stereo) or 36 hours
(mono) .mp3

Operates for four hours on four AA batteries

Two XLR mic connections with +48v phantom power

Two built-in condenser mics for easy, true stereo recordings

Stereo line I/O

Solid State Design

No moving parts-no maintenance

"Copy Segment" cut-and-paste editing to a new sound file

99 "Virtual Tracks" for EDL-style editing

Built-in USB port for easy file transfer

Optional wired remote control with peak indicator

Solid State Technology
The PMD660 is the newest generation of "Flash Recorders". By storing audio data on Compact Flash (CF) media cards, all of the mechanical hassles of tape recorders are gone forever as are the costs of servicing and maintaining them. Solid State Technology makes the PMD660 less vulnerable to bumps, vibrations, and sonic deterioration over the long haul. Not only that, but CF storage allows you to choose from several recording formats, and makes transfer to computers a snap.

Long Battery Life
Tired of lugging around six extra D-Cells just so you can interrupt your recording to change batteries halfway through an event? The PMD660 will run for four hours on four AA cells. You can carry an extra set around and not even notice they're there-not that you'll need them.

Long Record Times
No more flipping tapes! A single 1 GB flash card can hold up to 36 hours of uninterrupted audio (monaural .mp3 at 64 kbps). For music recording, the same size card can hold more than 17 hours high quality compressed stereo (.mp3 at 128 kbps). If you need the unmatched quality of uncompressed audio, you can get about 1 1/2 CDs worth of 16-bit linear PCM audio at 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz on the same 1 GB card.

Professional I/O
Let's face it. Plugging professional grade microphones into an 1/8 in. jack is asking for trouble. The PMD660 offers two balanced XLR mic inputs with +48v phantom power. And just in case you don't have the time, space or budget to use external microphones, the PMD660 includes a stereo pair of condenser mics built right in.

Editing and File Transfer
In the end, you'll probably want your audio to be used for broad- cast, or burned to a CD for evidence, documentation, or just for convenient playback. You'll want to edit out dead air and irrelevant information. You can do this right on the PMD660 with cut-and-paste simplicity using the "Copy Segment" mode. You don't need to worry about mistakes, because the PMD never erases your original recording. Once you have it the way you like it (or if you prefer to edit on your computer or DAW), you can transfer your audio files to a PC for broadcast or CD burning through the PMD660's built-in USB Port.

Exclusive-"Virtual Track" Mode
For more sophisticated editing jobs, the PMD660 features Marantz Professional's exclusive "Virtual Track" mode. In this mode, you can create up to 99 virtual tracks internal playlists of audio segments. You simply tell the PMD660 what segments of a file to play, and in what order, and it does it without altering the original file in any way, and without using up more card memory. Need 5 and 10 second sound bites and a two-minute interview segment, all from the same file? It's easy with virtual tracks.

Optional Wired Remote
It would be great if every recording situation had a field engineer running everything behind the scenes. Unfortunately, all to often it's just you, wishing you had more hands. The RC600 wired remote control enables you to start and stop recording, and to mark new track starts on the fly. It even has a peak meter right on the remote, so you can keep an eye on your recording, without taking your eye off the ball.
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Digital Audio Systems
System: Solid State Recorder

Usable Media: CF Memory Card, Microdrive

Recording Format:
MP3 - MPEG Audio Layer III compression
PCM - 16-bit linear PCM

Recording Bit Rate:
MP3 mono: 64 kbps
MP3 stereo: 128 kbps

Sampling Frequency: 44.1, 48 kHz

Number of Channels: 2 (stereo), 1 (mono)

Audio Performance

Frequency Response: 16,000 Hz (-0.5dB)

Signal-to-noise ratio: LINE 80 dB
IEC-A weighted: MIC 60 dB

Total harmonic distortion: LINE 0.06%
at 0 VU (PCM): MIC 0.15%

Dynamic range: 80 dB

Type: XLR (1:GND, 2:HOT, 3:COLD)
Input sensitivity: 1.2 mV rms /6.5k ohms

Type: 1/8 in. mini jack
Input sensitivity: 300 mV rms /20k ohms

Type: 1/8 in. mini jack
Standard level: 2 V rms max. /2k ohms

Type: 1/8 in. mini jack
Output power: 8 mW /32 ohms

Output power: 150 mW /16 ohms

Phantom power: +48V, 5mA

Power consumption: 4 W (DC)

Width: 4.5 in. (113 mm)

Height: 1.9 in. (47 mm)

Depth: 7.2 in. (183.5 mm)

Weight: 1.1 lbs. (0.5 kg)

Included Accessories:
CF card (64MB) (US only) x1
AC adapter x1
USB cable x1
Audio cable x1
Carry strap x1
Screws (ISO 3x10 mm) x2
Plastic pin and retainer x1
User guide x1

Optional Accessories: Wired remote RC600PMD

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 630-741-0330

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. (76 ratings)
Submitted April 16, 2007 by a customer from
"Just the thing for recording live music with a pair of condenser microphones."
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I expect to use this for as long as it lasts - I'm hoping a decade or more.

The sound quality of this product is indistinguishable from the best there is. My basis for comparison is a Behringer mixer with S/N over 100dB and a SONY CD recorder, with the usual 90+ dB S/N and dynamic range.

The designers did their homework. The setup functions were, for the most part, intuitive. The only quibble I had was that when I set up my Preset number one, I selected "Default" thinking I was making the settings I had entered the default settings, but what I was doing, actually, was erasing what I had just entered! Fortunately, the fact was readily apparent when the LCD display immediately showed me that I had reverted to MP3 instead of WAV format.

Ease of Use
I plugged in my condenser microphones, and the default of "No Attenuation" was perfect. The metering defaulted to showing everything and holding peaks into the mid-to-high range (close to going over). There were three LEDS in this range, so it gives a good sense of how the levels are set.

The one quibble in the finish and fit is the door to the Compact Flash card - it doesn't open very wide, and I'm afraid some day I'll break the hinge if I'm not careful.

Price is on the high side, but compares favorably with the combined cost of microphone preamps/mixers read more and recorder or hard disk recorder.

The Wow Factor
I dig it! Only worry is that it is so light, it would be easy to pull off the table with the headphone cord.

Musical Style:
Classical and Rock
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