Tascam DR70D vs Zoom H6


Ok , so let me set the premise for this post . Yesterday I had an Interview to film for a Musician who is about to post an IndieGoGo Fundraiser for a Music Video ( More on that Later , But Very Cool Video Idea in his head , just saying’)

So I got out the two mics I wanted to use and set up the camera and black back screen etc . Then decided I would set up the Zoom H6 and run a Stereo Cable from it out to the Camera .

The Mics were my RODE NTG3 , and RODE Lav direct with the XLR adapter and Mic cable .

I brought up the menu , engaged Phantom Power , and set levels Test 1,2 Test 1,2 …. Listening in the Headphones , I was kinda puzzled , and though Maybe I had a Menu setting wrong or something , because of the Noise I was hearing …. From BOTH mics!   First Channel one , then Channel 2 , back and forth , testing and testing …… Ok I am not liking this , ( at this point I only had about 15 minutes before my client showed up ) I started to panic a little …..

The day before I had updated the firmware on my Tascam DR70d , and forgot where I put it …….. ( House is a mess now )

But after a crazy panic hunt , I found it , and set it up in place of the Zoom H6 , and Plugged in the mics and headphones .

Wait a minute …….HUH???? Wheres the Noise ?  It was nice and clean  Not quite Sound Devices Clean — BUT , WAY Cleaner than the ZOOM H6 >>>>>  I mean DRAMATICALLY different levels of noise .

The Zoom H6 , I had bought to replace the Zoom H4n ,because of Noise and was ok with it , But It isn’t exactly Bag Friendly  for film work . Then the NHK gig was coming up ( this is back about 5 months ago ) and I got the DR70d and  Portabrace Mixer bag , for the NHK Documentary gig .  And It was good enough to make work . But I had forgotten about the H6 and hadn’t used it for Mic input since then …….

Now I will recheck my settings before I make any hasty judgement about selling the H6 , but It was that much difference on my two machines , that all of the sudden , My View of my Super Cool H6 …….. was tarnished . And not in a Small Way either .

The Tascam DR70d that I Own … I cannot speak for all machines …… but the one I have , TROUNCED my Zoom H6 yesterday on Noise levels for the mic preamps ……. and I am a little stunned by it .

Tascam ….. You have indeed Redeemed yourselves in the Portable Audio market at this level of sound . If you keep this up , and make something along the Design of Sound Devices 302 , or 702T  ( Time Code capable)

I think if you build a Pro level recorder in the small Mixer bag friendly form factor with Time code . Sound Devices might be in trouble because the Price of their gear is Really High , Great stuff , BUT too high for the Budget film maker and DSLR shooter .

My Tascam DR70d , did a Fantastic job of making that interview video sound good yesterday . I am happy with what it does .

And With all this being said , Lets just say , I  WILL be doing a FULL review , ……… Of the TASCAM DR680 mk2  in the very near future  .

Tascam has indeed upped it’s game .

I have Used Sound Devices gear , and Kamesan , Sigma Engineering , LOVE the Kamesan mixer sound , so fat .

But the Price tag prohibits me from owning it , I can rent it anytime . But with the sound I got yesterday , I don’t think I will need to for most of my projects .

TIME CODE ,…….. The Missing feature …… Tascam your almost there .

(UPDATE about the Zoom H6 )

I figured out what the problem was , and had a Power issue , after resolving it the RODE NTG3 sounded fine thru the H6 , so all said The H6 and DR70d are close , in terms of audio quality


2 thoughts on “Tascam DR70D vs Zoom H6

  1. I’ve just bought a H6 and your initial story made me think I’d made an awful mistake, as I intend to use it with lavs and shotguns. But your update was a good one. What was the power issue, and how did you solve it?

    • I was using NMHD Batteries and one of them had gone bad , So I dint have time to check until after the client left . Then I found out .
      H6 is ok , But just not Bag friendly , Audio Bags are designed a specific way for mic cable pass thru etc , and the H6 does not work well with those bags

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