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Old 04-07-2021, 07:38 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is online now
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Default Zoom H8 with external mics vs. F6 with external mics

Hi guys,

Just wondering if there is some sonic advantage to choosing the Zoom F6 over the H8 when recording with external mics.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:13 AM
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keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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If you look on the Zoom site for specs of those two, you'll find pretty well defined specs for the F6 (75dB gain, -127dB EIN), but you won't find those for the H8 (last I checked).

I suspect the H8 is still using H6 level preamps, while the F6 has borrowed from the F8 (same specs). The H8 also still uses the external, attachable stereo mic like the H6.

The H8, like the H6, seems to be trying to cross that gap from kind of prosumer video camera audio and also still having some of the "handy recorder" features (though, TBH, it looks not so "handy" as the H6 that I used for years). The F6 is another entry into the low-cost "pro" field recorder devices that Zoom started with the F4 and F8, and more for mobile/on-site multi-track recording in a space previously owned by very expensive gear from Sound Devices and the like. (They succeeded in pushing Sound Devices to offering lower cost field recorders.)

The F6 has more flexible power supply options, including some that are more familiar to folks using other "film" scenario equiment.

So, it kind of depends on all the use cases you have in mind and maybe the specific microphones you'll be plugging in. My F8n (and F8 before that) clearly have better preamps than the H6, but in the kind of live settings I used them in (mostly clubs), it really was not an issue. (I posted a couple videos here earlier from a club of the same performers done a year apart, first on the H6 and then the F8 - the recorder was not really a factor.) Someone looking to record on a film set should be looking at the F series from Zoom, or if you really need that kind of gain, low noise, 32-bit capability (*not* in the H8), plus metadata entry for scenes and takes, etc., there's really no choice, but for packing around and setting up to record live music, maybe the H8 will have more useful options, especially if you'd find use for the included mic attachment in some cases.

The F6's 32-bit capability is something that's interesting for some live recording scenarios, but, again, depends on use cases. It does have digital look-ahead limiters, which are pretty good (based on my F8/F8n experience).
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:49 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is online now
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Thanks for the response Keith. My use case would be home recording solo acoustic guitar so not a field recorder type of application. Just wondering if it is worth the $300 CDN extra.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Doug View Post
Thanks for the response Keith. My use case would be home recording solo acoustic guitar so not a field recorder type of application. Just wondering if it is worth the $300 CDN extra.
What are you recording for? If it's publication/release, then get the best gear you can.

Most folks would get an audio interface and record into a computer, since you'll have to transfer the data from the digital recorder to a computer for processing, so the only reason to get something like the H8 or F6 is if your recording space and where the computer are located cannot be in the same place. At least, that's my simple view. I've used my F8n at home if I have a friend over and want to record in a larger open space downstairs, or maybe outside. My old (now gone) H6 would do just as well in that case. But in my treated, small music room, I just use the interface.

If you held a Zoom Hx and Fx in your hands, you would understand they are different pieces of equipment, where the F is definitely built for more field work. But I used my H6 for 4 or 5 years (guessing) and it never quit.
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