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  #1  
Old 07-03-2010, 07:19 AM
nm451 nm451 is offline
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Default Zoom H1, H2 or H4n for recording acoustic guitar

I want some easy portable recording unit for recording acoustic guitar. I'm completely new to recording so I could use som help. I'm thinking of a Zoom but I don't know which one to choose. I will use the internal mics and I don't need to record several instruments at once. Will I get better sound quality with the H4n compared to H1, H2?
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:00 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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Originally Posted by nm451 View Post
I want some easy portable recording unit for recording acoustic guitar. I'm completely new to recording so I could use som help. I'm thinking of a Zoom but I don't know which one to choose. I will use the internal mics and I don't need to record several instruments at once. Will I get better sound quality with the H4n compared to H1, H2?
At just $159 (Musician's Friend) the H2 can't be beat. The sound quality is equal to the H4n, but the inputs are limited. For live recording the H2 is ideal ... small, light weight, four mic capsules, many different audio formats/resolutions, easy USB connectivity ... etc, etc.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:34 AM
barefooter barefooter is offline
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I only have experience with the H2 and cannot comment on the quality of the others (I am sure each are very good). I use my H2 for practice as well as recording some live performances. It has worked well for me.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:57 AM
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I am pleased with my H4n. I have used its multi-track recording and dual mic/direct input capabilities in addition to its main use as a stereo (mic) recorder. I couldn't say that the H4n has one "killer app" that makes it worth the extra $. However, if you're not too tight for cash, it might be worth having those extra capabilities in the future.

Good luck, and have fun. Flubs notwithstanding, I was pleasantly surprised that I sounded as good or even better than I thought I played.

Now the singing...ouch!
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:11 PM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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...............

Last edited by Herb Hunter; 07-03-2010 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Duplicate Post, how does that happen?
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:15 PM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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The Zoom H2 is easy to use and will provide you with good quality recordings. Its primary limitation, as far as I'm concerned, is its inability to use external microphones. If you anticipate ever needing to use external mics, then I would recommend the H4 which has built-in mics and phantom powered jacks for external ones. At least one of our members, Ljguitar, has both the H2 and H4 and he has always reported favorably on the H2.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:37 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Since the H1 is not yet available we can only surmise based on the specs and description at the Zoom site:

http://www.samsontech.com/products/p...fm?prodID=2053

The mics appear similar to the H4n, but the product description states:

Quote:
Same frequency and SPL handling as popular Zoom H2
When I did a comparison of the H4n to the H2, I thought the H2 presented a very slightly bass heavy result. You can compare them yourself with the clips and discussion here: http://www.homebrewedmusic.com/2009/...-the-zoom-h4n/

The H2 has two big advantages over the other Zoom recorders - the "stand up by itself" form factor and the front and rear mic configuration. Both the H1 and the H4n need some sort of stand, something extra to carry and setup when you want to record. The multi-mic configuration of the H2 works wonderfully for recording "in the round" jam sessions and rehearsals, too. When we use an H4 someone is often on the wrong side of the mics.

I think it's worth considering future uses when shopping for one of these recorders. The quality is so remarkably good that these units open up lots of new avenues. I use my H2 a lot with video projects, as a tool for capturing soundboard mixes, and as an MP3 player when I'm in nitrous-land at the dentist <grin>.

I put my H2 in the wrong spot at a recent gig - someone came along and put their foot in the same spot!! The Zoom almost survived, but the Line In jack got punched in, so I started shopping for a replacement. I looked at the new Tascam DR-100, the H4n, the H1, and H2. Occasional comments about the mic quality of the DR-100 knocked that one out. The H1 does not have a Line In connector, so that came off the list. The H4n is still intriguing, but it's just not as handy as the H2, so when I found a pretty good deal on an Ebay H2 I bought it.

Fran

Last edited by Fran Guidry; 07-03-2010 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:41 PM
nm451 nm451 is offline
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Wow great review and testing you have done Fran!

I'm not sure what you mean with "stand up by itself"? I do need a stand for both H2 and H4n when I'm setting up to record right?
The H4n is USB 2.0 high speed compatible and H2 have the slower USB connection. +H4n

Oh I can't decide which one to buy. Who knows.. maybe I want to use a external mic sometime in the future. Would H4n be better then?

Fran you make the decision for me!


/Gustav
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:59 PM
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If I didn't occasionally need to use external mics, I'd have chosen the H2. But it was the H4N that I bought, and I'm very pleased with it! I recently added a Gator case for it from Sweetwater - kinda odd shaped but has a bit more space for cables, even small headphones. The SBK case offered more protection, but I think the Gator will suit me better. (It should be great for the H2 and similar units as well - about $30, I think. SBK was close to double that.)

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Old 07-03-2010, 06:43 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nm451 View Post
Wow great review and testing you have done Fran!

I'm not sure what you mean with "stand up by itself"? I do need a stand for both H2 and H4n when I'm setting up to record right?
The H4n is USB 2.0 high speed compatible and H2 have the slower USB connection. +H4n

Oh I can't decide which one to buy. Who knows.. maybe I want to use a external mic sometime in the future. Would H4n be better then?

Fran you make the decision for me!


/Gustav
The mics in the H2 are perpendicular to the body in their directionality, rather than in the plane of the body like the H4n and H1. Instead of pointing the H2 like a flashlight, it's more like taking a picture with your phone, if you see what I mean. And since the bottom of the H2 is flat, it can be placed on a table or chair arm or music stand or any flat surface.

The H4n might work hung over the edge of a table, but I think most people mount it to a stand of some kind.

Both units come with a stand adapter.

The H2 USB connection is abysmally slow <grin>. I have a card reader on my computer and use that. The H4n is lots faster as a card reader/storage interface. Both work fine as a computer interface for two channels.

Connecting decent (and that means not very expensive) condenser mics to the H4n improves the recording quality noticeably over the H2.

There's no way I can make the decision for you, I'm afraid. I can barely make my own decisions <grin>. Are you married? I've gotten lots of great equipment purchase advice from my wife <grin>!

Fran
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
... Are you married? I've gotten lots of great equipment purchase advice from my wife <grin>!

Fran
Gustov, my wife BOUGHT me the H4n. How's that for an endorsementl?!

The H4n lies flat on its back. I often record guitar with it on a chair in front of me (when I'm too lazy to get out the tripod). Its mics are 90d or 120d directional, so "in the round" would be problematic.

Oh, and I strongly recommend getting the remote, too.
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Last edited by M19; 07-03-2010 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Editing
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:57 PM
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I've done some "in the round" recording with my H4n, built-in mics set on 120 degrees, by pointing it at the relatively low ceiling in the middle of the circle. What you lose in directionality, your gain in evenness of the pickup. Not ideal, perhaps, but I didn't have an omnidirectional mic handy.

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Old 07-04-2010, 03:11 AM
Michael T Michael T is offline
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Gustov, my wife BOUGHT me the H4n. How's that for an endorsementl?!

The H4n lies flat on its back. I often record guitar with it on a chair in front of me (when I'm too lazy to get out the tripod). Its mics are 90d or 120d directional, so "in the round" would be problematic.

Oh, and I strongly recommend getting the remote, too.
I have an Edirol HR09 and although this is a H2/H4 discussion I agree 100% with the remote. Absolutely necessaary in my opinion.
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:11 AM
nm451 nm451 is offline
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When I record with Zoom can I listen through headphones of what I'm recording? To have a idea of how the recording will sound like
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:14 AM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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When I record with Zoom can I listen through headphones of what I'm recording? To have a idea of how the recording will sound like
Yes, you can monitor as you record. With the H4, you can monitor a previously recorded track while you record an additional track.

Last edited by Herb Hunter; 07-04-2010 at 05:40 AM.
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