Quick Summary:

Memory: SD memory cards
Sample rate /Bitdepth: up to 24/96
Microphone Input type: XLR
Phantom Power: yes
Interface: USB 2
Cost: $550- 600

Some of the most popular and trusted recorders over the years  have been made by Marantz.  In terms of cassette recorders, there was no better.  Logically, as Marantz moved into the digital age, that trust continued.  However, Marantz had some early miscues in the marketplace with the releases of the PMD 670 and the PMD 660.  These recorders incorporated very low end preamps which produced  poor recordings, especially for the money.  I for one felt that Marantz had slipped a bit in the recording quality department.  The newer generation recorders, including the PMD 661, have reinstated Marantz in the portable field recording market.  While they are still not my favorite recorders, or even the best recorders for the money, I am satisfied with the recording quality and relative ease of use of these recorders. Don’t get me wrong,

The Marantz PMD 661 is a rock solid performer.    Unfortunately, Marantz has a three-tiered recorder structure (low end, mid range, professional) and this recorder is the mid-range recorder.  Therefore, Marantz deliberately withholds more “professional” features from this recorder such as a limiter, yet still charges more for a mid-range recorder.  If you are a die hard Marantz fan, you will love this recorder.  It is incredibly easy to use, has decent preamps for the pricepoint and has the best OLED display on the market. For the money, however, I would recommend something else.

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Douglas A. Boyd

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