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New Nomad review available


Glen Trew
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I reviewed the Zaxcom Nomad for the next issue of Sound and Picture magazine. The magazine is printed and will arrive in the mailboxes of subscribers in just a few days, and the article will soon be available in the online version of Sound and Picture magazine. The staff of S&P was nice enough to let me post it on the Trew Audio website, and it is available now at this link: http://www.trewaudio.com/audioflow/2012/01/12/zaxcom’s-nomad-the-next-step-in-field-recording/

Glen Trew

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Glen,

The middle photo is incorrectly tagged as 6 AES, they are all on the DB15 connector. That side is the returns and outputs.

Liked the review, clear and concise.

Joel

You are correct, Joel. That was done intentionally to see if anyone was paying attention. ::)

There are a few self-inflicted typos that make me cringe, too. But that's the mixed blessing of ink and paper; once it's done, it's done.

At least the Nomad is properly labeled.

gt

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  • 1 month later...

Is this not a conflict of interest or at the very least a case of shameless self promotion?

I realize you want to promote it as it promotes you and your business and all but and the multi-forked approach of hawking it here and on your company's magazine.

Credibility is everything and you may want to watch out.

Scott Harber

Glen Trew has written some of the most thorough, personal and informative reviews of almost every piece of gear we use in production. All of these reviews have been written by Glen after extensive personal experience with the item being reviewed. Trew Audio publishes these reviews as a service to their customers and the sound community at large. There is no conflict of interest or self-serving propaganda in these reviews and I have read just about all of them over the years. I personally am thankful that Glen Trew has taken the time to write such thorough and thoughtful reviews.

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Scott, do you know any neophytes who have bought a Nomad? There could be some, but I don't know any.

I (think I) hear what your saying, but Glen's been doing this mixer-dealer-reviewer thing for years. Sure, there's some COI, but he's totally transparent about those conflicts. And that's a damn sight better than what some pretend independent reviewers provide.

I consider Glen's reviews knowledgeable product tours. They're useful, but I don't make a buying decision based on just his opinion. Even though I respect his opinion.

Ya, a truly knowledgable, independent, and objective source of opinion would be great. But these days we all need to piece together published stuff, JWS/RAMPS/etc discussions, chats with colleagues, and our own experience. Glen's reviews fit into that matrix without causing harm.

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As long as the reviewer is open as to where they are coming from (dealer, manufacturer, anarchist) I don't think the "smarter than the average bear" readers of this site have a problem doing the appropriate interpretation.

Best,

Larry F

Lectro

+1 to this and immediately preceding comments from Messrs Feeley and Wexler.

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I want to unequivocally state that I rescind my previous post about the Nomad review of Glen Trew.

It was very immature on my part and I have nothing but respect for what Glen does and how he approaches our world and I'm sorry for what I had implied in the post.

Something about seeing the perpetual posting on the Nomad and then the failure of Rado's and , in my mind, the premature release amidst the hype got the best of me and I lashed out without thinking too much about what I was saying.

My resentment towards Zaxcom stems from years ago being denied access to the Deva forum prior to buying one and it made me think there was something wasn't right. I needed to see what I was in for so I could hit the ground running and incorporate the Deva the next day of shooting. They wouldn't allow me access and so they lost a customer.

I thought I'd moved on about this but between seeing the various posts, ingesting a megadose of coffee, and ignoring my smarter self that said "don't post that", I can say that I haven't and need to think about how I've held onto these feelings.

For people like me, this is where the internet is dangerous.

Again, my apologies to Glen Trew, as well as Glenn, Howie and Colleen at Zaxcom.

Sincerely,

Scott Harber

Edited by S Harber
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May I also add an "I shouldn't write this post" by writing that Glenn's (Zaxcom) brilliance as an engineer far outshadows his business sense. Feature-rich products are fantastic, but they can't beat basic functionality. Teasing us with features or products that are wrought with delay and technical difficulties has completely turned me off to the product line. His defensiveness and apparent lack of willingness to allow the "issues" with his products to air out on a public forum is also a turn-off. Whether the issue is the product itself or the user's failure to navigate a complicated machine with confusing manuals is irrelevant.

I don't care a bit about about all the fancy stuff when "plug in and press record" doesn't work.

While some folks have received flawless and rock-solid machines, the percentage of failure (firmware and hardware) seems a great deal higher on Zaxcom products, perhaps due to the rushing out of machines so as not to exceed a realease date by too much longer than promised.

I will add that I believe Glen's product reviews to be fair and impartial.

Robert

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While some folks have received flawless and rock-solid machines, the percentage of failure (firmware and hardware) seems a great deal higher on Zaxcom products, perhaps due to the rushing out of machines so as not to exceed a realease date by too much longer than promised.

Robert

The statement "some folks have received flawless and rock solid machines" if this refers to Zaxcom products over the last 14 years, the statement is totally off base. "Some folks" ? You've got to be joking. There are hundreds of Devas and Fusions that have been in service working perfectly for years and years... these folks didn't just get "lucky", they purchased incredibly reliable, innovative and feature rich recorders that set the bar for every other manufacturer of similar products. Some of the things you say above I do agree could apply to the roll out of Nomad, but I think what is more at play here is that we don't hear from all the people who are happily using their Zaxcom products (or any other device for that matter) we tend to hear from the few who are having trouble.

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The statement "some folks have received flawless and rock solid machines" if this refers to Zaxcom products over the last 14 years, the statement is totally off base. "Some folks" ? You've got to be joking. There are hundreds of Devas and Fusions that have been in service working perfectly for years and years... these folks didn't just get "lucky", they purchased incredibly reliable, innovative and feature rich recorders that set the bar for every other manufacturer of similar products. Some of the things you say above I do agree could apply to the roll out of Nomad, but I think what is more at play here is that we don't hear from all the people who are happily using their Zaxcom products (or any other device for that matter) we tend to hear from the few who are having trouble.

Fair enough... most folks. And I meant "lucky" in the way that they have amazing machines, not that they got lucky by getting a good machine. But I think your view is a touch clouded by your success with the product line. As I was moving up, I ran accross more mixers having problems with their Zaxcom products, back to the Deva II, than I did with mixers with other product lines (although Fostex runs a close second). While this is perhaps justified with the first line of file-based recorders from any manufacturer, time should have afforded Zaxcom better judgement in releasing products. I still read threads about the QRX100, which was released before it was really ready. The Nomad is not the first. The other Deva release issues may have made less noise, but only because this forum either didn't exist, or had far fewer members.

And I know it's the few who are having trouble who we hear from the most, but I'm saying that considering the higher volume of Sound Devices users than Zaxcom users, that if the percentage of problem machines was the same, this forum would be riddled with posts telling of Sound Devices failures.

Robert

Edited by RPSharman
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Who better to review than Glen T? Very experienced mixer--a life in the "hot seat", a successful dealer of this sort of gear (incl all the important competitors of each device he's reviewed) and a manufacturer himself, so he knows how that business works. He can't be BSed on production sound gear. I much prefer his reviews to those written by people with little experience and axes to grind (or personal blogs).

phil p

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May I also add an "I shouldn't write this post" by writing that Glenn's (Zaxcom) brilliance as an engineer far outshadows his business sense. Feature-rich products are fantastic, but they can't beat basic functionality. Teasing us with features or products that are wrought with delay and technical difficulties has completely turned me off to the product line.

I sympathize with you, Robert, but this same kind of thing happens in the camera business (Red in particular), the post business (take Avid and Final Cut Pro, please), and many others. This goes back decades. Every single time those companies have come out with a 1.0 product, they're fraught with problems. Users figure out workarounds and move on.

When I worked for Cinesite here in LA, Kodak had just taken their Cineon software product (which cost about $10,000 at the time) off the market, because users kept screaming that Kodak was screwing with the functionality, promising new features that never happened, and -- even worse -- was using a more advanced version at Cinesite than the users could buy. The reality was, the product was so buggy, we kept it in-house just to try to fix the bugs. If it had been released as-is, the features were there... but they worked very badly. You can't win.

I'm convinced Zaxcom is doing their best to serve a very small market, and they have a very advanced, cutting-edge product that was known early on to have some bugs and non-implemented features. The original Deva eventually got worked out to most people's satisfaction, and I have no doubt Nomad will eventually be a similar success story.

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"Feature-rich products are fantastic, but they can't beat basic functionality."

Since our products all offer "basic functionality" as well as many advanced features I am not sure I understand your point?

"Teasing us with features or products that are wrought with delay and technical difficulties has completely turned me off to the product line."

The implication of "teasing" is that it is wrong to announce the final feature set of a new product if features are not ready to ship. Our customer base is not composed of children. I am sure they would want to know about every feature of a new product so that an informed purchase decision can be made. As for "wrought with delay and technical difficulties" please be specific as to what you are refering to as 99% of our Nomad customers seem happy to me.

"His defensiveness and apparent lack of willingness to allow the "issues" with his products to air out on a public forum is also a turn-off. Whether the issue is the product itself or the user's failure to navigate a complicated machine with confusing manuals is irrelevant."

I have no control over what is posted on public forums as evidenced by your posts on this forum ;-)

"I don't care a bit about all the fancy stuff when "plug in and press record" doesn't work."

Not sure what you are referring to here. Could you be more specific? When proper media is formatted and power is applied our gear records just fine. In fact it is far more reliable than our compatition due to our MARF file system.

"While some folks have received flawless and rock-solid machines, the percentage of failure (firmware and hardware) seems a great deal higher on Zaxcom products, perhaps due to the rushing out of machines so as not to exceed a release date by too much longer than promised."

You are guessing that failure rates of our products as compared to our competitors is higher as to support the guess that we "rush" out machines rather than releasing them when they are ready.

I don't know where you get your statistics. Could you give me the figures from our competitors to back up this claim?

Glenn

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The problem for me is that your "observations and opinions" are not facts and in this case not true. For example When you write "plug in and press record" doesn't work." You need to be sure that you are correct. In this case you are dead wrong. You need to search for threads regarding other recorders that have problems recording because there are more posts here by far about lost recordings from FAT32 based recorders than our gear.

Glenn

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