... in fact, I just did a comparison between the R-26 pres and the (formerly Edirol, currently) Roland R-44 (no mod), and the R-26 sounded quieter! less hissy.
The two samples and some pictures of the setup can be found here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B8M...JlOWQ5YzU2ZmJk
I used a kitchen timer as my source and two Audio Technica BP4025 - one for each recorder 13" away from the timer. These two files were tracked simultaneously in a semi-anechoic room (more like a large VO room).
The gain settings were: R-26: sens: -56dBu, gain at "60%"
R-44: sens: -56dBu, gain at "full"
the recordings were then adjusted for equal apparent level (judging by the ticking) in my DAW, and exported.
Note that while the R-44 was at max sensitivity and max level (though i know that level is just digital gain), the R-26 still had another sensitivity setting beyond -56 and the level was only at 60%. Before I adjusted it down to 60, at 100 the ticking was actually clipping the recorder with the mic 13" away from the timer. This was nowhere near the level I was getting on the R-44.
OK, so level alone may or not be worth considering, but the noisiness is indisputable!
What do you guys make of this?!
Supposedly the R-44 is the superior unit, and at twice the retail cost, you would think it would be. Thoughts? Any apparent holes in my investigation?
At this point I'm fairly convinced that the pres are better on the R-26, and the only reason i'm still considering the 44 is because of the number of mic inputs...