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Old 13th November 2015
Marantz Professional PMD620 1st gen owner: be careful with firmware update v.3.02

TL;DR: latest firmware update v.3.02 bricked my Marantz Professional PMD620 handheld recorder unit.

I downloaded and performed the latest official firmware update as available on Denon / Marantz Professional (inMusic Brands) website (here under the tab "Downloads": Denon Professional - PMD620).

At the end of the process, the message "Update Completed" was displayed as expected, but the system was frozen and failed to automatically restart as it should. I waited several hours with nothing else happening. Finally I had to unplug the device from the power outlet to turn it off, the soft power on/off switch having no effect (obviously the Key Lock switch was off).

Then all attempts to turn the unit back on have failed. It is bricked.

Previous firmware updates worked like a charm, up to v2.33.

Support tried to lose me between the online European support (UK-based), the useless French support and distributor Algam (since I live in France), reseller, various repair centers, certified or not (dozen of emails, many phone calls, four trips to the reseller...).

At the end of the day, inMusic denies any problem with the update, denies any responsibility for the bricking of my unit, doesn't have an emergency boot procedure for the PMD620 1st generation, refuses to sell me a new device at cost price.

What's left is to send my unit to the Germany-located inMusic brands repair center, to have the main PCB replaced. InMusic charges for this part almost as much as a brand new PMD620 MKII, not including labor and shipments. Obviously it's not worth it and it's by design.

Current price for a new unit is $400/€300. That's pretty expensive for a portable device which does only audio recording, designed a decade ago (MKII is exactly the same as MKI, with the added ability to encrypt files). Nothing professional about this, except for the brand name and the price...

Talk about planned obsolescence and artificially created electronic wastes!