I've been offered a used 744T, which has spend much of its time in a lab, but also some work in the field. The price is about $500 more then a new 702. All of my field work has been two channels only up until now, but the extra two seem tempting (I know they don't have the mic pre's on channels 3 & 4).

I don't know if these units gets too worn out with some years on its back, so I figured I wanted to ask here about what to do. What would you do?

I guess the Sound Devices recorders is the way to go if one would like top notch recordings.

Sound Devices 7 series
(source: sounddevices.com)

8 Answers 8


Hey folks

I couldt pass on sticking my nose in on this.

I have discussed a lot with Joe ramos from SD, these machines are designed to go anywhere in the world and survive.

744t is the way forward... 788t is naturally the top end on par with the fusion 12 but thats really for drama and multi booms :D

timecide option is very valuable on the 744t and if you get a mixer you can utilise it well

track 1 mono mix, and 3 ISO tracks... of course this would leave one input redundant track wise.

However a great setup I use.. all 4 tracks as ISOs and then you can send a mix out of the 744t to the cam so they have the mono mix on tape, which is great for post :D

It would have been nice if the 744t was a 4 in 6 track recorder so you can save a mix track onboard as well as the ISOs but hey I spose thats the incentive to get a 788 as it was 8in to 10 track and now its upgraded to 8in 12 track :D

Sorry I digress... 744T!!! :DDD


I'm a bit partial to the 744T, but you'll have to invest in a mixer or pre, if you haven't already, to make the second two channels useful. I find that I'm always wanting a third channel when recording in the field (my most common setup is a stereo mic and a shotgun, simultaneously, so I need three channels). Occasionally I'll want a fourth.

The battery life isn't as good as the 702, but it's still fairly decent, especially if you're using an NP1 battery. I can usually get three, maybe four hours on a large Sony Infolithium battery in a 702, maybe cut 45 min to an hour out for a 744T. With the NP1, I can get 5 to 7 hours out of the 702, maybe 4 to 5 for the 744.

In my experience, Sound Devices gear holds up to a ton of abuse, so I wouldn't even flinch at buying a used one. I might send it in to SD for a once over / tune up when you first get it, but it's most likely perfectly fine.

I agree, Sound Devices is the way to go.

  • Nothing to add, really! I concur with Colin: No risks with even used SD units, and it just depends on your channel/tracking needs. Mikkel, you've got one high-class problem making this decision... ;-) May 1, 2010 at 16:29
  • :) Yes I know. My old FR2 is dying slowly, and I dont want to go 3/4 of the right way again. The FR2 has had funny probs all along, and the battery life time has made me a nervous wreck when doing jobs. Constantly looking at the battery indicator, which by the way, sucks, and dosent tell you anything real. Buzzez and elctrical clicks on the recordings when using certain mics together. Can you tell that I really hate this thing by now? Just want a recorder thats dependable, and sounds nice. Thank you Colin, and NoiseJockey for helping me out. May 1, 2010 at 18:37

Thanks to all whos been helping out. Much appreciated:)

Best wishes,



I recently was in the same situation as yourself and was originally going for the Sound Devices 702 recorder. However I finally decided go down the second hand route and which allowed me to go for a 744T and I don't regret that one bit! Although second hand it is like new and I couldn't have told it was used at all! The extra two tracks have not really been of much use ...yet...as most of my work with it so far has been sound fx recording. However, with a production sound gig coming up in the summer I'm sure the extra two channels and the timecode features will have made my decision to get the 744T a worthwile one!

Just had the recorder for a few months now and must say Sound devices make some really really nice pieces of gear!!


Also if you're looking into ever doing production sound in TV or Film, having timecode on the 744T is a very nice feature.

  • The 702T has timecode. You pay $650 for it above the 702, but it's an option
    – Colin Hart
    May 1, 2010 at 23:45

I bought an ex-rental 744, rather than a second 722 (I prefer a hard drive to CF cards) and when I got it it was a little tired but I asked for a 3month warranty and it prove to be totally reliable, so if you do buy second hand ask for a short term warranty of some kind, just incase something becomes apparent in the first few weeks of owning it....

One of the reasons I own Sound Devices is they make recorders that can be serviced. For example I accidentally blew the firewire port in my 744 and had to return it to Sound Devices for repair. While it was there I also got them to replace the 40GB drive with a 160GB and they did all this in 3 weeks, including shipping from NZ>USA>NZ... But what really impressed me was that they checked every aspect of the 744 and did a bunch of service work eg replaced a button, did a few mods that newer machines have etc... And when it was returned there was document listing all the fixes and to me it felt like a new 744!!!

And one thing the 744 has over the 788 is 192kHz recording! I'd love a 788 and I'll start saving for one the day they support 192kHz

ps my main uses for the extra record tracks have been - onboard vehicle recording (engine mic, exhaust mic, stereo interior) - ambience recording in quad (or 5.0 with 722 C.Linked)

  • Sounds like a similar experience a production mixer buddy of mine in NYC had with SD when he 302 (or maybe it was 442) mixer ran into an issue with P48 - both he and SD couldn't figure why the unit kept frying 3 times until they found out that P48 on both the mixer and recorder turned on caused the problem. Nonetheless, during the process, he said SD fixed the unit and replaced the logic boards etc no questions asked - 3 times! Sounds like fantastic customer service/tech. Very excited to know SD users are in good hands, one of the main reasons, (aside from the specs) I just grabbed a 702 Nov 27, 2012 at 1:39

744 isn't as great of a mixer for all of it's channels and only 2 channels are discrete. I was going for a 744 until i found that note out though as my production has increased the need for more than 2 channels from the 702 that I own has become more and more apparent

  • Actually you could even step it up and go for some kind of Nomad mixer with the multi channel discrete inputs which exists in the same price range
    – Chris
    Apr 15, 2012 at 2:49

I have had the 702 for a few years now and I LOVE IT! It works great, is durable, and most of all the audio quality is fantastic! Any Sound Devices recorder you get is going to be awesome.

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