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So I probably already know the answer to this question myself: NO! But I'm going to ask anyway, mostly because I'm curious if anybody else has experienced something similar.

I had bought a Sound Devices 744t recently, it's second hand but through a shop, so it comes (luckily) with a warranty. I did some quick test recordings last Friday, and everything was happy and dandy. Then, last night, I decided to charge the battery with the supplied power supply plugged into the mains, the 744t switched on. After an hour or so I checked how it was going, happened to touch the device, to find out it was extremely hot. The 744t itself that is, not the adapter.

The 744t was inside a Petrol bag, maybe that made it a bit hotter, but one side of the bag was unzipped and completely left open, plus there was ample of space for airflow both to the top and the bottom of the recorder. I couldn't find any info in the manual about the recorder getting that hot when charging, no info online either.

Anyway everything still seemed kind of OK and when I checked this morning, the battery was fully charged and the recorder itself back to a normal temperature. However! When I then went out on a happy day trip full of sweet sweet recording opportunities, it turned out that the mic preamps didn't work anymore, the headphone amp wasn't playing back the test tone nor the recordings I'd done on Friday, and also the gain overload LED of the headphone amp was continuously in the red.

So yeah, something has fried, and I'm sending back the 744t. I called Sound Devices customer support and they told me to do just that. So there you go, I just answered my own question, can I now also give myself an upvote?

Anybody else experienced something like this?

PS - The 'funny' thing is that I'd decided to splash out on a 744t since my previous recorder (Tascam DR680) was rendered useless after the tip of my headphone plug had broken off inside the headphone amp, and couldn't be removed, not even after completely dismantling the recorder. Seems that The Audio Gods are having a go at me. I do hope they're having fun! :P

  • I had that happen to a set of headphones in a Rane DJ mixer where I used to play long ago. It's the worst when that happens. – Stavrosound Aug 30 '11 at 2:23
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I bought a seperate charger dock & sets of batteries... For the very small cost it is much better as means the recorder isn't tied up charging batteries...

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Sound Devices Recorders are a bit notorious for getting hot. A mixer once said to me you could "fry an egg" on his. While you do need to watch that it doesn't get too hot and turn it off when you can, it seems to be just a quirk you have to deal with as a sidenote to its other useful features.

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I have a production mixer friend who inadvertently fried his SD 302 about 3x (and repaired by SD) before discovering that if both his mixer AND recorder's phantom power were enabled, it fried the gear. So it could be a phantom power issue of some sort too. But I hear SD is very good with customer service so you should be in good hands.

  • SD is amazing with their customer service. Phantom power is the silent killer of gear!!!! Be careful! – Colin Hart Sep 3 '11 at 17:05
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I have 14 744Ts. They all get hot. Depending on how you use them, they can all get VERY hot. You know that cheat sheet that you can put on top of them (plastic sleeve)? They make those things start shriveling up from the heat.

So yes, it is perfectly normal for this to happen. As @Sean said, they are notorious for doing this, especially when in a bag.

I have been in the field in the middle of summer where the thing got so hot that it hurt to touch and I had to operate it with a pencil instead of my finger. Little champ pulled through it like it was nothing.

If you're just charging the battery, I'd do what Tim said and get a separate charger for it anyways. If you can't do that, don't worry - there is nothing wrong with the unit.

The things are really built like tanks. As long as you treat them right, they'll last for a VERY long time. As I said before, I have many of them - all under VERY heavy use (80+ hours each/month) - and they rarely have any problems. The most common problem is that the soft keys on the front panel get brittle and need to be replaced after 3 - 4 years of heavy use.

  • Its an interesting perspective you offer, but unfortunately I got unlucky The 744t was literally fried after one round of charging batteries, I had to send it back for service. Kind of makes me feel there's no point in spending the extra £2000 over a tascam. – Daan Hendriks Sep 3 '11 at 20:27
  • @Daan - that is unfortunate. The biggest reason to get the SD is the sound quality! Especially if you're utilizing the limiters heavily. Sound Devices has great Customer Service. I'm sure you'll be happy with the repair! – Colin Hart Sep 3 '11 at 23:00
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You have my sympathies. When I first bought my SD702 from new, the firewire port got fried within the first week. Sound Devices recorders are great and appear to be built like tanks from the outside but they certainly have their weaknesses inside. It was an expensive job returning it back to the USA even under warranty! I presume your 744 charging connector plug is a similar weird little device (forgot its name) - it takes me ages finding the correct way round it goes to mate up!

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I had this problem with my Fostex. NO, it's not normal, be careful, batteries can get inflamed, and it's very hard to stop the fire. Give the thing back, get a new one.

  • For the 744T, it is VERY normal for it to get hot. I have 14 of them, they all do it! – Colin Hart Sep 3 '11 at 17:06

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