Today I had the opportunity to attend a Sound Devices product demonstration of their new 664 field mixer. The 664 event took place at Location Sound in North Hollywood. I decided to do a quick and dirty overview of the 644.
The 664 like all Sound devices products is a impressive piece of machinery. Sound Devices maintains the rugged construction users come to expect from their products. The 664 is a great mixer that seems the be heavily aimed at the reality field mixer market. It is not intended to replace the aging 788t. The 664 has 6 full size XLR inputs followed by 6 TA3 direct outputs below the inputs. When the CL-6 is connected via a ribbon cable the 6 TA3 direct outputs are converted to inputs to allow a additional 6 inputs. An interesting thing to note is that Sound Device has done away with input routing.
The preamps on the 664 are something between a 552 and a 788t. They have slightly less dynamic range but also consume less power as the Sound Devices reps stated.
The 664 also has swappable filters and variable pans.
The 664 is larger than the 788t and looks like a tank! However, it is actually very light with all things considered. When I picked up the 664 with the optional CL-6 it seemed like it weighed 1-2lbs less then a 788t with a CL-8, which is very impressive considering the larger size of the 664.
One main sonic difference between the 664 and 788t is sample rate. With the 788t you are able to record up to 24 bit 96k. This is not the case with the 664 which limited to 24 bit 48k. Most field mixers will tell you they rarely record higher then 48k. This limitation may sway you in another direction.
If you are a reality mixer in the market to upgrade, the 664 will probably serve your needs well. 788t owners may not be too interested. At the end of the day, the 664 gives you a very impressive package for less than you would expect to spend.