Yet another what to buy thread. Portable digital recorders 2017

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
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Location: Spain, IB

Yet another what to buy thread. Portable digital recorders 2017

Post by simonm » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:55 pm

Time to buy a recorder. Objective: quick and easy recording and playback to improve my own playing.

Likely sound only (I have seen the recent thread about the Zoom Q2n however).

At big German online reseller, I sorted the models on their list by reviews ignoring any with just one or two reviews. It is a convenient place to buy with good service.

The top five were:
Tascam DR 100 MK-III
Zoom H1
Olympus LP2
Sony PCM
Roland R-05

I didn't read the reviews and don't know why they were in this exact sequence - all have 5 stars. I have a shure pg57 (and a pre-amp) for other purposes - not clear if there is any benefit in being able to plug that in.

Any significant reason to prefer one or the other from that list apart from price differences? Or just throw some dice and grab one? With such devices is there a convincing reason to buy new rather used.

Kurt Penner
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Re: Yet another what to buy thread. Portable digital recorders 2017

Post by Kurt Penner » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:55 pm

I was recently in the market for one of these units. It came down to the Tascam DR 100 Mkiii vs Zoom H5. The former had better specs (24 bit, 192khz recording) low noise floor and braggadocious Velvet sound preamps. But it cost more and needed to be ordered in. And Tascam's reputation was a bit suspect for durability in my web searching.

Meanwhile, the Zoom H5 was available for rental to test drive it, had big easy to use dials to set levels, had a great reputation. And the specs were well sufficient for the recording that I do. I am not convinced that I can hear a large difference in the higher resolution audio formats. I tried it and liked it. I still have no qualms about my purchase.

FYI, I am running a single SDC mic into it, a Neumann KM 184, then taking the audio file and editing it in Reaper on my laptop.


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Re: Yet another what to buy thread. Portable digital recorders 2017

Post by el_guitarrero » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:05 am


I had the zoom h5 (and in addition the bigger mic capsules from the zoom h6).
Sound was not optimal for classical guitar, since it is "narrow" because of the xy mic config.

I also had the Tascam dr05 and the Sony Pcm-m10.
Both sound better for CG because of the omni capsules built in. (Rounder Sound, no proximity effect... especially good in not so good sounding rooms)

If you can afford it, take the PCM D100 from sony, it is soundwise above all others.

If your budget is tight, but you want hassle free "great" sounding recordings:

Tascam dr05 and "Naiant" XR Stereo mic Pair with 3,5 mm cable for the Mic line in of the Recorder (around 100Usd).

I recently returned a soundcard and dedicated mics for this combo... and i have been testing a lot ..!

Also, don't forget room acoustics (and to improve it by using absorbers diffusors etc.)


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