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A Tale of Two Handhelds...
Old 2nd June 2011
  #1
A Tale of Two Handhelds...

... and the immense gulf between 2008 and now.

Then, I got me a Sony IC recorder, the B600-- $30 at Walmart. Last weekend I got the Tascam DR-03 for $49. You can see from the picture that they are "roughly" the same size.

Your recording engineer has just walked into this crowded, hazy bar just as the band strikes up its tune, "Going Down the Road Feelin' Bad." The first 30 seconds is the Sony. I'm standing ten feet infront of the band, the volume level "sweetly deafening." Then it flips to the Tascam.

It is not the perfect equivalent of a multi-tracked three-ring production, not quite-- that "not quite-i-tude," maybe I exaggerate-- but it's easily everything I was dreaming of as a kid-- you too, you were a kid with dreams.
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Old 2nd June 2011
  #2
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Tom Higgins's Avatar
Wow. Really surprised by such a difference. And not bad for a $50 recorder!
Old 2nd June 2011
  #3
Gear Nut
 

It is a BIG difference!
Old 2nd June 2011
  #4
Jeez that's ridiculous! I just picked up the Zoom h1 thingie. Sounds pretty good as well. Gotta watch the handling noise though.
Old 2nd June 2011
  #5
Of course, just about anything recognizable as music would sound better than the first part of the stream. heh

But, yeah, that Tascam sounds amazingly good for the dough!
Old 3rd June 2011
  #6
And if this all wasn't scary enough already... the reason that the DR-03 is being discounted to move, I was told, is that Tascam is about to come out with the next generation of dinky handheld recorders-- presumably even more potent and powerful than this! Aye-yi-yi!
Old 3rd June 2011
  #7
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loujudson's Avatar
In a way this makes perfect sense - a machine designed for voice dictation will have serious filtering and compression on the record side, and in the years between they have been designing for music and more hi fi uses. But it is only three years, and it is quite a difference. But though similar in size, their intended uses are different so it isn't really fair - but nonetheless interesting!

Now somone should A/B a Sony TC-55 with a new baby nagra and post the differences, there's a technological era defined!

(PS, what are you doing shopping at Wal-Mart - we don;'t do that around here (partly as there isn't one within 50 miles. I went into one in Nevada once, got a cheap pair of socks and decided it wasn't worth the trauma. But wait, the only ocally based drug store chain here just got bought up by a national conglomerate, so we hardly have any local choices any more anyway. Pardon my diversion.)
Old 3rd June 2011
  #8
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Yes. The Tascams are amazing. I have the DR-07 and it kills on live recordings and fits in my shirt pocket.

To be honest though, your comparison is quite unfair. The Sony unit you are using is a "Digitial voice recorder" and is not meant for loud sources or music in general. Digital voice recorders record nominally @ 8bits (and something like 10KHz) and are optimized to record at the lowest possible resolution "intelligible" for voice recognition with the net gain of the longest amount of recording time.

In Sony's defense, they have digital handheld recorders along the lines of Tascam's DR-0x series that are actually quite better in sound quality than all the other competitors, albeit at a much higher cost. But for the price...the Tascam's can't be beat.

Does yours have stereo mic/line inputs @ 24bits? My Dr-07 does and if the DR-03 does, I might get it as well. Been searching for the $49 dollar deal but it seems they've gone up to $79
Old 3rd June 2011
  #9
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
In a way this makes perfect sense - a machine designed for voice dictation will have serious filtering and compression on the record side, and in the years between they have been designing for music and more hi fi uses. But it is only three years, and it is quite a difference. But though similar in size, their intended uses are different so it isn't really fair - but nonetheless interesting!

Beat me to it....
Old 3rd June 2011
  #10
Well, gentlemen, in fairness to me, this was intended to be quite the heavy-handed exercise/comparison... but nevertheless it does illustrate what the price-of-a-couple-of-pizzas ballpark can buy, and its evolution over the last three years.

Yep, stereo line inputs, also accepts plug-in power mics. You can set whichever format and quality level you'd like... the supplied 2 GB SD micro card (about the size of a contact lens) will give you about 2 hours at 24/48 stereo, and a staggerifying 1192 hours at mp3 mono... I've done the math, and that's 49 days!

PLUS-- you can set it to automatically record at pre-set intervals, either one time or on a daily basis-- lastly, you can put it in stealth mode and none of the indicators will light... for the sneaky bastard lurking in all of us...
Old 3rd June 2011
  #11
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Have you tried it in the bedroom?
Old 3rd June 2011
  #12
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
Have you tried it in the bedroom?
LMFAO! heh The real question is, would there be more headroom @ 24/96?
Old 3rd June 2011
  #13
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satellitedog's Avatar
Impressive sound.

Blast! The Tascam doesn't seem to be available here in Europe at all.

I could get the DR 05, but that would be more than double the price, and there's already some serious competition in that range.
Old 3rd June 2011
  #14
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

I miss cool bars with awesome live music here in Sweden. I live in a small town and we don't have this kind of live / jam music where I live. We have lame troubadours that play proud mary etc...
Old 3rd June 2011
  #15
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greatgreatriver's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
LMFAO! heh The real question is, would there be more headroom @ 24/96?
It's all about the song man!
Old 4th June 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgreatriver View Post
I miss cool bars with awesome live music here in Sweden. I live in a small town and we don't have this kind of live / jam music where I live. We have lame troubadours that play proud mary etc...
Lame, like they hobble around on one crutch? That would be depressing.

This "Hill Hollow" band (the mp3) are something-- there's a core of like five guys, and then four or five others are always joining in-- it's like, you light the fuse, and the thing just takes off!

This was their open jam Wednesday night at the brew pub (which is always packed, fortunately there is more-or-less infinite parking), which is just an amazing public service they do for all the local aspiring bedroomers-- they'll do a short set at the top of the night, and then the rhythm section remains onstage to accompany the steady parade of guitarist/singers, duos, accordionists and various caterwaulers-- "curating" the next generation of performers.

That's one key thing I have always seen in scenes that have a lively, ongoing musical life-- encouraging the youngsters and the inexperienced, who could be intimidated by it all. Creating a system that lets talent bloom. I'll say it again: musical performance is just about the most unifying, spiritual experience day is.
Old 4th June 2011
  #17
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Old Goat's Avatar
 

That sounds cool. I wish there were something like that around here.
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