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Author Topic: good value stereo line recorder  (Read 1056 times)

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Offline cjfp

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good value stereo line recorder
« on: December 01, 2016, 12:46:49 AM »
Hello, I asked about this on Gearslutz and was pointed here...

I want to record either consumer -10dBV or pro +4dBu stereo line outs from a mixer, at home and around town.  It would be nice to have a stereo backup.  I am not particularly interested in mics at this point, this is for electronic music (live PAs and DJs).  My current setup is a Thinkpad T41 laptop with a Digigram VXpocket 2-in 2-out PCMCIA card.  It's pretty good for 24/44.1 but too much of a pain to move around.  I was looking at a Tascam DR-05 + attenuator, and was recommended a DR-60DmkII, DR-70D, DR-100mkII, and DR-100mkIII.  So my question is, what is a good performance / price (high value) setup for stereo line recording?

I'm in Canada, here are Amazon.ca prices in Canadian dollars:

DR-05: $110
DR-60DmkII: $207
DR-70D: $331
DR-100mkII: $337
DR-100mkIII: $540

Rolls HV6: $101 (3.5mm stereo attenuator for DR-05, which has a -20dBV input)
3.5mm cable: $10 (for using Rolls HV6)
4x Eneloop Pro w/ charger: $40
4x Eneloop Pro: $31
Tascam BP-L2 Battery clone: $30 (for DR-100mkII)
Tascam BP-6AA: $47
Tascam AC Adapter: $32 (used)
Anker PowerCore 20100: $36
Anker 5-port AC-USB Charger for PowerCore: $26
32GB SDHC Card: $16
128GB SDXC Card: $52
Miscellanous USB Cables: under $10

Currently I am thinking about a DR-60DmkII + Anker PowerCore 20100 + Anker 5-port AC-USB Charger + cables.  Total cost = $295.  I would like to run it on AC power when possible, unless this will interfere with sound quality.  I could go for a different charger if there was a point.  I will use the 2 XLR jacks for pro levels if available, otherwise the 3.5mm 3-4 jack for consumer levels.  The other two tracks will be padded backup.  Two tracks at 24/96 is 16 hours on a 32GB card, so 2 tracks with 2 backup tracks will give me 8 hours.  The 3-4 jack is specifed as up to +10dBV, which is higher than consumer max +6dBV so I figure it will be okay.

If there's a noticeable increase in quality or convenience to be had for a bit more money, I am interested in hearing about it!  I just don't want to spend money if there's no good reason to.  I read the thread on four channel decks, it seems the 70D is popular at the low end because there's 4 XLR in's, which is possibly irrelevant to me, but possibly useful for something else.

Thanks for your input!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 03:35:25 AM by cjfp »

Offline morst

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Re: good value stereo line recorder
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2016, 09:49:48 PM »
The DR-70D can record two channels and then use its other two channels to make a "safety copy" using the "dual record" feature, which you engage by dialing in the relative level. When I record stereo (instead of using all 4 inputs) I almost always set Dual Record to -12dB for my safety copy and then set levels aggressively on the 1-2 channels. Note well- if you use the DR-70D do not mess around with cards other than those shown on the Approved list, and make sure your firmware is up-to-date. http://tascam.com/product/dr-70d/downloads/

Too bad the Sony PCM-M10 is scarce, it's a great handheld that can take a full 2 volts on the line inputs!!!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 09:53:27 PM by morst »
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Offline mnm207

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Re: good value stereo line recorder
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 03:39:10 PM »
The Anker Powerbank 20100 with the DR60Dmkii provides quite long run times. Given that I'm doing fairly short interviews and using dynamic mics, I don't often run the recorder off of mine. Were I using phantom power or doing longer recording sessions I'd probably be using the Powerbank more regularly. My primary use for the battery is keeping cellphones topped up when traveling.

I also have the Anker charger and, again, use it primarily when traveling: charging the Powerbank, two cellphones and a double charger for my camera batteries from a single outlet. The rapid charging available from it's USB-C port provides reasonably quick charge times for the large Anker battery. I never thought to try it as an AC power option for the recorder.

Offline John Willett

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Re: good value stereo line recorder
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2017, 08:42:13 AM »
Nagra SD - the mic. is detachable (and it may be possible to get it without the mic. module if you ask).

They also do a plug in stereo line cable that locks to the recorder (so none of the crackles that you can get with mini-jacks) and terminates in either an XLR-5 or two XLR-3 (your choice of cable).

I have mine with the line cable to two 3-pin XLRs that I use with my Nagra EMP when I want high quality and small size.




Offline IronFilm

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Re: good value stereo line recorder
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2017, 10:09:02 AM »
The Tascam DR60Dmk2 is just utterly ridiculously good value, go for it! Unless you need more than 2x XLR inputs in the future, in that case get the DR70D instead.

People might complain about the battery life, but just hook it up to a USB powerbank and you can run it for ages and ages and ages:

http://ironfilm.co.nz/firmware-update-for-tascam-dr-60d-mk1-fixes-recording-interruptions-when-running-on-external-usb-power-packs/

Offline IronFilm

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Re: good value stereo line recorder
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2017, 10:10:14 AM »
The DR-70D can record two channels and then use its other two channels to make a "safety copy" using the "dual record" feature, which you engage by dialing in the relative level. When I record stereo (instead of using all 4 inputs) I almost always set Dual Record to -12dB for my safety copy and then set levels aggressively on the 1-2 channels. Note well- if you use the DR-70D do not mess around with cards other than those shown on the Approved list, and make sure your firmware is up-to-date. http://tascam.com/product/dr-70d/downloads/

Too bad the Sony PCM-M10 is scarce, it's a great handheld that can take a full 2 volts on the line inputs!!!

You can do safety track recording with the DR60D mk2 as well.

Offline hoppedup

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Re: good value stereo line recorder
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2017, 10:48:32 AM »
If using the minijack, the DR-22WL is a good value. I picked mine up for $81 USD at Adorama a few months back.

The DR-60D has been a rock solid workhorse for me. I picked one up at $179 at B&H that included a Plural Eyes download I sold for $40. If stealth is never a concern this is the best bang for your buck, IMO.

I would also consider the DR-40. It can do a safety recording as well. It does not have 1/8" input, though, just XLR/1/4 TRS combo jacks. I picked mine up at B&H for $109 that included a Soundforge Pro 11 download that I sold for $50.

I own the DR-70D and have never had any issues, but it also became a backup not long after I bought it due to all the problems others have expereienced.

If you have time, watch B&H for these bundle deals.
AKG SE300B CK91
Berliner CM-33
CA-14 omnis
CA 9200
Sony PCM D50 , Tascam DR-40, Tascam DR-60D, Tascam DR-70D
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Offline capnhook

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Re: good value stereo line recorder
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2017, 03:38:13 PM »
Another vote for the DR-22WL
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