Tascam DR-2d: Convincing sound!
On 24th March 2010 we received the first Tascam DR-2d and then tested it right away. We are agreeably surprised - the device made a really good first impression on us. The successor of the DR-1 fills the price gap between the DR-07/08 and the DR-100 with a retail price of 299 euros.
Read the following report to find out what we liked best about this gadget.
Haptics and Workmanship
The DR-2d appears a lot more valuable as its predecessor. The compact body features nice operation keys and the typical Tascam data wheel. The front and back has a metal-like cover and therefore feels really good. The device is pleasantly small and lies comfortably in the hand. The microphone capsules are now integrated into the body which protects a bit from wind noise.
A drop of bitterness: Instead of by turning the data wheel, the in- and output level is adjusted by keys. This may lead to audible click noises on the recording (the menu, however, includes not only a PreRec feature, but also „Delay“ which comes in handy to avoid the problem just mentioned).
After equipping the device with 2 AA batteries (life span: up to 8 hours), the Tascam DR-2d turns on within a short period of time (<2 secs). The key and menu operation is simple and basically corresponds to previous models. Those of you who know Tascam will feel at home. Everybody else will orient themselves quickly and intuitively.
The Tascam DR-2d
Convincing: the sound
The first test recordings were immediately produced in the office and the courtyard. First, fhe Tascam had to compete against the Sony PCM M10. Not only in matters of size and build, also in price are both devices almost identical. When listening, pay attention to the following aspects:
Cars in the background: How well can you distinguish between the different vehicles?
Steps: Can you identify the direction of motion?
Jackhammer: How detailed can you hear the hammering on the ground?
We think that this test recording clearly points out the strengths of the DR-2d. It tantalised us with its sound. The recordings are clear and detailed. Even in comparison to the LS-11, we consider the Tascam at the same level. In addition, a good stereo feature allows a natural space impression.
Tascam DR-2 (download)
For comparison: Sony PCM-M10 (download)
As usual for Tascam devices, the DR-2d will also come with the following features: alterable speed without change of pitch, a metronome, digital effects and overdub for Sound-on-Sound recording. There is also the possibility to record mono, no matter which file format. An external mike can be attached via mini jack at any time.
Besides a limiter, Tascam relies on „Dual Recording“ with the DR-2d. If required, there can be recorded a second, more muffled band during the recording. A clean solution, but not very sensible if the recordings shall be used without further processing.
It is also delightful that Tascam again offers a wireless remote control which covers all main operation steps. You can even put index markers (see picture of remote control).
Delivery includes the recorder, USB cable, batteries and the infrared remote control.
Advices for blind and visually impaired people
The Tascam DR-2d offers some adjustment options by means of mechanic switches and buttons. Below the display, there are the keys „Stop“, „Play/Pause“ and „Record“ which are individually formed. Front left, on the left of the data wheel, there are six switches: Dual function and menu, plus/minus (forward and back), speed control and loop playback. On the side of the gadget, you can regulate volume and modulation. All other adjustments are done via the menu. Unfortunately, there are no significant points of reference on the data wheel which would allow to count out the menu options.
The new Tascam DR-2d pleases us a lot. It is a valuable and well finished recorder at a reasonable price. Especially the recording quality convinced us. In this respect, the device is at eye level with the present recorders that have been rated best in our tests. The next vast test comparison will show whether there is a chance for the DR-2d to become best rated.
And last but not least:
We make our living by selling recorders. Therefore, we are of course not thoroughly unbiased.
Nevertheless, our concern is to display the products as transparent as possible and therefore provide justified information which is far from just being an advertising promise and is more than just technical data. If you would like to support our work, we are looking forward to your purchase in our online shop.
Listing of the Tascam DR-2d features:
New stereo condenser microphone design with improved signal to noise ratio
Dual recording function records a copy of your audio at a lower level, so you always have a backup in case of overload
Up to 96kHz/24-bit WAV recording or MP3 recording modes
Records to SD or SDHC cards
Internal effects including reverb
Auto-recording function starts when input exceeds a reference level
Limiter, low cut filter and auto gain control for input
Variable Speed Audition changes the playback speed without changing the pitch
Loop playback mode
USB 2.0 connection for file transfer
1/8" stereo microphone input
1/8" stereo line input
1/8" stereo headphone output
128x64 backlit LCD display
Powered by two AA batteries or optional PS-P520 power adapte
Tripod attachment screw hole
Includes wireless remote control, 2GB SD card, AA batteries and carrying pouch