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Rating and Reviews: Fostex MR-8 Multitrack

Records on Compact Flash Card. Simple and easy Interface.

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Sound
Features
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Value
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The Wow Factor
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"Most Bang for Your Buck" submitted November 16, 2004

By a customer from comcast.net
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Musical Background: Hobbyist/occasional church pianist
Music Style: Gospel
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: Simply put: you get out of it what you put into it. I'm tired of people bashing this machine's sound. Take it for what it is: a recorder. It is not a mixer, it is not a sampler, or anything else. It records. So if you don't like the effects, buy a mixer or something so that you can add effects before you record. When you look at the big recording studios, you don't see cheap mics,setups with no mixers,or Casio keyboards. The actual recorder is just a very small part of a professional setup. So I think that anybody who complains about the MR-8's sound is expecting too much. I have created some beautiful sounding things and I'm sure if I had professional equipment, i could get near-profeesional sounding results. Feature: The MR-8 may not have quite as many features as the "big boys," but I could not give it any lower than a 7 simply because of the price. In my humble opinion, it has more than enough features for a novice recorder such as myself. Quality: This is a tough category for me to rate because I don't take it on the road, nor have a had it long enough to have any major problems. But it seems to be built well and I don't expect to hae any problems with it. Value: Here is where this baby shines: It is the most inexpensive (cheap is not a word that should be associated with this product) 8 track recorder on the market, and it gets the job done. Just look at my title to this review and it is pretty self-explanatory. Manufacturer Support: Like my quality rating, this one is hard to judge because I have not had to use it (which is a good thing). But I can say that the website has a lot of info and FAQs for this product. The Fostex website also has compatible flash cards for all of you babies who keep whining that there isn't enough time on the included card. The Wow Factor: I had to take two points away in this area because if you are anything like me, the allure of the more expensive brands will tempt you because you don't know wether a product at this price is woth buying. Another thing that I have heard people complain about is the color. I kinda like the red. It's better than plain black, white, or silver that a lot of other brands offer. Besides, I have seen websites that have black Fostex MR-8's if you don't like red or need something that will fit in with the rest of your setup. Overall: In my opinion, this product is one that can grow with me as I grow musically. As I said before it all depends on how dedicated you are as far as adding professional equipment around it. It is definintely worth the mony and it is in a class all by itself as far as value. If it were lost or stolen I would replace it, except I probably will not have $300 again any time soon.
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"The mr-8 is the best recorder i've ever used." submitted October 15, 2005

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Sound: Don't listen to these other reviews, the mr-8 in my opinion has excellent sound. It turns out that you will need a bigger memory card but thats no big deal. Most people who wrote these bad reviews simply don't know how to use it, so don't listen to them because they are idiots. Feature: This comes in with built in guitar effects but i think that bass effects would have also been good. The fact that it is also easy to navigate and use is a good thing. Quality: This product is very sturdy. I have never broken anything on it and as long as you don't misstreat it, you don't have anything to worry about. Value: This was the best product on the market for the money. Manufacturer Support: I have never had to use support. The Wow Factor: The look of this product is very modern and sleek though the shape is a little odd. But the fact that this product is compact makes it very appealing. Also all the lights make it look cooler as well as easier to work with. Overall: If you have the money and are looking for a small recorder on the market to get the job done. This product is defenitely it.
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"Professional soundin' lil red thing" submitted May 9, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: music student
Music Style: Jazz, Rock and Classical
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: Like past reviews have said, whatever goes in the mic is exactly what you get. There is no distortion, and the sound stays warm. Feature: It does have several sound effects, but I found that they don't have the professional sound I prefer, so I do all the editing on my HomeStudio. The screen fits everything that is needed and the converstion from MIDI to WAV is a feature I'm very thankful for. All the basics are there and preform well. Quality: I have carried this thing everywhere imaginable and it still looks as if I bought it yesterday. Value: This was definaltly worth my money. It is reliable and gives me what I put into it everytime. If something happened to it (which is hard to imagine... I've dropped it down a flight of stairs and it wasn't even dented) I would prabably buy it again. However, consider buying another sound card for this baby, because it barely has enough storage for a five-minute song. Manufacturer Support: I haven't had to use it The Wow Factor: A lot of the reviewers have been complaining about the red color... I'm sorry but that is my favorite part! It is a cute little machine and doesn't have to have a steel cast to sound profession... it fits my style. Overall: This machine does want I expected and what I need to keep recording. I have never had any problems with it. I however do wish that the sound card that comes with it had more room.
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Fostex MR-8 Multitrack Customer Review submitted January 27, 2004

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Music Style: Rock, Punk, Pop.
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Sound: Use this with a computer for extra tracks. Due to the small size of the CF card it comes with you almost need a computer as well. The USB connection the MR8 comes with is fantastic! Feature: Features are fine. The effects are O.K. but if your mixing on a computer you have more options anyway. Quality: It feels solid to me. Value: For the price you can't go wrong. Couple this with a PC and a great software called N-track ($45) and you've got everything you need to record some great sounding songs! Manufacturer Support: The OS upgrade was very easy to apply. Overall: I think I will be satisfied for a number of years. If it were lost or stolen I wouldn't think twice about buying another mr8.
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"It would be great if it worked with macs" submitted January 27, 2006

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: drummer, bassist
Music Style: rock, metal
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Sound: The sound's not terrible. So far i've only used it with the built in mic, which isn't professional grade or anything, but isn't amazing. The guitar distortion is rather sub-par, but i suppose that's more opinion than fact. I'd advise using a real mic, and playing guitar through an amp and recording it with a mic. Feature: It has a lot of useful features. While they aren't amazing, the on board mic and distrotion are convenient. It has a few other effects, and they are not to my liking, but, once again, more opinion than fact. And if you don't like them, just don't use them. Quality: Durable and well constructed. Value: Very good, price considered The Wow Factor: It is really pretty and shiny. Overall: One thing to keep in mind--it is NOT mac compatible. Despite all of the good qualities, I have no way to get my music onto cds with out the help of someone with a normal pc. I suppose i'll have to return it. Oh, and the flash card doesn't hold much at all... maybe three minutes of music if you're using 3 or more tracks. You can get bigger cards for about 30 bucks though, so don't worry about that.
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"Reliable little scratchpad for songs!" submitted May 11, 2007

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Musical Background: Guitarist
Music Style: Rock
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: First of all, I think if you approach this recorder for what it is, you will not be disappointed. You must realize that this is basically a great scratchpad for ideas. Don't expect to do any thing fancy. I do love the convenience of it, lightweight and really portable. I plug in my guitar and my vocal preamp and I'm good to go. I record my ideas, transfer the Wav files via the USB connection, then I mix and polish up on my PC in Acid Pro. Feature: Don't bother using the on-board effects, it is cheesy. I plug the line out from my amp and use my own pedal effects. The recorder is a funny red color, like a crayon, but it's alright, suits my needs. Ease of Use: So simple to operate, you are retarded if you don't know how. You just plug in your guitar, press record and play. I've owned this little recorder for 3 years now and, knock on wood, it still hasn't failed me yet. Quality: Nothing broken yet. Praise the Lord. Value: Great value, because it's cheap and quiet. Records to compact flash cards so you don't have to worry about hard drive death. (trust me, I used to own a Yamaha multitracker with hard drive and when that thing crashed, I cried like a little girl.) Manufacturer Support: Never had to deal with Fostex. The Wow Factor: Cheesy red color. Not sure if it's supposed to be sexy. Overall: I'm really glad I got this. If I lost it, I would replace it with one that had a different color.
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Fostex MR-8 Multitrack Customer Review submitted February 25, 2004

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Music Style: Classic Rock, Ska, Praise and Worship
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Sound: Sounds just like your instruments do. Picks up the sound extremely clearly. Feature: Its got everything you need. Bright and Powerful mastering help out alot, natural doesn't do a whole lot. Microphone sims are nice. Guitar distortion sounds like crap, but you dont have to use it, so why complain? Quality: Its a little scary taking this thing around, just because it feels like if you dropped it or it got bumped around a bit, it might crack or the screen might get messed up, but if you take care of it, its going to be fine. Value: Absolutley a 10. Well worth the money. Manufacturer Support: Never had to deal, giving them the benefit of the doubt. The Wow Factor: Every recording band should have one, if only just to knock out demos on the weekends. Overall: You don't need to be a professional to make this thing sound great. If someone stole this or it was lost, I would cry a bit then go buy another one without even thinking about it.
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"As far as these" submitted October 3, 2003

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Music Style: Everything
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: The sound is very clear. A little "dry" maybe, but overall it's quite impressive. Feature: Auto punch-in is nice, though nothing that special. Being able to organize recordings into songs is useful. The effects are a little cheesy, but they work. Plugging in a guitar or keyboard or microphone is easy. The internal mic is great for quick takes. I can't think of many more features it could have without making the device hard to use...maybe a tuning function. Quality: It seems well-made...I am afraid the lights underneath the buttons might die out, and the LCD makes it a bit fragile, but overall I'm pretty abusive to it and it holds up well. Value: Great value -- you won't find a better combination of features anywhere. Like others have mentioned, though, you'll want to get a bigger compact flash card, which costs money. This brings the value score down a couple of notches. Manufacturer Support: Fostex's website is pretty useful (the FAQ), beyond that I'm not sure. The Wow Factor: It does look good. Overall: I use this for nearly all my recording now. I might get a tape machine just for that analog warmth. The only digital upgrade I can think of is a full computer workstation...right now, I'm satisfied with this. I wish it came with a huge compact flash card, but that's a little unreasonable to ask. I would definitely get some type of quality portable recorder if I lost my MR-8.
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"Good bite for the buck..." submitted May 16, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: Techno/electronica
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Sound: This product is so amazing for the cost...only wish that there was more memory Feature: All of the features are user friendly Quality: Totally durable, light weight, small, and rather perfect Value: Can't get better for the price Manufacturer Support: I am putting an 8, as I just put in my first inquiry after five months...I need more memory The Wow Factor: It isn't sexy, but its got bite... Overall: as soon as my demo is done, I need a professional recording studio...this, for me, is ideal
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"A fantastic machine to learn about recording." submitted January 12, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist musician, local cable TV video producer
Music Style: Blues, older rock.
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Feature: It has effects like echo, reverb, and distortion, which for the price works fine. The controls are easy to figure out, and the sound and volume are very adjustable for the first four tracks. Once tracks are combined you
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"If you are a beginner, start with the MR-8." submitted September 29, 2005

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Sound: I wish the people complaining about the hissy recordings would shut up and buy an actual microphone. No, the built in mic isn't the best... but get over it and buy a real mic. The sound quality is just fine, that is if you are smarter than the idiots who have no idea how to adjust a few knobs. Feature: I have only used the effects on a mic and they weren't as bad as everyone had said they were. Although, I can get more effects and way better quality from Cool Edit Pro. But for someone without any editing software the effects should do just fine. I also find the MIDI function very useful for hooking up my Yamaha DGX-200. Quality: When I first saw the red color on the net I thought, "Yuck!" But now that I have actually played around with it I really don't mind; it actually looks kind of cool. However, the product does feal a little cheap since it is made out of hard plastic, but it can last a long time if you aren't like the backwards retards who throw theirs down the stairs and run their cars over it just to watch it break and say that BOSS is better. Value: This is most definitely the best value you can get for such a low price. Just remember that you are only buying the recorder. You will have to buy seperate mics and monitors to actually get it to work. Don't listen to the people who are telling you to save up for a bigger package...you will still have to buy the accessories and will end up paying much more. This product is fine for recording and even making CDs, you will; however, have to purchase a bigger flash card (I suggest Rima's 512 MB card for $36) Manufacturer Support: I have never had to deal with the support because I have never had any problems with it. The Wow Factor: It could look better, but it will do. Overall: I plan on using the MR-8 until it breaks or until I outgrow it and decide to purchase a new one, probably a recorder with a hard-drive and CD burner. But I can expect to be using it for the next year or two.
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"Make Room on your shelf for your Grammy" submitted June 4, 2004

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Music Style: Blues, Acoustic, R&R
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Sound: The sound is remarkably clear/good. It's amazing how well it reproduces your mistakes... the good stuff too. You probably won't like the guitar distortion, it's wierd, just mic your amp and use the stomp stomp box I know you have. I like the reverb and delay. Feature: I like the internal mic, the LCD, it's very portable, and easy to use. It's pretty fun. A good feature also is the USB, but they don't include the cord with the MR8, which is bogus becuase you have to go out an buy one immediately. It also has a S/P DIF out and midi out, but you will need more equipment to use those, I never have. It would be nice it had and effect send jack for external effects, and an equalizer. The most notable feature overlook is the size of memory CF card. The included card is 128 MB, which is 24 minutes or 3 minutes on each of 8 tracks, in normal mode, 1 to 3 songs depending on how you record. Quality: Great for home use or taking to a party (depending on the party I guess) or recording your drunk budies singing "leavin on a jet plane" in the back yard. You'll want a padded bag if you plan on toting it around much. I would do carry-on, rather then check, if I went by air, about the same abuse resistenace as a lap-top computer. Value: Unbelievable out of the box value. It is short on some nice features, namely memory, but a great buy overall, you won't regret it. It gets you into digital recording on a budget. Plan on buying a 512MB CF card ($118.45), you'll out grow the 128MB quickly. You will probably want a mixer as well, I ended up getting the Eurotrack 1202 for about $90 . You will also probably want Cakewalk, Power Tracks, Sonar, Cubase, Garage Band or some other software eventually ($50-$500). Manufacturer Support: Check out the web site. Use the forum. It will answer your questions. The Wow Factor: I have one!! If you've always wanted to play with yourself, and I know you have, this is the ultimate. You won't know how you went without for so long. Overall: I expect to own this for a long time. I love it, it's great. I wish I knew about the memory limitation before I bought it. At this time there are only 4 approved CF card for the MR8 and the largest approved size is 512MB, see the web site. I tried my 256MB SanDisk CF from my camera, it worked on individual tracks, but it skipped when you bounce the tracks to 5/6 or 7/8. I ended-up buying a RiDATA 512 MB approved card for $118.45 on yahoo, it works perfectly. You may want to consider getting a mixer and some audio software such as Cakewalk. Also if portablity is not and issue and you are computer literate you may want to consider just recording directly to the hard drive on your computer. The songs end-up there anyway. You'll end-up buying a sound card, mics, mixer, large hard drives, software, cords, sound monitor, head phones, etc. Probably cost you $500, to get started recording directly to your hard drive.
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"The MR-8 is off the chain." submitted December 19, 2003

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Music Style: Rap/Hip Hop
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Sound: Pretty good sound. Could be better on the intermal mic. Feature: The mic simulations are tight. I like those. Quality: It is very good quality for the price. I like that I can take it anywhere with me and record. Value: Can't beat this for the price. Manufacturer Support: Haven't used yet? The Wow Factor: I seen it, I got it. Overall: Good product. Great for the beginner.
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"One Happy Camper" submitted June 17, 2004

By a customer from hiwaay.net
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Music Style: Accoustic Folk Rock
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Sound: This is a upgrade from a Fostex 160 Analog Multitracker. What a drastic difference in sound. Little or no background hiss and hum during playback. Quality: Not thrilled with the red. But overall I'd say its a good quality product. I'll take a Fostex over anything else on the market. Value: It's a sweet machine, at a reasonable price. A lot of bang for the buck. Manufacturer Support: I havent needed support, and hope I dont need it! Overall: My Fostex 160 Analog lasted 15 years, if I can get that out of this one GREAT.
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"Get over the color." submitted February 23, 2005

By a customer from tecom.usmc.mil
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Sound: Features are good. It has built in guitar distortion if you are in to that. You may want to plan to run you instrument through. It has three amp simulators. But the amp simulators are best used for mastering. Feature: Not too disipointed that it did not come with a USB cable. I already had a SCard reader on my computer. I just take the card out of the MR-8 and plug it into my computer. The 128m card that comes with the unit is too small. It has taken me a couple of months to learn how to best optimize it. If you use the step down feature you can save a lot of space. I would really like a bigger card. You can also convert you song to .WAV on the recorder. I still haven't learned much about cutting a pasting sections. Quality: Product is made well. I could care less about the color - please. I have left it on for days. Never lets me down. Value: I think this product was worth the selling price. However, I can not compare it to any other simmular item. I have not used any simmular item. Manufacturer Support: never delt with them. The Wow Factor: I own it. Overall: I'm am overall satisfied with the MR-8. I would like for it to come with some computer software so that you could master the tracks once you put them on you computer.
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"is cheaper really better?" submitted May 14, 2003

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Music Style: hiphop
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Sound: basically the sound is hollow. good enough for the price but it doesnt capture the natural sound. Feature: features most useful are the onboard effects and the microphone use effect...very good. but the recording time is weak. theres only 2 simultaneous recording and theres no use recording on the rest of the tracks if recording a full song Quality: looks like a toy. feels like a toy...but it does alot. maybe it was meant too much to attract rookies and wannabes. a sturdier finish would make this thing better somehow. Value: good price for being brand new Manufacturer Support: the companys aight..their top of the line stuff is better tho...of course more money more better...but if they put time into cheaper stuff...at least let it be compared to thier most respectable stuff The Wow Factor: looks cool with the red finish. attractive Overall: i wish iknew the sound is the weakest. good for me to start out with but i think my old yamaha mx 4 track sounded better and thinking i could switch to digi...this kinda made me skeptical. im actually thinking of trading this in...but i might just add it to the collection. the usb feature does me some good
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"Good, Low Cost Digital Recorder BUT USE "UNDO" and "DELETE UNUSED" to avoid Short Record Times!!!" submitted February 25, 2005

By a customer from cs.com
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Musical Background: composer, club player, guitarist
Music Style: Zappa to Hedges
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Sports full 16-bit 44.1KS/s A/Ds so the sound (sans any effects) is the sound end of story. Yeah yeah -- 24-biters are BETTER but the human ear cannot tell the diff beyond ~14 bits/32KS/s so the point is moot / for bragging only unless your gonna do like 1000 bounces (you loose ~1/2 bit o' resolution on each bounce, this is true of ANY digital unit, not just this Fostex). I say "sans effects" because the on-board effects DO impact the sound of this unit; the reverb/delay and the mastering effects are okay but add some noise. I don't particularly care for the guitar distortion effects (a poersonal pref). In general, the NUMBER and of available effects and the depth of CONTROL over said effects are my biggest complaints -- external effects can certainly be used, but there's no dedicated effects loop so it's a bit tricky. Feature: Again, gotta go with a seven. As noted by MANY other reviewers, the included 128MB card is simply too small. I needed to drop down to the 32KB/s rate for a couple of more involved (>4 track, >4 min) tunes, and don't even THINK about puttin' a symphony on this bad dog! I've seen newer models of low-cost digital multitrackers that are now employing MP3 and other compression schemes -- while straight WAV recording works well, it does INDEED eat up recording time. Processing power is CHEAP these days -- they coulda added dedicated, real-time MP3 encode/dcode by throwing an extra ARM7TDMi CPU core into their ASIC that runs this puppy for a coupla nickles/box and completely eliminated the "recording time" complaint that seems to be the most common b*tch about this box. They also could have thrown in a USB cable but hey, they're like 3 bucks at Staples so I won't ding them for that decision. Quality: Actually, I carry it in an oversized, soft-sided laptop "computer bag" (w/ my laptop on one side an the Fostex on the other.) A form-fitting carrying case would have been a nicety. If Fostex had thrown in such a case, a USB cable, and a bigger mem card, I don't think you'd be able to get a better value in a low-end digital recorder box. Value: for the money, this is a winner. I won the Roland VS840gx and except for better effects and longer record time, this box is equivalent (the ZIP drive in the Roland box is actualy audible when it spins up during soft acoustic guitar interludes! NO moving parts in the Fostox box however!) A form-fitting carrying case would have been a nicety. If Fostex had thrown in such a case, a USB cable, and a bigger mem card, I don't think you'd be able to get a better value in a low-end digital recorder box. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed 'em 'cept to find out what BIGGER mem cards were compatible! REMINDER: CHECK THE LIST! SanDisk cards do NOT work for some strange reason! The Wow Factor: It was a a practical addition to my setup. Overall: I saw iother reviews that said the "sound s*cked" or something to that effect. Again, it's a pure digital box and you WILL get EXACTLY out of it what you put in. For example, I had some serious noise on one channel and ultimately discovered the problem wasn't the box but rather a funky shielded cable guitar cable I was using. I'd prefer a broader range of effects (and of course longer record time), but for the price you can't wrong.
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"All the things that could have been..." submitted February 4, 2006

By a customer from msn.com
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Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: black metal
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Sound: Nice replication of sound, with three channels ("Natural", "Powerful" and "Bright"), that boost your tone where you would need it to be. No problem there. Still couldn't call it "the best" as I'm new to 8 track recording, and the price tells me that, with it being cost effective (ie "cheaply" made)...there's not a whole lot here, but what is here, is probably the best sound for its price range. You get what you pay for. Feature: Just as above. It has just about everything it needs. Except for phantom power. Which, it doesn't have. If you can't afford a condenser mic anyhow, that shouldn't be a problem. Until you can upgrade your income and setup, it's not too shabby in this respect. Comes with the power cord, and a set of headphones, with a 128mb compact flash card. Great idea for a storage unit. I do like this idea. Quality: Hope your unit stays in tact. I bought mine brand spankin' new for about $450.00 (*US), and it was useless in under two years. What's more, is that Fostex pretty much doesn't have a customer service department. So if your unit goes down, toss in the garbage and call it "a learning experience" *an expensive one no less!*. Again, you DO get what you pay for - I suppose...so be aware of that before you shell out hard earned cash on an 8 track that's only got a life expectancy of under 2 years. Possibly more or even less (!!), depending on how much you use it. Value: Left me with a foul taste after it died so quickly. But it was a nice little box up till that point. Hence, the reason for my dismay, and disappointment with the Fostex company's inept (to say the least) "customer service" department. Manufacturer Support: See above. The Wow Factor: This could be a great and practical device, if Fostex would stop making shoddy pieces of equipment, and start with the customer service! PERIOD. Overall: Like I said, under two years, and it was dead. That's a brand new MR-8, and four-hundred, fifty bucks US that I ended up being out of in relatively no time at all. I'd suggest it only to people who are brand new to digital 8 track recording, only use it very sparingly, or if you can find it for way less than it's original price (I'd say by about a 1/4 would do, even if it's used). Otherwise, avoid this like the plague.
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"MR-8*" submitted January 4, 2004

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Music Style: Pop/Rock/Folk
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Sound: Sound qualioty is perfect for the price. Just watch the master volumes and faders and peak clip. Sounds better then my old records and tapes from professional artists. Feature: The bounce function and the .wav converter. Easy touse and worked for me first time. Quality: Looks a little cheesy and the red is a little weird.. I wish I had gotten a gig bag with it. Would last longer that way. Will probably stay in the house though. Value: Yes, very worth the price for the sound quality and ease of use. Manufacturer Support: No need yet.. well, actiually I did email to ask how to get my cassette tapes onto the MR-8, just asked today so hoping for an answer soon. The Wow Factor: I liked the basic layout of the features. I had a Tascam 788 and needed a degree from an engineering institute to run it. Overall: I would get another is lost or stolen. I would love to know how to get my cassettes onto it though. Wish THAT were in the manual.
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Fostex MR-8 Multitrack Customer Review submitted February 20, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: drums
Music Style: rock
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Sound: its good but it is kinda hard for me to record me on my set with only 2 mics but other wise its cool and realy good for the price if your a money chalenged kid band Feature: i could use more Quality: i seems good so far i had it for abut 8 months Value: for the price Manufacturer Support: havent tryed The Wow Factor: i think it look better in a blueish black Overall: it great for the price
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"Incredible little recording machine for the money!" submitted June 1, 2004

By a customer from nc.rr.com
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Music Style: Rock, Pop, New Age
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Sound: Sounds excellent. Another reviewer wrote it sounded "hollow" - I don't get that, this thing sounds great for the bucks and it'll sure blow away old cassette multi-trackers. Feature: Overall, this machine has very useful features for the cost. One thing I'm not fond of though is if you have a guitar cable plugged into Input A's "unbal/guitar" jack, and you flip the switch in the back to use your microphone, you don't get a signal from the mic until you UNPLUG the guitar cable. This is quite annoying. Otherwise, no complaints about the features. Quality: Overall- excellent quality, soundwise & buildwise. I expect to be using the MR-8 for many years to come, unless I make so much money from recordings I make on it that I just can't help but upgrade to a more expensive unit :-) Value: For $299.99, this unit delivers in a big way where it counts: getting down quality home demo's, or used as a "sketch pad" for demo's to be recorded on better equipment later. Manufacturer Support: n/a - haven't really had to use support. User forums on various recording websites (including Fostex's own) are as helpful as anything. The Wow Factor: I don't know what the bright red color is all about unless it's a psychological thing designed to make you think about using it more often than you might if it was some duller color (gray/silver). If they're gonna have a bright color, then they should have a variety of colors available, like a blue equivalent to the red. I'd have bought a blue one instead of red, but I'm not complaining. Overall: Overall, I'm really satisfied with this for my purposes of learning the recording process in my bedroom studio. I bought it mainly because I had always wanted a four-track cassette unit and never got one, so when I saw this thing with EIGHT tracks for $299, I knew the time was right. In addition, I was annoyed/frustrated/overwhelmed by recording software on computers and this unit turned out to be exactly what I hoped it would: a way to get down some guitar, vocal, keyboard, & drum tracks while keeping the learning curve SIMPLE. And the sound quality is terrific as long as you take time to get the sound as good as possible to at the get-go (basic tracking, correct mic'ing, recording levels, etc). And it's self-contained- you can supplement this machine of course with a computer, outboard mixer, etc, but you don't have to.
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"An Excellent Product. Read on for insight..." submitted August 25, 2004

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Muscian
Music Style: Blues/rock
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Sound: The MR8's sound is clear as a bell; with a proper microphone, amplification, and instruments you can achieve recording quality on this machine that is infact better then many professional recordings. Feature: This product features 3 excellent distortion types for guitars, 3 excellent sound enhancers for microphones, and four types of echo. All of these effects also have knobs to tweak the exact amount and type of the effect you wish for. The weakness of it is however, that it requires a USB cord to connect to your computer and burn songs to Cd; it does not come with that. USB cords go for $20 on average. Also, the memory card that comes with it can hold one good song (extended mode is helpful for getting the most bang out of it,) and so unless you wish to buy another memory card (which typically go for $50-$80) it requires you to record the song, burn it to cd, and then delete it from the machine to make space for the next song. Quality: The MR8 is built wonderfully, all the knobs and sliders are well secured and the red plastic finish is hard and manages to not look cheap whatsoever. Like any recording investment, user care is neccessary. It's built tough and can simply be kept in a clothing drawer or something of that sort, it should of course be protected when lugged around. Like most electronics, a fall on a a hard floor would see the demise of it's life. Value: It's highly worth the $300, with common knowledge of miking and amplification, studio-quality recordings can be achieved. Manufacturer Support: Fostex.com is an extremely imformative site and if that's not enough, they list methods to contact to them. It comes with a 90 day warranty, and for about $50 more, if you can find it at a GuitarCenter or big retail store like that, you can purchase a 2-year warranty against any damage whatsoever. Overall: Built well, priced well, and with longevity a clear factor, the MR8 is an excellent product which, with proper care, could last years on end making excellent recordings.
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"Already have a computer and a microphone? Don't waste your money on an MR8." submitted November 5, 2008

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Musical Background: songwriter
Music Style: country/americana/alt
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Sound: Sound quality is poor. There is much background hiss, even with high-quality mics, even with outboard pre-amps. The thing hisses even without anything plugged in. That's just the way it is. Feature: Onboard effects are a quick way to add a bit of production value to your tracks, but they're pretty basic. Ease of Use: It's difficult to figure out at first, but once you figure it out, it's pretty easy to use. Quality: Overall, it's not very sturdy. The buttons have a habit of not working, which can be fixed by taking everything apart and spraying the microswitches with circuit-board cleaner. Takes about an hour and needs to be done every few months. Value: Depends. If you have a computer with recording software, spend your money on a good firewire audio interface instead. Do your mixing and so forth on the computer. You'll get a better finished product. If you're looking for a stand-alone mult-tracking sketch pad, this is your puppy. Manufacturer Support: Left a question on their web site and never heard back from them. The Wow Factor: Feels old-school. Overall: I'm shifting to doing all my recording and mixing on my computer. I may keep the MR8 for portable recording, but that's it.
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"MR-8 in Live Recording Applications" submitted December 1, 2005

By a customer from msn.com
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Musical Background: Composer, Recording Engineer, Guitar Collector
Music Style: Zappa to Hedges
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Sound: Even at the reduced sample rate (I use that for live recording), the MR-8 performs remarkably well. The on-board efects are a bit cheesy, but the "Bright" mastering effect does an excellent job w/ acoustic tunes. (The "Natural" mastering effect does very little; the "Powerful" mastering effect is like a "Loudness" buttton -- not recommended). Feature: THE single nicest feature (for a unit in this price range) is the TWO XLR inputs. I used these inputs -- direct from a stereo submix bus on a large Mackie board at the Forum in Harrisburg -- and achieved excellent results. MORE simul inputs and things like EQ would be terrific, but we're talkin' about a $250 box here. DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL the OS upgrade from the Fostex site -- it makes the USB and file management tasks more reliable and easy to use, AND allows support for larger -- up to 2GB -- CompactFlast cards. You WILL want a larger card! Having both USB and SPDIF connections -- again, on a box in this price range -- is a good deal. If you're looking for portability and KILLER effects, consider the Zoom PS04 (no digi I/O though, so you'll hafta use an external SmartMedia card reader to move tracks to a PC -- also no XLRs!) Quality: I've seen reviews where folks have claimied that their "buttons are falling off" and other nightmares, but the box has held up for me extremely well. The LCD display could be brighter/clearer and battery life could be longer (heck, it COMES with a wall-wart power supply), but in general I think it's well-built. Value: Definately a good investment for the beginning recordist or someone looking for a portable box to do live recording. More/better effects and digital compression (the use of native, uncompressed WAV files accounts for the "short record times" that I've seen as the BIGGEST complaint about this box) would be an improvement, but for the price, there's nothing other than the Zoom PS-04 that comes close. Note that while the Zoom PS-04 DOES indeed include a plethora of killer Zoom effects, it's only 4 tracks (40 "virtual" tracks) and does NOT include digital I/O nor XLRs. Manufacturer Support: Fostex tech support has been GREAT about getting back to me on the two occassions where I had technical questions (same-day responses via email). DO use their website, both for FAQs (such as which CF cards work!) and to get the operating system upgrade. NOTE: USE THE "UNDO" BUTTON IF YOU"RE DOIN' MULTIPLE TAKES!!! Otherwise, each take is SAVED -- EVEN if you re-record over the take on the SAME track/v-track!!! That'll seriously KILL the total record time of the box. The Wow Factor: The red color's a bit funky, but hey! Overall: The MR-8 does what it's designed to do. Do be aware of the short record times (using the "UNDO" button as noted will help that, as will a larger CF card and upgrading the OS per the Fostex website) and the somewhat limited effects. With the GB CF card and the XLR ins, this box'll be my travelling buddy for live shows for years to come.
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"Look at this review. Then shop for something else." submitted July 29, 2005

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Sound: When I first bought the fostex it sounded pretty decent. Then all of a sudden after a week of use I started getting major white noise from the damn thing. Cant get a clean recording. Im going back to real equipment like the Mackie Onyx 1220 firewire. Feature: Some ok effects but it dont beat out anything Boss makes by a longshot. Man, analog tape deacks got more features than this thing does. Quality: As for how well this is made? See my complaint about the damned white noise. Value: They need to defintly either come down on the price or seriously give this baby a makeover Manufacturer Support: Never used it, but judging from how this thing works it cant be very decent. The Wow Factor: Looks good. Works like crap. Almost like buying a bag of green that smells good but is harsh as hell and dont get you feeling good. Overall: Ive already got my research done and no more portastudios. Just think of it this way. Portapotty=crap Portastudio=crap disguised in a nice package. Firewire or PCI from now on. Period.
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"THIS THING SUCKS. WORST PIECE OF RECORDING EQUITMENT I'VE EVER USED!!!!" submitted April 1, 2005

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician, Recording Musician
Music Style: Rock/Punk-Pop/Classic/Drums/Guitar
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: This thing is so crappy. It doesnt turn on more than half of the time. I've had to send it back to get it repaired SEVEN times. I'm so fed up with this piece of S***. I had multiple issues with the memory card also. I'd say definitly DO NOT buy this. On top of it breaking every other time I try to use it, its one of the hardest recording devices i've ever used. Just way too complicated.... So all in all, this piece of equitment SUCKS!!! DO NOT BUY!!!!!!!!! Feature: Just terrible, the effects are so hard to work....It sucks... Quality: Sucks as well. Had to get it repaired...SEVEN times because it breaks so often... Manufacturer Support: They took over a month to send it back each time I got it so called "fixed"..... The Wow Factor: Looks good but once you get you'll realized that it SUCKSSSSSS... Overall: TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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"DONT BE FOOLED, THE MR8 SUX" submitted December 24, 2003

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Sound: I owned this product for exactly 10 hrs, the sound from it is GARBAGE, it advertises taht you can record "stellar demos" with it??? GIVE ME A BREAK, THE MR8 has ALOT of background noise, hissing, and...i would not suggest any to buy it unless you want to throw away $300 Feature: the features on this thing were a good idea in theory but in practice, the manufacturer did a half assed job on all the effects, IT SOUNDS LIKE CRAP. And levels are extremely low! Quality: its made out of red plastic, need i say more? Value: dont waste your money, this just makes me realize when it comes to equipment, you get what you pay for, dont believe that this could be the exception IT ISN'T! Manufacturer Support: fostex has exactly ONE TECHNICIAN, who was of no use at all. The Wow Factor: i would never buy this product again.
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"IT WILL COST TWICE TO GET IT TO WORK" submitted December 28, 2003

By a customer from MSN.COM
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Music Style: ROCK
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Sound: OK SOUND Feature: AVERAGE FEATURES. YOU WILL NEED TO SPEND TWICE THE AMOUNT TO GET THIS UNIT TO RECORD. THE MEMORY IS THE WORST IN THE BUSINESS!!!!!!!! DO NOT BUY THIS UNIT YOU WILL BE SORRY. Quality: IT'S A FOSTEX Value: I AM RETURNING IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE Manufacturer Support: THEY JUST WANT YOUR MONEY The Wow Factor: I WAS MISLEAD INTO BUYING THIS UNIT Overall: THE MEMORY IS FAR TOO SHORT TO SELL WITH THE UNIT. YOU WILL NEED TO SPEND THE SAME AMOUNT YOU PAID FOR THE UNIT TO MAKE IT USEABLE.
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