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Rating and Reviews: Tascam DP02CF Recorder

8-track recording at CD quality 44.1k/16-bit. 2-track simultaneous recording. Includes 1 GB Compact Flash card.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
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"I don't know if you will find a better value anywhere ..." submitted January 6, 2009

By a customer from yahoo.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Folk, light rock, outlaw country
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Sound: Let me start out by saying this is my first recorder of any kind. I have wanted one for a long time, and the price of this unit was just too appealing to pass up, and with Zzounds "no questions asked" return policy, I figured, "How can I go wrong?" (other than return shipping charges). Anyway, I am really impressed with the sound repro, even with a really make-shift home studio (I basically closed the door to the rec room in our house and told the wife and kids to keep the heck out for a few hours). I am using a TubeMP Studio V3 mic pre-amp with the unit, and I think that makes a big difference. I also bought a Raxxess pop filter, and I'm sure that helps. The free Tascam mic and headphones you get in the starter pack are worth about what I paid for them, but they were at least included at no extra charge. Feature: I think the basic pan, EQ, and fader controls are pretty much industry standard. The faders have 45mm (about 1-3/4")length throw (again, I believe this is standrard for recorders in this category), and are very smooth. One disappointment was the lack of including a USB cable. I happened to have a cable that worked, but it is not your standard male/male USB cable. It is what is known as a standard "B" connector USB cable. They are quite inexpensive, so you would think Tascam would have included it. Walmart has a good Belkin 10 foot long model (Belkin model #F3U133-10-GLD) with 360 degree strain reliefs to protect the connectors for about $10. Ease of Use: I found the unit very easy to use, despite what I have read in some other reviews here on Zzounds, but I have many years of experience reading poorly written manuals for electronic equipment, so it didn't seem difficult at all to me. And I have never even been in a recording studio. But if you take your time, and read the instructions, then go back and read them again if things aren't going smoothly, you shouldn't have any problem. After unpacking, and setting things up, I had recorded a couple of tracks, mixed them, transferred the mix to my PC, played around with some Nero audio enhancement software, burned it to a CD, and was listening to it on my home stereo in about 1.0 hour. Quality: The unit is very sturdy, the finish and feel of the recorder are high quality. The control labels are easy to read. Better on board lighting would have been great, but I have a small table that I placed the unit on along with a small lamp (I really prefer to play in dim light and thick smoke), and that worked quite well. Value: You may be able to find a batter value, but you may have to look and wait a long time. And the time you spend has value (you could be doing something elese, like practicing for American Idol). Manufacturer Support: I have not dealt directly with Tascam, but the purchase I have made from Zzounds have been flawless. Excellent prices, excellent packaging, and I take the free shipping, and the products always arrive sooner than I expect. The Wow Factor: The unit has no "sex" appeal, or at least not to me. But if someone told me they would give me double the money for it, and I couldn't buy another one, I'm not sure I would do it. Overall: I think I will be satisfied with this unit for a long time, but in this day and age of electronic technology adavancement, you never know. I say that when I buy a new computer, but sure enough, about 3-4 years go by, the whole computer industry changes, and I gotta' have a new one. We'll just have to wait and see on digital recorders.
31 of 32 people (96.88%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"The best recorder you'll get for under $500 (at the moment)" submitted April 12, 2009

By a customer from gmail.com
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Features
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Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Electronic, Folk, Ethnic
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Sound: As one would expect with a low-end digital recorder, it's a little lossy. However I, nor hopefully anyone buying this unit, have no delusions about producing my next multi-platinum album with this unit. Feature: No accessories, but its setup could not be more straightforward. There are two instrument jacks and two mic jacks, one for each channel. 'Nuff said. The rest of what's back there you probably won't play with the first time around anyway. It's way smaller than its its Ease of Use: I've owned a couple other, more difficult to use digital recorders in the past; this one was a piece of cake. With the help of much pre-emptive caffeine, I had six tracks laid down on a two-minute sample a half hour after I plugged it in. If you're not familiar with this type of unit, get familiar with the manual before you even touch it. Quality: Considering the price, I was shocked at how sturdy this thing is. It feels a miniature tank. Value: "You get what you pay for" usually applies with technology nowadays, but with the DP02CF I know you'll wind up paying nearly twice as much before you come even close to getting better quality with this set of features. Buy it! The Wow Factor: A major improvement on the previous generation of big, awkward Tascam units. I'd actually let my girlfiend catch me in the closet (recording) with this thing. Overall: I think the only thing I could ask for with this already exists - these features with more space. That's the DP02. I'd also wind up paying a ton more for it. Thankfully, I'm fine laying down just one song at a time. There is lots better out there, but if you're just in it for something simple for some projects (and in my case, eventually start my own podcast) and practice, this is a steal.
6 of 7 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"for home 1 or 2 person studio its perfect search the internet find the best price from a legit site and ZZOUNDS will beat it. yo" submitted August 19, 2009

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: heavy
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Sound: i saved all all of you the trouble / i compared this unit with other mfg up to $2,000 range and they all spec to 16bit 44k / some upconvert to 24bit so what i did is i did an A/B with a roland TD20 drum machine (all kinds of frequencies) and the DP02CF reproduced them perfectly you could not tell the difference between live and recorded sounds. there is no "coloring" of sounds its like WYSIWYG Feature: didn't use the included headphones and mic. Ease of Use: its very easy to use just like the old porta one tape multi. the manual is a bit funky the way the track record is explained but it took about 20 min to figure it out on my own how to select the tracks to record to and bounce them .. now its real easy Quality: it metal not plastic, the faders are real smooth Value: the best value for the money Overall: this works just like the multi 4 track tape recorder we used to use although there is a limit of recording 2 tracks at once the more expensive units offer 4 or 8 tracks record at a time. for home 1 or 2 person studio its perfect
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Way too difficult for serious musicians to consider!" submitted October 19, 2008

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Sound: It takes time to get it working...but when you do, the sound is good. Feature: It is a basic machine that's good enough to do the job if you can figure out the every difficult steps to record and playback sounds. Ease of Use: Probably the worst of any musical product! I purchased TASCAM's Portastudio DP-02CF two weeks ago and have struggled with the "printed in China" manual to figure out how to record and play a few simple audio samples. Using this unit requires several non-intuitive steps with buttons pushed and held; no common sense human interface design would ever require such mental gymnastics, but TASCAM has apparently figured out how to make a relatively simple procedure sufficiently complex to make their product nearly inoperable. One hint on how complex and non-intuitive the Portastudio has become as it evolved over the years is that the manual is now over 76 pages long (some of those pages actually have instructions, but most didn't work as stated). If you read someone's review that claims this is very simple to operate, I suggest you visit a music store to try even a 10 to 20 second recording...then see if you can play back the results...this dispels any notion of simplicity or intuivity (yes, a new word). Quality: Would have rated it higher if the manual and method of operating the unit was easy to use....it isn't! Value: If you don't mind flying solo without a sectional, GPS or radio while in heavy weather, operating the DP-02 shouldn't bother you if you're just interested in value (and not ease of use or quick operability). Manufacturer Support: TASCAM has got to be the worst ever. Try calling them before you buy anything and it will confirm this. This alone should be sufficient to buy another brand. The Wow Factor: I strongly recommend you first look at other manufacturers if you need a multi-track recorder. TASCAM's affinity to make a simple process complex and non-intuitive, coupled with its use of a Chinese-produced instruction manual suggests the company has their own ideas of how musicians should interface with recording equipment; they have NOT made the DP-02 intuitively simple. Overall: If TASCAM rewrote the user manual and reprogrammed some of the onerous button-pushing steps on their DP-02CF, I would consider repurchasing the unit because the audio portion is not all that bad....but it is a very cumbersome interface, and the DP-02 manual is terrible, and customer support is non-existant.
54 of 81 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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