Sugg. Retail: $849 (CDN)
Distributor: TEAC Canada Ltd.,
5939 Wallace Street,
Mississauga, Ont. L4Z 1Z8
FAX (905) 890-9888
(Reprinted from the Summer/Fall 2000 Audio Ideas Guide )
The TEAC RW-800 has a single tray, recording entirely from external sources, but unlike many other double decks has some interesting features of its own, including microphone inputs on the front panel with their own level controls beside the 1/4″ input jacks. Analog line (RCA) and Toslink and coaxial (RCA) inputs and outputs are provided on the rear panel. In addition to allowing straight recording from these analog and digital sources, the RW-800 also provides for mixing of analog line, microphone, and digital sources, though only one of the latter at a time, coax or optical. Budding DJs may find this feature fun.
Like the Pioneer, this TEAC records on both consumer CD-Rs and consumer CD-RWs (many audiophiles probably don’t realize that apartheid exists also between consumer and computer CD-RWs, so don’t buy computer RW discs and expect to be able to use them).
The input mixing feature, especially with the microphone inputs, will work well for musicians who want to record with pre-recorded backgrounds of the Music-Minus-One variety, or for simple overdubbing; you can think of the RW-800, when paired with another CD player or source, as a way of doing serial overdubs without generation loss, as is the case with cassette PortaStudio recorders. With separate microphone and analog record level controls, this recorder can also be used as a basic mixer, and with other sources might be useful in basic PA or theatrical situations where a large mixing console is not required (a Monitor button allows mixing and listening through it without being in record mode). The Fader button on both remote and front panel allows controlled fades in and out, also a boon for the amateur musician. Another feature for anyone wanting to record off air is a built-in clock and timer-start system. Like some earlier Pioneer CD recorders, the RW-800 has a built-in sample-rate converter which will downsample 48 kHz to 44.1, and upsample 32 kHz. Another aid to advanced recording functions is the Multi-Jog control on the right side of the front panel, which sets thesholds for track identification, and other operations. Another neat feature is embodied in a button titled “Rehearsal”, which uses a solid state memory of about 4 seconds to allow pre-recording check of start cues when programming, so you can avoid clipping opening notes of selections. This is a very versatile product.
And in the ways that count, this TEAC CD recorder works well, making excellent sounding CDs while allowing a lot of control over the process. I like the fact that the designers at TEAC have exercised what you could call “coaster control”; in other words, they’ve made it much less easy for you to create coasters, that is, screwed-up CDs. Most of us are going to avoid buying the more expensive CD-RWs for most recording, so having a recording machine that is almost foolproof is great. TEAC has done a fine engineering job on the RW-800 CD-R/CD-RW Recorder.