Been using the FR-2 Field Memory Recorder for a few months now. Really like the sound of the mic pre-amps, and the internal phantom power also seems to drive my mic-of-choice well (ShureVP-88 Stereo Condenser). Net result is a noticeably cleaner sound, especially compared to the consumer mini-dat ‘chines I’d been using as back-up and on bike trips.
It’s about the size of a thick hardcover book; bigger than I thot — funny how even tho I read the specs, 206 x 132x 57 mm (8.1 x 5.2 x 2.2 inches), my desire for a small machine still made me think this thing would be more compact. Also it has internal stereo mics and speaker, neither features I wanted. But it is light, has a speedy USB2.0 post, and other flash-recorders had more serious probs for me.*
One tragic flaw: The Fostex back battery case cover is a pain-in-ass and doomed to bust someday; cuz the batteries have to be placed just right or they stick out and keep cover from closing properly.
So it’s a fine machine, sounds great, is rugged (except battery cover). But: I paid $500 for my Fostex, and it’s now $600; so at that price the Oade Bros Marantz 660 mod may be the better deal.
Here’s some recordings, the first with the VP88 of some close relatives, currently incarcerated, “Cognitive Evo Group, Univ of LA- External Mic”
Continuing the incarceration theme, when internationally known producer Scott Carrier came to visit, it wasn’t long before I was off to the cop-shop to bail Scott outta jail. So I brought my recorder along and taped his coerced confession, using the internal stereo mics. The Fostex was just sitting on the truck seat and picked up pretty well, “Car Talk- Internal mics” (0:30 mp3):
And again with the internal mics, here’s the gate thru which we later DID NOT trespass, when the criminal returned to the scene of the crime, “Gate Swing- Internal mics” (0:32 mp3):
Scott sez he’s learned his lesson. We at HV remain skeptical, having heard this declaration from him before.
*My probs w/ other $400-600 recorders: The Zoom H4 is a piece of plastic shit, w/ no vol dial– just a switch w/ three level presets (haven’t seen H2 yet). The M-Audio Microtrack only has an internal battery, which rules it out for long road trips w/o frequent AC, especially on bikes. Edirol R-09 is hissy; as is, the outta-box non-Oade Marantz 660 (see: Transom review).