Fostex FR-2 LE

By 2008.02.13 tags: , . 6 Comments»

Fostex FR-2 Flash recorder

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”
(0:34 mp3):

Scott hides from cameraContinuing 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):

No trespassing signScott 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).

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Comments (6)

[…] Fostex FR-2LE im Praxistest Nach mehrmonatiger Benutzung erweist sich der Konkurrent des Sony PCM-D50 als sehr brauchbar. Den genauen Testbericht mit H√∂rbeispielen gibt es bei Barret Golding. […]

Just shipping, but not reviews anywhere (except for some posted by yours truly) is the Olympus LS-10.

It’s a very impressive piece of equipment, and is the closest to the SONY PCM-D50 on the market.

Comment added by Dan on 02.20.08

Good morning.

Do you know of anyone in the Los Angeles area with the FR2 LE and the Oade mod?

I spoke with Doug Oade prior to by purchasing the Fostex, and he did not know of any in Los Angeles with the mod.

Doug did say that the difference in the Fostex mod was not as noticeable as the Marantz 660 mod.

I agree that the 660 mod makes quite a difference, to the positive. I’m thinking that maybe I don’t need to do the same for the Fostex.

Thank you.

Tim Bomba

Comment added by tim bomba on 10.06.08

Sorry, don’t know anyone anywhere w/ the FR2-LE Oade mod. I do know it sounds great w/o the mod. But also that the 660 w/ the Oade mod is quite the compact hi-fi ‘chine.

Comment added by BG on 10.06.08

I’ve been reporting with the Fostex FR2 LE on a few NPR features. Recording with both a SHURE Beta 87C, and a Neumann 105, the results sounds very nice. At some point I’ll add a Sound Devices front end, but for now, it’s working well.

Glad I bought it.

Comment added by tim bomba on 10.28.08

I use an FR2-LE Oade Super Mod with a dpa 4060 lav for recording oral histories. I’ve been happy with the results. Next week I’ll be testing the Fostex with a friend’s Rode NTG-3 in advance of a video shoot for him.

Comment added by Kevin on 10.05.10

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