After reviewing and using the portable MR-1000 extensively, Korg’s MR-2000S rackmounted/studio version of the 1-Bit recorder program is a welcomed addition to the line. Like the MR-1000, the MR-2000S ($2,499 list) has the ability to record and play all PCM sample and bit rates up to 192 kHz/24-bit and DSD 1-bit in both 2.8 MHz and 5.6 MHz. The MR-1000, a portable unit, is built to run on battery power or AC and provides built-in, dual mic preamps; the MR-2000 is line-in only and designed for studio use.
I have been using the MR-2000S on location where AC power is readily available, connected to an Earthworks mic preamp. What I like about this combination is that the Earthworks preamp is much more transparent than the onboard mic pres found in just about any recorder or mixer. The MR-2000S also has a calibrated analog input reference level feature with a range of five steps from -12 to -20, representing 12 to 20 dB of headroom. The reference level can be tweaked, plus or minus, in quarter dB steps; this is nice when you use a mic pre with precision stepped input attenuators, thus taking the guesswork out of balancing channels when equal gain is desired.
The MR-2000S has a simple, uncluttered front panel with everything you need, including a headphone jack and a nice, bright and easy to read LED meter. On its rear panel, analog connectors include XLR balanced input/output (+4) and RCA unbalanced input/output (– 6 dBV); digital connectors include RCA S/PDIF input/output along with word clock I/O via BNC connectors. When in 1-bit mode, the MR-2000S does not use the S/PDIF connectors, so Korg developed a form of synchronization and transport control called MR Control Link; it allows up to four MR-2000S units for 8-track recording. Units can also be armed for record and/or playback, and even to locate various points within the current file. The MR-2000S has a built-in 80GB hard drive which provides up to 120 hours at 44.1 kHz/16-bit or up to 29 hours of 2.8 MHz DSD. Files can be transferred between PC or Mac via USB 2.0.
The MR-2000 may just be the ideal 2-channel studio recorder for mixdown or on location, when connected to a really good mic preamplifier. Whether you choose high-resolution PCM or DSD, the Korg MR-2000S is one great-sounding recorder as well as good value at under $2,000 street.
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