TASCAM CD-RW750 CD Recorder

TASCAM's latest model CD-RW recorder is an upgraded version of the CD-RW700. The convenience of archiving recordings at will is a common necessity in the studio or conference room setting and having the ability to write when you need to and then "fix" a CD-R disc or erase a track or RW disc when full saves time and money.
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TASCAM's latest model CD-RW recorder is an upgraded version of the CD-RW700. The convenience of archiving recordings at will is a common necessity in the studio or conference room setting and having the ability to write when you need to and then "fix" a CD-R disc or erase a track or RW disc when full saves time and money.
Product PointsApplications: Installation, broadcast, studio

Key Features: CD--R/RW formats; -10/+4 analog and digital I/O operation; jog/shuttle wheel

Price: $678

Contact: TASCAM at 323-726-0303, Web Site.
Features

The CD-RW750 has a sleek black look, and with the included rack ears, is ready to be used in just about any audio system for where CD playback and recording is required. The enclosed literature states very plainly on the front cover that this is a "professional" unit. I may be lambasted for being overly critical, but I always though professional audio gear was supposed to have balanced analog inputs and outputs.

The CD-RW750 has a nice complement of I/O; coaxial and optical digital I/O and unbalanced analog inputs and outputs, but no balanced audio I/O. This requires the addition of a -10/+4 interface when connecting the unit to a balanced audio system. If you are using it with unbalanced or digital connections, then this is not a problem. Getting beyond this minor bump, the unit has a very nice complement of features and functions.

The front panel user interface provides: power, a timer switch which enables the unit to be activated from an external timer or starts a disc from the start of a loaded disc; standard disc transport function buttons; a large input control, an input select which cycles through the various inputs; a digital direct button which selects a mode that bypasses the internal digital converter and syncs the unit directly to the incoming digital signal; the finalize button for recording on CD-R discs; an erase button which erases tracks or an entire RW disc; sync record which enables recording upon the detection of an input signal (more on this later);a fader button; a menu button which cycles through the available menus; an LED display and display button which selects different time display modes and a "multi" jog control.

The sensor for the remote control also appears on the front unit. The remote control is a rugged little unit that provides access to most of these controls with additional control over parameters of the specific functions selected. It also has a pretty fast response, important when needing to quick start and stop the recorder from across the table or room.

In Use

I was amazed how easy it was to use the CD-RW750 without the help of the manual. The unit is very intuitive and before you know it I had a digital interface connected, selected the input and was ready to record. One word of warning; when using a digital connection, be sure to have the CD you recording from set up on or just after the track start ID or the recorder will auto detect it and create a new track. Found this out on the first track, but no worries, I just erased it. I recorded a track unit using the direct digital input and then the same track using the recorders digital converter. I didn't hear and discernable difference, but I did notice that the display telling me that that the unit I was connected to was receiving a 44.7 kHz signal. Hmm. I checked this with my computer interface and it read 44.1 kHz. It's important to point out that the internal converter will convert digital signal frequencies between 32 kHz and 48 kHz. There was no change in pitch or any other anomalies, so I continued to make recordings, erasing tracks, etc all without the need for the manual.

Next I selected the analog inputs and made some recordings using the sync function. I had to crack the manual for this. The basic premise is that with the right setting the unit will auto start the recording and index the track. This takes some adjustment and experimentation, but once set, it worked reliably.The disc title function is a very useful, but only one title per disc track can be displayed and if the title is longer than 12 characters it scrolls across the display. The track titles are entered using the jog wheel. After recording the tracks, I proceeded to finalize the disc. This was accomplished by pressing the "finalize" button. After this the unit displays "finalize OK?" and then you simply press the enter button or the jog control. A full disc takes about a minute and 30 seconds to finalize.

It's important to note that when you finalize a CD-RW you have to "unfinalize" it to record over it. Unfinalizing erases the table of contents on the disc and allows you to add more or erase individual tracks or the entire disc for that matter. This process works quite well and as you would guess the process takes about the same time as finalizing. I tried two different brands and types of media in the unit and it seemed to handle all easily. The audio was clear and tracking was precise even in other CD players. The manual is laid out well and with lots of helpful diagrams and information.

Summary

The TASCAM CD-RW750 is idealfor project studios, courtrooms, conference rooms, houses of worship, broadcast facilities, music and band rooms. The unit is simple to use and isn't finicky with media. It's a good replacement for DAT and cassette recorders and having a gang of these may prove useful for producing small runs of meeting minutes practice sessions, etc.

Review Setup

Marantz 620 CD recorder, Yamaha 03D digital mixer, Crown PS400 power amp and Fostex RM series reference monitors.