[Click here for 90kB scan of the R30]
The R30 - What I think of it.
The R30 is the 1997 model. It sold for DM599,-- last year. Now you can buy one for 30% less. That's just around US$220.
I've used the R30 daily for over a year now and have only had one problem so far: A live recording I made using a TDK color MD wouldn't play back on my 303 home deck. (I blame that on the disc.) After one year, the color has come off the battery case and some button, the walkman
has got some naste scratches and dents, but it still works great.
Nothing is perfect, so let's start with the negative: You can't set the recording level manually while recording and the db-meter just has 9 bars with makes it hard to set it properly anyway.
There's no digital optical output.
Recordings always start at current playing point. So if you forget to go to the end of the disc with the "END SEARCH" button, you might erase something you wanted to keep. :(
The remote can only be used with the free headphones that came with the unit, other phones with a miniplug or the adaptor are hard to get (and expensive) in Germany. That why I never
use the remote.
When you name your tracks, you can't see the track number when you use the jog-wheel to select another track. And the display scrolling it very slow.
Digital synchro recording often misses a tiny bit of a song at the beginning.
People with large fingers might consider the buttons too small.
The R30 is small and doesn't weigh much. It fits into the pocket of a jeans shirt. I often forget in with pocket of my jacket it is.
The battery really lasts for 8 hours playback and the AC adaptor is small, too.
The sound quality of the R30 is quite amazing. It is said to use the latest ATRAC 4 compression. It's very hard to hear a difference between CD and MD nowadays and if you can spot it, it's probably not the compression, but other parts like the A/D or D/A converters. I still think that my ATRAC 3 home deck sounds a bit better than the R30 and if sound quality is your only goal you might consider buying a deck like the JE510. Anyway, for a portable the R30 sounds great.
The R30 has a digital input. With synchro recording it's really easy to copy your favourite CD tracks onto a MD.
With the jog wheel you can select other tracks while one is playing.
The R30 can display the remaining time of a track. This is important if you use it for DJing.
The R30 has mono recording, so you can have up to two and a half hours on one disc. This is great for recording radio programmes. The mono recordings play on most older MD recorders, even if they can't record in mono. So if your source is old vinyl, you can save a lot of money.
Summery: The R30 is a bargain. It may not be perfect, but if I had to, I'd buy it again. [even for the price I had to pay for it... ]. Get one today... and go to HEAVEN.
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March 1st '97