Best CD-R Recorder--Tascam, HHB, Marantz, Sony???

I'm shopping for a CD-R recorder, mainly for "pro audio" use (to make CD's from live recordings made on my Tascam DAT machine), altho I'm also an audiophile & will use it to make CD copies, & from vinyl LP's, etc.

My problem is--just can't find many reviews on these, from any of the mags like EM, S'phile, TAS, etc., or online. I'm mainly interested in audio quality. I know there was a thread about this a few weeks ago on this site, but most of the responses just dealt with what kind of blank discs to use.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

check out the NAD c-660 on our showcase on audiogon and at --- it is a wonderful unit and you can read the recent reviews in sound and vision mag ... and many more on their web site

any questions feel free to get in touch

good listening
Freind of mine who writes for a paper contatced Mike fremer and he swore by the marantz.I bought fostex cause it had balanced in/outs which i never used but ina club or atudio situation you can get a long run with no distortion.Mine takes 4 min to burn whereas a Tascam i got for a buddy takes one minute.I would also think if you want to do Lp transfers or some editing checking into what threshold it will make track marks is important though I haven''t used mine that way and have always used the manual track mark.I think features is important.But no matter what you need a pro burner with no stinkin' SCMS so you can also use 18 cent data blanks.Ask the guys at or call Boynton Pro Auido where I got mine.Look were not talking speakers,amps or phono carts here so I think digits are digits and fremmer is proabably wrong.You are looking for features ,durability and price.You can always get a D/A processor.But since Apples and other computer co's are making DVD burners (I think Technics may have a high priced audio burner already) no matter what you get at 16/44 will piss you off when in a year or two everybody will say you should have waited and gotten a 24/96.Go cheap and look at AMdig's site and buy something at $500 unless there is some feature you HAVE to have.Before you bite let me know what you going for at what price and maybe I can help you swing something better.I work in a stereo shop and have low freinds in high places in pro world.
I bought a dual-tray Philips 765 burner. For the life of me I cannot figure out how to copy from one tray to the other. I was thinking of posting a thread asking if any other Philips users could help me out. I'm generally pretty good with electronics, be aware of user friendly features or end up like me, scratching your head and wondering.
Avoid any of the consumer machines as these use consumer CD-Rs which are less readily available, I have found to be a lower quality sounding disc, and also don't tend to make as good of a disc. Most consumer machines usually focus more on flashy features that you will never use rather than the mechanicals of the unit. Also, consumer units will have the Serial Copy Management System in it preventing you from making more than 1 generation of discs.

The HHB is a great unit and makes excellent CDs even using its internal A/Ds when recording from analog sources. The professional Marantz units have also been historically good units.

A great "add on" that isn't very expensive if you are going to be dubbing LPs is the Apogee Rosetta A/D convertor.
I also hope that your DATs were recorded at 44.1 instead of the 48 kHZ DAT standard. If they were recorded at 48 kHZ, you will need a sample rate convertor.
While I can't speak about specific burners, I can suggest two very reputable sources of goods (media, DAT & CD-R recorders, etc.) to the live music taping & trading community. Check out Terrapin Tapes ( and Oade Brothers Audio ( Both cater primarily to folks like you who are digitally recording and transferring shows, and both have been doing so for quite some time. The Oades go waaay back with the Grateful Dead's taping community and even make mic. preamps for live recording. I'm sure either outfit would be glad to discuss features/pros/cons of various burners with you.
Tascam CDRW700. Got mine at the local Guitar Center for under $600, to replace a Pioneer 555 that sounded okay but restricted you to "Audio" disks and forbad digital dubbing. The Tascam sounds really great, is very flexible, and has burned several hundred CDRs without a hitch. Even has a timer built in.
I have the Tascam CDRW5000. It makes copies that sound as good as the original. Keep in mind that the digital cable you use makes a big diffrence, as does the brand of CDR (Mitsui Gold is the best) I would highly reccomend the Acoustic Zen MC2 digital cable.

You might want to take a look at the Alesis
Masterlink. It's a Hard disc recorder which
can do any range of bit sizes between 16&24 and
sampling rates of 44-96. Once the info is on the
Hard Disc you can "Master" it, EQ, Normalize, Compress,
Limit ..... and burn back to 16/44. You can also burn
@16-24/44-96 aiff format to cdr. Has 3.x gig hard drive.
(1.7 hours @ 24/96, 5.4 hours @ 16/44.1)

There have been several reviews on this piece if you
search the Pro Audio mags. I got one a year back and
it's been great!!


Joe T.
I'll second the Alesis Masterlink ML-9600. It is a wonderful pro unit that sells somewhere between $1800 and $2000 retail, but if you try, you can buy one new for around $1200.