CD Recorders--Audio vs. Music Stores

I have been having a hard time making any headway with a cd recorder purchase decision. Audio stores sell one group of brands, while the musical instrument/professional recording stores sell almost entirely different product at very similar price points. The local musical instrument store is poorly set up for in-store auditioning of their cd recorders, and its sales "help" hasn't been very useful. The build quality looks better on the music store entries, but that may just speak to a preference for industrial design over walnut side panels. If anybody has experience using a tascam, one of the Sony pro audio units, or something similar in a home system, I'd appreciate hearing from them. My main interest is archiving material on digital that isn't going to last forever (and may not get supported forever) on vinyl.
Dar, I just purchased a Pioneer PDR-W839 for $399 on ebay. The design looks very close to the JVC that was reviewed and compared to the Marantz pro model in Stereopyle last month. Their consensus was that digital to digital the "consumer" model was just as good. I am unable to hear a difference in my copies. The better "pro" models will have superior A-D converters, I am sure. I will use mine to copy my irreplaceable (OOP) cds and also for auto use. The cassette is dead. This thing is fun, and practical too, considering the cost to replace 10-12 of my OOP cds pays for it. There are many past threads to read up on cd recorders, you should look them up. Good luck, Charlie.
I have a Pioneer W-739, and my experience is the same as Charlie's above. I like the Pioneers. These Pioneer CD-Rs do require the use of the slightly more expensive consumer Audio, or Music CD-Rs as opposed to CD-Rs for computers. If we can get Ramstl into this discussion, he would recommend the "professional" CD-Rs. Cheers. Craig
I think the main difference is that many of the "pro" models allow you to use any standard data CD-R blanks instead of the consumer "audio" version. Regular computer CDRs are much cheaper than the consumer versions, so those savings could add up fairly quick. I'm not sure about the DAC quality.
I just purchased a Sony CDR-33 after auditioning several of the brands mentioned above. The sony has the latest 24/96 DACs and gives you SBM for analogue recordings. The sony like all professional recorders does not have SCMS. To audition in a music store just listen on a good pair of headphones to music you are familiar with. I used my Sennheiser (sp) 600s. Good luck in your search.
Go pro for all the reasons posted. I would love to hear how Lchad@one enjoys his Sony. It appears to be a new contender and I have gotten very little feedback on them. However, Sony has been at a while and I'm sure it is equal to or better than others in their price range. If I was to by a new CDR this unit would be at the top of my hit parade, with a bullet.
I purchased a Marantz CDR500 professional model from Broadcast Supply Worldwide for $700. 800 426 8434 This is anincredible piece of equipment.