Sony W500C CD Recorder

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Kim S.

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Sony W500C CD Recorder
« on: 5 Feb 2006, 01:44 pm »
I don't know if you could call this an "audiophile" piece of equipement.  I'm writing this because before buying one I found a lack of information concerning it.  I'm sure there are others here interested in a non PC based stand alone CD recorder.

Fit and Finish- This is one ugly component!  The usual mifi black box except bulkier to accomodate the 2 decks.  I put mine partialy hidden under the rest of my system on the floor.

Set Up- The unit consists of 2 decks.  One is a 5 disc changer for playback only.  The second is a single disc deck for recording or single playback.  There are 3 ways to record: 1. From the 5 disc changer to the single deck 2. Digital input by toslink connection from external dac or cd player 3. Analog input from an external source through the tape out output of your amp.  I used the  last method so that I could take advantage of the CD player and Dac in my main system.

 The owners manual could be clearer,but it was not as bad as some reviews I read about it on Amazon.  Recording is not as flexible as using a cassette recorder.  Ability to edit is limited.  The instructions say that if you turn off the recorder after recording a part of a CD you can begin where you left off.  When I tried this the recorder started several tracks from where I stopped.  The last part would not "finalize" which meant I wasted my time on the last session.  Still if you can put up with the usual digital "glitches" it is relatively easy to use.  Not as fun as the old cassette though.

Sound- From what I read CD playback is only fair.  I have not tried this.  The quality of the recorded CD's is very good.  I would say 95% of the original.  It seemed to lack a little of the immediacy and weight of the original.  These differences were slight.  I noticed it on my system, but I doubt one would on a lesser system or in car audio.  Some of the difference may be due to the rather cheap interconnect I am using for the analog input.  My better spare interconnects are all too short.  I'll experiment with this later.

Conclusion- If you are like me and miss making compilation tapes this may be for you.  Some Amazon reviews give it poor marks for unreliability.  These are early days, but I have not had any problems except for the inherent inflexibility of any digital based system.  List price is $300.  I bought this one refurbished on Ebay for $179.