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Thread: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

  1. #1

    Default Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently shopping for a recorder and I isolate two options. The zoom h2n and the tascam dr-05. I have read other post here and on other site regarding these two models but I still have difficulty when I check the specs to really know if there is a better options or the two will be equivalent on what my use would be.

    I want to use it in 3 different context. To record myself alone. To record when I jam with a guitar a upright bass and a violon sometime banjo. And finally to record in trad/irish circle jam (10 person) so I can practice tune by ear when I get back home.

    From what I understand...and I really know almost nothing...is maybe the zoom h2n would be a better fit because of the different configuration that you can use (ms, 2 channel, x/y). Am I right or I missing something?

    If some people have use them in the situation that I intend to use it I would like to hear what you have to say.

    Also, is there others options I should look at that would be a better fit for my use?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for my poor english...it's not my first language.

  2. #2
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    Charlie, for what it is worth, here is my input. I use the Tascam DR-05 and am very happy with it. I have no experience of the Zoom recorder but have heard good reports of it as well.
    The Tascam has two mics and reords as two channels or in mono and can take external mic as well. It records not only in mp3 but in wav format too which gives much higher quality recording but with a greater use of memory. I have used it to record a group of six or seven fiddlers with myself on guitar and we got very acceptable results from just having it sitting in the middle of our group. You can use auto levels or adjust the recording levels through the menu and it is a fairly straightforward device to get to know and use. I use it quite often to record tracks (in wav format) which I then transfer to my PC and the REAPER program I use to make multitrack recordings in wav format. this gives me a lot of headroom to work with the tracks and try to get a good final mix. The Tascam has a small and fairly poor in-built speaker, and I usually plug in either headphones or a separate external speaker - I use a small but quite acceptable external Bluetooth speaker connected via a standard audio lead (3.5mm mini jack connection); neither of the recorders you ask about has Bluetooth capability.

    I'm sure you will get responses from others now who will give you good reports of both devices. I think it is important to go with something you feel comfortable with and can use easily without having to keep recourse to a manual.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    Tascam DR-05 is a bit older tech than the Zoom H2N. Tascam is a standard that a lot of folks know. I've found the Zoom H2N to have a wider field and also better bass recording. I think the condensers are larger and has 5 mics vs 2 in the Tascam. That does give you more flexibility. Bot are easy to use and give good results. Tascam is about $60 cheaper, if that matters to you. I've used both and like both, but currently I use the Zoom H2N. I think either would be great for what you want to do.
    Best, Stevo

  4. #4
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    My 2nd cousin has that Zoom and has recorded our band playing, he just sets it up out front about 10-15 feet from our mic/Pa set-up and I couldn't believe the sound quality! I haven't really checked it out to see how it works but it works great.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    I think the Zoom wins for recording in a circle since it has mics on both sides. It can also be a USB microphone if you want to get into multi-tracking on your computer.
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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    I do not have either, I do know some with the zoom and the recordings they have done have been great. Surprisingly so.
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    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    I have an old Zoom and a not quite so old Tascam, they both work fine. I got the Tascam on sale for less than $100 and it is fine.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    Going to throw out another suggestion, the Tascam DP-006 Portastudio. It is only slightly larger than the others, runs off batteries, stereo condenser mics. Advantage is that is is a multi-track recorder. So, I was able to record practice with a new band, then add on verbal notes later while listening back, and then still had a track left to try out parts and ideas. Really made the learning effort easier having the multi-tracks ready-to-go.

  9. #9
    Registered User Gary Hudson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    I bought the cheaper zoom H1n when it was the stupid deal of the day. I've only used it to record myself so far but I'm taking it to a jam tonight. They are dead simple to operate and a 32 gig card gives you over 15 hours of recording in the highest wav format. I don't think the H1n does any other configurations but the H2n looks like a good choice.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    Hi Charlie, I have the older Tascam DR-07 mkii which was one step above the DR-05 and it works great, (it has been replaced by the 22WL). The DR-05 is a great recorder, the 07 records two tracks and has directional mics but other than that they are identical in operation. The user interface is pretty simple and itís been updated since I got mine a few years ago.

    I havenít used the Zoom but Iím sure itís a great recorder as well. If all you want is to record yourself, jams, workshops, etc Iíd say just go with the least expensive. Unless you need it immediately wait for the holiday sales on Amazon, B&H Video, Guitar Center, etc.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    One of my favorite Youtube music channels records with a Zoom H2N then touches up the audio in Pro Tools and I think the quality is highly impressive. He's got a couple videos on his channel about how to get the best sound from your portable recorder as well.

    It's non-mandolin content but ought to be a decent demo of the device in question:


  12. #12

    Default Re: Tascam DR-05 vs Zoom H2N

    Hi all,

    I wanted to thanks you for your reply. I see that the two is almost equivalent and I just have to make a personnal choice. Thanks again this forum is some much a good ressource.

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