Tascam Portastudio 788
Tascam Portastudio 788
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MGR/Algernon Van Peel 12/29/2003

Tascam Portastudio 788 : MGR/Algernon Van Peel's user review

« Tascam 788 Digital Portastudio »

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I bought this at at musiccenter in Belgium for 750 euro. I needed a digital recorder to record my musical ideas I also wanted to make a CD out of my songs.

First of all, This unit is the only one in this price range to have 24 bit recording capability. I downloaded about 10 mp3's made by the Boss Br-1180 and 20 from the fostex VF-80 just to compare the difference between 16 and 24 bit. I can really hear the difference in sound quality. I'm very picky when it comes to sound quality because I play the trombone and I'm studying music. It can play 8 tracks at a time and it can record 6 tracks at once, it has 250 virtual tracks, 999 levels of undo although some who has reached that much undos should just start over. It has a waveform display unlike the Boss Br-1180. The manual was ok. I tried placing 1 mic infront of a trombone quartet and it sounded excellent except for the phone ringing and the door banging in the background. It has a very nice form and the knobs are very firm. (Wow, am I talking about my girlfriend or recorder??) It's has a 10 gig hard drive which is enough for 1 album but the drive can be replaced. The costumer support was just amazing. I bought it with a version 1.10 system so I emailed tascam Germany and they said that version 2.0 was coming out so they decided to send me an upgrade cd. I didn't have a cd drive for the tascam so they sent me an eprom microchip instead. It arrived here in the Philippines in less than 2 weeks. That was really quick. The sound quality is really good. Check out my songs so you'll know what I mean: www.nowhereradio.com/slidemasterx/singles

What I don't like about the tascam is that you have to buy a separate external cd burner to be able to back up, or import/export files. It only has a digital output. (no input). It doesn't have a built-in mic which I really needed because my ideas spring out during unusual times like when I'm in the shower or while I'm sitting on the toilet bowl. It's heavy and doesn't have batteries. I need to record during the vacation. One big factor that led me to buy this was the user forum on the tascam website but after I bought this, they closed it down. There is another 788 forum but with fewer members. it on: www.cmoore.com/forum
I had a difficulty with the effects because as a newbie, I needed EQ and reverb presets. The 788 only had 1 good reverb preset but there were lots of wierd effects for vocals and guitar which I didn't really need. The boss and fostex had a lot of presets.

The 788 looks solid to me. just don't drop and bash it around because it has a hard drive. It only crashed once. I just restarted it and everything went fine. I wish they made a softcase for it.

Well this unit is pretty good and it's better than other brands in the price range. It costs $600 now and a lot cheaper used. If you're experienced with EQ and effects then the 788 shouldn't be a problem for you but If you're a newbie who just wants to record ideas and you need presets, then you should get a boss br-864 or tascam pocketstudio 5. There are a lot of features on the 788 that I don't use. I should have waited for a few months until the Boss br-864 or Zoom mrs-802 came out. I regretted it a lot. Overall this is a good unit if you have a background on recording already.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com