I acquired this unit one year and a half ago in a music store in Mexico city, where I live. It was new, and as I can remember, I paid around $290 dolars for it. The reason to buy the MRS-4 was that by that time I was recording my music in an Onkyo mini disc recorder, but this has only a stereo inputs, and I want to record my music with the posibilities to use multitracking.
The MRS-4 is a very versatile multitrack recorder, I use it in my home studio. I'm an instrumental music composer (I play keyboards, electric guitar and drum machine) and the MRS-4 is and small but powerful tool to develop my ideas, It let me do a basic track and use more tracks or V takes to complement the main idea. The MRS-4 is very well constructed, very friendly with the user (I spent one hour reading the manual, and after I start experimenting with the recording and editing functions) and since I had this recording machine, my demos and pieces are much better done. Also I must say that the sound quality is great.
Well, maybe there is nothing that I don't like about this unit. Probably the only limitation that I find is the smart media card capacity, but I generally buy the 64 or 128, so I have enough time to put 3 or 4 songs in each card. Also, I got a free-software in the ZOOM official page, I install it in my computer and this software let me save my compositions in my PC, so I can clean the card after storing it, and use it again and again.
Zoom always has very high quality products at affordable prices in the market. That's the reason by wich the amateurs, half-time professionals and full-time professionals musicians use these products, I hope.
The construction, performance and materials-resistance of the MRS-4 is ok, you can use it in practically every enviroment (home studio, bed room, traveling and even in a live performance, as a direct take from the sound desk.
In my opinion the MRS-4 is a very nice unit, that has a great cost-value relationship, you get a very useful recorder with high resources and without expend a lot of money. In my case, the MRS-4 let me improve my recording process, transforming my musical ideas in a more professional and high quality demos and pieces. I'm glad that I've had acquired this multitrack recorder. I highly recommended it to the musicians.
I bought my Zoom MRS-4, Digital Recorder at Mars Music(bankrupt now) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I can make 4 track recordings all in digital and then burn them to CD, without changing the format. I never have to go back to analog again! I can make professional, studio quality demos right at home, and it only cost $200.00
There is nothing that I don't like about my Zoom MRS-4, Digital Recorder.
The unit is made out of a high grade unbreakable casting (not plastic). It can really take a beating and its performance is not affected by the wheather, the cold of winter, nor the heat of summer, especially here in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's fantastic!
I reccomend this product to anyone who is in the market for a home based recording studio, it even has added sound effects that can be applied during mix down. It comes complete with a range of effects for vocals as well as instruments. There are four channels for instrument input, two RCA. jackets for output and a headphone jack. This unit is great, it even lets you make "V takes" (sample tracks) that can be mastered into the finished product, or they can be phased out altogther, if a retake is necessary.
I purchased my ZOOM MRS4 recorder in December 2002 in Germany at https://www.musik-produktiv.de for 299 Euros. I have made midi recordings on my keyboard but I missed playing with real instruments. Now I use midi recordings (piano, bass, drums, organ) together with real guitar. Sounds real good.
The unit is verry easy to use. The sound quality is a little bit under CD quality (32 kHz instead of 44 kHz) but I cannot hear the difference. The unit has some good effects on board. The reverb is excellent, there are good equalize possibilities (parametric and linear) and there are effects for mixdown to give extra dimension to the sound. It is possible to cut, copy and paste with recorded tracks from any place to any place. Also with the back up files from your recording on your computer you can copy and paste and change the filenames of the tracks to move them to other tracks.
Every track has eight virtual tracks.
If four tracks have been recorded you can make a mixdown on 2 virtual tracks. In that way you can free 2 tracks for more recording.
The files can be copied to a PC with a SmartMedia Card reader. Yoo have to but that seperately. The software con be downloaded from the zoom website. It's very easy to back-up and restore your recordings and convert the files to wav with this software.
The 32Mb Smartmedia card that is in the package is too limited in time. If you have recorded 4 tracks for a 3.5 minute song (4 x 3.5 minutes = 14 minutes) in HiFi mode you have only 3 minutes left. Not enough to make a stereo mixdown (you would need 2 x 3.5 minutes). So a 128 Mb card is the best option.
Construction is made from plastic, but if you treat the unit in a normal way there should not be any problem. Buttons work fine.
Sound quality superb! Very easy to use. In no time you can make a verry good recording that sounds professional.
I got for a X-mas present from my parents. They bought it from Fox Music around 400-600 dollars.
It has a clean sound when recording. You can dubb solos and stuff over a track you have already recorded. It has two inputs. A good amout of effects on it. Comes with a 15 song holder memory called. Can hook it up to basically anything: stereo, cd burner, midi, headphones. It can run off of 4 batteries.
Hard to use and understand at first. Only has four tracks(of course you could pay more for a 12 track one).
Has very good quality. Constructed out of strong plastic, which acts like metal. Doesn't have a cd burner built in it.
Good tool to have if you are just starting to record or aren't too serious about it yet.