The answer to this dilemma: why not make copies of my vinyl record collection onto CD? I have a CD-burner in one of my PCs; however, the process of downloading the music from my vinyl records into the hard drive, then burning them on CDs, then deleting the files off the hard drive afterwards and repeating this process just takes to too long. I would also have to remove the turntable from my main system. In addition, I would need an additional phono preamp to connect the turntable to my PC's sound card line input.
Having decided on this approach, which CD recorder to choose? CD recorders come in several varieties, single well, dual well, and multi-well. Since I already have a dual-CD drive (CD/DVD player and CD writer) in my PC, capable of duplicating audio files at 8X normal speed, I didn't need a dual-well deck.
Also, since I am not planning to mix-and-match cuts from several CDs at once, I didn't need a multi-well deck. All I needed was a good single-well CD recorder that was up to the task and easy to use. So, I set out to a local retailer to pick up an audio CD recorder. My choice: The new Pioneer PDR-609 CD-R/CD-RW recorder. The price was a very reasonable $299, on sale. I also picked up a ten-pack of audio CD-R disks to get me started.
SETUP AND USE OF THE PIONEER PDR-609
On the top left side of the unit, there is a large sticker explaining to the user what type of blank CD media the PDR-609 is able to use. Although this is a CD-R/RW recorder, you do not use the same type of blank CD-R/RWs you would use in a computer. Blank CD media for use in CD audio recorders must have a "Digital Audio" or "For Audio Use Only" marking on the package. The differences in the laser pickups and data requirements for Computer CDR/RW drives make this distinction important.
The PDR-609 has features that you find on a high-end audio cassette deck and then some. There are several interesting set-ups and options that make this unit very flexible, especially in the recording of vinyl records.
First of all, I like the fact that it has a standard headphone jack and separate headphone level control. Secondly, in conjunction with the Monitor switch and both Analog AND Digital input level controls (as well as a Balance control and two-channel LED level meter), you can easily setup the input sound levels. One cautionary note, you want to make sure that your loudest peaks do not reach the red "OVER" indicator on the LED level meters, this will cause distortion on your recording.
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