Customer Review

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars junk, May 6, 2011
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This review is from: RCA RP3504 Cassette "Shoebox" Voice Recorder (Office Product)
This looks like the old shoebox recorder from the past which was about one pound. It is in fact a piece of junk that weighs agout 3 oz. and records like a broken toy. Utterly unusable with the feel of something that would break in a day if not sooner. Now I waste my time returning it. Don't buy this if you want a tape recorder - it is JUNK.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 2, 2011 11:07:38 AM PDT
Thanks for your review. Yes, it looks like a the old reliable "Shoebox". I was set to buy it when your review warned me off. Thanks again.

Posted on Jun 26, 2011 2:32:44 AM PDT
Sam D says:
Thanks for the info. I will not buy this recorder but would like info on better quality ones if anyone knows of one. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2011 10:57:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 10, 2011 11:06:42 AM PDT
MollyM/CA says:

Based partly on reviews like yours for this recorder, I bought this Panasonic recorder:

Panasonic RQ2102 Cassette Recorder

Bearing in mind that I bought it 8 months ago and the manufacturer may well have degraded this model into junk by now-- though the price has gone from $29.95 to 40-some dollars so maybe someone at Panasonic has realized that someone has to buy a product before they make money from it (so cheapening it into junk to sell at the same price is counterproductive).

1. I'm digitizing an immense library of audiobooks on cassette and have played hundreds and hundreds of tapes into my audio editing program (Adobe Audition) with this recorder.

2. The quality is quite adequate for audiobooks, which as you may know are almost without exception mono recordings on two (identical) tracks and usually pretty bad to begin with.

3. The player records one side and stops when the tape is done. Auto-reverse was always the first thing to fail on my many other cassette players so I consider this a good thing.

4. Everything is done by mechanical buttons (and a volume dial). The "eject" button is also the "stop" button -- press once to stop, twice to eject a tape-- so you can't frack a tape by accidentally ejecting without stopping. The reverse is quite fast for a small recorder. The ff seems slower, possibly because of its "cue" function. It runs off AC with its converter and no need to put batteries in it to do so (unlike some players).

5. It has one kind of big drawback: no line-out jack. The only way to get the playback into the computer is to run a cable (standard minijack) from the "monitor" (headphone) out socket. No program I have will recognise this output with the cable plugged into anything other than one of the microphone sockets on the computer and the program configured to receive that input. (A mystery to me -- my computer never knew the difference with other decks)

6. The only way to adjust the record volume is by the volume dial on the player, at least with my graphics card & setup -- the Windows microphone adjustment slide in the sound/record/(microphone)/ properties tab doesn't take effect until the tab is closed. There's a time lag with Audition because it's caching input. This can be a pain in the neck as audiotapes are execrably engineered and the volume from one side or one tape to another can be way different and the record volume often needs adjusting as soon as you start to record.


I have never tried to digitize a music cassette as anything I haven't been able to replace with a CD would be too worn out to be worth the trouble. Nor have I tried to record with the machine. I imagine it would be adequate for getting a general idea of a practice session, and it does have a socket for an external mike, but there are digital recorders that would do that job -- probably better-- for quite low prices. As this Panasonic seems to be about the only game in town for playing cassettes into a computer reliably it doesn't make sense to risk it if playback is the main reason for buying it.


In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2011 10:08:25 AM PDT
Sam D says:

I purchased the Panasonic RQ2102 and am reasonably satisfied with it. I have an extensive library of old music from at least a decade on audio cassette, and am using this recorder to play them. The quality of sound suffers a little but is still enjoyable. I like it because it is mobile. I play the tapes while using the treadmill and while walking. It does eat batteries but gives a fair amount of play before they weaken. Overall, the recorder serves it's purpose.

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