I have a Zoom H2 and I agree it's a decent little recorder. It's definitely not good for what Peter 
Hirsch was mentioning, because it takes a little time to boot up, it starts up in a default mode 
that might not be what you want, and changing the mode takes a lot more than the spur of a moment. 
For capturing those bird songs or that burbling brook, you can't go wrong with a mic attached to the 
iPhone, I say again. Near-instant startup, acceptable audio quality, etc.

As for the Zoom, between the 1/8" unbalanced connectors, the tiny screen and the convoluted menus, 
it always ends up being my backup machine. I still have the M-Audio for my main machine, but I 
wouldn't buy that today given the choice of better, cheaper alternatives. I'd probably buy one of 
the Tascam machines today.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Timothy Wisniewski" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2013 3:21 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Handheld digital recorder

> Thanks, Richard.
> The convertor for generating phantom power would certainly seem consistent
> with the 1/4" inputs not having the same problem.  I'll have to test the
> XLR inputs with a few mics when I have time.
> I agree the menu system is clunky, but I quickly got used to it.  There are
> menu "shortcut" buttons on the H4n, which get you directly into the
> sub-menus, but I find its just as easy to go through the full menu as it is
> to switch from the shortcut buttons on the front to the main menu scroll on
> the side.
> Best,
> Tim
> On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 2:44 PM, Richard L. Hess
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> Hi, Tim,
>> I don't recall where I read it and I could be wrong, but it sounded to me
>> that the noise was being introduced by the DC-to-DC converter that was used
>> to generate the 48 V phantom power. I tried a DC-DC converter once in a mic
>> circuit and quickly realized that off-the-shelf units were FAR too
>> was for the Sennheiser MKH-804 that I came up with an alternate
>> scheme for powering and I've posted that in in my blog.
>> search for MKH-804.
>> The menu system on every Zoom (except the H1 which has dedicated switches)
>> is annoying--the H2 has a teeny tiny screen. The H2n's is a bit better. I
>> am used to the H2 and either I use my reading glasses or a pocket magnifier
>> I've taken to carrying.
>> I'm not saying I've tried everything, but the Zoom H2 was a pleasant
>> surprise overall. Similar in concept to a good digital camera compared to a
>> digital SLR system.
>> Cheers,
>> Richard
>> On 2013-04-15 11:29 AM, Timothy Wisniewski wrote:
>>> I love my Zoom H4n, just be sure to hold on extra tightly when recording
>>> bodies of salt water (as discussed on this list a few months back).
>>> Interesting, and a bit worrisome, to hear Richard's comment about the XLR
>>> inputs.  I haven't had a chance to test them (the built in condenser mics
>>> sound great), though I have used the 1/4" inputs for digitizing, which do
>>> not seem to suffer from the same reported problem.  Overall, I find it a
>>> great versatile low-tech solution for digitizing as well as recording.  I
>>> agree that its a bit bulky as a portable device, especially if you don't
>>> carry a bag with you everywhere like I do.  Some have also complained
>>> about
>>> the menu system being difficult to navigate.
>>> Best,
>>> Tim
>>> On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 5:05 AM, Don Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>  On 15/04/2013, Richard L. Hess wrote:
>>>>  Peter,
>>>>> If you don't want to have the iPhone for the sake of a
>>>>> phone/PDA/browser/whatever, I would not go the iPod Touch route.
>>>>> The Zoom H2 takes about a minute (or a bit less) to boot. The H1 is
>>>>> faster. I don't recall about the H2n. I would think the Tascams are
>>>>> faster, but we've heard issues with battery life on at least one of
>>>>> them. I agree about the handling noise on the H1, but it, too, has a
>>>>> tripod socket. I would make sure that any machine I bought had a
>>>>> tripod socket. I carry a now-discontinued Rowi "clamp pod" to clamp
>>>>> the Zoom to a variety of things from lecterns to others' mic stands (I
>>>>> also have a wad of folded over duct tape that I use to avoid
>>>>> scratching things).
>>>>>  A Gorillapod would do that job too.
>>>>  One unit that was well received a little while ago was the Olympus,
>>>>> but I do not know the current status of Olympus or the unit.
>>>>> Sony also makes units, but they tend to be more expensive than the
>>>>> Tascam or the Zoom.
>>>>> One thought about instant on is that with the 20-hour battery life of
>>>>> the Zoom H2n, you could turn it on when you entered the "possible
>>>>> recording zone" and then take it out and double punch the record
>>>>> button and you're in (the first punch puts it in record standby with
>>>>> the meters least that is how the H2 works).
>>>>> Whatever you do, do not get a "voice recorder" or "dictation
>>>>> recorder". Make certain it will give you WAV and MP3 files. I normally
>>>>> record WAV though for long things I have used MP3 on occasion.
>>>> Regards
>>>> --
>>>> Don Cox
>>>> [log in to unmask]
>> --
>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
> -- 
> Timothy Wisniewski, M.L.I.S.
> Visual Materials Archivist
> Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives
> Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
> 5801 Smith Avenue, Suite 235
> Baltimore, MD 21209