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on 14 May 2017
I've only had this a day and I'm very impressed so far. I did a fair bit of research into different makes and models, and the things that swayed it for me in favour of the DR-40 were mainly the on-board external mic XLRs, the four-track capability, the moveable internal mics, and the price - and also something about the Tascam name made me trust it, since it's a well-known brand with a long history in the audio world.
I was ready to be underwhelmed nonetheless, knowing that there are many far more 'pro' high-end devices out there for far more money.
But: so far, it's proving to be an excellent choice!

I''ll just get the obvious things lacking out of the way first [HENCE only 4 STARS in review rating]:
- lack of decent bespoke windshield ***see below
- no carry case or protective pouch
- plastic body (feels as if it probably would survive a modest knock or two, but could snap or split in really extreme scenarios)
- internal mics (on top of unit) have silver plastic bodies...cost cutting no doubt but no big deal really
- no internal lithium battery to preserve the time and date settings meaning changing the 3 AA main batteries causes the time and date to default to factory settings.

*** I bought a 3rd-party windshield from an ebay seller called 'windcut windshields', specifically made for the DR-40 and it's proved very effective in some early-morning outdoor recordings in moderately breezy conditions.

Now on to the things that impress me so far:
- 24-bit/96kHz recording
.....the unit defaults to 16-bit/44.1kHz but this is easily changed in the settings - 48kHz also an option
- 4 tracks available for recording: either stereo internal mics (2 track), stereo internals witth safety track (4 tracks..2 x stereo pair - you can set the safety track to record a number of dBs lower than the main track...this is configurable, i.e. not fixed to always be -6dB, you can set it to what you want), stereo internals with stereo externals (4 tracks), stereo externals, or one mono external.... I think these are all the options but I don't have the unit in front of me at the moment! Suffice to say it's a comprehensive and useful set of options.
- very easy menu navigation, once you get used to having to press the 'menu' button to return from an option you've navigated to with the >>| button, which is a little strange
- MOST IMPORTANT: excellent recording quality!

In coincident (XY) arrangement, the mics give a tight stereo image which feels rather narrow but would be well suited to close/near recording of e.g. vocal with acoustic guitar.
I have a Yamaha B1 upright piano and I placed the DR-40 on top of it, on the lid (lid closed), in XY configuration, and I got a very impressive 'close' piano sound with no distortion... more experimentation needed to find the ideal placement, but for a simple "bung it on the top and play and see what happens" I was very impressed.

In pseudo-ORTF (AB) arrangement, the internal mics give quite a pleasing stereo image which is more pronounced in terms of width and placement of sound sources. I took the unit out in the very early morning and recorded birdsong in a few locations using this mic
I've so far experimented with:
- quite close spoken word: 6 inches away from internal mics...gives very decent results suitable for radio reporter links, or podcast. NB this is no mere 'dictaphone' - the quality obtained with the internal mics for close voice is extremely good, but YOU WILL NEED A WINDSHIELD TO AVOID PLOSIVE POPPING.

There is a tripod mounting screw hole on the bottom of the unit, which is very handy. I have a photographic monopod and have been screwing the DR-40 onto this for outdoor work: it allows me to lean the whole thing up against a branch or tree stump and stand well away with the recording running - seems to work a treat.
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19 people found this helpful
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on 6 June 2015
I did a lot of research before buying the DR-40 as I needed something portable, reasonably priced, unobtrusive and (to my ears) good quality. I bought it with the Rycote 055444 Mini Windjammer (as I'm using it outdoors a lot) and I've not been disappointed.

Bear in mind that I'm not a sound geek although I'm somewhat hooked by this device and might now become a geek. It's become clear that a boom/shotgun mic would improve things even further but one thing at a time!

You can hear some of my early efforts made with the Tascam DR-40 here >> http://lifeboatstationproject.com/sound/
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21 people found this helpful
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on 18 July 2017
An earlier attempt to provide a properly helpful review has been torpedoed by Amazon's policy of disallowing external links! Here is the best I can do in the circumstances! This is a great product - but there are a few things you need to know:

The supplied printed manual contains only one useful item of information - Teac's URL for the reference manual (p.7 in the English version). The reference manual itself is largely clear and comprehensive. The supplied manual is neither.
The DR-40 has an attachment point for a carrying leash - but no leash is supplied. You'd hate to drop it, so buy one.
It takes a full-size SHDC card up to 32GB. It is supplied with a 4GB mini-card - of indeterminate brand - in an adapter. You may like to replace this.
It comes supplied with a tiny slot-in foot, to prop it up slightly on a table-top, to be stored in the battery compartment. It also has a standard photo-tripod screw-socket. Unless you will be using it exclusively hand-held, you will need a tripod, mini-tripod, tripod-clamp or something of the kind to get the best out of it. For hand-held use you really do need a 'windscreen' - if only to keep spit off the microphones!
Early experience is that it eats batteries - but the supplied batteries may simply be no good. Duracells next time! It can be USB powered from a laptop or from a USB mains adapter via its supplied lead. However it is fitted with the older-type - now obsolete - mini-B USB socket, not the newer - now standard for mobile phones - micro-B socket. (If your 'phone charger.is of the common type which disassembles into a separate standard to micro USB lead and a mains adapter with a standard USB port you will be able to use the adapter with the DR-40's lead.)
A custom-fit case is offered by Amazon US but not in the UK. I have just taken delivery of a Lowepro Streamline 100 which comfortably accepts the Tascam DR-40 itself, its lead + a USB adapter plug, 3 spare AA batteries and a WST-R30 windscreen but with little room to spare. - perhaps just enough for a small - a really small! - tripod clamp. Dependent on requirements, any small to medium camera bag should do fine.

Once you have mastered the basics, using the DR-40 it's really remarkably easy to create high-quality recordings. You will need to turn ON the inbuilt speaker - OFF by default - before you can audition these, or if you want to play them back via your HiFi you will need a suitable 3.5mm stereo to whatever adapter lead. None is supplied, nor earphones which you may also find useful. Although recordings can be 'processed' on the device itself, this is fiddly and not altogether satisfactory. You may want to investigate audio-processing software, there are various free options, of which Audacity is probably the best.

I like it so much, I'm buying another - as a birthday present!
5 people found this helpful
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on 26 June 2014
I've waited for a good test project before posting my review. A few days ago (with permission from all concerned) I recorded a live jazz concert. Saxaphone, Electric Piano, Bass Guitar and Drums. The saxophonist said "What great recording quality!". He has been playing professionally for many years and knows his stuff.

I was in the front row and had got a sound level during the band's sound check. It was perfect, just the very occasional peak light showing. I had the limiter on just to be sure but if it did activate I can't hear it. The quality is better than many live recordings I've heard - and studio recordings.

Next time I'll try and plug into the venue's sound desk - and use two mics into the DR-40 for the audience.This is a superb recorder at a reasonable price. Highly recommended.
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on 12 October 2017
Really nice recorder with excellent sound quality.
Bought this having used the Tascam DR05 (I also have the DR60D MKII which is excellent) simply because I wanted XLR inputs and X-Y configuration, this is a superb piece of equipment that doesn't disappoint.
Comes complete with batteries and a 4GB micro sd card with sd card adapter as this takes a regular sd card unlike the DR05 which takes the micro card. Controls are intuitive (well, I have been using the DR05 and that is intuitive as well), onboard speaker on both the DR05 and this one are not great, in fact you are better using earbuds or headphones, that way you will hear the full sound quality that this recorder delivers.
Very nice addition to my camera bag.
One person found this helpful
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on 12 June 2015
This is a great recorder and very versatile. I am still getting used to using all the functions but am impressed up to now.
Like all recorders if you are going to use it in a noisy setting or outside then buy a windshield. If you intend to use it for 2 way recording and have the built in mics pointed toward the person you are interviewing then plug a mic into one of the ports so that your vocal is loud enough.

I have held the recorder whilst interviewing and there has been no noise, but you can always buy one of those £2 small bendy stands to plug in and hold. I am glad I bought this recorder as it covers several functions in one for me and I am happy with them all.
3 people found this helpful
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on 29 July 2016
It's hard to know what to say about this unit that hasn't already been said. I use it to record a choir and small instrumental groups. The results are nowhere near as good as you'd get with pro microphones, but it's still light years ahead of a phone or a video camera. I find that I get best results by getting as close to the musicians as possible; the microphones are very sensitive, and do tend to pick up ambient noise if given a chance. The ability to record at two levels simultaneously has been a life-safer. The only reason for losing a star is because on one occasion the recording stopped in the middle of a note, for no obvious reason. It only happened once, so I still don't know why.
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on 22 June 2016
Great little gizmo ... We are a 5 piece original band and use this to record all our rehearsals / song wrighting (providing you play around a bit and get it positioned in the room correctly) this gives perfect instant playback so we can improve our songs, it has defiantly helped us with our song wrighting ... And also we now don't forget newly learned song structures! Great 👍🏻 ... Worth every penny
2 people found this helpful
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on 6 May 2015
Great sound pretty easy to use and easy to mount on a boom Mic or tripod stand. It has great range and is a decent enough size that you can easily conceal in a scene when filming. Definitely worth the price and much better than using a shotgun Mic because it can be a good alternative for one or you can use it for many other uses when recording sound. On the down side it is very sensitive and sometimes can pick up movement and vibration when attached to a boom stand. I would definitely recommend a dead cat just to really get the best quality sound out of it. I would also recommend buying some fake fur samples from Amazon and making it yourself as you can make it to the correct size without covering the controls on the microphone
3 people found this helpful
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on 17 June 2016
So far I have been impressed with the sound quality of this unit. I have only had it a couple of days so I am still learning about it's finer points. It appears to be well made, but I do find the printing on the multi function switch decidedly faint to see in anything other than bright light. It's a pity they didn't use a bright white print. Also it's a shame that the didn't supply a soft bag with it.
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