While this latest recorder from Korg is fresh out of the box, we’re only too familiar with its skills. Its little brother, the Korg MR-1, is one of our favourites due to its superb quality, battery life and capacious 20GB hard drive.
So what does the MR-1000 add to the mix? Well, the core internals are the same as the MR-1 – this is still a 1-bit audio recorder capable of committing noise to hard drive at 24-bit 192kHz and beyond. There’s the same options to record as WAV, DSDIFF, DSF and Super Audio CD- friendly WSD. So that’s the same incredible 2.8mHz/1-bit recording that set the MR-1 apart.
The MR-1000 does go one better, however offering a ‘future-proof’ 5.6mHz/1-bit quality that effectively doubles the resolution of today’s standards. Hard drive space has also doubled too – now you’ve 40GB to play with. That’s enough for 60 hours of CD-quality 44.1kHz/16-bit recording and still massive 6 hours at 5.6mHz/1-bit.
In practice the MR-1000 sounds the same as the MR-1. That’s to say it sounds absolutely brilliant. Get your levels right (or trust the auto-settings and built-in limiter) and you’ve signal to noise and bass/treble clarity that are second to none.
In fact, by failing to include a mic this time around (the MR-1 came complete with a bulky clip mic that proved to be a bit duff for musical recordings) they’re forcing you to use your favourite matched pair so, if anything, the MR-1000 sounds even better and that extra resolution really lets your gear shine.
In use the MR-1000 is much less fiddly than the pocket-sized MR-1 too. It features the same screen, menus, and general usage of the smaller machine but now there’s dedicated record level knobs and peak meters replacing the menu options and on-screen displays of the pocket unit.
The MR-1000 is more chunky too. Buttons have a pleasing long throw on them and the loops on the front certainly look the part. Don’t be fooled though, while the shiny chassis may look like metal, the MR-1000 is plastic throughout and the faux rack-able styling is just for show rather than any mounting practicality.
At least the increased back panel real estate isn’t just for show. A pair of XLR/TRS combination sockets for stereo input, now allow you to plug in practically anything and a USB 2.0 port gives easy unloading to a computer.
There’s also switchable Phantom power for mics that require it, and output wise there’s XLRs and unbalanced RCAs for both pro and quick and easy connections. It’s a shame we’re still limited to a stereo input pair though. The option to plug in more mics (four, six even) would have been cool (and possible given the size of the unit).
And while the MR-1 packed an iPod-style rechargeable cell, the MR-1000 needs a gluttonous eight AA batteries if you’re going to use it away from its AC adapter. Some more ins would have also put the MR-1000 in a class of its own. Instead we’ve an excellent quality recorder that gives the comfortable security of a static hardware unit with the option to go portable if you want to.