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I'm looking to buy a semi-pro field recorder. I've done some research and the LE arguably seems to be one of the best in this price range, good pre-amps for the money. The headphone output seems to be pretty noisy though. I however could not find any good reviews on the FR-2 and remain with some questions.
I was wondering how the LE compares to his big brother, the FR-2. Does the FR-2 have better amps and headphone out than the LE or does it just pack more features? I'm torn between going with a brand new LE or stretching the budget a bit and go with a second hand FR-2.
I've used both and own the LE... There is actually quite a big difference in the quality of the pre-amps between the LE and FR2, not sure why but the FR-2 pre's are much cleaner. Not so great if you want to record quiet ambience. The LE is still a good buy, I tend to line level out from my sound devices 302 so bypassing the hiss. Battery life could be better but well worth investing in a decent battery as discussed above. Simple to use and reliable....
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you can fit a 7.5v RC battery in the battery compartment of the LE which extends battery life by a few hours over 4xAA. You can attach the same battery to the FR2, and if I am not mistaken it has to be strapped to the side of the machine. As mentioned the LE has no time code and the headphone amp is quite noisy, and the build quality isn't as good as the FR2, but the recording quality is really good and that is where it counts. As a side note - at work we have a DR680 (also a very fine machine), but IMO the LE out preforms it in terms of quality and ease of use.