User Comments on the JVC XU-301

Mike Blossom (
Fri, 04 Jun 1999 16:52:43 -0500

My biggest complaint about the JVC XU-301 is the difficulty in recording a single track from a CD. To record one track you have these options:

  1. Manual: Use your finger to hit the start and stop buttons at the right moments, the old fashioned way. This would be ok if it was easier to clean up afterwards. But removing extra time at the end of a song is frustrating, because you have to go VERY slowly through the whole song to get to the place where you want to divide tracks, and then delete the unwanted track.
  2. Single-action: The selected CD is recorded in its entirety. You could then delete all the tracks you do not want, I suppose.
  3. First track recording: The first track of each CD will be recorded onto the MD. If the song you want to record happens to be the first track on its CD, then you could do this, I guess. (This is the weirdest feature I have ever seen!) [This function is meant for recording the ``hit'' track from CD singles, which are popular in Japan. -eaw]
  4. Listening Edit: This is the one I use, but it is still a pain in the neck. You can select and play a CD, then as each track on the CD plays, either press the LISTENING EDIT button, which will add it to the "list" of tracks to be recorded, or press SKIP, which will not add it, and move on to the next song. When your "list" is complete, you can then press REC START to begin recording. There are two problems with this method. First, if your desired track happens to be track 15 on the CD, you have to go through this process for tracks 1 to 14 to get there. There is no way to go directly to a particular track. Second, if the MD only has room for one more track, it is a royal pain. If the current track on the CD will not fit on the MD, the machine will automatically skip it. While this is happening, the REC START button has no effect. So the machine continues to cycle through (and reject) all the tracks on all the CDs before it will let you begin recording.

I foolishly assumed when I bought it that I would be able to play a track on a CD, then press one button telling the machine that I want to record that track. I gather that other CD/MD decks can do this, although I do not know for sure.

I also have some other complaints about the machine:

  1. In general, the machine cannot deal with more than one thing at a time. For example, on my older JVC CD deck, I do not have to wait for a CD to load before programming in which track(s) I want to play. The machine can receive and store up all my instructions I enter with the remote, and then perform them when it is able. On the JVC XU-301, a CD or MD has to physically load first, then queue up to track 1 (for CD) or load the TOC (for MD); before that, anything you try to enter with the remote will be ignored. You are even warned in the manual that if you try to do anything while the MD's TOC is loading, you could harm the machine. There are a lot of little places like this where I find myself waiting for the machine to do something before I can tell it what I want to do next. This gets annoying after the first 100 times.
  2. When recording MDs with some digital tracks and some analog, the analog tracks always end up being too quiet. The machine has an input level for analog recording, but not for digital. And even when the analog input is all the way up, tracks recorded from vinyl are never as loud as tracks recorded digitally. My old JVC tape deck had analog input level control, but it went a lot higher (louder).
  3. Editing MDs can be laborious because when in edit mode (as I touched on above) you are allowed only a SLOW fast forward through tracks to get to the point that you want to edit. You are allowed to fast forward, but it is much slower than the fast forward when you are just listening to a track.
  4. The loading of CDs is, compared to my old multi-CD deck, slow, loud, and clunky.

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