Aiwa AM-F3

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All, notes, AM-NX9, NX1, F90, C80/F72/F75/F80, F65/F70, F5/F7, F3, F1, AMD-100

Aiwa AM-F3portable recorder
Intro: 1/1996 (?)
msrp: Y58,000
in: optical/line, mic. out: line, hdphn/remote.109.3 x 81.8 x 26.5mm 290g w/rechargeable attached

Features: Stereo/mono recording, 1bit d/a a/d. Backlit panel and buttons (buttons backlit on AC adapter only), Empty, Mid, Full battery level indicator. Optical, Line, Mic input done with one jack and a line/mic switch. Line/Headphone output similarly done with 1 jack and a switch. Six mode "DSP" (parametric equalizer with flat, rock, pop, jazz, bassboost, and `live' settings). Display has 4 modes: 1) track no./elapsed track time, 2) track no./remaining track time, 3) remaining no. of tracks/remaining disc time. 4) date and time stamp info (though in this mode time does not increment). Display repeatedly scrolls current track name. Four track marking modes: 1) copy marks present in digital input signal, 2) make a mark every 5 minutes (appropriate for meetings and lectures), 3) manual mode (push button to mark), 4) make a mark after 3 seconds of silence. Double speed playback. Auto start/pause mode (sound activated) records only while sound is present on mic inputs (may be set to high or low sensitivity and is also affected by mic input gain setting). Character input for titling, which can be done from the main unit or from the remote, in which case the volume knob is used(!) to select the characters. Up to 50 letters, numbers, symbols, or kana may be entered per track. Writes recording date and time on each track. Manual/Auto recording level adjust (level can be manually adjusted and switched between auto and manual modes during recording). Play modes: repeat 1, repeat all, random play (operates properly, will not repeat tracks), program play, index search function (entire disc's song names are scrolled in display, pressing 'enter' as one scrolls past causes song to play). Settable preferences: enable/disable ear guard function, enable/disable resume function, enable/disable LCD backlight (when disabled, backlight can be turned on for 3 seconds with DISP button), set LCD contrast. Recharge time: 2 hr=90%, 5 hr=Full. Rechargeable cell: LIP-12. Unique "clip on" attachment of LIP-12 rechargeable or 2 AA drycell case to side of unit. Playback: 2 AA only: 4 hr, Rechargeable only: 6 hr. Record: 2 AA only: 1 hr, Rechargeable only: 3.5 hr
Comments from German Stereo Magazine 10/96: Excellent manufacturing fit and finish. Integrated DSP. Works well as dictaphone. Manual recording level adjustable (2*12 segments !!). No sample rate converter. Usable for jogging (the other tested devices were not (Sharp, Sony?)). 6 Hour playback with rechargeable batteries. Recommend electret micro with high amplitude for best performance (input is noisy relative to DAT units). DA/AD worse than in home decks, but acceptable. ATRAC 3.0 (matches quality of converters), which sounds ok (improvement of ATRAC3.5 was a lower noise floor only). Evaluation: very good **

Mis-features: Cannot simultaneously charge battery and operate on AC adapter. In pause mode the fast foward/rewind function is unavailable, only track skip. Unit only records in append mode, cannot overwrite existing tracks.

Links: Bala Swaminathan's review of the Aiwa AM-F3, Aiwa's Japanese page for the unit.


User Manual: AM-F3

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