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Introduction and request for equipment advice

Subject: Introduction and request for equipment advice
From: "Peter Shute" pshute2
Date: Thu Jun 2, 2011 7:32 pm ((PDT))
I live in Melbourne, Australia, and I currently have no recording equipment=
, other than my compact camera and my phone. I've used these to make near w=
orthless recordings of birds for id, and I'd like to improve my results. I =
know very little about sound gear, and I'm hoping I can get some advice on =
what to buy.

I don't want to make a big initial investment, as I don't want $1000 of gea=
r lying around if it turns out I'm not that interested, or don't find it th=
at useful.

After reading this list's archives, and lots of websites and forums, and pl=
aying with a friend's Zoom H1, I decided it would be best to go for an Olym=
pus LS-7, and think about an ME66 later. I chose the LS-7 because it's chea=
per than an LS-10 or 11, and seems to do most of the same things, but has a=
 2 second prerecord and some timer functions, neither of which I know if th=
ey'll be useful.

But now that I'm trying to buy one, I find that I can't find one in a local=
 shop for a decent price. I can get one from the USA on eBay for about AUD$=
Message: 200. 
Subject: I've only found one shop claiming to sell them, for $300. One shop sai=
d they aren't imported to this country, and quoted $600 for an LS-11. Both =
suggested I'd have no warranty if I buy on eBay.

Another place didn't have them, but has the Zoom H4N for $340 (and scoffed =
at the idea of stocking Olympus "dictaphones"). I think I'd rather have tha=
t than pay $300 to get an LS-7 with a local warranty. It's a bit big, but p=
hantom power sounds useful, and 4 track recording sounds like fun. It also =
has a 2 second prerecord buffer.

- Is buying an LS-7 with no effective warranty much of a risk?
- Does anyone know where to buy one in Australia with a warranty?
- Is the H4N as good as the LS series for bird call recording? It seems ver=
y  oriented towards music recording.
-Is it as easy to use?
- One advantage of Olympus recorders was that lots of people use them. Are =
there as many using Zooms? It's nice to have a lot of people to ask for adv=

Peter Shute

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