The Tascam DR-40 finally showed up on my door step this morning after several shipping delays. A few of the features seem very interesting, like the ability to record 2 copies of the same audio, each at different levels and the ability to over-dub and extra audio track, but I’ll cover more of those features once I have a chance to do a full review.

The controls on the Tascam DR-40 are almost identical to the Tascam DR-05 with the exception of 3 extra buttons just bellow the large screen and the extra play button above the unit. The DR-40 has a very plastic feel to it and even though the sides have a ruff texture around the area you hold, this texture doesn’t provide a very comfortable hand grip.

Even though the case is made mostly of plastic there is a metal 1/4 20 mount on the back of the DR-40 that should out last the plastic threads of many lower end field recorders. The 3 batteries required to power the DR-40 seems like an odd choice and gives it an strange bulge three quarters of the way up the back side of the of the case. Even with batteries installed it feels quit a bit lighter then the Zoom h4n.

With the Tascam DR-40 and Zoom h4n side by side you’ll notice that the DR-40 is slightly taller and thicker then the h4n, but even though the Zoom h4n is smaller it still feels quit a bit more substantial in your hand. The rounded rubberized corners on the h4n also make it more comfortable to hold and the over all build quality seems a few steps better then the DR-40.

There is a nice dedicated volume control button on the side of the Tascam DR-40 along with a switch to change the input sensitivity and turn on/off Phantom power. I haven’t had a chance to test out the XLR inputs or built in mics yet but I should have time to play around with it some more this weekend.

My first impression is that the build quality is lacking and the size and shape are somewhat awkward, the case feels very plastic and it’s size is larger then the Zoom h4n. I hope the audio quality gives the Tascam DR-40 a good reason to exist, because a refurbished Zoom h4n is only $50 more on amazon right now.

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