AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tea Party Central
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My approach is the same as yours. Since 2000 or so I have been using twin drawer Harman Kardon recorders (CDR2, 20) but they are now both over ten years old and have gone flukey.
To replace them, I just bought a used (circa 2005) Sony W2000ES recorder from a great Ebay seller. Popped the top when it arrived and have to say the thing is built like a tank and works perfectly with excellent sound quality. Was leary of the 5 disc tray play side reputation in lesser Sony models but so far this unit is everything I hoped an ES Sony would be. Also thought about splurging for a Yamaha CDR HD1500 to act as bonus Music server but didn't want to spend the extra coin.
The more current Sony RCD-W500C (a less expensive version of the earlier ES design) seems to be the best option for buying new if you're looking for the convenience of internal recording, especially at higher speeds. I believe that unit is no longer manufactured but there seem to be some lying around NIB. There are a number of current single drawer units on the market if you only want to record from an external source at normal speed, such as for vinyl. They range in price from very reasonable (Teac) to quite expensive (Tascam), depending on brand. Along with Amazon and Ebay, check J&R, B&H Photo, etc. I believe even Wal-Mart sells Teac models.